Why Big Red Diary?

Volnay Clos de la Chapelle, Philippe Remoissenet (2012)

volnay-clos-de-la-chapelleAs far as I can tell, this book is self-published.
You can buy it from Athenaeum in Beaune.

Philippe Remoissenet, together with Canadian, Mark O’Connell, bought the monopole 1er cru Volnay vineyard of Clos de la Chapelle from Louis Boillot in 2011 – it seemed that his children had no wish to continue as wine-producers – did they have prior warning of the 2012 and 2013’s hail? I bought this book during the 2013 harvest, and for tired eyes, its many short chapters, crammed into less than 100 pages, was exactly what I needed before drifting off to sleep each night. I only returned to it this month, finishing the last 1/3rd of the book in double-quick time.

Remoissenet and O’Connell have entrusted the vines (and wine) of Clos de la Chapelle to Maison Champy, whilst Philippe Remoissenet (I don’t know if he related to the family that ran the eponymous Burgundy merchant…) embarked on what seems like an extensive research for the material in this book. Philippe must have written his ‘original’ in French, as Caroline Hudnut is listed as delivering the English translation – there is an occasional clunk, but generally it is well-done – though I’ve not seen a French version!

This work delves into the history not just of this vineyard, but also of Volnay. There is plenty of social history here and just a bit of copy and paste about biodynamic production 😉 Overall it would be a welcome little ‘stocking-filler’ at Christmas time. I’m happy it’s on my bookshelf!

buisson-charles 2011 meursault tessons…


2011 Buisson-Charles, Meursault Les Tessons
Medium-pale colour. Fresh, obviously Meursault aromatics – a little diffuse though. To start with there’s a barely perceptible level of dissolved CO2 but it’s enough to render the wine just a little unfocused and certainly contributes to the diffuse nose. I double-decanted, left it in the fridge, and returned 2 hours later. A big change! The nose and palate are more focused and the texture is definitely smoother – now it’s a much more ‘together’ wine. The acidity isn’t super intense but keeps the wine plenty fresh, and it has a sweet citrus bite to it. Decanting really made the difference between an ‘okay’ wine and a very good wine! Like many, 2011s the cut and intensity of 2010 is absent, but there’s no denying how very, very tasty they are!
Rebuy – Yes

3 weekend reds, all from 2011…


2011 Philippe Livera, Côte de Nuits Villages
Pound for pound, the 2010 of this wine was simply magnificent. This is almost equally deep-coloured, amazing for a 2011. The nose starts with hint of reduction, so I double decanted – 30 minutes later the wine is cleaned of that note, unfortunately a P note is starting to take its place – that’s a big shame, as this wine didn’t show the note from barrel – but there’s plenty of innate density about the nose too, mixing oak and a hint of musk. Width in the mouth and really good, balanced, concentration for this label. The P is sufficient to be a flavour component too. For all that, this wine drank very easily today…
Rebuy – No

2011 Digioia-Royer, Nuits St.Georges Les Charmois
Deeply coloured, yet still paler than the Livera. The higher-toned nose also has hints of tobacco, but never develops any P. There’s plenty of structure but it’s not too heavy, rather it’s more apparent by the texture of the wine – still no astringency though. The sweet red fruit’s sucrosité is a good enough foil today. The mid-palate has good dimension, though with a faint bitterness (oak, probably). For all that non-committal sounding note, this was tasty drinking with upside potential. A wine you can enjoy.
Rebuy – Yes

2011 Ramonet, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos des Boudriotte
After the wine wines from the Côte de Nuits, this is rather pale – only just medium coloured. There are no stems to blame, just the wine-making choices chez Ramonet. The nose is high-toned with a twist of mint and herb – but sweet. Sweet in the mouth too, but still a shade less ripe in character – overall this has a lovely fresh and interesting character. The flavours are quite long and this remains a very enjoyable wine. No P today, either!
Rebuy – Yes

dinner-time surprises…


A trip to Germany this week, brought a wealth of wine riches. The following were tasted blind with dinner and each was unveiled only after writing my notes:

2004 Romanée-Conti, La Tâche
A beautiful floral nose with an obvious whole cluster character. There is good width on the palate and pretty fruit flavours. There seems plenty of acidity in the mid-palate though despite that, not that special energy or dimension, but clearly a very classy wine.
Rebuy – Yes

2004 Romanée-Conti, Romanée St.Vivant
This nose has darker, deeper fruit and is less padded-out with whole cluster character – but there is still some. In the mouth this is lithe and beautifully proportioned – better tonight than the last wine due to more concentration, muscle, dimension and energy. Yum!
Rebuy – Yes

