Why Big Red Diary?

daniel rion 1997 nuits 1er vignes rondes


I’ve followed this wine for over 10 years now, and I must say, unequivocally, this is its finest showing. If you have some, try one now. Wait, no, try two!

1997 Daniel Rion, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Vignes Rondes
Still, comfortably a medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is deep, with a little top-end spice and fresh clean leaves below – there’s a hint of Vosne about this now. Mouth-filling, but smoother than any 1997 has a right to be. Sure the acidity could be a little more precise, but it is quite sufficiently supportive. The tannin is still where it should be, rippling but not dragging. The wine ending on an upward, mouth-watering note – depsite whatever I said about the acidity! This is absolutely delicious. I’m not sure if it has ever been or ever will be better…!
Rebuy – Yes

jc boisset 2006 morey st.denis monts luisants

jc-boisset-2006-morey-saint-denis-monts luisants

2006 JC Boisset, Morey St.Denis 1er Monts Luisants
Not much more than medium colour, but it’s still a relatively young colour. Wide, flighty aromatics with a hint of spice, herb and dark-shaded red fruit – I keep coming back for another sniff – lovely. Less full than last time I opened one of these; it’s becoming a little more muscular and sinewy, very little fat, yet the sweetness of fruit remains an adequate foil to the fine acidity. Lovely growth of flavour in the mid-palate and it clings on really well in the finish – which shows a little raspberry fruit. The texture has a faint hint of astringent ‘drag’ – but faint. I’m enjoying this a lot, and think it may be hard work to save my last two or three bottles. Hard work indeed…
Rebuy – Yes

big red diary 1983…


A kind reader delivers a scan of the 1983 vintage – thanks!
The set (so far) are here.

joseph drouhin’s 1985 gevrey villages…


I needed an antidote to the last two night’s 2004s. Rather something to banish the aromas and flavours of the Bouchard Père – it is a very rare occurence for me to tip wine away, but I really couldn’t face drinking the other half of that bottle. It seems that (today, at least!) I chose wisely!

1985 Joseph Drouhin, Gevrey-Chambertin
Medium amber-red colour. The nose, unlike previous bottles, has no oxidative references, just warm, sweet stewing/roasting fruits – perhaps a little sweet rhubarb compote! Clean, sweet fruit rolls over the tongue aided by understated, yet slowly mouth-watering acidity. There is the last vestige of tannin, but today is no more than a slight drag on the texture of the wine. Medium, but very tasty length. Relatively simple but very tasty and of-course mature as you like. In the end, this turned out to be a wine to drink quickly – after 40 minutes there was the flavour of something oxidative developing in the finish – never really more than an anecdote, but still something to focus on, rather than simply enjoy what was in the glass – but I managed to persevere!
Rebuy – Maybe

bouchard père 2004 volnay cuvée carnot


How disappointed am I(?) I really don’t like the tag of being a Jonah, but here’s a bottling which I’d always thought had avoided the 2004 malaise, yet I must be fallible – it hasn’t.

2004 Bouchard Père et Fils, Volnay 1er Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot
Medium colour. The nose starts absolutely gorgeously – fine red fruit, very fine actually, with a slight musk. Like the Jadot of yesterday, this seemed clean for the first pour, but slowly the musk faded to reveal P2-3. It must be on a higher level than the Ursules, because I can taste it too. Putting that to one side, this wine has a similar freshness and vivacity to that Jadot, so anyone less sensitive than me will find much to enjoy here. For me it’s just about drinkable – but it’s not putting a smile on my face…
Rebuy – No

louis jadot 2004 beaune clos des ursules


Doing my rounds of the cellar, and after much case moving, I came across a couple of 6-packs of 2004s, this one and Bouchard’s Volnay cuvée Carnot. Both seemed clean of pyrazine when I last tasted them (years ago) so it would be interesting to see if that was still the case – and if it was, then the perfect duo to take a view on what 04 had the potential to offer. Let’s start with the Jadot…

2004 Jadot (Héritiers), Beaune 1er Clos des Ursules
A rather beautiful medium colour when it catches the sun. The nose starts understatedly unimpressive but I can’t be sure there’s any pyrazine here. Time in the glass and this opens, becoming very pretty indeed, showing a lovely transparent red fruit and yes pyrazine, but at the most, P1. I thought this was a ‘clean’ wine when tasted in its youth, but at this level its honestly not a negative. Middle-weight, with very understated tannin and quite nice texture. High-toned fruit never displays the pyrazine on the nose. Drinkable, indeed quite tasty wine.
Rebuy – Maybe

