Why Big Red Diary?

a sunday nuits walkabout…

A hike up to Château Gris and higher…

a saturday (mainly) puligny walkabout…

mâcon wine note(?)

Mâcon wine note – Friday evening, 22nd May (and Saturday too) on the ‘Esplanade Lamartine’ in Mâcon…

04 de vogüé and 12 comte liger-belair

Dinner in Caves Madeleine yesterday, and generous diners wanted to open the 2004 de Vogüé – so I naturally had to find something to pique interest too.

Not a bad pair of after-dinner bottles..

2004 Comte Georges de Vogüé, Bonnes-Mares
The 2005 of this is magical, but less fortunately this shows in a classic 2004 vernacular. Today that means quite a mushroomy start, then after 10 minutes in the glass a slowly growing pyrazine note. Another taster said peaunuts – I don’t get that but it fits to what some other people see in this aroma. The acidity also seems a little spiky to me – but I usually have this impression in the presence of pyrazines, so your mileage may vary. Yet – great mid-palate flavour and a really wonderful, exceptionally long finish here. Still not a wine I’d like a second glass of – even with the wonderful 00001 bottle number!
Rebuy – No

2012 Comte Liger-Belair, Vosne-Romanée Clos du Château
Hmm – clearly a spicy nose – from Vosne but also barrel, almost a modest smokiness too – I’m far from a big oak fan, but this remains alluring. In the mouth, fresh attack of flavour and a structure that’s still supported by plenty of oak – that oak almost seems a little burning in the mid-palate, but then magically melts to leave a lovely, mouth-watering finishing flavour with no bitterness, rather one of real elegance. Lots to find here, and a wine I like to keep going back to, despite being such a baby…
Rebuy – Yes

hail update & get ready for the léproserie

 La Léproserie de Meursault…

So, late yesterday afternoon we had the first hail of the growing season. I linked Thibault Morey’s hail video (on Facebook) yesterday, and today I spoke with some growers and looked at the vines.

The spread of hail was a little wider than was first reported (by me), with vines also in Blagny and Meursault touched – mainly high on the hill – I even heard that a little Pommard was hit but I couldn’t verify it.

Essentially it was the canopy that was peppered with holes, and that canopy overwhelmingly protected the latent clusters of flowers below, I did see a few damaged parts to the clusters but it was minimal and will have no impact on either volume or quality – this time. You see the extent of the ‘shot’ in the images below.

As it turns out, hail is not the only concern just now; it’s much colder this week, but cloud-cover ensured that temperatures didn’t drop below 6°C yesterday evening, though in Arnay le Duc (on the plateau above the Côte d’Or) the ground was white with frost this morning, after a 0°C night. Nobody wants to see that! I did a small tour of the wall of Meursault Clos des Perrières this morning as the south-facing part had the first flowering I found last year, but still nothing yet…

Lastly, The Léproserie in Meursault is very soon to open its doors to tourists and I find the combination of the old with the new visitor reception to be really excellent – maybe it helped the sky was quite moody today!

opening hail season :(


For those of you with a Facebook account – you might be able to see this video. Hail today in the area of Chassagne and St.Aubin recorded by Thibault Morey. Not too much damage – a few perforated leaves and the odd (latent) cluster touched, but basically minimal damage.

If the same was to come in another week or so, then we might have a different story – but so-far, we’ve no flowers…

Generally the weather is much, much cooler than last week – we hardly reached 15°C today – the wind has a little bite to it too – what a difference to last week! Still, there is as much sun as cloud – it’s just a matter of timing with the camera!

finding a mouth-wash can be troublesome…


So when a 15 year-old Beaujolais Nouveau is too excruciatingly corked, where to turn? Well, the first wine didn’t pass the test!

