Why Big Red Diary?

st.vincent – st.veran – 2018 27-28 january

If you are going to the St.Vincent for St.Veran tomorrow – in Prissey – you actually may not need an umbrella!

The Château du Clos de Vougeot has an exhibition of all the posters – the first poster was done in 1971 – but if you can’t make it, here they are in ‘micro-format!

icymi – erwan’s changes, ‘remarkable’ & hopefully no white elephants

Three things have caught my eye in the last days:

  1. My father favours wines that are big, tannic and my direction is the opposite– Erwan Faiveley
  2. Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti has said the 2015 vintage ranks as perhaps the most remarkable of his half a century long career” which makes an interesting counterpoint to some of his words when I tasted at the domaine in December 2016. But ‘remarkable’ is not automatically the same as ‘great’ – eh? – link
  3. Finally: In association with the work for ‘Climats / UNESCO World Heritage’ there is finally news that the signatures are in place for the project to build “Cité des Vins dedicated to the region’s wines and Climats.” The local representatives look happy in the picture above, courtesy the BIVB. The plan is to build close to the centre of Beaune, the Cité to be constructed near the Palais des Congrès, part of a 10-hectare complex including a five-star hotel, two restaurants, a shopping mall and reception centre. The plan is “to create the entertaining, educational, and cultural structures this project represents.
    The plan is that this should be opening to the public in early 2021 and represents an investment of €16.6 million coming from Chablis, Mâcon and roughly two-thirds of the cash from Beaune. I honestly see this project, at a time of unsustainable wine pricing, having the potential to be a huge, not to mention expensive, white elephant. But I will be very, very happy to be proved an old pessimist 🙂

gilles bouton’s 2006 blagny sous le puits

Much of red Blagny has been replanted with chardonnay and in so doing becomes either Puligny or Meursault 1er cru – in the case of this wine a Puligny 1er – a wine that can sell at nearly twice the price of the red, not to mention be cropped at higher yield – so that’s a double win for the white! Blagny still has some fans, such as Benjamin Leroux, who is doing his bit to hold onto the label – there are not many – here’s another from Gilles Bouton:

2006 Gilles Bouton, Blagny 1er Sous le Puits
Medium, medium-plus colour, starting to show a little age. The nose, likewise, has the first hints of a sweet caramel maturity and that comes through on the palate too. It’s a nice and fresh width of flavour over the palate too – slowly melting red-fruited flavour over the tongue. The first hints of maturity but still a young wine – a tasty though not particularly distinguished wine.
Rebuy – Maybe

weekend wines – week 3 2018

A wide selection this weekend.

NV Louis Bouillot, Crémant Rosé
I don’t like oxidised styles of fizz – whatever their (sometimes) high cost. THis wasn’t like that – clear fruited and delicious – it was drunk quite quickly!
Rebuy – Yes

2007 Camille Giroud Corton Le Rognet
Deep colour. Ooh what an inviting nose, accents of mature notes and still a little oak. Really mouth-filling volume but composed and very silky wine with plenty of sweet fruit. Powerful but with a caress – still modestly oaked in the finish. Such a super wine – this young Corton is already open and delicious.
Rebuy – Yes

The other Le Charlemagne – just what you’d expect really from 80% Grenache and 20% Carignan! – One reasonable sized glass per night is quite enough!

a few pics from chablis last week…

Holed up in rainy Bern until Friday, typing. But here a few images from (mainly) rainy Chablis last week:

Concours des Vins de Chablis – 2016 Vintage

I know that it’s only January, but it’s that time of year again – the Concours des Vins de Chablis.

