Why Big Red Diary?

3 things to note from this weekend:

Fantasy Pricing #1
If in Gevrey, and if not taking a coffee at Jeanette’s, then I like to sit on the big sofas of the Rotisserie for drink. The drink prices are okay for such a place – but stay with the drinks. I ordered a couple of (disappointingly small) early-afternoon sweets to go with our drinks – small blueberry tarts with a little ice cream – though I should add that they were delicious. But the bill was €30! Yes, that’s right, €10 per plate of tiny desert. The daily menu here (one of my favourite restaurants, Chez Lucien) is less than €20. So be warned – don’t order the sweet unless you are the restaurant. Two pieces of (not much smaller) chocolate cake came gratis with last Thursday’s coffees! NB Two coffees and two glorious pâtisseries at Pâtisserie Fabien Berteau in Beaune cost about €15…

Fantasy Pricing #2
The new ‘domaine shop’ of Champy in Beaune is very nice – beautifully fineshed and just a stone-throw from the Hôtel Dieu. There are lots of well-priced wines here too – villages and Mâconnais wines mainly – and it’s a nice showcase for their new label design and of-course there are plenty of Domaine/Maison Laroche wines too. The prices of name wines is completely another thing though; €100 for Puligny Folatières, or (wait for it!) €315 for 2015 Mazis-Chambertin? I know that this wine is, year-in, year-out, their best wine, and I have to assume that they know the market pricing better than me, or rather what the market will bear, but €315 – really………(?)

Really, it seems that now is the time to say ‘Goodbye Bejot’
I know that today was a Sunday, so why shouldn’t Bejot’s old premises on the D974 look deserted(?) But a second glance reveals that all the signage has been removed – no single reference to Bejot remains…
(Bejot’s old news)

sunday in the vines – givry gates…

Yesterday Gevrey, today Givry

saturday in the vines

First, Nuits, Vosne (Flagey), Chambolle, Morey:

Then into Gevrey:

grivot’s 1995 nuits roncière

I think it’s absolutely fair to say, that the combination of this surly (for a long time) vintage, plus the wine-making chez Grivot at this time, really don’t make for a salivating prospect, but:

1995 Jean Grivot, Nuits St.Georges 1er Roncières
The 96 Lavières of last week was, save its ‘robustness,’ was rather unremarkable. This wine, by comparison, is something of a revelation; directly it has an open and very inviting nose. The palate is a blend of silk and downright delicious flavour. Still nicely structured but with zero edges or faults. It was a half and so disappeared in flash. Super wine. I’ve also (somewhere!) some bottles of this – it looks like they are worth a modest search! It looks like I should look more closely at other 95s that I have squirreled away…
Rebuy – Yes

jadot acquires… (plus gratuitous musigny pics)

A nice day today, mainly touring the Côte de Nuits – in the meantime, an email in my inbox regarding Louis Jadot’s newest acquisition (press release to the right) – and it’s a whole 18 hectares worth with the acquisition of Prieur-Brunet in Santenay. I tried to visit PB a couple of times, but both times there was no-one to receive me…

I asked Frédéric Barnier (of Jadot) how many hectares of vines it was that they now farmed: “Now we are farming directly 125ha from Le Chapitre in Chénove to St.Désert with a nice coteaux of Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise. Plus Château des Jacques (85ha) and Ferret (17ha)” So roughly 230 hectares then!

And today in Musigny (mainly!), I noted that a certain lady’s Musigny is currently taller than me – but – given the explanation ‘it’s because the grape buds require 3 years to develop’ then why so few grapes? At least compared to her neighbours’ conventional training…

girin 2013 l’ancestrale

Probably the best producer of straight Beaujolais…

2013 Domaine Girin, Beaujolais l’Ancestrale
Quite deep colour. A nose that starts fresh but seems to body-build, taking on more aromatic volume and weight. The nose is quite nice, but the palate is even tastier than I’m expecting – wide, decently concentrated and with a little rigorous lick of acidity as you head into the finish – I find 2013s of all levels a little like this for the moment – but they are definitely becoming more friendly. Tasty wine and of-course an absolute steal when you think of the pricing.
Rebuy – Yes

weekend wines – week 28 2017

This weekend, after the must try harder of last weekend – full marks! Even the 2009 ‘swissie’ was a lovely bottle!

2007 Camille Giroud, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Les Cazetiers
Hmm – this was still too young when I last opened one – but no more! The nose deep, seemingly textured with dark and enticing layers of fruit. The palate still has a little muscle but it’s much more lithe and supple with layers of delicious flavour – here darkly fruited too, but just so yum. A wine that was drunk rather quickly – always a great sign!
Rebuy – Yes

2015 Château Saint Amour, Saint Amour
Deep coloured – a fabulously floral melding with dark cherry fruit. Even better in the mouth – a wine that promises much – aromatically – and yet still manages to easily deliver. Great wine – a Bravo 2015 without a doubt. Super stuff!
Rebuy – Yes

2015 Domaine du Moulin Berger, Juliénas
Imagine the last wine with just a little more hardness and rigour – a little added spice too – both aromatic and organoleptic and you will have a good idea of this wine. Stronger muscled, a little less giving, but altogether excellent. You should certainly enjoy the former whilst waiting for this one though…
Rebuy – Yes

mapping beaujolais

First published in 2015, I’m happy to have a full, physical, set of these useful maps – and you can now find them all – here online – courtesy (& of-course copyright!) of Inter Beaujolais; though I’m still prevaricating over having those physical versions framed – as it will cost well-over €1,000 to do them all!

