Why Big Red Diary?

more wine than coche-dury

If you are short of a few bottles, Sotheby’s is now touting their up-coming Tran-scend-ent Hong-Kong sale, 29-31 March 2019.

You have been warned…

…over 250 lots of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, over 80 lots of Maison and Domaine Leroy, including 20 cases of Grands Echézeaux 1959 Maison Leroy, and 6 cases of Echézeaux 1966 Maison Leroy. Then there’s ‘over 600 lots of Domaine Coche-Dury forms the most complete ‘library’ of Coche-Dury to be seen at auction, the number of bottles potentially exceeding stocks held by the winery…

Oh, and there’s Champagne, Rhône and Bordeaux too!


Let’s be honest – for over a week, the weather forecast was not good for Vézelay’s 2019 version of the St.Vincent – first minus degrees and snow – which would have been preferable to the closer (to the day) forecast of rain, wind and 7°C. Given such circumstances, we chose an easy breakfast at 9am – still in Chablis – before committing to a plan of action.

Tada! – Saturday morning – dry, and now the forecast was no rain until 7pm! That would work!

We packed the car then went our cheery way – deciding to make a stop in Avallon en-route: I’d expected more, despite it being market day, I think I was expecting a little more charm – though the area around the old walls/remparts looked quite interesting. Maybe we will return in the Summer – maybe.

Classed as ‘press’ we had our own car-park ‘in’ Vézelay – a seemingly long, improbable, single-track to a campsite – though described in my paperwork as an Auberge – a very muddy campsite despite no rain – I pity those that would use the same spot on Sunday! Whilst dry there was some low cloud – the town of Vézelay was nowhere to be seen in this, so we had no idea if we had a 10 or a 30 minute walk ahead of us – it turned out to be only 10 – hooray!

Vézelay is such a cool town – winter or summer – lots of people, lots of snails, lots of barbecue andouillette, and of-course lots of Vézelay wine – and cuvée for the St.Vincent was delicious – no indication of the producer on the label, but the cork said Domaine de la Croix de Montjoie.

They were expecting 30-40,000 people over the weekend – and I expect the Sunday may have been very wet, but like last year, on Saturday, we stayed dry. Vézealy was the perfect venue for the St.Vincent.

Next year the St.Vincent will be visiting Gevrey-Chambertin – 25+26 January 2020.

And for next year, St.Vincent number 76:

chablis winemakers visited in week 4 2019

More 2017 white burgundy – this from the last of my three weeks in Chablis this year – #Burgundyweek3 already.

I’ve visited Chablis to make broad tastings since the 2012 vintage, usually for 3 weeks in January – last week was the first time that I managed to see some real snow in all that time – usually the snow comes later (if it comes at all) like in March last year. So now I’ve amassed 62 domaines in Chablis and will publish the report in 3 weeks – probably 17 February 2019. That amounts to over 2,400 wines from 2017 before February’s, now traditional, 3 weeks in Beaujolais. I’m expecting March to be a mix of additional new names from Chablis and rounding up some other domaines that I missed in the Côte d’Or.

For subscribers that need specific info now re any of the Chablis producers above – send me note – and for those with a wider interest, I’ve already visited over 170 domaines, writing about how each one of them sees their 2018 and 2017 vintages, and have amassed about 2,400 notes on 2017 burgundy:

A Burgundy Report EXTRA! subscription costs 85 Swiss Francs per year.

And a few pics from last week – mainly taken in a 10 minmute window where there was actually some blue sky!

chablis – only snow…

Not many people were out when I decidide to exercise the Scooby in the snow up Les Clos this afternoon.

Maybe even more snow tomorrow 🙂

a poor weekend of ‘on-piste’ wines – week 03 2019

From the great off-piste wines of last weekend to the disappointing on-piste wines of this weekend!

