Why Big Red Diary?

the force is strong with this one…

Today in the Clos Santenots.

Pinot is always behind the chardonnay in terms of who has leaves and flowers, but the pinot is starting to push now….

weekend wines – unlucky week 13? (2017)

Actually very lucky!

2014 Sylvain Pataille, Marsannay Clos du Roy
Ooh that’s a lovely nose – deep but round – forward fruit but really only modestly accented with a little roses from the whole clusters. Supple, round but with depth and energy too – great texture. A wine that might best most 2015s from Marsannay. Simply Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2008 Camille Giroud, Corton
Always a secret which lieu-dit this came from! Not the deepest of colour. This has a beautiful nose – direct, fresh, attractive. In the mouth – oof – boy this has zing, juicy zing, a super line of fresh and red-fruited flavour. Less fruit density and this would be verging on too acidic – but here, today, this is simply singing. Bravo again!
Rebuy – Yes

2007 Camille Giroud, Corton-Charlemagne
Truth be told, my last one of these was a little brown and massively advanced – I’m now in ‘drinking mode’ as far as this cuvée is concerned. Deep colour, but not the pale brown of the last bottle. Actually quite a fresh nose, if with a faint whiff of cooking apple. The palate is full, mouth-watering and delicious – very long. Not quite the dream wine of its youth, but very good – though for obvious reasons, not a re-buy…
Rebuy – No

adieu le pan(?)

A shame – we need lots of different views…

marsannay 2014…

Bernard Bouvier, Isabelle Collotte, Laurent Fournier and Sylvain Pataille…

A great tasting of Marsannay 2014 yesterday with 4 talented producers – plus wines from many other (very interesting!) domaines too – over 40 wines. Timed just to fit into the March report – online before the end of April!

offer of the day – william fevre 2015

Interestingly my last comparison with this merchant is 2008 (in brackets) I think – all the wines are cheaper now!

CHABLIS Village 75cl 19.00 (24.00) Swiss Francs
CHABLIS Montée de Tonnerre 75cl 38.00 (39.50)
CHABLIS Preuses 75cl 65.00 (69.00)
CHABLIS Bougros Côtes de Bouquerots 75cl 65.00 (69.00)
CHABLIS Les Clos 75cl 75.00 (79.00)

So these prices are lower than 2008, which itself was lower than 2007 – in Swiss Francs – though the euro is much weaker since then…
These are good prices, and whilst I still have some concern about Les Clos, I would have confidence with the others, all DIAM sealed…

viré-clessé celebrates its 19th spring ‘open-doors’

If you find yourself with nothing to do over the Easter weekend – and are in easy traveling distance of Viré-Clessé – why not?

Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th April 2017, from 10h00 to 19h00, visitors can taste the wines of producers in Viré-Clessé in 29 cellars spread over the villages of Viré and Clessé. ‘Entry’ is €7 with the usual free tasting glass for the event plus a draw to win €1,250 worth of wine.


strong prices @ hospices de nuits

Not to forget, just a few days ago we had the 56th auction of the wines of the Hospices de Nuits St.Georges – held this year at the Château du Clos de Vougeot.

Maître Daniel Herry, auctioneers from Beaune, were responsible for a sale that raised 1.157 million Euros, much of which will go toward the cost of refurbishment of the hospital in Nuits St.Georges. Given the frost of 2016, there were only 90.5 228 litre barrels in the sale – versus 120 barrels of 2015 auctioned in 2016 – also a low volume vintage. The average price, per barrel, increased by 14%, so proceeds passed the €1 million mark for only the second time and the total sum achieved was only €150,000 away from the record total for this sale.

beaujolais 2015 & the current market for bj…

My February 2017 report is now online, and it’s a 2015 Beaujolais-fest. 51 domaines and 355 wines – it’s also a great vintage!

In 2016, only 3 French regions experienced an increase in both their wine sales volumes and values; Beaujolais, Burgundy and Corsica. The crus of Beaujolais had 42% of their region’s sales volume and 54% in value. Beaujolais Villages (not nouveau) posted 6% of volume and 6% value growth, whereas Beaujolais (not nouveau) represented 11% of sales volume and 7% in value.

