Why Big Red Diary?

weekend stuff – week 26…


Of-course I need the excuse to open more bottles, so this weekend I chose (again) the football excuse 🙂

1995 Daniel Rion, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Beaux-Monts
My last bottle was a little bretty, but this is very fine. A deep, almost textured nose, pretty, sweet spice – just lovely. Sweet in the mouth too but with lovely freshness and dimension of complexity. Comforting and simply delicious!
Rebuy – Yes

2006 Chenu, Savigny-lès-Beaune
Fresh crunch fruit on the nise, some more herby aspects too, but attractive. The palate mirrors the nose, crunchy red fruit and an under-ripe element that turns to an attractive sprig of fresh mint – the combination is rather nice – particularly so when you consider the low price of this wine – I’m sure it was less than €10. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

1991 Jaboulet-Vercherre, Echézeaux
The last bottles from this half-dozen were poor – no better than bourgognes – so I thought ‘why not a bourgogne‘ with the football. Cold, this wasn’t bad, there was a little more depth and weight of texture than I remembered – such a shame then, that the nose was rather bretty. It tasted acceptable, but didn’t smell acceptable…
Rebuy – Still No!

2012 Clothilde Davenne, Saint Bris Vieilles Vignes
The list of Saint Bris that I would actually drink has doubled – to two! This is lovely, and far from a simple varietal wine. The nose is fresh with a certain sweetness; sauvignon but still sweetly attractive. In the mouth this has fine freshness and weight and a beautiful sweet acidity in the finish. Very tasty indeed! (My other ‘drink’ is from Goissot)
Rebuy – Yes

2012 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Murgers des Dents du Chien
Quite a deep colour, but the nose is more about sweet toast and caramel – honestly more than I would want, inviting as it is. Slowly, slowly a fresher, pretty aroma begins to come through. Plenty of weight on the palate, a good intensity of acidity too – sweetly edged with a suggestion of the caramel from the nose. Tasty wine, and one that will hopefully have a little less barrel with more time in the cellar.
Rebuy – Maybe

a little canton bern this weekend

Thun… :

Enter – Carel Voorhuis

DSC08824Right: Carel Voorhuis at Ardhuy, 29 November 2015.

So, finally I’m no-longer embargoed! – Carel Voorhuis of Domaine d’Ardhuy will replace David Croix at Camille Giroud. Here, hot from my inbox, is their joint statement:

Chers amis,

Suite à vos nombreuses sollicitations, nous vous confirmons qu’effectivement, des changements vont avoir lieu au domaine d’Ardhuy et chez Camille Giroud.

Après 15 ans, David Croix quitte la tête de la Maison Camille Giroud et Carel Voorhuis quitte le Domaine d’Ardhuy, prenant la succession de David.

Les vinifications du millésime 2016 se feront de part et d’autre en binôme : les deux maisons ont le souci de la pérennisation de la qualité des vinifications et du style maison, dans l’esprit de la recherche de l’excellence qui les meut depuis de nombreuses années.

Bien cordialement,

David et Carel

a little midday beaune and pommard

Just a few pics from jogging around Beaune and Pommard yesterday:

elin’s apocalypse…

A thoughtful article from Elin McCoy, which has many overtones of my own ‘Vuittonification‘ post from last December. Elin has taken a more personal (producer) perspective versus my more structural perspective – but the conclusions are the same. The only things that have changed since my post in December is that we now clearly have a tiny 2016 vintage underway, one that can only make pricing even more difficult for the market to swallow, and a European (fiscal) market in turmoil due to Brexit.

Everyone sees the problem, yet, seemingly, no-one can help avoid the impending market crash for Burgundy wines.

a couple of great mid-weekers..


