Why Big Red Diary?

the last lakes and hills for a couple of weeks!

Yesterday, walking above the Thunersee (Lake Thun), the last pic of the Jungfrau from Interlaken…

inconsistent lambrays 2000…

WP_20160810_18_06_18_Pro-1The performance of the (half-dozen) 2000 Lambrays I bought en-primeur have been all over the map. The last was bretty and old, the one before that was drinking perfectly – and this? Well, if anything, it’s almost too young!

2000 Clos des Lambrays
A good, deep, colour – showing some age. The nose is fresh, showing a suggestion of pyrazine, and a herby dark fruit. Wide, fresh and very tasty on the palate with a growing intensity, some tannin and a mouth-watering sweetness. Very much a young showing here, some angles to the shape but overall this is worth my time (unlike my last bottle). To be clear, there is no extra distinction here vs a creditable Gevrey 1er, but in this instance, some flashes of good flavour – so a tasty wine, but one to wait for!
Rebuy – Maybe With such inconsistency, I can’t unreservedly recommend it…

2010 chassagne vergers + 1998 fixin napoléon


This Fixin has, for a long time, been sub-optimal in terms of approachability, but it seems to have turned the corner now, albeit with this bottle bringing a little extra something that was unwanted.

1998 Pierre Gelin, Fixin 1er Clos Napoléon
Medium, medium-plus red colour – not a very mature colour but still with some age of-course. The nose has a fine and silky red berry fruit with a just a little faint roast impression and, less attractively, a subtle, but present, impression of brett. In the mouth this is fresh, with fine energy – red-fruited again, and actually with a very nice clarity of flavour. The (previously harsh) tannin is really now something of an anecdote. Overall – the brett excepted, and every bottle will be different – this is a big turnaround performance. Tasty wine.
Rebuy – Maybe

2010 Camille Giroud, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Vergers
Medium, medium-plus lemon yellow. Fresh, mineral, a hint of citrus – a warmer ripeness of yellow citrus at the core – very attractive! Fresh and citrus in personality with a growing intensity – this is very light and seemingly mobile over the palate – faint sweetness that brings a hint of oak flavour to the fore too. Less full, seemingly finer in shape, than the Tête du Clos from earlier this week. A super crescendo of finishing flavour, here with a very late arriving suggestion of firework reduction. Simply lovely!
Rebuy – Yes

And I think I have a third 1998, a red grand cru lined-up for later today 😉

yesterday on the vierwaldstättersee…


Two hours on-board ship from Lucerne to Treib (Tribe) for the tastiest fresh fish you will ever try, then back again!

Weekend 31 – some wines…


2008 Sylvain Pataille, Bourgogne Le Chapitre
Medium plus colour. What a lovely nose – almost a coal-style mineral impression, and a fine red fruit edged with reduction. Fresh, mouth-filling, growing in intensity – really growing! This has a lovely texture and lots of flavour complexity. It’s really a beauty, holding onto a good note in the finish too. Very yum indeed!
Rebuy – Yes

2010 Camille Giroud, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Tête du Clos
Quite a deep colour. The nose is full and gunpowder reductive. In the mouth this explodes over the palate, leading with a lovely intensity of acid-led flavour that melt with sweetly-acidulated fruit. Quite a big wine and one that brings an extra wave of flavour in the finish. Big, almost brusque, but deeply involving. Really super!
Rebuy – Yes

2012 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Clos Berthet
Here I definitely took my own advice – this is already the last bottle from the case, and each has been excellent – keenly priced too! Medium-pale colour. The nose is never massively endowed, but offers fine, nicely defined, pure fruit notes, fresh fruit. Wide and fresh in the mouth; a growing intensity of penetrating flavour. Rounder on style than, say, St.Aubin, but ingraining flavour and no lack of mineral, stony finishing flavour. Simply excellent, a bottle that always emptied very fast…
Rebuy – Yes

1998 Louis Jadot, Beaune 1er Les Grèves
Here a négoce bottling.
Here is a good and deep fruit, mineral inflected in a coal way that reminds me of the Pataille – just with more age. Wide in the palate – and quite fresh too. There is the last vestige of what may have been slightly astringent tannin, but today not-so. Certainly there’s a little bitterness in the finish, but more towards bitter-chocolate than outright (not nice) bitterness. Over time in the glass, the mineral component diminishes if never leaves, the fruit gets redder and adds a suggestion of flowers. Still slightly young, but definitely entering an early-drinking phase.
Rebuy – Yes

more weekend lakes…

Shot with my phone, so obviously none of them are straight 😉

Still – Estavayer-le-Lac – very nice!

