Why Big Red Diary?

interesting: mugnier and musigny…

Now isn’t this interesting.
  Pic stolen from a Facebook post…

I have to say that I never really thought of Freddy Mugnier and Château Latour as bed-fellows, though I do understand the ‘stance’ and knowing FM, I’m sure it has nothing to do with the money. But my question is, ‘what does several years mean?’ Even through a ‘cell phone’ baby Musigny is indisputably more fabulous than 99.9% of all other similar age burgundies. Clearly it is a very different experience to drinking a wine at 20-25(+) years-old, but relevant and something that it would be a shame to miss – all in my opinion of-course.

I actually believe that most of the ‘wasted’ bottles are those drunk between 3 and 10 years-old, depending on the vintage, when they are adolescent, angular or tight. So I really hope that Frederic doesn’t mean seven when he writes several.

An additional ‘issue’ suggests itself; if the source of ‘new’ Musigny dries up for ‘several years’ won’t people be pushed to drink even more adolescent wine?

noteworthy in the last days…

  • Not the Hosemaster’s finest hour, but Riedel’s action was a ‘PR disaster’ – as a result, I’ll happily revert to Zaltos!

  • Some semblance of wine chemistry…
  • A longer watch, but interesting nonetheless…

bourgogne criots!


No, that’s not a new appellation, rather my choice of drinks the last days!

This first wine drank so well, I may forced into pulling out my last bottles of the 93 and the 90!
1995 Maison Leroy, Bourgogne
Medium colour, a little salmon rather than brown. The smell has a little cigar and a faintly stewed red fruit – but fresh, sleek and inviting it is. In the mouth there’s not that much width, but the flavour is fine, pure and leaves a texture of silk on the tongue. This drinks better and better as the time passes. Almost an ageless wine, which probably won’t ever be better than this, but I don’t expect it to slide either. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

I simply adored this when first tasted – so much so that I had to buy a couple of bottles. The first bottle was corked (but replaced) the second bottle was disappointingly tight aged about 2. This bottle, however, shows what I saw from barrel. It would only get better if we could trust it not to oxidise!
2006 Nicolas Potel, Criots Bâtard-Montrachet
The colour seems a little golden on pouring, but the cork smells fine, and with 5 minutes in the glass, it’s more of a deep yellow than gold. The nose starts a little tight, but slowly fills-out with perfume and a slowly growing struck match note. In the mouth, this is big, silkily textured and delivers a heft of perfumed flavour. The struck match of the nose can be seen in the finishing flavours too. There are really layers of flavour here and they cling to your tongue like glue – probably because this wine is moderately acid-lite. Yet it is beguiling and über-drinkable. In fact this bottle lasted no more than a couple of hours – it was devoured with joy!
Rebuy – Yes

les weekenders…


2010 Gilles Bouton, St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
From the first sniff – yum! Toasted bread and a nicely direct, if slightly cushioned. This is a little cushioned in the mouth too, with a lovely driving citrus fruit but the fresh, stony flavour widens in the mouth. A big fresh and intense mid-palate brings joy – there’s not much more I could wish for. Lovely…
Rebuy – Yes

2006 Antonin Guyon, Pernand-Vergelesses
What a lovely wine. Fresh, with pretty red fruit – no lack of depth and a fine sucrosity. This drank very well, and quite quickly too!
Rebuy – Yes

2002 Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles-Vigne
A deeper, fuller nose, but one that really need to unwind before it challenged the more inviting Pernand. In the mouth too, this has more evident concentration and seems a hint more plush. With time in the glass this unwinds, becoming ever-more tasty and complex. A wine that demands more of your attention than the previous wine – which you will prefer probably has more to do with context. Very good!
Rebuy – Yes

‘anthology’ of the last days…

A shocking tasting by Allen Meadows:

“1996 white burgundy, and in particular Ramonet though Niellon and Sauzet contributed, continues to disappoint as 8 of 9 bottles were premoxed and another one (1976 Leflaive “Clavoillon”) was corked as was one of the reds (1989 Roty Griotte). It was one of the bigger debacles that I have seen in a while.”