1999 Jean-Claude Belland, Santenay 1er La Comme
It’s ages since I had one of these – this might even be that last – all bought on release. Yuk! I might have some tolerance for a subtle hint of brett, but here is a wine that just reeks of it – it doesn’t taste better either – down the sink…
Rebuy – No

1998 Bruno Clair, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er La Dominode
What a relief – clean, bright, complex and with fine focus – what a lovely nose! In the mouth there’s a nice direct line of flavour that’s perfectly melded with the acidity. The tannin is virtually nothing to talk about, but the waves of complex flavour are – just excellent – very, very yum! Another great 98…
Rebuy – Yes

2000 beaujolais nouveau ‘not nice’ shocker…

I liked the look of the seriograph-printed 2000 nouveau from Duboeuf, so kept it as a memento of the millennium, surrounded by empty bottles of DRC and Musigny (of-course!) in my ‘bottle-art’ installation in my office. But I’m in the process of moving house – or more aptly, still making a big mess of the old one – so was going to throw this out.

But why not open it? Despite it never being ‘cellared’ the level was high in the neck and the capsule spinned without issue. What a great post I thought, the excellence of 15 year-old nouveau!

2000 Georges Duboeuf, Beaujolais Nouveau
Hmm, the corkscrew pulls up right through the middle of the cork, but without budging the sides. I change to an ah-so and the cork comes out fine. Unfortunately the cork has something rather too in common with the wine – both absolutely stink of cork taint – I still tried to taste, but it was über-yuk!!! The texture, form and delivery seem not bad, but now I’m looking for something to take the nasty cork-taint taste out my mouth…
Rebuy – No

three medalists from the weekend…

It seems that the 98 GE from Gros F&S was no fluke the other week, the 98s are showing much love, and not a little maturity. A fine trio this weekend…

1998 Antonin Guyon, Corton Clos du Roy
Medium-plus colour. The nose is a symphony of depth, leaves and dark-red, roasted fruit – ouf! – excellent! In the mouth there’s a little silk and the weight and fat of a grand cru. I find fine flavour dimension here and only a very modest tannic accompaniment. The acidity is fine and the finish is super. Hyper-critically, the nose is less interesting and hints a bit of beef-broth / brett after an hour – but it’s so good I suggest you have enough people around you that it’s finished in less than an hour. Really fine…
Rebuy – Yes

2011 Le Grappin, Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanc
The nose still has a bit of that phenolic impression that was obvious when it was young. In the mouth it’s rounded out perfectly, no astringent phenolics in the finish now, just a warm slightly ripe flavour with the merest hint of oak and a fine supporting acidity. A wine you can sip all evening in the sun – yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2010 Digioia-Royer, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits
Medium colour. What a pretty, if simple, red cordial fruit nose. The plate is similar but with a lovely acidity to drive it. Really super-tasty, simple but gorgeously flavourful wine. I dare you not to drink the whole bottle… (oups!)
Rebuy – Yes

domaine leflaive – the passing of the baton



Well, mainly…

A visit in Morey on Thursday afternoon, and unusually, I was early! So I stopped off for a wander around the vines of a particular part of Bonnes-Mares, just outside the centre of Morey. The ground was very dry, though today’s rain – luckily without storms – should have helped in that department.

Thursday’s weather was still hot in the sun but cooler with a strong wind. Today, the rain and cold hit. I suppose we needed a bit of balance, as 30°C for three days running is a bit unusual for the first half of May. Before the heat the vines were basically ‘average’ versus a normal growth cycle – but the heat had the vines growing incredibly fast – the cold (About 10° and wet) may have just kept them in the ‘average.’

early starts…

The days are long for some.

Such is the heat (& sunburn) this week, that many are already starting their day in the vines at 06h00. Some balancing with a long siesta, others not.

Today was ‘second treatment day’ for some, though given the forecast for storms tomorrow or Friday, I’m not sure if it will have been worth the effort – but let’s see who’s right, them or the forecasters…

Two tastings this morning that were a world apart – Felettig and Le Moine – the traditional and the new, yet both characterised by a myriad of small parcels and/or cuvées.

A small collection today – from Chambolle and Beaune:

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