Why Big Red Diary?

les weekend wines – week 25

2015 Loosen Bros, Riesling
After a couple of 2011s, why not a 2015? There is a similar sweetness here to those older wines, but an appealing extra grapefruit vivacity – I still admit to drinking it ice-cold from the refrigerator though!

2011 Carrick, Central Otago Bannockburn Chardonnay
I did the harvest a couple of times (in Beaune) with someone from Carrick – this a souvenir. Normally I really don’t ‘get’ the aromatics of NZ chardonnay – there’s a kind of mineral hardness that is easy to spot, and hard to like. Perhaps it simply needs time – because this wine had none of it! Popped (screw-capped) and poured, this is light coloured and has just a touch of toasty reduction to the nose. Broad, tasty chardonnay flavoured – it does just what it says on the label! Whilst it wears its 14% rather well, my drinking companion spotted the alcohol – with a little head-fuzziness!

And here, an example of poor vintage checking!

2015 & 2014 Long-Depaquit, Chablis 1er Vaillons
I saw the 2014 on the shelf and immediately though ‘I’ll have one of those.’ On tasting I found it well textured, broad, minerally concentrated but ultimately rather dull(?) Only then did I realise that this was a 2015 – I was sure I’d bought the 2014! Two days later I was back in the coop, and indeed there were just two 2014s left on the shelf, surrounded by 2015s. The 2014 is more taut, refreshing and intense – it is, by comparison, absolutely delicious – I love it. Be careful with your vintages – hopefully the 15 will improve with age – but I wouldn’t buy another…

scooby is back!

Fun Radio…
The Hits…

Seemingly the radio stations of choice for car thieves – they even installed them as presets in my car radio!

Today the scoobaru was rescued from the police pound near Lausanne – a whole day had to be devoted to this! Scooby was stolen in the vineyards of the Côte d’Or and turned up in the vineyards of Valais – I had assumed that it was somebody who simply couldn’t be bothered to pay the TGV fare to get back home – but the policeman said ‘Nope, these were real bandits.

Of-course they have taken dumb things from the car – driving glasses/sunglasses, a couple of cushions et-cetera – they had even simply cut off, at the cables, and pocketed the LED ‘daylights’ from the car – otherwise all seems okay – there’s even more petrol in it now than when I parked in Beaune!

I should be particularly thankful that they had nicely parked the car at the Swiss BMW dealership where it was found, because having done so, they then broke the window of a BMW to gain access and then use it to ‘ram-raid’ into the dealership, they then drove off in a nice new BMW. Of-course compared to my 12 year-old scooby, that’s not really trading-up, is it? Anyway, that’s the reason that the police latched onto a stolen Subaru so soon. Now back to the insurance reports…

offer of the day – raveneau 2015

Silly prices? Perhaps, though they are directly in-line with name villages, 1ers and GC wines from noted Côte d’Or producers – though I did pay 50-something euros for 2010 Butteaux in Au Fils du Zinc a couple of weeks ago! That said, I so rarely see an offer, so here you go:

Domaine Raveneau 2015 – Chablis

Chablis 2015 75cl 54.00 Swiss francs*
Chablis Montée-de-Tonnerre 2015 75cl 108.00
Chablis Butteaux 2015 75cl 108.00
Chablis Valmur 2015 75cl 238.00
Chablis Les Clos 2015 75cl very limited, price on application!

*price includes delivery, but not (yet!) the 8% Swiss VAT (tax)

weekend wines – week 24 – 2017

I decided to keep the riesling theme for this (again) hot weekend, but this time with a little higher niveau. First a little ‘industrial’ Prosecco (superiore!) – finely refreshing when very cold. The 2009 Niederhauser Klamm wine of von Racknitz was just a delicious wine – both depth and interest. Particularly the extra couple of years age versus the 2011 von Winning Paradiesgarten gave the Racknitz the edge today – the 2011 was seemingly the better wine, but still with that modest spritz that I associate with young Germans. Both very yum!

2000 Clos des Lambrays
The last from my six-pack, and whilst bought on release and professionally stored for the first 10 years, they have been exceedingly variable – the last bottle was pants, but this was lovely – all the better to remember it by. Complex, a little meaty – open and tasty. Delicious? – nearly – but tasty? yes!
Rebuy – No if nothing else because of its infuriating variability…

2007 Mugneret-Gibourg, Bourgogne
Wow – really in a great place – less complex but more overtly giving and delicious than the Lambrays. The nose has a purity of fruit and flowers that this wine has only previously hinted of. In the mouth too, there is balance with lovely texture, deliciously sweet and fresh red fruit and a simply moreish flavour profile – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

breakfasting in beaune…

€5.50 for a formule breakfast with a big café au lait – and with a fine view of the Place Carnot too – you can hardly get the coffee for that price, back home in Switzerland!

it’s hot in them thar côtes…

A quick dip into the Côtes via TGV – but on Thursday I should be re-united, in Switzerland, with my car – hopefully in a decent condition – I don’t think any speeding tickets have arrived in the post yet 🙂

Yesterday 36°C, today a much more modest 34°C! But lots of aircon required for touring. Picture perfect, even if a little too hot, but nice visits and a great menu du jour in Beaune’s La Superb today…

The grapes are developing well on the vines – both pinot and chardonnay are in the best (volume) state that we’ve seen in late June since 2011. Of-course, much water still has to pass under many bridges, but (with fingers crossed) all’s looking good for now in the Côte d’Or – and that’s pretty rare for a vintage ending with a 7!

weekend wines – week 23 – they were needed!