2x chassagne


Typical – perfect condition for this, the last white from my case of 08 Pillots – but the one with my least favourite profile due to the riper fruit and vanilla, still, rather a tasty wine. Can’t win them all…

2008 Paul Pillot, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er La Grand Montagne
Hurrah – yellow colour! The nose is fresh, ripe-fruited and with a hint of oaky-vanilla. In the mouth this has a lovely intensity, a little fatter bump of ripe fruit in the middle before fading on a great line once more. The flavour is still a little vanilla inflected. A great line of intensity, indeed tension though – yum!
Day 2: ouf! No fat, no vanilla – just fabulous wine – it turns the screw of pain re the two lost caillerets…
Rebuy – Yes But no, for obvious reasons…

2009 Gilles Bouton, Chassagne-Montrachet Les Voillenots Dessus
Deeply coloured – ooh, and what a beautiful nose of silky ripe fruit – super enticing. In the mouth, there’s now none of the rusticity of this wine when it was young – but there’s still plenty of power for a villages wine. More a pizza than a salmon wine, but really enjoyable – yum!
Rebuy – Yes

more hills and lakes…


Yesterday was the Niederhorn (‘neederhorn’) – gorgeous views and mountain goats. We’ve a few unsettled days now, but it will be nice again next week, when more hills will attacked!

great reds but more p.ox too…


I wasn’t really picking on M&M in the last couple of weeks, it’s only that their bottles were close to hand. The Pillot that follows was still fabulous a couple of years ago, but not today…

2008 Paul Pillot, Chassagne-Montrachtet 1er Les Caillerets
Bottle #1: Dark colour – oops. The nose has a kind of oxidised honey aroma. The palate is flabby and not the tastiest.
Bottle #2: Similar colour but much less obviously oxidative. In the mouth there’s just a small oxidative character, but this wine retains it’s intensity of line and just sufficient interest that I take more than one glass. Day 2 this is completely dead.
Rebuy – No

2005 Lignier-Michelot, Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes
What a great wine! This needs a little aeration before the nose tends more to elegance, but this is full in the mouth, with fine texture and shows super waves of concentrated flavour in the mid-palate. It’s really still a baby, but it’s open and super-tasty. Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2006 Chenu, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Haut-Jarrons
Medium red. The nose has a similar medium red-coloured berry that’s attractive, fresh and inviting. This is also fresh and red in the mouth, with an engaging complexity – these 2006 Chenus are really showing well right now – not a hint of sous bois but complex and fresh, aided by hint of phenolic. Just really tasty, medium-bodied wine.
Rebuy – Yes

a hilly day…

Sorry Beaune, but this is really my most favourite place – even when there’s no snow!

weekend 30 – 3 bottles with a better return


2007 Mischief & Mayhem, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Caillerets
On pouring in the kitchen, the dark colour hard my heart sinking (once more) but outside in the garden, it was clear that this remains yellow not golden – even if dark yellow! The nose actually has a reductive twist and some exotic yellow fruit. In the mouth this is very large-scaled and with much less overt acidity, indeed freshness, than M&M’s 2007 Meursault Charmes. In style, I might have guessed this to be a typical (un-p.oxed) 2005 – i.e. mouth-filling and massively scaled – highly impressive, without being particularly delicious. Quite a good wine. I have another but many other things taste better to me at this stage, so I’ll bite the bullet and wait a while longer – I know I’m not taking my own advice, but why drink it if I don’t enjoy it?!
Rebuy – No

2005 des Croix, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Still deeply coloured. The nose offers up sweet fruit of decent freshness, and now, for the first time, a vibration of extra age-driven complexity – yum! In the mouth this has plenty of volume and great texture. Without being super-fresh this is very well-balanced and nicely weighted – the fruit is, however, rather sweet and close to cordial-like. I find the fruit just a little distracting – but I can wait 😉 For a Bourgogne, this sits below the Barthod 05 today in terms of pure deliciousness, but overall, it’s really not far behind!
Rebuy – Yes

2008 Prince Florent de Merode, Ladoix Les Chaillots
This wine was always brilliant value, usually cheaper than a whole swathe of Bourgognes – but young, I found a few odd flavours in this wine – but no more! The nose is fresh and really only very modestly herbal – in that 2008 vernacular. In the mouth this has a good dose of complexity – herbs and fruit – and a very endearing freshness that makes it moreish. This wine is really coming into its own now – fresh, herby but with decent fruit and a certain ebullience. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

saturday’s swiss walking

Saturday – a lovely day (mainly!) – first a little St.Gallen i.e. mainly windows!

Then Appenzel:

Finally lake Constance (Bodensee) where a little rain and hail caught up with us:

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