Why Big Red Diary?

fougeray de beauclair 2000 fixin clos marion

It’s a while since I opened one of these. Eight bottles from the case were drunk during that summer – but here is a reprise – the cork was a nightmare to remove, the corscrew just boring a hole through the centre (tsk!) so I filtered it through a tissue into the decanter.

Overall it seems like the same wine with maybe a hint more structure(?) and no mushrooms – anyway, it was clearly ‘fit for purpose’ 😉

raphet 2000 clos de bèze


I’ve been lucky enough to have this wine in my glass twice already this year, this time with the opportunity to reflect on it a little…

2000 Jean Raphet, Chambertin Clos de Bèze
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is a real babe – nothing masculine here – cushioned, soft with a super-elegant, yet fresh, perfume of red fruits with just a hint of something musky (dusky?) in the depth that envelopes you – forget the vintage, aromatically this is simply fabulous. Elegance might be a reasonable descriptor for the flavours too; softly textured but with depth and complexity. Fair to say that the palate cannot quite scale the same heights as the aromas but this wine simply left me purring.
Rebuy – Yes

camille giroud 2003 bourgogne pinot noir


A couple of bottles of the Gilles Bouton 2010 St.Aubins were consumed during the warm weekend, but here’s a wine that I haven’t had a note on for a while…

2003 Camille Giroud, Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Some of these bottles are on the way down – not due to the wine itself, but due to a bottling machine that forced the corks into the neck, in the process causing the cork to crease slightly and leave a channel for air. Those bottles taste old and should be drunk-up forthwith. This is a different wine – a wine with deep colours and deep aromas – certainly quite ripe but also with flashes of redder fruit and hints of flowers. In the mouth this is smooth and round, some of the flavours recall dried cranberry and raisin fruit – other times you have a much fresher impression – certainly the wine is adequately balanced by its acidity. This is just a lovely drink, easily of a villages (or better) stature; I think I have one more bottle left from the original 12 – two recent bottles were duds – I hope that total doesn’t rise.
Rebuy – Yes

jancis on bellenum…

Jancis really sets the scene and tells you much more than I did, but I expect the regulars here already knew all that stuff or(?) Whatever, good stuff!

louis max 2010 gevrey clos prieur

In the last couple of years I’ve encountered the occasional bottle of Louis Max in blind tastings, and thought them rather good. Time for a closer look?

2010 Louis Max, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos Prieur
Medium, medium-plus colour. Textured dark fruit and higher toned notes. Starts lithe and a little lean – lovely acidity. Then an unexpected extra dimension of flavour, and then another – the flavour really widening and delivering an impressive length. All the action is at the ‘back-end’ here. 20 minutes in the glass and there seems a little more richness and silk to the texture, the high-tones have also coalesced to bring a floral note. A lovely clean and tasty wine, no question…
Rebuy – Yes

late frosts in the côte de beaune

The sneaky, late frost has caused some damage yesterday and today in Santenay and also in Chassagne – there may be others too. About 15-20% of Chassagne Boudriotte (in Morgeot) is damaged, but most other parts seem to have avoided trouble.

The pictures (below) were taken by Caroline l’Estimé in “Les Pierres” which is a lieux-dit within the Chassagne-Montrachet villages appellation.

Yesterday morning frost hit the coldiest part of Chassagne-Montrachet. The vines touched by it are located in the lowest side of the appellation and inside particular climate phenomenon (close to a wall, in humid sector…). The pictured leaves are dead due to the frost, next the branches will dry and fall off. Perhaps some new growth appear, but in terms of harvest there will be none from these vines.
Caroline l’Estimé, 18th May 2012

jj confuron 2009 nuits les fleurières

More traction for DIAM – here with the version 5 – it’s not just whites that are moving in this direction.

2009 JJ Confuron, Nuits St.Georges Les Fleurières
Medium-plus colour, some purple hues. The nose has quite some ripe depth, perhaps going lower with a hint of toastiness – it takes a while, but eventually it’s namesake makes an appearance, violet flowers… Cool and intense – that’s a great start. The tannin is slightly blocky but not really grainy. Mouth-watering flavour grows in the mid-palate before falling away. There’s a hint of 2009 on the nose but this is lithe, clean and not a bit sweet and fat like some from the vintage – it’s a bit of a ‘refresher’ of a wine. Enjoyed.
Rebuy – Yes

2009 chandon de briailles pernand les vergelesses

2009 Chandon de Briailles, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Les Vergelesses
Medium-plus colour. The nose just bursts with sweet raspberry concentrate – hard to see much more. In the mouth the ripe fruit is tamed a little by good acidity and an understated velvet undertow of ripe tannin – lovely fruit conserve flavour in the mid-palate with a darker, almost licorice, twist as it runs into the textured finish – I would say that this is a rather concentrated wine. Day two and there’s a little of the stems on the nose, aromatically it’s a little less interesting but the palate seems rather stable and easily holds my interest – perhaps with a slight elevation of the tannins too.
Rebuy – Yes

And from ‘other sites’, Matt Kramer – drinking out loud

clos des cortons faiveley 1990…

1990 Faiveley, Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley
Medium-plus colour – not exactly a spring chicken but doesn’t look its 20 years old either. Some forest floor notes, impressive depth too, some of the notes hinting at old wood. There’s still an undercurrent of chewy tannin, and very good acidity – all the wine’s texture coming from the tannin. You have the impression the flavour will be only medium length, before a powerful reprise of old vanilla and other barrel notes erupts from the depth – becomes exceptionally long, even showing a little dark red fruit. Impressive, indeed compelling stuff, though arguably not that friendly, I might even say young – a wine for the next 30 years…
Rebuy – Yes

Plus: Benjamin Wallace’s dramatisation of the story (so far) of Rudy….

summer in beaune – part last…

A Beaune promenade before lunch on Sunday. Whatever it looks like, there was a chilly north wind…

summer in beaune – part three – lunch!

Wanted to go here for ages – 3 lovely hours for Saturday lunch!

summer in beaune – part deux…

Again Friday was 30°C. I’m not complaining.

Here’s a few snaps…

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