Why Big Red Diary?

week 46…

A few producers in the bag from last week…

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made it…


Multiple massages and heat patches just about did the trick – save for the (should know better) sprint for the line. I was in shape to do 5 minutes faster, but made a conservative start. A super day – and lots of emotion on the start-line as everyone belted out La Marseillaise…

tada! lights, action…

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Christmas has come a little too early for Beaune, but the Christmas lights (which went up, around town, in October) were switched on tonight!

Of-course, today is the first day of the ‘Les Trois Glorieuses’ – the weekend that marks the auction of the Hospices de Beaune:

clos de tart in the mainstream


Okay, I’m afraid it has to be in a yukky ‘luxury’ section of the mainstream news, but mainstream news it is, and that’s a rarity. Given the pricing of the wine, this categorisation as a luxury can hardly be quibbled with. Personally I’d much prefer it to appear in a ‘culture’ section; because here is something quintessentially French and with more than 1000 years of history. So be it, but ‘luxury’ adds a certain intellectual ‘baggage’ which will prevent some people from even wanting to turn that page.

It’s the smallest of domaine thumbnails by Victoria Moore, but certainly given the probable word-count constraints (the terror, not the terroir) of modern writing, this is a very nice job indeed. Merci!

want to buy 2015 hospices?

Time is running out if you do (of-course!)

I have this in my inbox today, and it is, I suppose, an easy (read cheap!) entry into the world of Hospices de Beaune wine – though you won’t get to see your name on the label 😉 Albert Bichot have, for the best part of 15 years (to my personal knowledge) been making great wine, arguably as good as any négoce in Beaune.

If you really must have your own name on the label, but hanker for an Australian to look after the elevage for you, drop me a line, as I may have a useful name for you 😉 just click on my name at the bottom of any page, send me a note, and I’ll put you in contact.

It goes without saying, I’ve no financial involvement of any kind with either the linked info, or any further contacts that I might suggest for you!!!


Half a billion dollars of fake wine are ‘out there somewhere.’ And that’s only Rudy Kurniawan’s contribution to the pot!

Really an important topic for us all…

sporting deadlines

WP_20151109_14_34_41_ProAmazingly (sounds like a well-worn record…) today’s the second consecutive day for shorts and a T-shirt whilst out jogging. The last time was probably in September.

Report deadlines are not the only ones in Beaune just recently, there was also the entry for next Saturday’s Beaune 1/2 marathon last week, the day after which, something ‘popped’ in my hamstring after 85 minutes of a 90 minute run – humph! Yesterday, it was only problematic after 45 minutes of running, requiring to be stretched every 5 minutes to avoid any potential for exploding. I’m currently working on the strategy of lots of stretching, anti-inflammatorys, and that’s about it. Oh and there was some Latricières-Chambertin too – I’m sure that will help, despite being from 2004 😉

Truth be told, the hamstring’s never properly recovered since it popped during a race almost 2 years ago – that’s old age I suppose – I can go ‘forever’ at 5 minutes per km (8 minutes/mile), but wind it down to 4 mins/km and something shouts ‘stop!’ I’d love to run 1h35 on Saturday, but probably won’t finish the race (unlike the Latricières) if I go for that pace. Hmm – who wants to run 1h45 anyway? – I guess I’ll just run faster and see how long it takes to break…

côte dijonnaise…

An addition to the glossary:

#cote-dijonnaise :
“…At the end of the 1600s, there were over 300 vignerons in Dijon, mainly centred in an area called Saint-Philibert (now called Condorcet). When last measured before the onset of phylloxera (late 1800s), there were 1,200 hecares of vines…”

are sommeliers really responsible for global warming?


Weekend bottles: My first thought when I picked up the Jadot was ‘Wow! That’s heavy.’

