Why Big Red Diary?

the mid-week selection…

Tonight will be big wine night, so, to prepare, I did a modest warm-up this week, mopping up a few half bottles along the way…

2002 d’Angerville, Volnay 1er Clos des Ducs (375cl)
There may be a bit of 2015 about this wine. 2002 was a big and concentrated vintage for Volnay, yet the Marquis made a wine with beautiful poise and line – rather like the comparison to him and his neighbours in 2015. This is a beautiful wine in all respects – not a wine of density, a wine of beautiful line – love!
Rebuy – Yes

1996 Grivot, Clos de Vougeot (375cl)
In this format, the wine is really rather open and ‘giving.’ There’s plenty of depth and concentration of-course, both aromatically and in the mouth – perhaps the delivery could be a little more layered – but this is a mouth-full of very tasty wine that has good but hardly remarkable freshness vs many from 96. Yum! Actually this is much more ‘ready’ than Grivot’s 93s – maybe I should check that at the weekend 🙂
Rebuy – Yes

1996 Germain – Château de Chorey, Beaune 1er Les Teurons (375cl)
Ooh wow – this is perfect – open, round, layered and beguilingly inviting – what a nose! In the mouth it’s also round, very red fruited, caressing wine. The freshness is pretty much perfect and the oak of its youth is vanished. This is as pretty a wine as I’ve had in a long time – bravo! This was even tastier (better today) than the Clos de Vougeot.
Rebuy – Yes

1996 Antonin Guyon, Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
There’s a little cloudiness to this wine. The nose starts with a reduction or oak toast that very quickly fades in the glass and it just gets better and better from there. In the mouth there’s a more direct acidity – a true 96 acidity – but with air (and also food) it’s really nothing remarkable. Fresh wide and with and extra complexity in the mid-palate – but also an extra tannin too – is that the cru or the larger bottle size? Hard to know, but despite how tasty this bottle is, given the cloudiness I’d drink these sooner rather than later, and would be tempted to buy more. Still, very yum!
Rebuy – No

1996 Hospices de Beaune (Chanson), Beaune 1er Cuvée Nicolas Rolin
Probably opened a little too late in the evening – so only a glass and a half taken – but a great glass and a half. This is really the brother of the Germain – the same round, red, delectable style of nose and a beautiful melting flavour on the palate – really perfect right now. Bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

Okay, time to prepare my 7 wines for tonight – I wonder what the others will be bringing… 🙂

lots of free stuff

burgundy report free stuff
The latest ‘free stuff‘ in Burgundy Report:

  • What’s a merchant to do? Reflections on strategy, including discussions with the heads of Maisons Jean-Claude Boisset, Albert Bichot, Picard and Béjot (pre Béjot ‘problems!’)
  • A profile of Meursault-Perrières – and obviously some wines tasted too!
  • Just for the fun – 72 wines from Comte Liger-Belair and lots of grand cru Chablis

The Burgundy-Report from June 2015 – because subscription content is free to all when it’s 18 months old…

Unashamedly Chablis 2015

The first Burgundy Report of 2017 – and it’s a big one:
59 domaines visited and about 560 wines tasted.

It’s Chablis 2015 in focus, but with comment from winemakers on their experiences in both 2015 and 2016.

Actually I made too many visits in January – it seems that about 50 visits per month is my maximum to also type and publish everything by the end of the month that follows – so there will be 9 fewer visits next January!

Now it seems that I have to start typing and publishing the 50 (phew!) visits in Beaujolais in February 🙂

the return of musigny blanc

We were alerted to this by a comment on these pages over a week ago – I asked for info from the domaine – the response came back today:

“Indeed, 2015 sees the comeback from the great Musigny Blanc after a lengthy period. This should satisfy our loyal customers and white wine aficionados who have behaved bravely during these last 20 years and remained so patient!”
Jean-Luc Pepin, Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé

And also today the news hit the streets here.

some weekly wines…

This Mugneret-Gibourg was just an unbelievably sumptuous, delicious wine when young – I drank more than half a case in the first year without any pangs of regret. The wine then slowly began a diet, getting thinner and thinner – the last time I tried it – 3 or 4 years ago – it was rather meager. The Bichot 2001 was so good a few days ago that I was reminded to return to this – and this may indeed be my last bottle. It turns out that it was quite a good idea to enjoy these Vosnes when they were young.

