Why Big Red Diary?

all the seasons…


Okay, perhaps not all the seasons – the amount of sun was a little more limited – but there was a little in Beaune today!

It seems bizarre that we have had 10-12°C for most of the winter, and then in the last days, flurries of snow – only a flurry this morning in Beaune and nothing remains. In the Côte de Nuits it was a little more than a flurry and all was white!

This time last year, it was more like 20°C…

lambrays or pommard? I’ll take bouley’s pommard ;-)


A nice lineup this weekend:

1979 André Nudant, Corton-Charlemagne
Hmm – this is really not so dark a colour – I see more in some 2012s! Medium, medium-plus golden. The nose is wide, faintly sweet, citrussy pineapple, waxy, deep, lanolin and cream – very fine. Fresh, saline, modestly sweet, long, faintly creamy in the length – and it’s great length. I’ve had a few of these and every one was a little different, but no duds. Yum!
Rebuy – No Chance!

2000 Clos des Lambrays
Medium colour, starting to show a little age too. Hmm – this is nice – wide aromas that are deep, complex and seemingly well on the road to maturity. In the mouth it’s very similar, but modest of weight, modest of energy too – it was certainly much more interesting and involving a couple of years ago – or maybe it’s just this bottle to blame. Tasty, satisfying, good wine, but today, not really grand cru. I have a 2 or 3 more – it’s a hard choice, I’m considering drinking them over the next 18 months, but if all are only modestly involving, maybe better to just forget them for another 15 years 😉
Rebuy – Maybe

2010 Jean-Marc Bouley, Pommard 1er Fremiers
Decanted right from the start – Thomas usually has a bucket-load of CO2 in his wines. After about an hour, the dark, silky nose is opening just a little – but still only very modestly. Take a sip – and yum! This is wide, sleek, with a little muscle and plenty of energy. Lovely complex, dark red, almost black fruit – it plays a great tune on your tongue and in the finish. The whole table, directly prefers this to the more sombre Lambrays – I agree. Lovely, engaging wine – extra yum!
Rebuy – Yes

Distinction Saint-Vincent 2016 – Mâcons 2014 & 2015

palmaresUnfortunately, I couldn’t make this tasting this year, but here, double-quick, are the results from the judging that took place last Friday evening – and from hundreds of wines presented – tasted by over 100 winemakers:

  • 2014 Mâcon whites and reds
  • 2015 Mâcon whites, rosé and reds!


chezeaux’s 2013 lavaux st.jacques…


2013 Chezeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Lavaux St.Jacques
I guess that this will be the first of these vinified by Amèlie Berthaut…
Rather deeply coloured. Wide and sweet, the nose has a macerating black cherry note, very faintly accented with floral references. Large and intensely flavoured – almost black fruit. A subtle undertow of tannic texture, then another wave of flavour in the mid-palate. I’ve always been more of a fan of more red-fruited wines, but here is a sleek, super-tasty Gevrey – I think I should have opened the villages and saved this for a rainy day in 10 years – but such is life! Fine wine!
Rebuy – Yes

volnay pics from this week…

More Volnay – yesterday and today – it’s not yet over!

Faiveley’s official opening of La Framboisière


Or, as Erwan Faiveley described it “the inaguration of a renovation!”

Faiveley have spared few Euros in the last years, significantly repositioning themselves from ‘maison’ to ‘domaine’ and with attention to every detail too. Strategically, a very important and astute move for their future.

Today (Tuesday evening the 1st March, 2016) we are at their winery in Mercurey, La Framboisière, the subject of nearly 3 years and €3.5 millon of renovations – note that Faiveley have always been a significant domaine here, responsible for 70 hectares of vines and for the last 80 years too*.