For my second thought, ‘wow’ had already been replaced by sorrow for the people who have to deliver these wines into retailers and cellars. The bottle of the Bouchard wine is maybe less than half the weight, and certainly of less ‘thick’ glass, I assume, or at least hope, that this is out of their respect for the environment, a wish for modest use of raw materials, or indeed Bouchard’s general wish to keep their CO2 burden of modest proportions. Even Bouchard’s Montrachet is similarly modestly packaged. Jadot, on the other hand are moving in the other direction – more and more of their ‘labels’ are beginning to receive the ‘luxury packaging’ attention.

And that’s the thing; burgundy, as the prices have spiraled, has apparently become a luxury item, so evidently ‘requires’ luxury packaging.

Is the world falling into environmental chaos, simply because marketing departments in Beaune want bottles that weight one kilogram, or more, before there’s actually any wine in said bottle? Why is everyone heading in the direction of these ‘sommelier’ bottles? That’s what everyone here calls them – ‘sommelier bottles’ – wait, it’s not the marketers of Beaune that are sending us into hail, flooding, and damnation by the fire of global climate change – it’s the sommeliers!!! And it seems that it’s their own personal fetish; people at table only get shown the bottles, they don’t get to handle them…

2013 Domaine des Heritiers Louis Jadot, Beaune 1er Clos des Ursules
Once a little bit of warm-up weights was completed and I had a small sheen of sweat, I knew that I was (eventually) ready to try to lift this bottle from its case. A wide, fresh and complex palate of aromas, if, initially, rather tight. Slowly, an elegant and pretty red fruit note starts to show amongst the oak spice. Over the tongue there’s weight and an impression of volume. Wood tannin is all around, coating the flavours, but with only a hint of textural drag. Fine finishing fruit flavour, of really brilliant complexity – super! – once it eventually works its way through the slowly melting wood tannin. Such a baby, today it’s clearly a less than modestly oaked wine, but one with excellent potential. Past precedent shows this wine comes around fabulously – the 2000 has already been a super drink for a few years, and the 1993 is now approaching 7th heaven…
Rebuy – Yes

2013 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils, Meursault 1er Les Genevrières
A wide and faintly ginger-spiced nose, though underneath there’s a discreet note of reduction too. Slowly the nose opens with more and more sweetness. A large, modestly opulent texture but showing good acidity and a ginger-infused mid-palate flavour of utter deliciousness. Very yum!
Rebuy – Yes

the perfect late-summer weekend (in november!)


Well, it almost seems to be getting silly.

It was a couple of degrees cooler today, but still almost nudging 20°C. For virtually the first time since we were harvesting the 2015s, out came my (long) shorts, and the air-con flickered into life in the car. You expect the reality of the season to show when you walk into the shade and the breeze – but none of it. Perfect late-summer weather on the 8th of November!

Today, touring in Meursault, Saint Aubin and Gamay:

‘super saturday’


Of-course, as it’s Saturday, the morning started in a very leisurely way; coffee and croissants – plus, for a change after this weeks misty weather, sun and blue sky! Friday afternoon the weather had turned warm – approaching 18 degrees, but today we topped out at about 22°C – the 5th of November too – it should be 5 or 6° – and wet!

Lunch at the Auberge du Vieux Vigneron in Corpeau – excellent – then a walking tour around Chassagne-Montrachet. There’s still nice colour in the vines, though they’ve lost 90% of their leaves – now it’s the ground-cover and the trees that are offering the colour contrasts.

Returning to Beaune I spotted a man and his horse below Criots Bâtard-Montrachet, only a village lieu-dit called Les Perclos, still on the Chassagne side. He was taking a lot of rests, so during one pause I asked: apparently the weeds/ground cover is very thick. Normally it would be dying off now, but as the summer was so dry and the last weeks relatively damp and warm, the ground cover is growing again. “Hard work for the horse, he’s not used to weather like this in November, in fact I’ve never ploughed like this in November before.

the producers of week 45…

A selection of producers from this weeks visiting schedule. It’s a very hectic time, but fun too…

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