Why Big Red Diary?

early morning volnay…


Today it’s raining, the only colour is in the market of Beaune – but yesterday morning – now that was pretty! Pretty enough in Volnay that I had to stop the car and take a few pics….

over volnay caillerets towards meursault this morning…


fraud – close to home too

corbetNot in this case for burgundy wine, but certainly wine IN Burgundy.

Apparently it happened in 2012; ‘Les Frauds’ visited a négoce bulk wine producer in Morey St.Denis and decided to test some samples of SAS Corbet’s Vins de Table – red and white. Both are blends of wine from various regions of France – the grape varieties were deemed, after analysis, not a problem.

But apparently the water they contained was a problem – 20% too much for the red and 15% for the white. Two of the company’s 4 tanks were at fault. I’m impressed that analytically they can tell that this water’s source wasn’t grapes. It’s an easy way to add 20% to your top line – eh?

Well it was. This afternoon The ‘Tribunal Correctionnel de Dijon’ handed down it’s judgement that they had ‘falsified the quality’ of their Vins de France, by diluting them with water.

The company was fined €20,000…

it’s that time of year in beaune


The time of year when you should be careful in the evening – as tens of thousands of starlings come to town to roost. Oh, and definitely don’t park under the trees 😉

This morning was largely misty, just the first rays of sun managed to penetrate around lunchtime. I managed to go for a late afternoon jog, camera in hand – there’s still a surprising amount of leaves on the vines – well, it is the 1st of November, after-all! But given a late harvest and late developing shoots after most were frosted off – maybe that’s the reason that they haven’t dropped off yet. It was a nice light between 4 and 5pm on the ‘middle hill’ of Beaune…

weekend wines – week 43


A tasty set this weekend, and without being too flashy 😉

The 2011 Puligny from Au Pied de Mont Chauve (Picard) was right on the money, layered but fresh and intense – it drank perfectly over 2 days. The 2010 villages Nuits of Clavelier is tighter than it was 3 years ago, but then opens out very well in the finish – nicely complex and very testy – yum! The 1999 villages Nuits from Potel seems a wine for the ages – always open, always with a bubbling undertow of complexity – it’s currently terrific, but then it always has been! The Seppi Landmann riesling worked perfectly with fondue – what do you expect? 😉 Lastly there was the 2002 Auxey-Duresses 1er Les Grands Charmes from Henri Latour – this smelled gorgeous and silky. The acidity is a little higher than the last two from Nuits, but not enough to complain about. Just a compelling ‘ordinary wine’ or at least if price is your only judge. Also yum!

Sunday a walk through the woods with coffee at the end…

new burgundy report online

dsc01011After the summer pause, when the whole of France decides to go on holiday, September is about harvesting. Well usually! The harvest was a late one this year, with most of the Côte de Nuits finishing in October.

So, a report with plenty of 2016 vintage info, plus a more in-depth look at what the harvest delivered and its potential. Given the late harvest, some producer visits to taste were possible before the harvest this year – normally that doesn’t work – so you will find a little Beaujolais and much more Côte d’Or – the first 2015s ‘officially’ tasted. Officially? Well I get to taste all year, but I wait until they are well down the route of elevage (12 months) before I consider actually writing a note for others to see.

There is also an open (i.e. not just for subscribers) piece on Maison Ilan – open because it’s important from a consumer perspective.

September 2016.

o leflaive with pousse d’or & d duband – hospices weekend dinners

If you are ‘in town’ for the Hospices weekend, then this really looks not bad; good food and some proper wine…

Full infos here.


offer of the day – henri boillot 2015s…

Well, this retailer is back on the email trail – it was only in August that they made an offer of the 2014s from this producer.

I won’t make this list even more unintelligible than the prices in the link above, I’ll just bring it down to the 2015 and the 2014 prices as a comparison:

BOURGOGNE Chardonnay 75cl 23.00 (22.00 – price for the 2014) Swiss francs
MEURSAULT 75cl 45.00 (44.00)
Saint Aubin 75 cl 34.00 (32.00)
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 75cl 49.00 (48.00)

MEURSAULT Les Charmes 75cl 78.00
MEURSAULT Les Genevrières 75cl 99.00 (79.50)
MEURSAULT Les Perrières 75cl 99.00 (89.50)
Puligny Les Perrières 75 cl 89.50 (79.50)
Puligny Les Combettes 75 cl 99.00 (89.50)
Puligny Les Folatières 75 cl 99.00 (89.50)
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Clos de La Mouchère 75cl 89.50
PULIGNY-MONTRACHET Les Pucelles 75cl 99.00

CORTON CHARLEMAGNE 75cl 145.00 (139.00)
CRIOTS BÂTARD MONTRACHET 75cl 268.00 (249.00)
BÂTARD MONTRACHET 75cl 419.00 (389.00)
MONTRACHET 75cl 698.00

VOLNAY 75cl 46.00
Volnay Les Chevrets 75 cl 78.00 (73.00)
VOLNAY Les Caillerets 75cl 89.50 (79.50)
POMMARD Les Rugiens 75cl 89.50 (79.50)

CLOS DE VOUGEOT 75cl 139.00 (129.00)
BONNES-MARES 75cl 248.00 (229.00)

The 2014s went down a little vs the previous highest prices for the 2012 vintage. The 2015s return to the 2012 prices, or even higher!

to the east or golden? – the côte d’or

&nbsp:Yesterday looking down on Volnay and Pommard

There are competing possibilities as to why the Côte d’Or is called the Côte d’Or.

Yesterday afternoon – even without sunshine – showed why so many people consider d’Or to mean gold – the golden slope – but of-course it lasts, at best, for only a couple of weeks per year before all the vines’ leaves are on the floor.

I personally believe that it is a contraction of Côte d’Orient – meaning an east-facing hillside – which the Côte d’Or is. I’ve seen enough middle-ages maps – including of Burgundy – with Côte d’Orient in script on them to persuade me that this is a more valid reason. But this week, at least, I’m also very comfortable with gold!

ardhuy & bouchard aîné – doors opening and closing…

DSC08879Vincent Bottreau, currently the winemaker at Bouchard Aîné has been confirmed as the new winemaker at Domaine Ardhuy. Vincent tells me that he’s hoping to be in place by mid-December.

Of-course this all started with:

  • David Croix moving from Camille Giroud to Jean-Marc Roulot
  • Carel Voorhuis moving from Ardhuy to Camille Giroud
  • Now Vincent Bottreau moving from Bouchard Aîné to Ardhuy
  • So, who next will be moving from ‘xxxx‘ to Bouchard Aîné?

The Boisset group have a habit of employing young new talent, so I’m looking forward to see who will be stepping in Vincent’s shoes!

Anyway, Carel, who has been working part-time at Camille Giroud during the harvest should be fully installed in November – so I have to visit him before that date in Ardhuy, and until December to visit Vincent at Bouchard Aîné – to look at their last vintages – the 2015s…

all meursault in the morning…

 Looking towards Puligny this morning…

My first appointment this morning was at 08h00 and in Meursault. And after the torrents of rain yesterday, it was not just dark it was still quite damp. But from the road to Nantoux, just before Pommard, we had low cloud – let’s call it fog! I emerged from Anoine Jobard’s cellar at closer to 09h00, and it was now daylight, and most of the fog had gone – though it seemed to be heading south as I picked it up again in Puligny heading for my coffee.

I love the play of light on one part of the vines as you drive – I tried to take a short video – but re-running it later, it seems I drove a little too fast 🙂

nearly all weekend beaune…

Saturday was lovely, but it was mainly overcast on Sunday – the vines still looking good though:

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