Why Big Red Diary?

a new title…

Looks worth trying to get hold of a copy…

weekend wines, week 11 2017

2012 Le Grappin, Beaune 1er Les Grèves Blanc
The problem with having the same label for all the wines is the following: Hmm – this is a deep and impressive nose – not the high-toned freshness that I remember. In the mouth too – big, opulent, layered and very long – hmm, better check the neck label – okay, it’s not the villages Savigny blanc that I thought I pulled out of the fridge, it’s the Beaune 1er Cru! But do you know what? I might prefer a little more zip, but it’s damn good!
Rebuy – Maybe

2000 Heritiers Louis Jadot, Beaune 1er Clos des Ursules
Hmm – a little sous bois and a lot of depth of dark fruit – this is brilliant! A sweetness on the palate but also layered, melting and slowly mouth-watering flavour too. Wow – great wine – this is a cuvée that has just got better and better with age. A wine that transcends its vintage. Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Ardhuy, Pommard 1er Fremiers
Hmm – this is a rather nondescript nose – seemingly a little alcoholic too – apparently 13.5. In the mouth this is big and impressive wine, super-smooth and rather massive in all directions. Here also I have the impression of some alcohol but the wine remains rather tasty all the same – there’s a very lovely, indeed delicious dark fruit here. You might not guess burgundy, you might not even guess pinot(!) but it’s damn tasty wine.
Rebuy – Maybe

2014 Camille Giroud, Volnay 1er Lurets
Hmm – a much fresher nose than the Ardhuy, but with plenty of oak spice. In the mouth this has less weight and muscle – yet – in the mid-palate and finish the flavours are longer and wider – impressively so – though again still with an oak/caramel component. A wine to wait for – tasty as it is – I prefer my wine with less overt oak. Let’s see in another 2-3 years…
Rebuy – Maybe

and today a little monthèlie…

Considering the wet, wet, wet forecast for this weekend, we had only a little rain during Saturday morning’s market. Not much sun before mid-afternoon on Sunday though – i.e. only after my camera battery expired 😉

a little chassagne today…

the mid-weeklies…

A few mid-week lubrications, including some more from 1996 – but first a little something from David Clark:

2008 David Clark, Côte de Nuits Villages
Dark coloured. A nose of fresh, crunchy dark-red fruit – very inviting. There’s plenty of acidity here, but delivered in a style that carries you through the wine. A very tasty wine that has a croquant fruit style and the most modest of tannin. Dark, alive and even relatively young. Excellent!
Rebuy – Yes

1996 Michel Juillot, Corton-Perrières
I have the 2003, 1996 and 1990 of this wine – modestly priced auction purchases, all. And I must say that you largely get what you pay for – these wines are rarely grand cru level, though tasty-enough wine. This 1996 is certainly the best of the trio – open, round, easy, with a beautiful red fruit nose. It’s a wine that’s simply delicious – would you guess it was from the powerful Corton-Perrières? – not at all, but it’s a delicious wine all the same. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

1996 Michel Lafarge, Beaune 1er Grèves
A good wine, not a great wine – in fact (surprisingly!) behind the wine from Juillot. The nose is big and open if without particular distinction. A wine that’s interesting in the mouth if not particularly ‘gourmand’ – but it comes into its own with food – taking on significantly more interest. Still, behind the Juillot today – and whilst that might not be a surprise from the perspective of the label, it’s still a surprise to me!
Rebuy – Maybe

st.véran 2018

For your diaries: St.Véran are organising the 74th Saint-Vincent – which will be held over the weekend of 27-28 January 2018 in Prissé…

And some Saint-Véran infos?

  • 1 variety : Chardonnay
  • 7 communes of production : Chânes, Chasselas, Davayé, Leynes, Prissé, Saint-Vérand et Solutré-Pouilly.
  • 726 hectares of vines in production in 2016
  • 37,000 hectolitres of wine produced in 2016
  • 200 cellars

weekend wines, week 10 2017

Yes, it was a little Côte de Beaune-y this weekend. I’m thinking that this year I should really attack my 1996s and 1997s – I’ll leave the 1995s and 1998s a little longer. Maybe I’ll do those latter wines in more constructive blocks, rather than as weekend wines – but it’s good to start somewhere!