The tastings were done this week and results published today, so if you’re looking for a great list of 2016 Chablis – before my Januuary Report (60 domaines visited this month) is published! – then here’s a great place to start 🙂

Goto the results

week 3 2018’s ‘chablisesque rogues’ gallery

Save for a few short hours this week, there has been little sunshine – but lots of rain! This week, on a few nights I’ve got home quite late from visits, with the imperative of going straight out jogging before I sit down – otherwise it would be too late! But on two of the nights the rain was so hard that I had to resort to typing reports! Pff! Okay it’s nearly the weekend – and back home and for a week too – the first time I’ve had that luxury this year – only the small matter of 500 kilometres in the car now…

Have a good one!

icymi – a lot of ow loeb, and quite a lot of whole clusters…

Starting with a cutting reportage – but no hatchet job – I know producers that haven’t been paid for their wine:

weekend wines – week 2 2018

After sub-optimal performances from last weekend’s wines, it was nice to get into a good groove this weekend:

1995 Domaine Parent, Pommard 1er Les Pezerolles
Rather lighter colour than, for whatever reason, I was expecting. Ooh – what a nose! A little sous-bois, and brooding, bloody fruit – what a charmer across the palate too. Just the tiniest hints of tannin, but this is really a resolved, mature, totally ready wine – delicious to boot – bravo! I have some memory of this being oaky – 15 years ago – there’s nothing here today that would back that up. Just one pour was left in the bottle overnight (in the fridge) and next day it really wasn’t as good – so the moral of the story is, it seems, to drink up! Two swallows don’t make a Spring, but that’s two 1995s that have been singing in last 3-4 weeks…
Rebuy – Yes

2007 Mugneret-Gibourg, Bourgogne
Back in 2012 this was relatively disappointing. By 2014 it was becoming more interesting. This bottle was absolutely singing!
The nose is purer, sweeter and darker fruited than any 2007 has a right to be – there’s a freshness to the aroma that is so inviting. Likewise in the mouth – more of the same. Fresh, a suggestion of cushioning to the dark fruit and a sweet purity that was never there before. What a result. And, having learned a lesson from the Pezerolles – 2 hours later it was all gone. Really a bravado performance for the combination of vintage and label!
Rebuy – Yes

wet, wet, wet…

Prehy, today…

No, not the crooning Scottish boy band – before Boy Bands were a ‘thing’ – but rather the weather.

December started in the vein of the winter of 2015/2016 – cold, frosty, there was even some snow. Since then there have been waves of wind, rain and warm-fronts. The weather has been much more typical of the run of recent vintages – rather too warm – typically 6-12°C with plenty of rain.

As far as the rain is concerned – despite the flooding of some small streets in Chablis and me having to negotiate the ragondins (coypu!) by night – this is probably a good thing given that the summers and autumns of the last couple of years have been very dry. The bad thing, of-course, is that the temperatures mean that the growth-cycle starts earlier – the Forsythia is in full bloom – there are bulbs pushing out from the soil – and we are only in mid-January. Not a great place to be in late April when, like the last two years, frost is a distinct possibility.

Still, the views between the squally rain-showers can be lovely – just like today…

week 2 2018’s ‘chablisesque rogues’ gallery

A fuller week this week – 23 visits – one pic comes twice – the grid has to be equal (tsk!) – so that’s more than half of my 60 already done. Another full week comes next week – but first recuperation in Bern!

Practically I saw almost 2 hours of sunlight this week – that was on Tuesday morning. I also met a ‘ragondin’ that was as big as dog – in the flooded backstreets of Chablis!

offer of the day – thibault liger-belair 2016s

Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair 2016 EP/Pre-Arrivals

Prices arrived today from my Swiss merchant. The 2015 prices (from last January) are in brackets for comparison. This year it’s the case of the missing Richebourg, still no Beaujolais and the arrival of wines from Corton! :

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES La Charmotte 75cl 55.00* (49.50) (Swiss Francs)
CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY 75 cl 69.00 ( – )
VOSNE-ROMANEE Aux Réas 75cl 76.00 (69.50)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES Les Saint-Georges 75cl 118.00 (109.00)
NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES Les Saint-Georges 150cl 256.00 ( – )
CORTON CLOS DU ROI 75cl 159.00 ( – )
CLOS DE VOUGEOT 75cl 169.50 (158.00)
RICHEBOURG 75cl – (395.00)
CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE 75cl 198.00 ( – )

Call me an old fuddy-duddy – but I don’t understand current pricing – I see no value here.

*As always, these wines are without the 8% Swiss purchase tax, but include the cost of delivery…

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