2001 Mugneret-Gibourg, Vosne-Romanée
It has a medium-plus colour – a little age, but not too much. The nose is pinched – there is that faint Vosne-spice, and being courteous, I’ll say an implied depth of aroma. Essentially there’s not much here to see – or, rather, smell. In the mouth I have the impression of a hint of fat to the texture, but only a hint. The wine is rather acid-forward still with a very faint rasp of tannin – the two in combination are hardly delicious. The high-point – if I can call it that – is that there are still some nice layers of finishing flavour, if of rather modest intensity. I would say that today this is no better than a half-decent Bourgogne.
Rebuy – No

And just to test that suggestion….

2001 Ghislaine Barthod, Bourgogne Rouge
Still a pretty red colour, but the depth of colour is less than that of the Vosne. Here the nose is also a little tight, but there is both pretty red fruit and a modest and attractive floral too – age may have added a faint meatiness to depth of the fruit – but only that. In the mouth this has very good volume, plenty of acidity too – but it’s well-balanced compared to the ‘extra acid’ of the MG. I like the energy here and the mouth-watering way the flavour spills over into the finish – faintly floral, faintly tannic too. Tasty wine that’s the more attractive of the two today.
Rebuy – Yes

hong kong drinks it in…


“Hong Kong is now Burgundy’s fifth biggest market in terms of revenue and the 13th largest in terms of volume”

i.e. its not really the cheap stuff that they are buying!

Hong Kong is, it seems, doing a great job of mopping up top production from the Côte d’Or. It’s a relatively new market that has been less sensitive to price (probably because they largely never bought at 25% of the current pricing!) than more traditional markets. The open question, is whether they will still buy in less star-studded vintages(?) But for now, the producers and merchants make hay while the sun shines…

a little wine, weekend 8, 2017

2015 Château Thivin, Côte de Brouilly Clos Bertrand
A good, deep 2015 colour – though still transparent. Ooh… That’s a deep and ripe dark-red fruit – lots of freshness though. Oof! It’s really the same on the palate too; a super line of fresh, ripe, red-fruited flavour of width and dimension. Tons of complexity and simply brilliant, fresh, presentation. Personality personified – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes

1999 Jean-Marc Pavelot, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er La Dominode
This wine is still a very darkly coloured thing – just a little browner at the rim today. The nose really pulls you in with its mix of dark depth and freshness – accented with some sous bois complexity – simply great. In the mouth there is a ton of freshness and still plenty of structural tannin. This is still a young wine – at least 5 years from maturity I would think, and after the Thivin, clearly a lower order of sweetness. The flavour is complex and fun though – it’s just very young and less overtly delicious than the last wine – you will just have to keep patient!
Rebuy – Yes

enforcing the status quo?


I would say that here it is the ‘revitalising the region‘ comment that is up for interpretation – at least if we look at at past actions. Louis Latour, and I have to say Drouhin too, seem to approach the Beaujolais region purely as a source of ‘entry level wines.‘ Which (perhaps simplistically) could be viewed as trying to enforce the current status quo of the market. I would contrast that with the work of Bouchard Père at Château Poncié, or rather more successful, the work of Louis Jadot at Château des Jacques.

Beaujolais is only going to reap some reward for its action (where deserved) if those people who are deserving can monetise their efforts. Like Jadot, Lafarge-Vial and Thibault Liger-Belair are ‘externals’ who are successfully monetising good work, but for as long as major producers label a region only as the ‘entry level’ then that makes life difficult for all producers of a region, regardless of the quality that they can deliver.

Note: I was the very first writer to taste Louis Latour’s Pierre Dorée wine when bottled – last summer when visiting and profiling their Henry Fessy domaine/négoce/wines – and very good it is too. Here I only comment on my perception of the actual positioning of wine from Beaujolais by certain Burgundian ‘majors.’

week 3 of bo-jo-lays 2015 visits…

The last, lucky, producers who were unfortunate enough to host me to taste their 2015s!

There will be more visits/tastings to look at specific crus, but that’s enough for February’s report – now to finish January’s report – and that will be at least 5 days more work!

today, a beautful beaujolais day…

My first lizard of the year was seen last week, and today was my first butterfly and bee – all outside the home of Yvon Metras. Too much for February? Only time will tell…

Before midday there were some far-reaching views, but by lunchtime, all was a little cloudier. Still, as I ‘summit-ed’ the Col des Truges, there was a breath-taking view of Mont Blanc – and considering the tiny 35mm lens on my camera, I think the picture not too bad, but it really doesn’t compare with the real-life apparition!

Tomorrow is my last day of 3 weeks of visits in Beaujolais – 50 domaines – next week will be only typing – and even more typing!

maps and wine-sales…

A nice link to a Côte d’Or map from 1861, sent by a reader. It looks a lot like the colour map found in the original Lavalle book.

Plus two articles in the mailbox today:

sheep, felines & sausages…

It’s really just another day in Beaujolais!

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