Why Big Red Diary?

burgundy report – always topical

A Meursault street…

pommard’s clos de la commaraine

The château, pictured this week.

Laurent Gotti’s fine site (here, in French) this week broke the news on another, much lower profile, domaine/vines purchase in Burgundy – that of the Château de la Commaraine in Pommard, and it’s 3.75 hectare monopoly of the Clos de la Commaraine – Pommard 1er Cru, no less. The sellers were the Jaboulet-Vercherre family, the wine having been made, for some time, by Louis Jadot.

At first sight, this is also an expensive acquisition – approaching a million euros per hectare – for ‘only’ 1er cru land, and relatively under the radar premier cru land at that – we are not talking Rugiens here. It is not simply a vineyard purchase though, there is a (externally, at least) fine-looking château included in the price, a building that alone would have an asking price over €1 million. Gotti notes that the new owners plan this to be a luxury leisure retreat, so their strategy is as much about oenotourisme (the local buzzword for a couple of years now) as it is about wine.

So it seems that with the Château de la Commaraine, plus the Château de Pommard, Pommard is to become the new chic destination of jet-setters – I trust that all the new château owners have bullet-proof marketing projections 🙂

Edit, 18 Nov 2017
One week later, much more info here, via Decanter…

week 44’s ‘rogues’ gallery

Really, so many of the visits in the last days were to savour – and these last days have been a blend of white and red (predominantly) domaines. I have 5 more ‘whites’ – the last – next week, but mainly I will be moving my focus to the Côte de Nuits for the rest of November – before December’s ‘Grands Maisons.’ My many thanks to those that hosted me…

weekend wines – week 44 2017 – drinking on a shoestring

Whilst the hype is on €300 million acquisitions of grand cru monopoles, €50 Bourgognes and €300+++ grand crus, there is still another way, and a very tasty, satisfying way:

2012 La Chablisienne, Chablis Les Venerables
Despite the name on the label, the cork is inscribed with good-old ‘Vieilles-Vignes!’
The nose is pretty classic – a saline breeze in a glass. The palate, however, is still a bit of a baby – relatively concentrated, a little tightly-wound and almost dense in the freshly mineral mid-palate. That the half of the bottle which was left over for day two was so much more open and ‘relaxed’ shows that this will only improve. Lovely on day two, not bad on day 1.
Rebuy – Yes

2014 Louis Chenu, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Haut-Jarrons
Plenty of colour. This starts on full aromatic power – round, beautifully red fruited – and given time it becomes a little more direct and fresh, with a floral addition to balance. Round, lovely, bright, mouth-watering fresh flavour. Little waves, indeed ripples of finishing flavour. Just a delicious wine with no hard edges or pressure points – so yum. There are a lot of great Savignys in 2014 – but as usual, not much volume of them…
Rebuy – Yes

so far this week…

Since it rained on Sunday afternoon, let me tell you that the temperature has really dropped – 6° seems almost luxurious. Maybe it’s because of that, that my teeth are a little on edge, complaining at the introduction of each new (cold!) wine – oh, wait a minute, no, that’s the 5 producer visits per day – nobody said it would be easy!

At least the wines are not as cold right now they will be in January and February 🙂

I note that the parking area of Place Madeleine is now taken over by the yearly ‘fair’ – there will be no parking there until after the Hospices auction weekend – I think they are due to leave on the 21st of November, so if you must have your candy-floss or churros(!) you know where to go…

Although I’ve 95% finished my visits for October’s ‘2016 White’ report, I’m also well underway with the reds for November – still mainly charging around the Côte de Beaune (I’ll include Mercurey in that), but starting in earnest on the Côte de Nuits from next Monday. It’s hard to put into words, but I’m having some unusual, almost emotional reactions to some of the wines in some of the visits – fortunately in a good sense! – They really can be that good. Yesterday – for the first time ever – not only did I swallow one wine, it was so brilliant that I took a second gulp. Now that’s clearly unprofessional, but boy what a wine, and it was worth it! What colour wines and where? – well, that’s what the reports are for…

Finally, something that has come as a bit of a surprise, but given that so many people seem to know about it, let me confirm that David Croix, who moved from Camille Giroud to Domaine Roulot in January – whilst still working his own Domaine des Croix – has now parted company with Jean-Marc Roulot. I chatted about this with him today, and it seems that with an empty cellar at des Croix, splitting his time between Beaune and Meursault was functioning well, but now that the cellar contains a generous 2017 vintage, he’s decided together with Jean-Marc that he has enough to concentrate on at des Croix, so he’s going to focus full-time on the domaine in Beaune now. So best of luck to both!

st.aubin before the showers…

Wandering around Saint Aubin at mid-day today – a few spots of rain punctuating bursts of sun. That was before the heavier showers – even a few small hailstones ~13h30 in Beaune. It was much cooler but dry in the evening – we will probably get a frost – so a quick (ish!) 30 minutes jog. I strained a calf during the week – makes participating in the Beaune half-marathon, in 2 weeks, something of a long-shot!

friday was mainly, but not completely, in pommard

offer of the day – Leflaive 2016…

DOMAINE LEFLAIVE 2016 – Puligny-Montrachet (En Primeur)
Just for reflection, you will see the same offer prices of their (2015s, 2013s, 2012s) in the brackets for an idea of ‘progression’.

Pouilly-Fuissé 75cl Not offered (37.00 Swiss francs in 2015)
Bourgogne 75cl 42.00 Swiss Francs (38.00, 35.00, 35.00)
Puligny-Montrachet 75cl 82.00 (69.00, 65.00, 65.00)

Puligny-Montrachet Les Clavoillons 75cl 118.00 (89.00, 88.00, 85.00)
Meursault Sous Le Dos d’Âne 75cl 118.00 (99.00, 99.00, 96.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 75cl 185.00 (145.00, 148.00, 139.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 75cl 185.00 (155.00, 159.00, 149.00)
Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 75cl 245.00 (195.00, 175.00, 175.00)

Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet 75cl 459.00 (325.00, 319.00. 289.00)
Bâtard-Montrachet 75cl 498.00 (348.00, 355.00, 310.00)
Chevalier-Montrachet 75cl 685.00 (445.00, 450.00, 395.00)

I realise that the production of grand crus was -80% at this domaine in 2016, but wow! Best of luck to them…

it’s all volnay…

Starting today the first of 51 (so-far!) November tastings, and where better than in Volnay? – in beautiful sunlight:

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