A couple of inspired choices from the wine-list of Ma Cuisine on Monday evening:

2007 Louis Carillon, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Perrières
What a young wine! The nose is a little cushioned, still with a suggestion of vanilla and the freshness of youth. In the mouth the 2007 acidity zings you along; good concentration and super intensity – lovely finishing flavour too. Top 1er Cru! Not for those who dislike acidity, but I simply love great 2007s…
Rebuy – Yes

1982 Hospices de Nuits, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les St.Georges ‘Cuvée de l’Espace’
Faiveley was the eleveur. Bright colour and a massive nose of bright, perfumed fruit – this stays for about half an hour before the perfume very slowly fades, but at the same time the nose becoming deeper fruited. Resolved and silky in the mouth – perfect pinot. Just a suggestion of metallic in the finish but that is gone with my beef bourguignone. The first two pours were brilliant, the last just a little older in the glass. Super.
Rebuy – Yes

weekend wines – week 25….


Accompanying a few late goals this weekend, were:

1999 Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin
Fourrier is sometimes maligned because the wines are so pure and drinkable, whatever their age, but here is a big nose-full of earthy, forest funk – well, for about 15 minutes anyway. Slowly a beautiful pure note starts to shine through – fine cherry fruit. In the mouth there is a lovely energy and mouth-watering flavour. This is a wine that begs you to take another sip – so we obliged, of-course! Still in great shape, though judging from the litter of empty cases, perhaps it was also my last one!
Rebuy – Yes

2010 Ramonet, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos de la Boudriotte (red!)
A bold and young colour, still. The nose remains quite heavily inflected with sweet oak – though it does fit with the equally sweet fruit! In the mouth, whilst undeniably delicious and with an impressively open-ended mid-palate and finishing complexity, here is also no shrinking modesty of sweet oak flavours. It IS delicious, but the sweetness of fruit and oak together makes this wine a less moreish than the Fourrier. A very tasty baby for sure, but I’d probably wait for its 10th birthday before opening another…
Rebuy – Yes

finally it’s really tasty: grivot’s 95 nuits lavières…


Here’s a wine that I’ve owned in quantity since at least 2000 – it was a great buy for about £15 per – ah, those were the days… In that time it has vacilated between tasty and youthful, to full but uncommunicative. Today is about as good as I’ve ever experienced:

1995 Jean Grivot, Nuits St.Georges Les Lavières
The colour is the typical heavy, almost impenetrably browning hue of most from the vintage. The nose though is fresh, bright, a hint floral and whilst the fruit is of the inky, macerating kind, it has pretty and individual notes – nice. Wide and fresh, there’s still plenty of tannic, but cushioning, texture – nothing dry or to be afraid of here. The flavour is of surprisingly juicy; mouth-watering fruit – almost with a little accent of mint leaf and chocolate too. Indeed, chocolate-dipped cherries. Not bad! Today, very tasty indeed – yum!
Rebuy – Yes

brexit – c’est compliqué

the-sun-front-page-09.03.16-1Well, it’s decided!

Speaking as a Brit who has lived outside the UK for over 16 years now, who gets by in German at home, and ‘almost’ gets by in French in my second (third?) home, it would come as no surprise that, on balance, I was more of a ‘remain’ than a ‘Brexit’ – but it’s more complicated than that…

France seems an out-liner for the (old!) future of the EU, mired in Bureaucracy; most official ‘things’ having to be signed in triplicate in the home of the ‘C’est la France – c’est compliqué!’ I didn’t like that, nor did I like the massive un-elected facet of much of the apparent workings of the EU – but they were counter-balanced by an inclusiveness that I liked very much. It is strange that the people fighting against that are not just (some) politicians, but also the terrorists that would have us separated/segregated and hiding behind our front doors.

The campaign left a very bad taste though; dirty, pseudo racist messages from an Arthur Daley lookalike – but significantly less trustworthy. What to think of an apathetic Labour ‘leadership’ – in the end it was their lack of dynamism towards their own constituency that decided the vote. How in the future to trust the people who delivered such a cynical and downright lying (miss-leading is too small a word – however it looks when written) campaign. There were always going to be short-term and potentially long-term consequences. And what of those poor ‘non-English’ regions that voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU?

