Why Big Red Diary?

“Feet Buried in the Sand”

Another lovely piece of writing from Keith

Feet Buried in the Sand

waiter’s friend or wine thief?

A Frenchman and some arrogance does not turn an off licence into a wine merchant.

What a naughty boy – but, at the moment, some of the best writing around…

corton clos rognet 1981 maison clavelier


1981 Maison Clavelier, Corton Clos Rognet
Magnum. A good medium-plus colour. The aromas have some mature leaf and a depth of brown-sugared fruit – rather nice, whatever it sounds like! Rather anonymous entry but then there’s a nice acidity and all of a sudden an impressive expansion of flavour that slows into the finish – it could even be a grand cru! Tannin seems an after-thought, the finish being rather sweet. Can I honestly say this is Corton? Nope, but I can say it is tasty mature wine with no faults – this is (was) a hit!
Rebuy – No CHance (but lucky I have more!)

hospices de beaune 2009 meursault 1er charmes


2009 Hospices de Beaune, Meursault 1er Les Charmes
Cuvée Albert Grivault
Pale golden. A nose of depth, plenty of patisserie too. Slides across the tongue in a silky fashion with very understated acidity, but far from MIA. There is some extract in the mid-palate but it is a ‘slow grower’ rather than a wine of fireworks – seemingly the apogee of flavour is in the finish as the wine continues to widen. As noted, no fireworks, rather a wine for contemplation – and I did contemplate all of it!
Rebuy – Yes

hospices de nuits 81 corvées pagets – maison clavelier

An auction purchase; a few magnums of this and some Corton too. All the magnums are different shapes, sizes and even (glass) colours – oh, and none of them had capsules.

1981 Hospices de Nuits, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Corvées Pagets
Cuvée Saint Laurent.
The wine is clear and bright – a good start. The nose is also rather good, there’s a little (not too much) mature leaf and a fainter undertow of ripe fruit – the last drops in the glass are that lovely acid red-cherry. Fine balancing acidity and still some tannin – the flavour is a little subdued before a nice and rather tasty lift in the mid-palate. Decent finishing. I wonder if that rather anonymous opening flavour is down to filtration? Whatever, it is clean and very, very drinkable – a good result – this bottle at least ;-)
Rebuy – No Chance

a double potel – collection bellenum plus clouding the waters…

It’s a late (only 4 days!) addition to the Spring 2012 Burgundy Report – but it doesn’t make sense to leave it in the drawer until (the Summer Report in) July/August to share with you: So here are the notes to a simply exquisite set of mature and maturing wines from Nicolas Potel. Read em and weep as they say ;-)

If the launch of these old wines is a thing to cheer the heart, some of the developments surrounding Nicolas’ old label – in the UK at least – are of less cheer. One retailer is now selling 2006 Maison Nicolas Potel wine, which would be fine, except for the fact the Nicolas says he didn’t make the wine that they are selling. To be clear, Nicolas made all the wines up to and including the 2007 vintage before being asked to leave the company wearing his name. It was then, completely clear to consumers, that anything 2008 onwards should be more carefully scrutinised before buying. The arrival of these ‘older’ wines seems to me depressing news, and that’s because it will now cast a shadow over the whole NP back catalogue – the line in the sand for choosing your bottles/vintages will be washed away by any tide of ‘new’ releases.

Of-course it’s all perfectly legal; the current owners run a négoce company and can, just like Nicolas is doing with his collection Bellenum (linked above), buy and sell older wines. What is ‘unfortunate’ is that they cloud the waters in such a way that you would assume the wines were made by Potel – i.e without differentiation – which, according to him, they were not. The Collection Bellenum, whilst wearing a Maison Roche de Bellene label, also has the Bellenum stamp on that label and a back label that explains that these are old wines backed by Potel, but not made by Potel – I think there is a great difference in approach, don’t you?


pousse d’or 1989 pommard jarollières

I just finished writing the visit report / profile for Pousse d’Or, so this seemed rather appropriate, particularly after yesterday’s wine – it almost seems planned!

1989 Pousse d’Or, Pommard 1er Jarollières
Medium, medium-plus colour – certainly there is a bit of age about the colour. The nose is an inviting blend of fresh brown sugar and a hard to pin down note – like a faint cabbage – but better than it sounds. In the mouth this is very round, still with a faint rasp of tannin. There’s a mineral flavour that grows in the mid-palate and eventually fades to something akin to the dark sugar note of the nose, but there’s something else too… Hmm, that cabbage note is now ‘cork’ and, yep, there it is in the finish.
To be honest, it’s on a low level. It’s distracting, but it’s on a level that would be a crime to pour a wine like this away: Drank through gritted teeth as it cycled between delighting and disappointing all evening – still, it seemed better than the 2000 from the night before…

Note: All four of my corked bottles came from the same mixed case from auction – all immaculately presented, but I wonder about the cellar they came from…

prescription glasses…

Prescription glasses – very good!

jean-marc boillot 2000 pommard jarollières

A wine that I bought on release, that has yo-yo’d between drinkable and not very tasty at all. Time to check in again – first time in 6 years.

2000 Jean-Marc Boillot, Pommard 1er Jarollières
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is as good as it has ever been; close to ripe fruit has a coating of musky/creamy-ness – it’s actually quite interesting. The acidity and associated tannin is tart and a little astringent, but if you swallow quickly, it seems quite okay. I probably needn’t add more…
Rebuy – No

2006 gevrey-chambertin – château de marsannay


2006 Château de Marsannay, Gevrey-Chambertin
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose begins with deep but narrow aromas with a little mint-leaf and occasional but very pretty flowers and cream. There seems not too much tightening of flavour yet – there’s still a little rasp of tannin and a reasonable width of flavour too. Good acidity, which helps further expand the flavours in the mid-palate, which also shows a nice floral aspect. A more than adequate wine for the label!
Rebuy – Yes

joseph drouhin 2001 echézeaux


2001 Joseph Drouhin, Echézeaux
Medium colour. The nose offers occasional floral flashes, there is little on show here, perhaps just a little warm brown sugar. Sweetness of fruit and just a faint sour edge to good acidity. There’s a nice core of flavour, still with a faint rasp of tannin and quite some complexity – like a creamy cinnamon flavour but it’s all in the mid-palate and finish. This, grand cru or not, is a wine of subtle complexity rather than intensity and/or concentration. There should be no rush to drink this, but this is hardly even a middle-weight of a wine – that said, it was lovely!
Rebuy – Yes

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