Why Big Red Diary?

pre-weekend p.ox


Following the bad 05 Caillerets, I decided to keep with a 2005 theme before the start of the weekend – with mixed results:

2005 Jomain, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Combottes
Not just deeply coloured and ‘over-the-borderline’ oxidised, it was corked too!

2005 Jomain, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Perrières
A little lighter in colour than the last wine – if not by much. The nose starts with an apple-y note, but becomes clearer and finer in the glass. A nice line of flavour with a fresh intensity for the ride. 2005s are very often a little dense, but here is enough energy and flavour complexity to overcome the density. Tasty – and drunk over 3 days (the fridge in-between) with fine stability. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

I think I will extend the 05 exercise into next week – there’s no point keeping them if they are ‘off‘…

shame – 2005 puligny caillerets…


Well my last 2005 (Bougros) was just sooooo good, that having also found a bunch of these (2007s too!), I decided I had the right material for Wales vs Portugal…

2005 Mischief and Mayhem, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Caillerets
Ouf – now that’s deeply coloured… The nose rotates between states of apple cider, a vendanges tardives style and an aroma redolent of a wine from the Jura. It’s big, sweet, long and complex, with exotic fruit but with oxidative overtones too. Nothing for it – I decanted it and left it in the refrigerator for 1 hour – fortunately I had started early 😉 Early or not, this wine was completely stable – even 3 hours later, it hadn’t budged an inch. Nothing for it; where’s the cork-screw?
Rebuy – No

2008 Roty, Gevrey-Chambertin La Brunelle
The Roty starts all smoky and with a little gunpowder reduction too – slowly there’s a fine, slightly cushioned and certainly attractive fruit. Modest of weight but fleet of foot and with super delicacy to the flavour. For the football, maybe I should have taken something more ‘obvious’ and easy – this demands some attention, but in the best way…
Rebuy – Yes

I appear to have had decent luck avoiding the p.ox with most of my whites, but like Wales, tonight it wasn’t to be…

bouchard père’s 2005 chablis bougros


The other day, I found my last bottle of this whilst ‘rummaging!’ Bouchard don’t have any holdings in Chablis, separate from those of William Fevre – so this is actually a Fevre wine, sold into Switzerland by somebody who obviously didn’t have the exclusivity on William Fevre! 🙂

2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Chablis Bougros
I assume that this is still a négoce wine, despite Fevre being the source. Wherever it comes from, the colour is much lighter than I might have worried about – certainly younger and lighter coloured than this weekend’s Gambal 2012 Dents du Chien – a fresh, weighty wine indeed. It’s a squeaky-clean and very inviting nose – it could be a 2012! Weight of extract, a little fat, but also fine minerality and freshness – here is a slightly fat finishing grapefruit/agrume flavour. This tastes fabulous without ever delivering the extra dimension that 10 years might endow – a baby – a very pretty baby indeed – but unfortunately my last baby. Brilliant!
Rebuy – Yes – without hesitation.

2016 – the annus (growing season) horribilis – – –

Bourgogne Aujourd’hui put a article together that follows the low points of the vintage so-far (in French) at the end of last week, a week when the Rhône was badly hailed. Here. (or if you prefer a google translation, here.)

Episodes of hail are almost going unmentioned in a year such as this; Friday 24th June there was a big rainstorm in the Côte d’Or that afternoon – the same storm (presumably) that hailed Fleurie(++) on the same day – only by speaking to an owner did I find out that parts of the Côte d’Or were also hailed; their parcel of Lavaux St.Jacques being completely lost. Presumably this group of owners have no Facebook presence to announce this particular loss to the world – or have given up!

Currently, most of the Burgundian growers are spraying, and then spraying again against mildew – not entirely successfully – we have seen more treatments this year, so-far, than in the whole of 2015. Then there are the grapes; the heavy rain of Friday 24th came towards the end of flowering (some was already finished) and it seems that it did cause some further yield loss with indications of small or aborted grapes be reported to me.

In Burgundy 2016 it seems that when it rains, it really pours…

weekend stuff – week 26…


Of-course I need the excuse to open more bottles, so this weekend I chose (again) the football excuse 🙂

1995 Daniel Rion, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Beaux-Monts
My last bottle was a little bretty, but this is very fine. A deep, almost textured nose, pretty, sweet spice – just lovely. Sweet in the mouth too but with lovely freshness and dimension of complexity. Comforting and simply delicious!
Rebuy – Yes

2006 Chenu, Savigny-lès-Beaune
Fresh crunch fruit on the nise, some more herby aspects too, but attractive. The palate mirrors the nose, crunchy red fruit and an under-ripe element that turns to an attractive sprig of fresh mint – the combination is rather nice – particularly so when you consider the low price of this wine – I’m sure it was less than €10. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

1991 Jaboulet-Vercherre, Echézeaux
The last bottles from this half-dozen were poor – no better than bourgognes – so I thought ‘why not a bourgogne‘ with the football. Cold, this wasn’t bad, there was a little more depth and weight of texture than I remembered – such a shame then, that the nose was rather bretty. It tasted acceptable, but didn’t smell acceptable…
Rebuy – Still No!

