Why Big Red Diary?

september’s burgundy report is online


Of-course the 2017 harvest, observations and some hints to what we might be tasting (and buying) in another 12-15 months are centre-stage.

With vintages ending in a ‘7’ in mind, a look at some ‘executive wines’ from the 1997 vintage – 20 years on. Even in a modest vintage, such things are only borderline ‘ready’ after 20 years.

Lastly a tour of Saint-Véran, it’s beautiful countryside and vineyard-scape – plus of-course one or two (88!) wines tasted.


that’s what 5 hl/ha looks like

Pierre Vincent at Domaine Leflaive.

Tasting 2016s this morning, there was this chance to see what a whole hectare of Montrachet delivered in 2016 – due of-course to the frost of 27 April. Six producers assembled all their grapes from 1 hectare of vines so there was enough to vinify. Here, in the second part of elevage, they are packed into two stainless-steel tanks that total 530 litres – 5 hectolitres per hectare – so half a litre per square metre. From the 2017 vintage, Leflaive alone have almost the same volume of wine, packed into in a single bespoke barrel.

Notes in the October Burgundy Report, but the tanks of Montrachet weren’t being opened – Pierre would have needed six signatures 🙂

weekend photos

Just a few pics to appreciate the weekend in Beaune – nice light and blue-sky on Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning – fading to gray and some rain showers on Sunday evening:

friday night – a double mikulski!

2015 François Mikulski, Meursault 1er Caillerets
A deep and, of course, young colour. The nose is of simmering blueberry – it’s certainly enticing! The palate starts slow and narrow, getting wider and wider, slowly wider. A little fine-grained tannin and flavour leaching from your gums. There is so much more about this wine than the easy, accessible, delicious flavour – beautiful mid-palate structure and definition – but for today the flavour is very much enough…
Rebuy – Yes

2015 François Mikulski, Meursault 1er Poruzots
Wide and fresh nose, faintly toasty, more faintly and classically ginger-spiced. Nice volume on the mouth, just a little structure followed by a good burst of fresh complexity with mixed citrus before the finish. The finish has sweetness and a good weight. A fine drink with lots to enjoy, just a twist more energy would have made it even greater!
Rebuy – Yes

tastevinage v100 – the results

For anyone who follows the tastings – or rather the successful wines – of the Tastevinage, the results of last Friday’s tastings are now available online.

You can find them here.

offer of the day – louis jadot 2016

Out yesterday – I was slow!

The prices are what they are, some are pretty much unchanged, others not. I’d like to think that yields are responsible, rather than the ‘marketability’ of particular cuvées. The Montrachet remains relatively inexpensive – for Montrachet! For what it’s worth, the 1993 Clos des Ursules was delicious today – assuming you have 25 years to wait…


Beaune Clos des Ursules Monopole 1er Cru 2016 75cl 59.00* (55.00) (Swiss Francs)
Pommard 1er Cru Rugiens 2016 75cl 69.50
Corton Grèves Grand Cru 2016 75cl 79.50 (79.00)
Corton Pougets Grand Cru 2016 75cl 79.50 (79.00)
Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru 2016 75cl 85.00
Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2016 75cl 138.00 (128.00)
Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er Cru 2016 75cl 145.00 (138.00)
Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2016 75cl 188.00 (169.00)
Clos Saint Denis Grand Cru 2015 75cl 269.00 (259.00)

Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 1er Cru 2016 75cl 89.00 (88.00)
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016 75cl 139.50 (119.00)
Montrachet Grand Cru 2016 75cl 499.00 (428.00)

*Prices delivered, but without the 8% Swiss purchase tax…

a little mâcon and a little early evening beaune…

In Mâcon for most of the day – only 88 wines to taste – ignoring lunch of-course! Back in Beaune for the the last of the pink-red, post-sunset, light.

a walk around saint-véran today…

The morning was wet, but the afternoon was altogether better. We took in the north and the south of the appellation plus some lovely vantage points between the villages that make up Saint-Véran and the views toward Saint Amour and Juliénas…

weekend wines – week 39 2017

2002 Louis Jadot, Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Petits Monts
Hmm – great aromatic volume here – obviously Vosne-spiced too. Supple concentration in the mouth, still a little tannic texture – good volume too – not pinched by any age or any tightness. Nicely finishing if now showing a more modest width. Tasty, moreish wine – Yum! Jacques Lardière once told me that he thought Petits Monts a ‘second division’ Vosne 1er – regardless – he did a great job here!
Rebuy – Yes

2000 de la Vougeraie, Clos de Vougeot
Medium-plus colour, with certainly some maturity of colour. The nose starts with a deep and earthy oak impression – this could have been reduction but it it was stable – it has the slightest cigarette ash impression – just falling short of too much though. It’s rather a complex and sweet nose for all that. Very nice volume in the mouth without any overt fat – this is structural and alive, lovely waves of acid-led flavour with still just a hint of finishing bitters. There is enough sweetness here to counter the acidity and leave something that is super-tasty – almost completely delicious. I’m torn between admiring and enjoying this wine – it’s a super 2000 and not fully mature. Easy to enjoy…
Rebuy – Yes

how about a nice pouilly-fuissé 1er cru?

After more than 10 years in the preparation, the dossier with all the work to justify certain parcels of Pouilly-Fuissé becoming 1er Crus is completed. This week all the vigneron(ne)s of Pouilly voted that they take the next step. The ‘next step’ is actually a number of public consultations et-cetera where anyone can have a say, but it seems that they are on ‘a good way’ and could have the final ‘yes’ in less than two years, at which time they can back-date vintages from 2017 as 1ers.

About 22% of the appellation is slated to be upgraded to 1er Cru, and for these parcels the rules will change slightly; the allowed yields will decrease from 60 to 56 hectolitres per hectare, and the minimum alcohol requirement will raise from 11 to 11.5%. For good producers the rules will make no difference whatsoever – the average yields being closer to 40 hl/ha and usually over 12° at harvest time.

Good luck to them…

a perfect 100(th) tastevinage day…

A beautiful day in the Côtes today – 26°C – and the vines are just starting to change colour. Better make the most of it, tomorrow is rain. Oh, and it will rain on Sunday too!

Today was the 100th Tastevinage – I’m still mightily impressed by the tasting teams I’ve joined with – nothing sub-par gets through. Talking of sub-par – today I encountered my first p.oxed 2014 white, and to add insult to that injury, a couple of minutes later my first p.oxed 2015! We checked the second bottle of the later – it was the same. The new tasting glass is massively better than the old one – so it should be given the difference in size – though I heard that it was a little fragile – some breakages already this day…

We had 228 tasters (a good Burgundian number) for 480 wines, then lunch in the château. A big thumbs-up for the kitchen staff and servers; 250 for lunch, another 600 for dinner in the evening – then tomorrow they have a wedding party – chapeau!

2014 white burgundy – what to buy…

My 2014 White Burgundy Report – The October 2015 issue of Burgundy-Report

I promise all the producers – and readers too(!) – that my subscription reports are available to all, less than 2 years after subscribers get them. So here you go, the best vintage of whites that I ever tasted from barrel…

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