2007 Jadot, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos St.Jacques
Aromatically, this shows pretty, clean, deep red fruit – it is very fine. I really like the width and dimension in the mouth, then comes an extra dimension in the mid-palate – this is excellent and has a cool character that reminds me of Latricières…
Rebuy – Yes

What great ‘off-vintage’ wines! I didn’t spot any ‘vintage character’ even after returning to the glasses armed with vintage info – interesting that the RSV is currently the more impressive of the two DRCs. The Jadot was also brilliant!

syndicat de gevrey-chambertin tasting

14th November…

I have to say, that moving this from Beaune to Gevrey was a great success. More tasters and more wines – actually too many for this taster, I gave up after 100, with two tables of GCs still to go – I needed a shower before dinner, that was my excuse anyway! Really great to see so many producers participating in the dinner in the evening too. Great stuff!

For those with an interest; the Hotel Deux Chevres was a great find, literally 50 metres from the ‘Espace Chambertin’ tasting, with fine views over the Gevrey Clos des Meixvelle. It’s not particularly cheap, unless you factor-in the cost of taxis to and from(?), or losing your driving licence – but you get what you pay for, just lovely rooms. A really fine addition for Gevrey, and a great breakfast too!

françois carillon’s 2011 puligny…


I really don’t know too much about how the two brothers have variously split up what was once, one of the finest addresses in Puligny – It/they didn’t appear in my book for the simple reason that whatever had been newly set-up had no track record at all. But this wine is a very tasty start, hopefully there will be many more good bottles to follow…

2011 François Carillon, Puligny-Montrachet
Nutty, floral – very pretty aromas. In the mouth there’s a little oak as back-drop to lovely, insinuating acidity and pretty, pretty sweet fruit. Short and sweet – nice wine.
Rebuy – Yes

weekend bottles…


Friends over for the weekend, so an extra couple of bottles:
2011 Domaine Masse Père et Fils, Givry 1er Champ Lalot – am ashamed to say that we drink this quickly and easily – it really supports that process 😉 I noted no P, just a wine of balance and ease – pretty enough!

The 2005 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Volnay – my main question here, is – is the nose getting a bit volatile, or is it just a variation on the Volnay flower(?) Whatever, silky, sinuous, concentrated – without it ever taking its coat off and dancing. Über Kompetent wine…

The 1995 Daniel Rion, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Beaux Monts – right from opening, the nose was a lovely depth of spiced plums, the palate need time to out, however. initially a bit solid and uninteresting, about 20 minutes of air was enough to give width and interest – drinking quite well right now!

The Mountadam Red (1997) had a classic Australian essence of fruit nose (it’s a Cab/Merlot blend) but the palate was narrower and a little spirity – perhaps not quite the intensity of Port but a very similar palate sensation. A bottle that really wasn’t as tasty as it smelled…


We are all inevitably prisoners of our history and experience…

…un patrimoine millélaire exceptionnel…

It seems that the new book about the climats of the Côte d’Or is launched…

“Climats du vignoble de Bourgogne, un Patrimoine millélaire exceptionnel”, paru aux éditions Génat

once upon a wine – nicely done!



a little something from the weekend…


It was nice to have the counterpoint of one last glass from the Gérard Mugneret, before diving into the 2004 Pascal Lachaux, Clos St.Denis – this CSD, from the start had borderline P to my taste – sometimes it’s there, sometimes not. This particular bottle was a little reduced and this reduction never blew off – it was on a modest level, but enough to mask any pyrazines. Interestingly for me was the clear extra width and depth and interest that this wine had over the 2010 villages Vosne despite coming from the weakest vintage in a long, long time – it really underlines that it’s hard to go wrong if you buy from good makers!

The 2002 Louis Jadot, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Petits Monts – was its usual sinewy, but silky self. It doesn’t quite have the padding of its youth but it is a wine that has always remained open and ‘giving’. Jacques Lardière once told me that he thought P-M ‘hardly a 1er Cru, or at least a very modest one’ – lucky then that this wine used to be had for a modest price 😉 Still, far from modest drinking – yum!

guy amiot’s 2011 chassagne vv…


2011 Guy Amiot, Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles-Vignes
I can’t put my finger on why, but I’ve always loved this label – sometimes the wine is less interesting – but not today, just! The nose is wide and high-toned yet also understated and quite pretty. Slightly anonymous entry, but the flavour builds through the mid-palate. In the end, this is very nice, still showing a hint of oak in the finish for now.
Rebuy – Yes

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