I always felt there was a chance that ‘things’ could be better for the UK in 5-10 years, post-Brexit, maybe also for the EU, if they are sufficiently shocked from their fat complacency – but the two have to retain strong ties – isolation can cause withering and death. But now is the time for everyone to do what is best for all those that took the time to vote, whichever way they voted…

Okay, that’s enough politics for this year – enjoy your weekend wherever you may be…!

David Croix – on the move…

DSC08818There’s no doubt that David Croix has been very busy at two Beaune producers for the last years; working at, and then overseeing, Maison Camille Giroud since 2001 and his own Domaine des Croix (with investors), since 2005. But at the end of this year he will be making some big changes:

“I’m proud of what we have achieved at Camille Giroud, and 15 years has gone by really quickly, but I’ve decided that it’s time for a change. It’s really possible that a fresh pair of eyes and hands can take Camille Giroud to a new level – which I’m really hoping for. So the 2016 harvest will be my last for Camille Giroud as I will be moving to a new project at the end of the year. Whilst Domaine des Croix is my priority, it won’t be my only project – you can imagine that I wouldn’t want to be bored (he jokes) – after-all, at the moment I have over 40 different cuvées at these two domaines – I’d be moving to ‘only 11’ at Domaine des Croix!”

Given that it’s 6 months away David prefers, for the moment, not to be drawn on his new project:

“It’s just not the right time, I have clear priorities at Camille Giroud and des Croix right now. But I can confirm that we will be announcing my replacement at Giroud very soon.”

weekend wines from week 24…


Just a couple of modest ones to start with then another where I didn’t take a photo – slapped wrists!
A good set this weekend!

1999 Gilles Remoriquet, Vosne-Romanée 1er Au Dessus des Malconsorts
Deep colour. The nose is fresh, if a little meaty with macerating plum fruit. In the mouth this is fresh and still with a modest structure. It feels great in the mouth and has plenty of flavour complexity – tasty flavour too. It could certainly have more delicacy, but then so few 99s show that. Relatively large-scaled and tasty, and given Gilles pricing, what’s not to love!
Rebuy – Yes

1999 Dujac, Morey St.Denis
The colour is a dead-ringer for the 99 Remoriquet, though this nose is a little less attractive – it’s much more herb-driven. Unlike the nose, there is fine sweetness and complexity of fruit on the palate – it’s quite large-scaled wine, also like the Remoriquet. I like the vibrancy and freshness of the structured delivery – darkly-fruited. Despite the nose I think this very good indeed – yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2000 Vougeraie, Vougeot 1er Les Cras
Hmm – this smells very nice – some floral references that nicely lift a slightly cooked but generous fruit. A more cushioned palate than either of the 99s, but not at the expense of freshness. I find a nicely layered delivery of fruit here and it holds well in the finish too. Also a very yum wine, and not just the most accessible but also the tastiest of this trio today. Super!
Rebuy – Yes


Pommard Les Chanlins Hautes…

I didn’t want to depress you (me actually!) with a picture of yesterday’s first day summer – low cloud and rain, indeed rain through the whole night of the the 20th too – but by mid-afternoon yesterday, there was blue sky and by 6pm the temperature had increased to t-shirt level!’ Luckily as it was the Fêtes de Music in Beaune, so some drinks and ‘dodgy’ live bands had to be experienced!

Whilst some places like Savigny are still behind the flowering curve, the majority of those later flowers will be open today and tomorrow – days forecast to be sunny with 29-30°C. Today I jogged around Pommard and Volnay – camera in hand! Here again not all the flowers are visible, but some have also clearly finished flowering too. As we might now expect, given that there have been no really settled periods so-far in 2016, the weekend is forecast to be ‘changeable,’ perhaps even stormy…

There’s plenty of work in the vineyards though – the weeds are massive – one thing that certainly wasn’t curtailed by the frost! Many a vigneron are saying that it’s one of the most obvious aspects of the growing season, so-far. There are also plenty of people spraying, despite the ongoing flowering, as there’s a lot of concern about mildew. Otherwise there’s weeding, de-budding and even some canopy trimming at the moment.

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