Whilst not my favourite appellation, even the Beaujolais Blanc and Beaujolais Villages Blanc continued to grow their volume and the Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages rosés – which I rate highly – increased by 7.2%. And then there’s Beaujolais Nouveau – whose sales volume is only a little less than that of the crus – even that label managed to grow its sales volume in 2016, albeit by only 0.1%.

At first sight this is a success story for Beaujolais but, unlike Burgundy, much of this growth has been bought – prices are really too low. Among the producers there’s a lot of fear about pricing, and dropping their prices in the face of buyers seems just a reflex action – whilst at the same time many producers see the cave cooperatives to be almost price-dumping. There are some price increases in the works for the brilliant 2015s, but often it amounts to 20-30 centimes per bottle – and the labels, corks, packaging and bottles have probably increased by more than that.

Having visited the magnificent ‘factory shop’ of Georges Duboeuf I have some sympathy with the price-dumping argument – how can a region ever drag itself from penury when it’s possible to buy a 2009 Fleurie off the shelf for €9? And Duboeuf is a long way from the worst offender!

le vins, le weekend, week 12 2017 

1990 Penley Estate, Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon
I thought that I’d broken the cork – it came out so easily – but no. The end of the cork, almost black and heavy with cassis – this wine seemed in good shape despite the cork. In the glass it wasn’t to be – the colour was relatively pale, and the nose was very spirity – I would have guessed an older, unsuccessful port. In the mouth even more so – yet without any overt oxidation! Such a strange wine, but with other options available, not one for drinking…
Rebuy – No

2014 Poulleau Père et Fils, Volnay 1er Chanlin
Medium, medium-plus colour. A nice freshness to this nose over a depth of cherry-stone fruit, slowly a  very pretty floral is visible too – good! Really wide in the mouth, like the nose fresh, with a growing intensity of direct flavour. The flavour is also redolent of the cherry-stones with a little oak accompaniment. Pretty finish. Not the most profound 1er but it tastes great…
Rebuy – Yes

2015 Selection des Vignerons, Moulin à Vent
The label: “Union des Viticulteurs du Cru Moulin à Vent, Caveau Moulin à Vent, in Romanèche-Thorins. “Picked from a 100 blind-tasted samples, this wine is made from manually harvested graoes. Fermented in full clusters and aged 11 months in stainless steel… A wine to age.” Sent to me as a sample by the Union des Viticulteurs de Moulin-à-Vent
Ooh – that’s dark. Domestic management had black nail varnish – the wine looks a similar colour – swirl and a dark colour adheres to the side of the glass. The label says 13.5% – wink, wink! The nose is deep and dark – not particularly fruity – perhaps a trace of sulfur. In the mouth this has not bad freshness and really a cassis style – very dark and mouth-watering fruit. This is as delicious as it is well balanced, with a super length of finish and it typifies the problem with very many wines from this vintage – it is a super vin de garde, but it is so delicious already that I’m not so sure that many will be guarded!
Rebuy – Yes

today in the clos de vougeot (2)

Just a wonderful spring day today – fabulous weather.

today in the clos de vougeot (1)

Some days, this is work 🙂

a lesson in pruning musigny…

Eric Bourgogne of de Vogüé graciously gave me a lesson in pruning in Musigny today – it’s impressive the attention to detail that Eric has; quickly removing spare buds and generally tidying the ‘pieds’ and spotting the camouflaged caterpillars. I think it was probably a good idea that he never actually handed me the secateurs!

Two things to note as they come to the end of their pruning; despite the cold snap in January, -10°C doesn’t seem to have dissuaded the caterpillars (pictured) that eat the buds of the vine – in some plots Eric has rarely seen so many. Also I could easily see the difficulties of both pruning and training the vines due to last spring’s frost – not all, but close to one in 10, of the cordon trained vines (one baguette) are very difficult to train in the required directions. It seems much easier in the vines which have the double cordons – which is about two thirds of de Vogüés plantings…

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