2014 Ponsot/Chezeaux, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Charmes
My first from this case. I note a more golden inner-ring on this plastic suppository (cork) – maybe that’s the reason I’ve never extracted an Ardea more easily!
Day 1 – Relatively modest colour. Hmmm – what is that strange smell, practically balsamic – after 5 minutes in the glass the smell is even stronger! Was that a dud Ardea then or – optional lightbulb moment – this is 2014, could it be Suzuki? Hmm – well it’s something. The line, texture and freshness are fine, very fine. Pinch your nose and it even tastes half-decent – but given the price of this cuvée should I have to pinch my nose to drink? – No! Maybe it was the Ardea, a second bottle would confirm, but I’ve only three more, so that can wait for another day.
Day 2 – overnight in the cold but stoppered: Significantly less volatile (no surprise) but still not a great smell – but the taste is now great with quite some profound, creamy old vine flavour – a better nose and I would say that this was a great 2014.
Day 3 – the first day with something approximating to fruit on the nose – but it’s too late for the palate – all the interest is gone!
Rebuy – No

2005 Maurice Ecard, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Jarrons
My last one of these was bad, probably cork-related. This begins better…
This starts great, open, dark coloured, full of aroma, a suggestion of earth and flowers. In the mouth, very good volume and density, width of flavour, depth of flavour too. The last notes are a touch oxidative – but just a touch – I clearly don’t think much of the corks used here, but this wine is very drinkable, indeed yum! But it is for drinking-up now – which is a shame for a 2005.
Rebuy – No

do you want to taste all the grand crus of burgundy – for €2,500?

That’s ‘only €75’ per grand cru, but it must include Montrachet, Romanée-Conti, La Tâche et-cetera…
From the BIVB:

Top wines in 2019: Indulge yourself with Bourgogne’s 33 Grands Crus

There are 33 Bourgogne Grands Crus wines. Some are the stuff of legend, such as Romanée Conti or Bâtard-Montrachet. Others are more accessible, like Chablis Grand Cru or Clos de Vougeot. But all have one thing in common: They represent the essence of the Climats of Bourgogne and symbolize 2,000 years of winemaking history.

Now you can share in this priceless heritage. The Ecole des vins de Bourgogne is offering a single training session per year to explore these 33 outstanding appellations, including the rarest of them.

“The Ultimate Bourgogne Wine Tasting: The 33 Grands Crus” is run in English by two experts, one in tasting, the other in geology.
The program includes reading the landscape in the field, estate visits, and commented tasting sessions, which together will provide a unique insight into these celebrated wines. These three days combine learning with pleasure.

And as an additional treat, participants will be invited to the exclusive Paulée of the Musique & Vins Festival on Friday 28 June at the Château de Meursault!

Dates: 27 to 29 June 2019 (plus an introductory evening on 26 June).
Limited to 15 places
Price: 2,500 euros

Registration and program: on line.

chablis winemakers (and their dogs) visited in week 3, 2019

More 2017 Burgundy – this from my second of three weeks in Chablis this year – #Burgundyweek2 – but isn’t every week #Burgundyweek ?

Occasional showers and some frozen mornings – but this week, at least, I avoided the snow – but it looks like I might get some for my camera next week! But then it’s also a matter of time – last week there was some great light, and I saw some very photogenic scenes – but whilst hurrying to my next appointment – so not enough images, I’m afraid.

As last week, for subscribers that need specific info now re any of the Chablis producers above – send me note – and for those with a wider interest, I’ve already visited 150 domaines, writing about how each one of them sees their 2018 and 2017 vintages, and have amassed about 2,200 notes on 2017 Burgundy:

A Burgundy Report EXTRA! subscription costs 85 Swiss Francs per year.

yet more chablis, but no dogs…

I really don’t have the time to get into the vines – until it’s dark – likewise with the jogging – pff! But here’s a few snatched photos from along the way. There are rain-showers like April and relatively few morning frosts this week. Versus last year it’s much drier – some of the roads around here were flooded at the same time in 2018…

a little second week chablis – it’s gone to the dogs…

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