1992 Jaffelin, Pommard
I originally had two of these, and this bottle is clearly inferior to the first – or maybe the extra 4 years was too much to ask – but it’s certain.y still drinkable. The nose is meaty and faintly balsamic – though without any overt oxidation. This has a nice weight, intensity and texture too – structurally this is still rather good – but though the flavours have a little interest, the wine is not the tastiest. Only in the finish do I find the sweetly floral flavours that urge me to take another sip – so why not. Not great, but not bad either!
Rebuy – No

1996 Germain / Château de Chorey, Beaune 1er Les Cras
I loved the 1996 Teurons from a half last week so decided on a full size Les Cras for today.
Ooh – now this smells good! The nose is deep and – probably the last vestiges of the less than modest oak of this wine’s youth – but there’s inviting almost vibrant dark fruit too. Lots of fresh volume in the mouth – intensity too – perhaps less interesting texture than the Pommard, but there is energy here, abetting the 96 acidity with crunchy bright but still dark fruit. This is still a baby, but such a delicious and fresh one – I don’t think that this wine is going to last long! Long acidulated fruit in the finish – so juicy, so yum!
Rebuy – Yes

1996 Jean-Claude Belland, Santenay 1er Comme
A decent depth of colour here. The nose is becoming balsamic, far from inviting, but there are also flashes floral notes. This has a freshness of flavour and a good width and depth of flavour in the mid-palate. There’s not the richness of texture of the Pommard, nor the deliciousness of intense flavour of the Beaune. Just a little metallic and herby in the flavours – yet the last notes melt well over the palate. A wine that would certainly have been better a few years ago, but it is still clinging to life – drink up.
Rebuy – No

adieu laurent ponsot – sort of…


dsc01727Laurent Ponsot, pictured right, when tasting 2015s in Morey St.Denis, last November.

Laurent Ponsot has made a name for himself, not just by being the greatest exponent of the ‘late-harvest’ Burgundy, but also by being a fighter of fraud, or rather counterfeit wine, too. But it seems that events may have taken him by surprise at Domaine Ponsot.

I got wind of it earlier this week and left some messages/questions for Laurent – he hasn’t yet responded, though if he does I’ll edit this note – but it seems that it is the end for Domaine Ponsot as we know it, if not for many of Laurent’s wines.

See Bruce Sanderson’s note here.

Without direct info from the man himself, I won’t disrespect Bruce by simply re-hashing his words – linked above – but in the last couple of years it was clear to me that Laurent was positioning himself to retire – and sooner rather than later, so 60 could have been the number – and his son Clément could ‘do what he wants with the domaine afterwards – the decisions will be his.’ Yet it seems that things can change very quickly in Burgundy. As far as I know there are no other winemakers in the family, i.e. the families of Laurent’s three sisters, so a sale seems the only option. And will the sisters have any legal right to challenge Laurent taking away with him the metayage contracts of Chambertin, Clos St.Denis, Griotte-Chambertin and Chambolle-Charmes? – Bruce indicates that Laurent will do so – despite that they have been integral to the domaine since 1982…

Regardless, it looks like a good pay-day for one, and for all, yet it will be such a shame. Domaine Ponsot – if it keeps that name, and how could it? (- with 20% ownership remaining with the family? ;-)) – will never have the same cachet without a charismatic Ponsot at the helm. Neither Laurent nor his father Jean-Marie could be the easiest of people, but they certainly both had charisma!

Still, I’m looking forward to tasting his 2016s – the lines between the domaine and négoce wines were always rather blurred here…

2006 mugneret-gibourg bourgogne

This is actually much more attractive than the 2001 Vosne from last week…

2006 Mugneret-Gibourg, Bourgogne
Medium, medium-plus colour with just a little age. The nose starts with a few floral references and a good depth of red cherry/cherry stone, though with time in the glass it does become a little more meaty. Bright, fresh and with a nice ‘attack‘ in the mouth. The texture is more velvet than silk – anyway nice! The flavour is also a little floral inflected and the mid-palate still shows an accent of fine tannin. So quite a bright attack, but this is tasty wine – particularly so in the finish, which holds really well and with nice flavour. From memory, longer finishing than that Vosne too. Tasty and approaching maturity I would say…
Rebuy – Yes

a few producers – classic plus outliners

A modest bunch of producers visited this week.

