Why Big Red Diary?

beaune hail update

A jog through some sticky vineyards around Beaune; Grèves, Teurons, Reversées, Clos de la Mousse and Les Avaux. This low-slope, central part of Beaune – nearest the town centre where the hail was heavy – no damage – I could hardly find a single leaf with a hole in it, maybe just one cluster showing a hail impact in Les Avaux! Hopefully it plays out this way across all of Burgundy and beyond…

hail in beaune today…

It’s always better to wait a day or two for ‘quantification’ – for more sombre reflection, if needed, taking emotion out of the equation – but the hail didn’t look (or sound!) good in Beaune today.

I left Switzerland at 7am, and all the way to the French border, on the other side of the Jura, it was stormy with significant rain and occasion (tiny) hailstones. So it was a surprise to arrive in Beaune to 28°C and blue skies in the middle of the morning – the forecast isn’t great for the Côte d’Or this week, but all looked fine. Over lunch the sky darkened and we had some heavy rain. At 2pm it turned to hail – about 1cm sized projectiles – at least in the centre of Beaune – and that lasted for close to 5 minutes. It’s hard to believe that there won’t be damage, it’s only a question of the ‘spread.’ The storm rumbles away for 3 hours before the sun returns, but only with modest rain as accompaniment. Judging by the weather forecast the next days will also not be easy.

Today, at best, all the hail cannons managed, was to soften the blows to my roof!

weekend wines – weekend 26 2018

It was a hot one – the weekend – and we were out a lot, enjoying the views and the fresh (lake) fish – but I still managed to find the time for a couple of cold ones!

2016 Domaine Diconne, Auxey-Duresses Vieilles-Vignes
Modest colour. A deep nose, with a good line of clean freshness that reminds of the young 2010s, plus the faintest whiff of toast. Hmm, width, lovely silky texture and a slowly growing intensity. Despite the width, this is a wine that, like the nose, follows a great line with energy and fine salinity. Citrus-bright finishing waves of flavour that hold very well. 40% of the price of a négoce villages Puligny. Massive value – Excellent wine.
Rebuy – Yes

As the last, aromatically, reminded me of a 2010, what about seeing how one of those is developing?

2010 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Murgers des Dents du Chien
Deeper colour, but nothing untoward – actually the nose has a little reductive toast to go with the ripe lemon – the reduction maybe helped along by the extra-long cork! Lovely width, and really very complex – lots of little layers of flavour – here also an (old) reductive performance that plays well with a baseline of good minerality. For a 2010 I’d expect a hint more energy, though the complexity is great. A lovely wine, but a wine that you (unfortunately) which you have to pay attention to the serving temperature – if it warms in the glass there’s insufficient energy and it disappoints. Blind I’d guess a 2009 – maybe I should also try one of those 🙂
Rebuy – Yes

And just a few images of our trek for a great fish-lunch on Sunday:

this morning’s jog – predominantly-pommard

There’s some impressive attention to detail in the work to renovate the wall of the the Clos Marey-Monge (presumably with some funds from the ‘climats’) but don’t tell that to the single-file traffic waiting their turn at the lights! I don’t expect that all will be finished before their Rootstock weekend, but I applaud any owner who invests in the infrastructure of their vines and vineyards rather than (yet another) Jeep Wrangler special edition!

beaune: chemin des vaches but its horses that are ploughing…

A short and easy (apart from the hill!) morning jog to take advantage of the cool – this week it’s becoming scorchio in Beaune. Nice to see a horse (and team) being trained to plough, at the bottom of Les Teurons, on the way back to Beaune centre…

weekend wines – week 26 2018

Three winners this weekend, including two honorary Burgundians, one of whom sadly missed:

2014 Alain Geoffroy, Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Relatively pale colour. The nose has a small vibration of minerality but is relatively tight. Wide over the palate but with such a ripe, almost honied flavour that I’m surprised I’m drinking a 2014, not a 2015. The flavour holds long with something of a nougat style note in the finish. A wine of width rather than of line – and I was looking for line today. Delicious nonetheless…
Rebuy – Yes

2012 Le Grappin, Beaune 1er Boucherottes
A rare DIAM-sealed wine where the wine has traveled halfway up the ‘cork’ – but clearly not to the detriment of this particular bottle.
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose has admirable purity – starting red-fruited but the shade deepening with aeration. Good volume in the mouth and a fine, layered delivery of fresh flavour – slowly mouth-watering with just a faint anecdote of tannin. Pleasingly long. Simply a delicious wine – with almost a black fruit – more open and less strict than it was a couple of years ago and certainly a wine of line rather than depth or texture – it went great with half a roasted Bressé chicken from the Beaune market!
Rebuy – Yes

2008 David Clark, Vosne-Romanée
Hmm – some of David’s other 2008s are a little acid-forward right now – but not this one, not a bit! Directly a pure, fresh, faintly spiced Vosne nose – so inviting! So delicate, and softly complex – but with beautiful definition and also with faintly floral anecdotes in the finish – beautiful! Whilst a long way from ‘mature,’ this is already ravishing…
Rebuy – Yes

new signs on their way…

New signs are on their way for the UNESCO World Heritage climats and sites of Burgundy… here the Château du Clos de Vougeot…

too many grapes? – sunday’s walk between morey and gevrey…

The 2018 vintage: It’s certainly starting to look like some dropping of fruit will be required in places. I counted some vines with 16 bunches – that’s almost as much as the worst I saw in 2017 – 18 – and I’m sure I could have found vines with more if I’d been patient.

I remember Benjamin Leroux telling me last December that he doesn’t like to green harvest, it clearly being better to start with the right number of buds – but sometimes nature does its own thing – in 2017 he did his first green harvesting since 2002. It looks on the cards again, if not for him, certainly for some vignerons in parts of Morey…

Note my suffering on your behalf – the horseflies got me in Charmes – not very charming!

mainly nuits les crots on saturday – château gris…

The sky was blue, blue, blue for our Saturday walking – the light actually a little harsh, but with super views over Nuits…

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