Why Big Red Diary?

landscapes 3…

The last of my landscapes. Maybe a selection of ‘normal’ pics for the next few days…

domaine david clark no more!

The alert:

The confirmation:
And the low-down from David himself here. I’m having lunch with him in less than 2 weeks, but am not planning to buy his domaine 😉

landscapes 2…

Go-on then you clever people – name the vineyard/winery…

lachaux’s lavaux, 2003…

Pascal Lachaux 2003 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Lavaux St.Jacques

I bought a mixed six-pack of Lachaux’s innaugural (I think) négoce offering. Now this is opened, a solitary Griotte-Chambertin remains since I made a gift of the Chambertin (now you know what sort of gift I expect from you 😉 ) Having enjoyed the NZ style in the last weeks, I thought I would dovetail back into burgundy with something quite ripe – but even here, the accent is very different.

2003 Pascal Lachaux, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Lavaux St.Jacques
Deep colour. Deep and dark, slightly stewed fruit – not in a bad way, rather a way that is hinting of a little aromatic development. Time in the glass brings out a lovely violet aromatic. Concentrated, with decent-enough acidity and even a mineral component. The fruit has a hind of cordial ripeness to it, but this character is rather modest next to the dark, charcoal style oak flavour that abuts it, which also seems to correspond to a salty mid-palate impression. In its vintage context, this is nice enough wine – and very immature wine at that. The mid-palate becomes ever-more succulent with air – good wine. Day two, it was a little spicy and pruney – best on day one.
Rebuy – Yes

Did I mention holiday snaps?

NZ is the reason that the panorama function on my camera was invented:

back again…

Doesn’t a month fly by? Though I suppose I’ll be paying for it for a little more than one month to come.

NZ (only south island) was very special, and over the next days I will certainly subject you to some of my holiday snaps, but in the meantime, a couple of new-ish stories that might just keep you going.

  • Serena Sutcliffe visits Burgundy
  • And Laurent Ponsot on real and unreal wine
  • Of-course it’s old news to you, but still relatively new to me that Antonio Galloni has parted with the Wine Advocate. It is still too early to decide how good a critic of Burgundy wines AG is, but let’s see how he gets on with his new ‘vehicle‘. His site seems to position AG as the product, rather than the liquid thing we want to learn about…

And now for a trip into the cellar. Back soon…

glacier mint?

Another rare post from the other side of the world.

Walked this morning on the Fox Glacier. Timing was good, by p.m. Everything was cloudy.

Moving closer to Central Otago tomorrow…

in a stunning place

You may have noticed that it’s a little quiet around here – actually that is hardly likely to improve over the next couple of weeks as we tour around the South Island of New Zealand.

Much as I would love to post some galleries of the magnificent scenery, I am too stupid to think of a way to get the images on my camera onto an iPad and from there onto these pages.

I’m not really here to spend all my time visiting wineries, but every few days, why not? Today just three wineries were visited, all in Marlborough, but between them they account for almost 60,000 tonnes (yes, really!) of grapes each year, 95% of which is white wine, and probably 95% of that Sauvignon Blanc!

Finished the day with fish and chips at the beach and swimming with a seal. Okay, to be truthful, not all of us swam with the seal – the water was too damn cold!

d’angerville’s 2002 volnay clos des ducs


Until 2010, ask many a Volnaysien which has been their best recent vintage, and a majority will not even mention 2005, rather 2002 gets their rosette. Lets see how that’s going…

2002 Marquis d’Angerville, Volnay 1er Clos des Ducs
Deep colour. The nose begins with fine width, though modest depth, yet there is a good floral aromatic – roses rather than violets. Compact, yet intense and concentrated. High-toned fruit and flowers are the main focus of the mid-palate with a slowly developing depth of concentration. I’d describe it as compact rather than tight but there is much complexity here – the acidity is forward but not dominating. Very good length.
Rebuy – Yes

jacques’ ‘almost-words’

A short but brilliant vignette of the equally brilliant Jacques Lardière

armand rousseau 1996 gevrey 1er cazetiers


1996 Armand Rousseau, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Les Cazetiers
The first sniff will enrapture some, but disappoints me; initially I think it’s high-toast oak, it slowly fades though, and fast enough that I assume it must really be reduction – yet the flavour of reduction is missing – a bit of both? – probably, because it never completely fades. Slowly you appreciate some beautiful fruit notes and a slowly growing floral element that also supports the subtler toast. Full in the mouth – but with no extraneous plushness – with an earthy fruit that holds well in the finish, but has a great, higher-toned mid-palate dimension. I would say relatively masculine in profile, energetic, but without any undue emphasis from the acidity. Just a cracking bottle!
Rebuy – Yes

mugnier’s 1999 chambolle-musigny


I wasted quite a lot of this wine in its youth: Actually, I didn’t waste any in its first flush of youth when it was just a consistently gorgeous wine, I wasted bottles between its 3rd and 10th birthdays, when the wine was often sullen and typically without charm. It looks like things are now starting to turn around!

1999 JF Mugnier, Chambolle-Musigny
The colour remains quite deep. Aromatically this has the cushioned, brown sugared (oak!) sweetness of fruit that, for so long, has been missing in action. After half an hour it has tightened and is less pretty – more herbal – so we are still some way from peak drinking. Round in the mouth, the tannin still offers a hint of astringency, but it’s quite smooth for all that. Understated concentration and perfectly balancing acidity. The finishing note is redolent of that initial hit of sweet brown sugar aroma. A wine you should still wait for, but one that is starting to show promise.
Rebuy – Yes

unesco and 2011…

A couple of news stories:

Most important for Burgundy, is the news that it won’t achieve its desired aim to have Unesco World Heritage Staus – not this year anyway. It seems some of the rules were changed and a country could only submit one ‘entry’ per category – that meant that Champagne also missed out. This means that at least one more year of shaking everybody’s hands is required, though France already has 37 ‘things’ with such ‘status’. (More here…)

Will Lyons picks out some of his favourite domaines from the 2011 vintage – though (Remi Rollin excepted) none in the Côte de Beaune – no restraint in his recommendation of the vintage.

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