Like a cross between Gevrey-Chambertin and Red Bull?

pascal chevigny’s 2002 vosne…


These were very will priced, about €20 or less, way back when. Let’s say in 2004/2005…

2002 Pascal Chevigny, Vosne-Romanée
Opened too cold – from the fridge – but it will warm in my glass. The nose starts very closed, but ever-so slowly it opens with a modest but charming vosne-style nose – all is in order. In the mouth there’s a slight lack of acid balance whilst cold, but as the wine warms it expands more over the palate and seems to have much finer poise. The flavour is lovely, a nice ingraining sucrosity to the fruit and lively but lovely balance. This is absolutely perfect right now, indeed excellent, so much so that I’m now tempted to attack my remaining single bottle!
Rebuy – Yes

thomas-moillard’s 96 corton clos du roi


1996 Thomas-Moillard, Corton Clos du Roi
Deeply coloured. Ooh – diving into the aromas from the high-board. A faint graphite and deep, dark half plum/damson fruit that’s partly sweet-baked. Direct line of fresh flavour – much as I remember – but today there’s more padding and more weight of buffering flavour than 5+ years ago. The nose is becoming more rounded and complex. If you wish to hold this wine in your mouth, and despite the silk texture, the acid-intensity will slowly begin to assail your tongue – but why would you? Sharp wine, but becoming less dangerous with time. I think this still has plenty of upside, but I really enjoyed this over two nights…
Rebuy – Yes

2 (assorted) echézeaux…

1998 François Lamarche, Echézeaux
A fresh, intense nose with a very good fruit flavour but it quickly becomes ever-more herbal – borderline unpleasant. Plenty of modest rasp from the tannin – but the grain is clearly fading. A bit of bitter herb in the finish too – eventually a noticeable TCA flavour in the finish – hmm, a shame, corked.
Rebuy – who knows…

2001 Bouchard Père et Fils, Echézeaux
A deep, seemingly silky nose, yet still rather tight – slowly a very nice fruit note seeps through. Large in the mouth, more mineral than the 98, there’s growing intensity too. Much, much finer tannin – very obviously younger too. Real depth of flavour here – lovely, just an edge of salinity in the finish too. The last drops in the glass have a discreet tobacco note…
Rebuy – Yes

1998 clos napoleon…

What’s the old saying? – Buy in haste, repent at leisure – for a long time I had thoughts along those lines about this wine.

Of-course time is often a healer, and that seems to be the case even for Fixin in the most astringent (tannins) of vintages:

1998 Pierre Gelin, Fixin 1er Clos Napoleon
There’s one thing I still don’t like about this wine – the nose has a lactic note, one that I doubt will ever get better, but behind is a pretty strawberry fruit that implies ripeness, and for the first time I can ever remember, there’s a generosity about the aromas. In the mouth it’s still quite a big wine, but the sandpaper astringency is long gone, indeed it’s now a rather controlled and balanced structure. Good flavour and a pretty complexity. No shirking violet this, but from now-on, I think I can start harvesting some of the bottles from this case.
Rebuy – Maybe

yesterday was a rock day: solutré & vergisson

Hot work, followed a short storm, then a nice dinner. I thoroughly recommend the views from the top of Solutré – though I didn’t get too close to the edge 😉

Beaune: today is a cloud day…

[launch] üllo – wine purification?

ullo-1Or maybe better – ‘sulfite removal’!

I had some PR puff about this, and normally I avoid gizmos such as this, like the plague, but as a former research chemist I was interested in what the process might be.

From the website and the linked Kickstarter page it probably works like an ion-exchange resin – i.e. similar in mode to the standard filter that you may use to make your water a little more palatable, assuming you live in a hard-water area; here in Europe Brita water filters are one of major brands.

If the video is anything to go by, the filter works amazingly fast – so I expect it’s a mock-up – but I’d be really interested to see how ‘selective’ this ‘solution’ is, or whether it neuters the wine in any way. I also expect some blockage (blinding) due to the sediment in older wines – but maybe sulfites are not an issue with older bottles, so (in this case) the gizmo isn’t required. I’d also be interested to know how much volume, and of what type of wine, is required to ‘exhaust’ a filter – for instance sweet wines have much more sulfite to preserve them.

A fair question, though, is ‘how many people are really affected by this?’ I’m aware, anecdotally, that many are, and particularly for those who drink white wines, though in today’s market for ‘healthy living’ I’m sure this has great potential for sales, regardless of whether they drink Richebourg, Sauternes or Yellow Tail. Let’s see.

I assume though, that the company won’t be using the following data in their marketing campaigns, much as I know some people also have problems with dried fruit!


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