The basic shell is the same as the part-finished project I visited to taste with winemaker Julien Bordet almost 1 year ago – but now all the illumination for the parking, the wood cladding and the chinz is also in position. Here there is now the feel of an important Champagne house, a far cry from the discreet, old, sometimes dour facilities of many parts of Mercurey. But all the other producers of Mercurey syndicat were invited to this opening too – maybe we are about 100 – and that’s important, because we have something here that should help push up the renown not just of Faiveley but of the whole appellation too. You might say that Faiveley can’t do it on their own, but it seems to me that they are prepared to try!

The mayor of Mercurey, Dominique Juillot, described the facility as “A totem of excellence at the entry of our village” – I agree! And the timing is not bad either, as Mercurey will also be the heart of the Saint Vincent next January…

*The Faiveley family has been present in the Côte Chalonnaise for 4 generations. Georges Faiveley first farmed the land in Mercurey in 1933. His son Guy then firmly established the Faiveley family in the Côte Chalonnaise with the purchase of Domaine Colcombet in 1963.
Edit-Quote: Faiveley.

Burgundy Report: Chablis 2014


48 domaines. Over 500 wines. Comment from their producers. The extra-special highlighted – as always.

Of-course for subscribers, for the next 18 months, then everyone…

côte de nuits, before the rain

A lovely day yesterday, until the rain came in the early evening – it’s still raining today…

a productive weekend’s bottles…


A nice set of wines this weekend, in various stages of ‘open-ness…’

2011 Au Pied de Mont Chauve, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Maltroie
Large-scaled in both aromatic and in the mouth – but silkily so. Nice weight of both aroma and flavour with a good freshness too. Not super-energetic but with plenty of material. Tasty wine!
Rebuy – Yes

2007 Dublère, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Peuillets
Here the nose has a reductive, almost matchstick impression and a certain (also probably reductive) toast. Tasty wine of both line and fine energy. It seems to me that this is approaching full maturity – simply a super-tasty wine in a more traditional burgundy vernacular. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2005 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Volnay
Volnay in name, but a lot of 1er cru juice in reality! The nose, right since it was a couple of years old, is big and bulky, somewhat unyielding – deep red fruit but still not my favourite as it fails to captivate. In the mouth this has palpable concentration for the label and is much more open and interesting than the nose – still somehow a little blocky and lacking elegance, but there’s nothing shy about either the aromatics or the flavour, nor the fine line of acidity. Definitely tastier than it smells…
Rebuy – Maybe

2001 Bouchard Père, Beaune 1er Beaune du Château
Ooh – now that’s a gorgeous nose of very fine, elegant and complex fruit with a little floral activity too – very lovely. The palate has modest weight but flows nicely over the tongue with modest but tasty red fruit. Balanced but really a modest wine in all but aroma – but what aroma!
Rebuy – Maybe

a relief for etienne and co…

Of that I’m completely sure…

“In 2006, Kurniawan took 250 shares in a partnership created to buy several prestigious vineyards on Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, including some parcels of Beaune premiers crus and the Vosne-Romanée cru Malconsorts. Kurniawan’s shares constituted 22.73 percent of the six-person entity, named Etienne & Partners. The shares entitled each holder to dividends in wine from the vineyards, managed by Etienne de Montille, 53, scion of the Volnay-based de Montille family.”
The Wine Spectator

a few pics…

Taken on Tuesday…

oops – a (pinot) history lesson…

I just have to agree. Articles are not just made from the 3 books in front of you. If I similarly mess up, I hope that people will quickly put me on the straight and narrow…


With all due respect, the history of Pinot noir here is incorrect and reflects what was written in the early to second third of the 20th century. We now have historical proof that this grape was cultivated by the Romans 4th century (as discovered near Gevrey Chambertin in the last 5 years) from Burgundy to the Black Forest. It’s religious ties go way back before the Cistercian order was even created, it irks me that this type of information is held for fact when many new discoveries have been made since. The DNA research alone puts the grape in It’s indigenous regions way prior to the Roman invasions. Basing articles and courses on entirely out of date information is doing no service to the wine community.
Peter Wasserman
20 February

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