Why Big Red Diary?

easter monday in the côte de beaune


a sunday stroll in (mainly) meursault…

just a few grands jours images

Four collages that just about summarise 5 days of tastings…

graperadio – walker / ilan…

Worth listening to the recent Grape Radio interview with Ray Walker.

I no-longer have contact with this producer, and I regret their use of this site as their initial marketing, but the story has resonance for many and is worth hearing.

There’s also a large, mainly critical, thread on this on the wineberserkers forum – It’s probably better to start with ‘mid-page 5’ of that, as the previous pages are largely speculation, pre-posting of the interview.

rain, rain, go away….


Ha! Yesterday, in the sunshine, I was contemplating the massive magnolia tree in the gardens of Bouchard Père et Fils – almost, but not quite, ready to burst into flower. The view above, is not the same in Beaune today. Still we’ve had a great week of blue-sky and sunshine – despite the chilly north wind.

And a couple of images from Wednesday evening and Thursday:

joseph voillot now x2 + hospices de beaune echézeax (vv)

DSC09842It was great to catch up with the (almost) newly expanded team at Joseph Voillot today.

Etienne Chaix, the nephew of Jean-Pierre Charlot is due to start full-time at the domaine in April – but today he was roped in, early, for a tasting in Beaune. I know that Jean-Pierre was super-happy to have settled the ‘succession’ of the domaine in this way – and now that he can concentrate on his vines, he is, as you can see, a very happy man – I’m not so sure about Etienne though 😉


Then the news I heard yesterday was of a new cuvée for the Hospices de Beaune – an Echézeaux no-less.

A tasting this week at Mongeard-Mugneret of Vosne-Romanée, raised the question of their Echézeaux vieilles-vignes cuvée. It seems that from 2016, they no longer have that cuvée. These vines were actually rented to the domaine by their owner. That owner recently passed away, and their wish was that the vines should, afterwards, pass to the Hospices. In terms of the top red price at the auction, I expect that this will give their Mazis-Chambertin a run for its money.

After the price increase of +55% for the Hospices de Nuits auction last Sunday, it seems – at least for the 2015 reds – the sky remains the limit. It will be (more than!) interesting to see how the 2016 vintage proceeds…

188 tastevinage wines for you…

tastevinThe Spring tasting of the Tastevinage was done in the Clos de Vougeot last week.

For those of you with an interest, here is a list of the 188 wines chosen, from the 565 which were presented, that are now allowed to wear the tastevinage label. Lots of great 2014s from the Mâconnais and Chablis, even Cremant included…

a quiet night among the books…

Just a quiet evening among the books of Athenaeum in Beaune tonight. Fred Ménager was cooking (with his team) plus multiple bottles of 2008, mainly in magnum, from Christian Clerget, Jean-Jacques Confuron, Vincent Dureuil-Janthial, Michel Lafarge, Hubert Lamy, Jean Louis et Andrée Trapet, Tollot-Beaut, Vitteaut-Alberti and Guiseppe-Rinaldi.

The wines were some thing of a free-for-all both before and during dinner – my iPad was never opened – these few pics, were the best I could come up with, and for a whole evening’s work, too! Sorry 😉

a tasting audience…

Some of the people watching us taste yesterday evening:

Notes will follow in the March report, unfortunately it was mainly the reds as I started to get some tooth sensitivity – still, a trio of Bâtards to finish was something of a balm…

week(end) 11 – a tasty wine selection (part 2)…


I suppose you could call this a warm-up for the ‘Grands Jours’, that week of tastings every two years, where it is literally impossible to attend every ‘session’ that you are either invited to, or have subscribed for!

Having decided to miss the Nuits St.Georges half-marathon, the associated tasting in Nuits and the auction of the Hospices de Nuits – the Nuits-a-thon(!) – I decided, instead, to try a Chablis-a-thon!

Three presenters, in various degrees of focus - by midnight, the focus was reversed ;-)

Three presenters, in various degrees of focus – by midnight, the focus was reversed ;-)

The Sunday night before the Chablis tastings, Laroche decided to put together a tasting to discuss minerality – plenty of wines to be tasted – some more ‘mineral’ than others. there were contributions from Grégory Viennois of Laroche, David Croix showing wines from both Camille Giroud and Domaine des Croix, plus Stéphane Derenoncourt who came from somewhere called Saint Emillion.

Plenty of wines and lots if discussion (which will be in March’s report) was followed by dinner and lots of lovely wines. To add to those dinner wines above were 2011 Chassagne 1er Vergers, 2011 Corton-Charlemagne, 2010 Corton Clos de la Vigne aux Saint, 2010 Le Chambertin and 2005 Latricières from Mr Croix, 2008 Clos Fourtet and 2008 Pavie Macquin from Stéphane, and probably others that I was ‘too tired’ to remember. Great discussion, great wines and a really fine audience and audience participation.

Day 1 of the Grands Jours started with Chablis – the 2014s of 9 new producers (to me) was enough for me – packed as it was – the lunch buffet was clearly a bridge too far – 993 visitors and 136 exhibitors all trying to eat at the same time! Tonight there’s an evening a tasting of various producers in the Hôtel Dieu – now that doesn’t seem so hard does it? I’ve even managed 25 minutes jogging and a shower (luckily for the other people!) before I leave the apartment for that tasting.

Wish me luck….!

week(end) 11 – a tasty wine selection (part 1)…


2000 Louis Jadot, Beaune 1er Clos des Ursules
This must be about the 7th or 8th bottle from a full case – like all the others, this has a modest intensity but a far from modest complexity and overall drinkability. Lovely wine – also a better showing than the recent 2000 Clos des Lambrays…
Rebuy – Yes

2012 du Pavillon, Pommard 1er Les Rugiens
Ouf! Plenty of vanilla oak on the nose, likewise the palate too – I honestly can’t drink this when first opened – I leave it to ‘improve’ for 24 hours(!) The nose still has plenty of vanilla, but on a slightly lower order. The palate is also less overtly oaked, with a superb silky texture and really wonderful, palpable density of flavour. Potentially great wine this – but I must remember not to open another during the next 10 years.
Rebuy – Yes

2006 Mugneret-Gibourg, Bourgogne
The nose on this is a bit muddled to start with – but no worries – within about 1 hour, this is simply gorgeous; a fine, clarion-call of beautiful fruit. Medium bodied, but very finely put together. This is drinking superbly well right now – it just needs a little when first opening.
Rebuy – Yes

burgundy report ‘freeview’


The notes from a small but perfectly formed cadre of growers from 18 months ago – don’t forget that all the older Burgundy Reports become ‘free to view’ when they are 18 months old…

Here: July 2014

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