I believe that these maps are an important first step in the improvement of both Beaujolais wine and therefore its the market too; they will breed interest in the detail, in knowledge of the subsoils and eventually they will help expand today’s standard cuvée formulas of Cru or Cru Vieilles-Vignes or even worse Cru Fût de Chênes to bring more ‘Cru Climat‘ labeling such as done for a long time by Château Thivin.

They are not just beautiful maps, they are important maps…

freddy mugnier’s 1999 chambolle

1999 Domaine Mugnier, Chambolle-Musigny
There was a time where I thought that half-bottles were useful for the cellar – a short-lived time, it must be said – and I bought a dozen of these halves. The first one or two were good, the rest were a disappointment. This is number 7, and it’s really the first for years that I’m actually enjoying. The nose has a silky feel and maybe a faint undertow of brett – but a long way from being overt or off-putting. In the mouth there’s good weight and plenty of pretty – if not yet delicious – flavour. I wine that’s pretty easy to drink and that’s always a good sign. Good wine, and one that’s perhaps turned the corner into something of much, much more interest.
Rebuy – Maybe

so, are you eminent – or altogether grander?

Two new classifications for Burgundy’s Crémant de Bourgogne producers:

The producers of Burgundy’s sparklers now account for at least 10% of all burgundy production, and they now have two new ‘top-level’ wine segmentations at their disposal:

  1. Crémant Eminent
    Which must be a wine with at least 24 months of aging
  2. Crémant Grand Eminent
    Which must have at least 36 months of aging, but also must be made exclusively from the first press of either pinot noir or chardonnay (and I assume blends thereof.)

The overseeing of these labels is to be done by an ‘independent body’ – whatever that means. Do we need more new labels? Well of-course not, but it should keep the marketing departments occupied for a few more months…

hail – the part deux (côte d’or) update

I waited a little to post info on hail in the Côte de Nuits – emotion can cloud first judgement and some people who initially estimated parcels with 40% damage now think much less…

The biggest impact remains the crus of Beaujolais – and the central corridor of that hailstorm will yield zero grapes. The hillside of Viré was also hit, but seemingly the rest of the Mâconnais was fine. In the Côte d’Or, it was the Côte de Nuits that caught the hail on Monday afternoon – coinciding with the first veraison (grapes changing colour.) Jeremy Seysses posted that the upper part of Clos St.Denis, Clos de la Roche and Monts Luisants in Morey St.Denis had been hit by hail – he currently estimates that higher on the slopes was more affected, where maybe 25% is damaged. It seems that the damage in Morey was mainly the northern side of the village, as Jacques Devauges of Clos du Tart reports “Yes, we had some hail on Monday the 10th, but not much. The grapes are still nice.

You can see the storm below in a video by Domaine Philippe Rossignol in Gevrey – this was taken on the hillside between Gevrey and Brochon. He notes that vines have been lightly damaged between Marsannay-la-Côte and Couchey. It’s amazing that the damage was light when you see this.

“We had about 3 hectares hit in the northern part of Gevrey; Les Jeunes Rois and Gevrey 1er cru Les Champeaux: Also in Morey Village; Morey 1er cru Aux Charmes was hit about 25%. We hope that there’s no more hail as we need to bring in a good harvest.”
Chantal Michel of Domaine Tortochot in Gevrey

Cyril Audoin notes that in Marsannay, the Clos de Jeu, Champ Salomon and Les Favières have been ‘touched.’ He also says that there were some impacts in Les Longeroies but none in the Clos du Roy. And for another view:

“We did have a little damage in the vineyards, but it’s inconsistent. We still plan to do a green harvest, on one hand to limit the harvest, one the other hand (now!) to remove the damaged grapes affected by hail – so to avoid the potential of rot.”
Isabelle Colotte of Domaine Colotte in Marsannay

The Côte de Beaune avoided the hail.

And lest we forget the epicentre in Beaujolais, the following is courtesy the Château du Moulin-à-Vent:

a heavy hail episode, yesterday, in the beaujolais crus…

A violent episode of hail crossed the northern Beaujolais vineyards just before 5pm yesterday.

From Beaujeu to Moulin-à-Vent, the corridor is almost identical to that of 2016. The area concerned is large but to varying degrees according to the zones: the north of Lantignié, Régnié (to a lesser extent), Morgon (Charmes and Corcelette mainly), Chiroubles (Grille Midi especially). Fleurie (Le Bourg, Les Quatre Vents, Champagne …) seem to be the most impacted appellations. Chénas and Moulin-à-vent are also affected.

The hailstones were not large (certainly the result of using the diffusers), but the storm was associated with mini wind tornadoes that caused a real “sanding” of some vines.

In the next few days should make it possible to make a more precise assessment of the area of vines concerned and the degree of impact on the future harvest.
From Interbeaujolais this lunchtime


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