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               Why Big Red Diary?

watching through the window…

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Of-course it can’t always be sunny, otherwise I wouldn’t be here! But like a good (adopted) Swiss, I choose not to venture out when I can’t see the ground under my skis – although I may go for a jog! Will change resort tomorrow, finally home on Sunday. Still, that means time to write a few words…

Have drunk some 2011 Au Pied de Mont Chauve Chassagnes, 2010 Gambal Dents de Chiens and 2009 Mischief & Mayhem Puligny Sous les Puits – all good 😉

Now, of-course, there’s time to read something too. I like Adam BS, but really and truly, there is a level of commoditisation already to be seen, for a small cadre of Burgundy growers, that is far from divergent from Bordeaux, it’s just that the main importers and producers hardly profit from it! ABS may be able to point to less than 15% price increases for nameplate domaines, but you or I won’t get an allocation of those, because we don’t have an annual spend of over GBP 20k with Corney & Barrow – these wines will (of-course!) be available in the grey-market though – for 50-100% more than last year 😉

Back soon…

a different style of clos de la marechale…

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2002 Faiveley, Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos de la Marechale
I’ve been patient for long enough – so today I’ve decided to open one of these. There’s none of that ridiculous shaking needed to loosen the hold of any CO2, because this is when wines were made sensibly – you can simply pop and pour, and then taste wine! The colour’s still medium-plus and the nose has some spice and a sharp note of red fruit coupled with a little herb – it makes me think that this wine could bite me! As it turns out, it’s more of playful love-bite; yes there’s a faintly astringent tannic baseline, but the fruit is cool yet rather seductive. As your mouth waters, you have a fine, if understated, long fruit note buttressed by minerality. Clearly this is still very-much a baby wine, but I like what I’m tasting. Lots…
Rebuy – Yes

burgundy 2012 – already past the peak of interest?

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2012s tasted in Beaune last week…

Are we seeing a peaking of Burgundy consumer interest – despite the mini industry that has become the London En Primeur tasting ‘circuit’…(?)

I heard that there were to be 34 tastings in London this month – a new record – and certainly last week when I was in Burgundy, producers were busy, preparing their samples. Yet despite more and more producers donning a smart jacket or getting their hair done for a few days in the UK’s capital, it seems to me that the general level of ‘chatter’ surrounding this vintage is lower than at any time in the last 10 years.

Next year’s 2013s will be no better in terms of supply and price, the latter probably higher again, and will certainly, on average, be a lower quality vintage than 2012 – except maybe the whites, but that’s something to discuss in 8-12 months time. Pricing over the last couple of years seems to have had a dramatic effect on the market – Grand Cru tasting notes are fewer and farther to be seen, and I look at my own cellar and the wines 1993-2005 seem to be almost 50% Grand Cru – 06-12 could be as low as 10% but I’m pretty sure that I don’t spend less!

The UK, depending on which measure you use, has, for some time been the number 1, or number 2, export market for Burgundy wine – yet it seems that this ‘metric’ maybe becoming more and more limited in its value. Smaller merchants, and those who claim to be ‘in the know’ suggest that covetable wines delivered to the larger UK merchants are more often than not, being shipped to their Hong-Kong offices, so leaving fewer bottles for actual UK customers. Certainly allocations, from a select list of producers, were way down long-before their vineyard yields started to dwindle. Another answer could simply be that those customers who spent the most cash at their merchants, were rewarded with higher allocations – that’s what the (big) merchants will tell you – whatever the truth, the diffusion of the best wines into the UK market is significantly less egalitarian than 10 years ago.

Stratospheric pricing of the top Bordeaux cuvées has hardly put a dent in the number of words written about that region, yet those words are now more likely to appear in magazines like Paris-Match or Vogue than traditional publications – yet, fewer and fewer of the wines actually seem to be opened. Burgundy appears to be heading in the same direction. One positive that comes from this situation is that merchants (and critics!) are having to work much harder to find interesting new names with bottles to sell; they must showcase the Regional and Communal wines where once they would, lazily, talk only about ‘the location of the vines within the Clos de Vougeot‘. In most respects, this is a good thing for the consumer, except, and unfortunately, that the first Burgundy wine that leaves a Syrah- or Cabernet-drinker forever smitten, is very unlikely to be a Bourgogne Pinot Noir.

So how will Burgundy grow their next generation of connoisseurs?

[Edit:] Perhaps it’s telling that Victoria Moore’s description of the vintage is now clased as ‘Luxury‘…

nicolas rossignol’s 2010 beaune clos des mouches…

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Having seen the previously linked, semi-accurate, story about no harvest in the Clos des Mouches the other day, I thought I would open this one in sympathy – or should that be solidarity(?)