2012 Clothilde Davenne, Saint Bris Vieilles Vignes
The list of Saint Bris that I would actually drink has doubled – to two! This is lovely, and far from a simple varietal wine. The nose is fresh with a certain sweetness; sauvignon but still sweetly attractive. In the mouth this has fine freshness and weight and a beautiful sweet acidity in the finish. Very tasty indeed! (My other ‘drink’ is from Goissot)
Rebuy – Yes

2012 Alex Gambal, St.Aubin 1er Murgers des Dents du Chien
Quite a deep colour, but the nose is more about sweet toast and caramel – honestly more than I would want, inviting as it is. Slowly, slowly a fresher, pretty aroma begins to come through. Plenty of weight on the palate, a good intensity of acidity too – sweetly edged with a suggestion of the caramel from the nose. Tasty wine, and one that will hopefully have a little less barrel with more time in the cellar.
Rebuy – Maybe

a little canton bern this weekend

Thun… :

Enter – Carel Voorhuis

DSC08824Right: Carel Voorhuis at Ardhuy, 29 November 2015.

So, finally I’m no-longer embargoed! – Carel Voorhuis of Domaine d’Ardhuy will replace David Croix at Camille Giroud. Here, hot from my inbox, is their joint statement:

Chers amis,

Suite à vos nombreuses sollicitations, nous vous confirmons qu’effectivement, des changements vont avoir lieu au domaine d’Ardhuy et chez Camille Giroud.

Après 15 ans, David Croix quitte la tête de la Maison Camille Giroud et Carel Voorhuis quitte le Domaine d’Ardhuy, prenant la succession de David.

Les vinifications du millésime 2016 se feront de part et d’autre en binôme : les deux maisons ont le souci de la pérennisation de la qualité des vinifications et du style maison, dans l’esprit de la recherche de l’excellence qui les meut depuis de nombreuses années.

Bien cordialement,

David et Carel

a little midday beaune and pommard

Just a few pics from jogging around Beaune and Pommard yesterday:

elin’s apocalypse…

A thoughtful article from Elin McCoy, which has many overtones of my own ‘Vuittonification‘ post from last December. Elin has taken a more personal (producer) perspective versus my more structural perspective – but the conclusions are the same. The only things that have changed since my post in December is that we now clearly have a tiny 2016 vintage underway, one that can only make pricing even more difficult for the market to swallow, and a European (fiscal) market in turmoil due to Brexit.

Everyone sees the problem, yet, seemingly, no-one can help avoid the impending market crash for Burgundy wines.

a couple of great mid-weekers..


A couple of inspired choices from the wine-list of Ma Cuisine on Monday evening:

2007 Louis Carillon, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Perrières
What a young wine! The nose is a little cushioned, still with a suggestion of vanilla and the freshness of youth. In the mouth the 2007 acidity zings you along; good concentration and super intensity – lovely finishing flavour too. Top 1er Cru! Not for those who dislike acidity, but I simply love great 2007s…
Rebuy – Yes

1982 Hospices de Nuits, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les St.Georges ‘Cuvée de l’Espace’
Faiveley was the eleveur. Bright colour and a massive nose of bright, perfumed fruit – this stays for about half an hour before the perfume very slowly fades, but at the same time the nose becoming deeper fruited. Resolved and silky in the mouth – perfect pinot. Just a suggestion of metallic in the finish but that is gone with my beef bourguignone. The first two pours were brilliant, the last just a little older in the glass. Super.
Rebuy – Yes

weekend wines – week 25….


Accompanying a few late goals this weekend, were:

1999 Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin
Fourrier is sometimes maligned because the wines are so pure and drinkable, whatever their age, but here is a big nose-full of earthy, forest funk – well, for about 15 minutes anyway. Slowly a beautiful pure note starts to shine through – fine cherry fruit. In the mouth there is a lovely energy and mouth-watering flavour. This is a wine that begs you to take another sip – so we obliged, of-course! Still in great shape, though judging from the litter of empty cases, perhaps it was also my last one!
Rebuy – Yes

2010 Ramonet, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos de la Boudriotte (red!)
A bold and young colour, still. The nose remains quite heavily inflected with sweet oak – though it does fit with the equally sweet fruit! In the mouth, whilst undeniably delicious and with an impressively open-ended mid-palate and finishing complexity, here is also no shrinking modesty of sweet oak flavours. It IS delicious, but the sweetness of fruit and oak together makes this wine a less moreish than the Fourrier. A very tasty baby for sure, but I’d probably wait for its 10th birthday before opening another…
Rebuy – Yes

finally it’s really tasty: grivot’s 95 nuits lavières…


Here’s a wine that I’ve owned in quantity since at least 2000 – it was a great buy for about £15 per – ah, those were the days… In that time it has vacilated between tasty and youthful, to full but uncommunicative. Today is about as good as I’ve ever experienced:

1995 Jean Grivot, Nuits St.Georges Les Lavières
The colour is the typical heavy, almost impenetrably browning hue of most from the vintage. The nose though is fresh, bright, a hint floral and whilst the fruit is of the inky, macerating kind, it has pretty and individual notes – nice. Wide and fresh, there’s still plenty of tannic, but cushioning, texture – nothing dry or to be afraid of here. The flavour is of surprisingly juicy; mouth-watering fruit – almost with a little accent of mint leaf and chocolate too. Indeed, chocolate-dipped cherries. Not bad! Today, very tasty indeed – yum!
Rebuy – Yes

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