Why Big Red Diary?

(the organic) gevrey wine club…

No afilliation (et-cetera), but this looks potentially quite interesting, and it’s connected to the people who own/run the (very comfortable) Les Deux Chevres hotel in Gevery-Chambertin.


the 2015 white burgundy report

dsc01085-1Online today is my October 2016 report covering the 2015 white burgundy vintage.

In the usual place.

Less consistent than 2014, this is still a vintage with many rewarding wines. The report will give you some insight into the character of the vintage, where to exercise some caution and, of-course, the best wines are highlighted in the individual producer reports.

I hope you enjoy – no time for me to pause though – I’m overflowing with the next issue’s red burgundy domaine visits!

that hospices sale…

 Base image courtesy Christie’s.

The 156th wine auction for the Hospices de Beaune started in a sombre mood, beginning with a minute of silence in honour of the 28-year veteran of the Hospices, its former director, Antoine Jacquet, who recently and unexpectedly died whilst travelling and promoting the sale.

Thereafter, in-line with the massive crowds in Beaune, the usual momentum took over. I was surprised to see that Ludivine Griveau had managed to coax more wine out the Hospice’s vineyards in 2016 than in 2015 – 596 barrels versus 575. I don’t like to taste wine pre-malo, but those with some experience suggest that the 16s looked quite good – despite their suits of oaken armour.

The bidding wasn’t quite up to the fever-pitch of 2015, yet it was still the second-highest sales result ever – amassing almost €8.4 million – though this ‘second best’ result fell way short of last year’s €11.35 million. There was a little less exuberance over the star ‘President’s Barrel’ this year, which was bid up to €200,000, but by an interesting combination of Jean-Claude Bernard (of Beaune’s Hotel Le Cep) and Ms Yan-Hong Cao from China – Ms Cao also bought the President’s barrel at the 2013 auction. Last year’s price was €480,000 for the barrel, but the proceeds of that purchase was slated for the victims of that year’s terrorist attacks in Paris – so with 2016 and 2015 we are most-likely not comparing apples with apples.

The average price for a barrel in 2016 was €13,833 versus €18,880 in 2015 and €13,658 in 2014.

So, despite the global marketing might of Christie’s, and Jasper Morris replacing the retired Anthony Hanson, this sale showed (modestly) less exuberance than last year but still higher prices than 2014. Will that have an effect on the pricing of 2016s? Well, despite the sale recording average reductions of -37% for the whites and -26% for the reds, I would say that given the combination of the short-volume, frosted 2016 vintage, when coupled with mainly empty cellars, this year’s sale is nothing more than a side-show in the great market for burgundy wine…

sunday – perfect for an 8.5km walk around puligny…

Breakfast in Le Montrachet, followed by a beautiful walk today:

jancis on roy…

Roy Richards has seen it, and done it all – not only was he the first to start selling Comte Liger-Belair, he was even the first to (try to!) import Maison Ilan into the UK market.


just a few domaines, unlucky enough to host me last week


a tour d’or…

The last two days have brought Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits. It’s not raining yet, but that’s the forecast.

In 2015 many domaines already started their winter pruning, but on the 1st of November this year, the vines were still mainly full of leaves – so everything is being put back a little.

next week – the 2015 white burgundy report


Above, a bunch of happy smiley faces, visited since the harvest. There are just a few more to add, but October 2016’s Burgundy Report will be online by next Friday.

October 2016 = 2015 White Burgundy.
The wines and thoughts of important domaines, plus the information on the vintage and its best wines.
Coming soon…

the first post-trump morning…

offer of the day – Faiveley 2015…

I missed the 14s, but here you can see the same merchant’s prices (in Switzerland) for the 12s, 13s and 15s:
The format here for the prices is simple: 2015 (2013, 2012) and — if not previously seen…

DOMAINE FAIVELEY 2015 – En Primeur

Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 2015 75cl 78.00 (72.50, 69.80) Swiss Francs
Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 2015 150cl 161.00
Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Saint-Georges 2015 75cl 98.00 (98.00, 98.00)
Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuées 2015 75cl 128.00 (119.00, 119.00)
Chambolle-Musigny la Combe d’Orveau 2015 75cl 124.00 (119.00, 119.00)
Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 2015 75cl 229.00 (228.00, 228.00)

Corton Clos des Cortons 2015 75cl 149.00 (139.00, 139)
Corton Clos des Cortons 2015 150cl 303.00 (283.00, 283)
Corton Clos des Cortons 2015 300cl 656.00 (—)
Echezeaux 2015 75cl 149.00 (—)
Mazis-Chambertin 2015 75cl 179.00 (167.00, 169)
Mazis-Chambertin 2015 150cl 363.00 (—)
Mazis-Chambertin 2015 300cl 776.00 (—)
Grands Echezeaux 2015 75cl 198.00 (198.00, —)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2015 75cl 278.00 (249.00, 235)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2015 150cl 561.00 (503.00, 475)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2015 300cl 1,172.00 (—)
Chambertin Clos de Bèze Les Ouvrées Rodin 2015 75cl 659.00 (598.00, 598)

Corton Charlemagne 2015 75cl 169.00 (169.00, 159)
(8% Tax to add in Switzerland, but then these are delivered prices)

To be honest, I’m relatively surprised by the price restraint here, 2015 is certainly (largely) better than the other vintages shown here, and I must admit that I bought that Charlemagne in 2012 – I must (eventually) try to find a bottle!

weekend wines – week 44 – a little vosne…

dsc01681Two from 2002 – first up – a little Romanée-Saint-Vivant:

The Domaine Charles Thomas (sometimes Thomas-Moillard) vines in RSV are now, of-course, exploited by Dujac – probably the style from here is now a little different!

This RSV is actually a big wine; clean and with good aromatic and flavour freshness, yet is dense and currently a little tight. The nose is clean and actually very pretty but you have to work to coax out the notes – that said it implies quite some mass – a silky mass too. The palate is similar; big, very silky and with a very impressive density and weight though nothing to tire the palate. It’s generally a tight but silky wine with lots of underlying material – modestly playing with the palate – I wish I had more of this than the ‘mountain of 1999’ that I have in storage – or maybe one day that will come round too… Still, this was a very enjoyable wine, indeed.

The Hudelot-Noellat Suchots, also 2002, has an exciting, open nose of sous-bois, spice and a modest fruit too – more engaging and exciting than the RSV, if ‘thinner.’ The palate comparison has a similar result – this is ‘thinner’ – but with energy and lots of engaging flavour – a super wine and easily the more interesting wine of these two, at least to drink today. In terms of apparent concentration, though, this pales when compared directly to the RSV – even a Charles Thomas RSV – the 1er vs grand cru levels are very obvious.

Two wines that were very much enjoyed and I would happily buy again – at the old prices!

the leaves they fall…

A frost on Friday morning, followed by rain on Saturday, and half the leaves have already given up – another week and the Côte d’Or will be looking very different.

From Friday and Sunday:

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