Whilst most wines from 04 (that are not taint dominated) have a delivery that reminds me of the generally hard and miserly ’94s, this wine seems more like a good ’92 – and I like good ’92s very much. This is a wine where I would eventually pick out the vintage, but also one I’d be quite happy to drink again

berthaut 2005 fixin arvelets


Probably my last 05 for a while, but a good one – note that the wax is a little brittle, so extract your cork over the sink or the bin!

2005 Vincent et Denis Berthaut, Fixin 1er Les Arvelets
Like most 05s, this is impressively deep coloured. The aroma is deep, relatively dark fruit mixes with faint herbs – eventually there’s a cracking high-toned acid-cherry note. Mouth-filling, with growing intensity – indeed it’s hard to keep it in your mouth – either spit or swallow – I was happy with the latter! There is a strong undertow of well-textured, ripe tannin that underpins the long finishing flavours with a little bitterness – that’s an observation of style, not criticism. Because of this style, this should be regarded as a masculine wine of muscle and concentration, but not brutish; very much in a clichéd Gevrey / northern Nuits style, indeed though, its structure could be mistaken for its Pommard namesake! It is excellent!
Rebuy – Yes

camille-giroud 2005 gevrey en champs


2005 Camille-Giroud, Gevrey-Chambertin En Champs
Medium, medium-plus rather young looking colour. Gorgeous detail of sweet, dark red berries with some rounder depth. Transparent, detailed, beautifully balanced, fine intensity with just a hint of distracting vanilla make-up as you head into the finish – just a beautiful drink. A little less concentrated (though less oak too) when compared to yesterday’s Lignier-Michelot, but just as fabulously drinkable. Is it from Gevrey? I really can’t tell, but it’s certainly from 2005 and it’s certainly a winner.
Rebuy – Yes

lignier-michelot 2005 chambolle vv…


At the outset, I would have been one of the first to underline the need to bury these wines in your cellar, and there was much anecdotal evidence (perhaps a hint of urban myth too) of wines that closed up tight. But I have to say that the 05s that have passed my lips this year, have been nothing short of stellar – clearly not mature drinking, but fabulously delicious drinking…

2005 Lignier-Michelot, Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes
Very deep colour – yet transparent – just! What a nose: a depth of wonderfully creamy dark fruit, with a faintly candied aspect that slowly becomes violet flowers. Fine, very ripe tannin. Beautifully balancing acidity is delivered for showcasing the concentration on offer, perhaps still with a hint of oak flavour in the finish. The finish is medium-plus, but everything else about this wine is better. Completely delicious, right now.
Rebuy – Yes

mugneret-gibourg 2001 vosne-romanée

2001 Georges Mugneret-Gibourg, Vosne-Romanée
Medium, medium-plus colour. A nose of soft, sweet fruit and flowers – a hint of herbs too. Acidity, then the fresh flavour wells up into the mid-palate than very slowly fades into the finish – very nice flavour too. There’s still a reasonable slug of tannic texture too, but this wine is schlank. Thin, wiry, perfectly sculptured – but not an ounce of padding. In its youth, this wine was wonderfully generous, rich and textured – over-achieving villages – today it is very different, like Madonna age 20 and 50, very, very different in shape and style. I loved it, but my wife said ‘tastes like vinegar’ – harsh, but beware…
Rebuy – Yes

biblical rain & time to taste 40 vintages of montrachet?

Don’t you just love those phone calls? – Here.

And, happily, this comes before we get to flowering:

Picture from Caroline l’Estimé in Chassagne this afternoon

bouchard père 2002 volnay cuvée carnot


2002 Bouchard Père et Fils, Volnay 1er Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot
Medium-plus colour. The nose has some savoury notes and dried flowers too – it starts mainly in deeper registers – let’s see if it opens out. After an hour there is a little spirit, but also some oak-spiced red fruit. The texture is still velvety, and the acidity is in good shape too – a higher level of balance than the Potel of a few days ago. Nice high-toned fruit in the mid-palate, though, no mistake, this is still a rather masculine wine, tasty though it is. Still a seriously young wine…
Rebuy – Yes

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