Really a wet, wet three days in Beaune, so not many ‘outside’ photos. A classic selection of Meursault, Volnay and Gevrey but with some outliners from St.Romain and Auxey. The rest of the time was spent trying to sort out a move of apartment in Beaune – it is the classic French ‘it’s complicated

But I do have a couple of cool bottle labels and also a couple of ‘outside’ photos, including the current stage of Faiveley’s renovation of the house in Gevrey’s Les Issarts: the frontage of the house is really changing – but hopefully the old roof-tiles will return…

interactive map of chablis les clos

Now that’s kind of cool!

By Fernando Beteta – see here*

*Note: Just a small Drion/Drouhin problem with some labels…

big weekend, week 9 2017

All the wines were tasted blind and then the label shown before the next wine. The last white and the reds with dinner – a nice salad, blanquette de veaux, pears in burgundy wine, cheese…

2014 Céline et Frédéric Gueguen, Côteaux Bourguignone Sacy
A super saline, faintly herbed nose. Fresh acidity and an almost piercing intensity- herby, mineral, direct and delicious – yum!

2007 Camille Giroud, Corton-Charlemagne
Deeper colour than I want. The nose is not obviously oxidised, faint lanolin. In the mouth this is big, delicious, sweet, layered, a suggestion of oxidation/age that I would obviously prefer wasn’t there though. If it was the only wine open I’d still drink it with a mix of joy and disappointment, but:

1977 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Corton-Charlemagne
A deep nose, mushroom, an impression of barrel toast(?) Super fresh, saline, long, mouth-watering, complex. It’s really not a wide wine but super long and mineral. Not everyone’s taste but i love! This gets better and better, and hardly more oxidation than the last!

2006 Jean-Marc Pillot, Chevalier-Montrachet
The nose starts tight, slowly opens with freshness and a some floral notes – a young colour and young nose. Very wide and freshly mouth-watering. Layers of rich but beautifully balanced flavour – really a long wine – still some oak,but a flavour that goes on and on. Bravo – this must be grand cru. It keeps getting better and better.

Les Reds…

2009 Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vignes
Hmm. This is modestly coloured, rather a floral, almost mineral nose with a fine, almost balsamic, accent to the fresh notes. Direct and fresh, rather intense. Really wide, layered in the finish. This is lively, lovely wine, but I have no reference points here. The tannin is virtually hidden, but the acid is super.

2006 Tortochot, Chambertin
A big open and attractive nose – clearly more mineral and a little dark fruited. The palate is fresh, side and with a tasty and very Gevrey style structure. Layers of concentrated finishing dark fruit too – young, and very tasty wine. – but Chambertin?

1999 Arnoux, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
Tight but a nice spicy edge to this. Nice line and intensity here – a little metallic in the mid-palate. Long, long, long. Really complex in the mid-palate. This gets better and better in the glass – just fabulous, easily the best so far.

2009 Perregrine Pinot Noir (Central Otago, New Zealand)
Modest colour. The nose is quite fresh and a little herby – Côte de Beaune? Ouf! – this is direct and very intense – almost too much in the finish – fresh and bright acidity but almost strident. A little dryness in the finish… super-overt red fruit though- Again, no reference points…

1993 Jean Grivot, Echézeaux
Ooh, this is very deep and dark ,but silkily dark – a little sous bois. Older colour though, despite how deep the colour is. Direct, intense, mouth-watering – ooh this is intense with a little tannic texture in the finish. Very, very long with waves of almost painfully delicious flavour in the finish. Really super, but also really still a baby!

2007 Bart, Clos de Bèze
Medium colour. Aromatically rather narrower than the last wines – herby and fresh – overtly herby. Bright and really intense in the mouth. Sweet sour style – almost 2008 style but it could do with more balance. But this is very long – not delicious today, but long, very long, long, long…

Then bad bottles of 1993 Jadot Clos de Vougeot and 1991 Savour Club Chapelle-Chambertin 🙁

2002 Comtes Lafon, Volnay 1er Santenots du Milieu
Hmm, wide and seemingly silky red fruit – good herby depth too – fine Côte de Beaune style. Very fresh, very direct – an intense line of flavour. Super! I was surprised, not by the aoc, but the vintage…

There was a half bottle of 1999 Mondavi sweet botrytised sticky wine too! Also a little Hospices de Beaune (that still tasted great) from 2 days before…

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