It’s been quiet around here in the last days – but the ‘action’ has been non-stop – my weekend wines were never-more needed than over the last days…

It began, last week, with a three day tour with a fine group of visitors to Chablis and the Côtes. I’d hired a car, as it’s always nicer to have a little more room when there are more than two people. All was good, until I returned the hire-car. My own car, left in the car-park, was nowhere to be seen when I returned. My first instinct was to look for ‘no-parking’ signs (the office was already closed for the night), assuming that it was going to cost me €150 to recover my car – but I found none. Next day when the staff returned – blank faces. The car had been stolen.

Of-course, there has been an onslaught of phone-calls and police reports since then – in both France and Switzerland. Cancelling the number plate (registration is through the insurance companies in Switzerland – if the car has number plates it is insured, if it hasn’t… That’s a great system), dealing with insurance companies and so-on. I was also having to look at options for a new car (and on, and on, and on…)

Last night the (Swiss) police called – ‘We have your car.‘ Hmm, stolen 300km away, but driven back into Switzerland by the thieves. Today our door locks were changed though, as a house-key was in the car – I said it was a long list of phone-calls! I don’t have any more details yet, and won’t get to pick the car up until next week, as the car-key awaits in France – I’d assumed that if the car was going to turn up, that it would be in France, not here in der Schweiz! Let’s see how it looks (and what remains in the car!) when I pick it up next week. In the meantime, another hire car and TGV tickets are required for a much shorter (than planned) return to Beaune next week.

So it was a hot and fairly frustrating weekend – wine was needed! To start with, I picked a bunch of whites that would chill (even forgetting one of them in the freezer compartment!) There is a downside to the ultra-chilled riesling idea though – a glass is very easily dispatched in a very modest number of minutes!

2008 Wolfberger, Rangen Pinot Gris
Forgotten in the freezer. only the last 2-3mm of cork left in the neck!
Ooh – super cold – waxy texture, still good colour and freshness. Just a delicious first taste whilst cold – less interest as it warms a little.

2011 Dr Loosen, Loosen Bros Riesling
So cold, so good. 2 bottles drunk – and frighteningly quickly too! Fresh and maybe rather sweet when warmer in the glass. But a great refresher.

2006 Roty, Gevrey-Chambertin La Brunelle.
This was not an easy drink when young, but now I see that it is beginning to turn the corner a little – still, so it should now that it’s 10 years old!
Hmm, this is a very attractive nose – there’s still a little grating wood, but really it’s now developed a delightful floral countenance too. In the mouth there is decent freshness and good scale – the floral aspect of the nose is obvious in the flavours too. The mid-palate remains a little wood-locked with more than a suggestion of woody dryness. The counterbalance of the floral fruit means that it’s easy to drink a glass, but 2 is more wearing. For that reason I enjoyed a (large) glass on 4 consecutive nights – I enjoyed all 4 glasses, but would still suggest waiting at least another couple of years before opening the next one – this wine is definitely getting better and better though.
Rebuy – Yes

the beaujolais express…


London to Lyon – by Eurostar train – no sweat! Less than 5 hours – you can wait longer than that in the airport! There’s no excuse now for the London wine-trade 😉

a chablis day…

 Coming over the Vaudesir hill towards Preuses…

A simply perfect day in Chablis today, with guests. Two great domaines visited, of-course Au Fils de Zinc visited (Raveneau Butteaux and Droin Le Clos – both 2010) and weather ordered from the Gods. Though actually my forehead now suggests that I would have done better if I’d remembered my (sun) hat!

the last 2 days in the côtes…

Very changeable yesterday and today – but definitely warming up! A few pics taken along the way:

weekend wine – week 22…

There were others too, but repeats of ones I’ve already posted on in the last 6 weeks or-so – then there was a night of Italian white and Australian red at friends…

2005 Domaine François Labet, Beaune 1er Coucherias
Simply a crazy-good wine – à point! The nose has a little sous-bous but mostly faintly roast, transparent red fruit of gorgeous depth and clarity. The depth and clarity are reflected in the flavours too. Fine acidity, a wine that begs you to drink it – and then drink it some more – I really don’t need to wait any longer for this, it’s great already – Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

mois des climats – to celebrate?

The month of the Climats

Mois des Climats begins this coming Friday as a celebration of the Route des Grands Crus. Yes we’ve all travelled, camera in hand, up and down the ‘RdGCs’ – whether in our cars, on our bikes or even via the magic of a pair of running shoes, but did you know that this year is the 80th anniversary of the RdGCs(?) This tourist route was created in 1937, running between Dijon and Santenay.

To celebrate this anniversary, the Association of the Climats de Bourgogne is, for 4 weeks, partnering with multiple domaines and institutions. Check out my link at the top of the page to see if anything is interesting – but don’t bother with the non-existent English page of events!

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