2010 Nicolas Rossignol, Beaune 1er Clos des Mouches
The nose starts with toasty bread, faint reduction and some CO2. I give it the Fourrier shake and wait an hour. Medium, medium-plus colour. Now the nose is much higher-toned and there’s red-fruit that’s half-fruit and half flowers – it’s understated but it’s pretty and the reduction and toast is only a memory – slowly it becomes fuller, a little powdery and padded. In the mouth this has some padding and plenty of silk. The fruit seems quite modest at first but there’s an understated but long line of acidity delivering you into the finish and as you follow it, the fruit grows progressively wider, sweeter, more concentrated and more complex and interesting, perhaps even hinting at a whole cluster or two in the mix. Intensity with hardly any fireworks – there’s some mid-palate action – but a wine that doesn’t need to shout. Personally I’d leave this in the cellar for a while, I expect further rewards…
Rebuy – Yes

poster-girl…

I sat with Axelle last week during lunch, but didn’t realise that she was a poster-girl…

Spotted this evening on Facebook, picture by Thomas Nègre:

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the burgundy vintage chart – updated with 2012…

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There, that’s one thing off the to-do list:

My updated Vintage Chart, which of-course now includes 2012 (in parentheses as it is mainly not yet bottled!)

diams everywhere…

No one-track focus here at Burgundy Report – certainly not! How about wood-working(ish)?

The perfect use for a 54mm DIAM 10, extracted from a 2012 Chevalier-Montrachet.
Those birds are just so lucky! I even found a use for the wine too…

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rossignol-trapet’s 2011 savigny bas liards

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Well, I’m certainly not going to ‘trash-talk’ this wine from the perspective of P because I didn’t find any – and that’s the first 2011 in while that seems clean to my nose – yet I remain a little unsatisfied. Could there have a been a little below the radar cork taint? I don’t know, but for now, I will assume that this bottle isn’t representative…

2011 Rossignol-Trapet, Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Bas Liards
A pretty and bright medium, medium-plus colour. What can I tell you about the nose(?) – tough – there doesn’t seem to be one! There’s no oak or reduction (quite common for this domaine) but there is no fruit and hardly anything else either – strange. In the mouth this has a nice round shape and a little padding to the texture – no obvious CO2, and a baseline of soft, sweet-enough red fruit. Okay acidity, short finish and little obvious tannin. Day two (I try to be fair…) and there is a hint of a nose – something with a faint minerality but nothing more. The palate seems to have grown a little velvet tannin and maybe the finish has a very understated minerality. Almost an anti-wine – if it was three years old I would say it was closed!
Rebuy – No idea!

tidbits…

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A couple of interesting news stories on the wires this morning:

1. Drouhin ex-cellar sale
2. Chanson’s Clos des Mouches obliterated – it was the same for Domaine du Pavillon (Bichot), though Drouhin and a couple of others were able to find enough in-tact grapes to make some wine.

Re the appended pic – I really can’t understand why they didn’t contact me first, the organising committee of the St.Vincent would then have known to choose another day – I have my annual ski-race that day, so will have to miss it. Still, it’s not often that you get a bit of Hollywood in St.Aubin! 🙂

in burgundy: 08 jan 14…

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An early-ish start this morning as I had an appointment in the Côte Chalonnaise at 9:00am. All the way from Beaune, Mont Blanc was in silhouette as the sun was rising behind – if I’d had a longer lens with me, my picture would have looked closer and better – next time! In the ‘jargon’ this is a ‘100% crop’ from my image…

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Anyway, visited a couple of Châteaux or three, had a nice lunch in virtually the only place that was open today – still, it was tasty enough and only €21 for the 3 courses. I then headed back to Beaune for a 3:00pm tasting, mooched around Athenaeum and picked up some wines I’d ordered (of-course!).

And wasn’t Beaune rather pretty in the early evening…

an ‘alternative’ top 10 for 2014…

an early start in the côtes…

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Working on tomorrow’s apéro…

Back to Côte d’Or today, and what a beautiful, almost clichéd, landscape – one to warm my heart: By late-morning the sun managed to break through the cloud, bathing the vines and pruning-vineyard-workers in warm sunlight but the remnant of that cloud was a lovely backdrop – it was just so photogenic. A shame then that I only had time for appointments before lunch! Don’t forget, we are in France, everything stops for lunch – well, as it turns out, today (at least) only in theory – almost everything in Beaune is closed. Even Athenaeum is closed until Wednesday!

The rivers and streams are running brown and quickly as there’s been plenty of rain in the last couple of weeks – when it wasn’t minus °C, anyway… There’s a little standing water at the bottom of some slopes, but generally things look fine. By 15:30 we are cloudy again and by 16:00 there are drops of rain – but that’s about the most of it. I caught the last hour of light with a jog through the vines of Beaune and Pommard, then back to the apartment – busy day tomorrow, as you’ve probably noted 😉

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