Why Big Red Diary?
148 notes
Vintage information 1998:

The reds needed testing before buying; about 25% of them - even from good producers - had excessively drying tannins, more tannin than might be expected to assimilate with age. Those wines were not fun to drink young, they are not fun to drink now, and are unlikely to be much better old.
The rest have pure fruit, density and lots of interest - recent bottles have show quite well. The whites weree mixed - some fantastic Chablis has passed my lips, but wines of the Côte d'Or were more variable.

1998 Bouchard Père et Fils, Chevalier-MontrachetNov. 2018
Just a little more colour than the 2008. More vibration of sous bois and spicy white chocolate. Ooh – extra volume, mineral, very energetic but a more composed energy. So wide, slightly saline – ooh – in a great place right now…
1998 Maume, Mazis-ChambertinOct. 2018
Ooh – here’s a forward nose – lots of volume – with plenty of herb in a large expanse of complexity. Cushioned depth to the palate, considerable concentration, still a grain of tannin. Layered, intense, with waves of flavour, faintly bitter and saline. Never a sweet wine, never a comforting wine – but frankly who cares, this is really super, indeed invigorating stuff. ​
1998 Camus, ChambertinJan. 2012
An auction purchase, but the bottles look in perfect condition – twirling capsules too – though I expected wax. Medium-plus colour with just a little amber at the rim. The nose has plenty of depth, understated leafy forest floor and a faint creamy edge to the muscled, dark-red fruit. With time the nose fills out with a hint of mushroom and an even clearer dark-red berry fruit. In the mouth this is full, reasonably intense and with a large-scaled flavour profile in the mid-palate. The length is understated but for all that, very impressive. The tannin is relatively faint but quite fine and still enveloping, perhaps adding to a little bitter-chocolate impression to the fruit in the mid-palate. And as a direct counterpoint? The Eugénie VR Brûlées is smoother, but has less scale and flavour dimension, it may be more elegant, but it seems there’s only so much you can extract from that terroir – despite charging almost 3x the price for it!
1998 Potel Nicolas, Savigny-lès-Beaune Les SerpentièresMay. 2011
The last bottle from a six-pack – and what a great buy they were. Musky red strawberry and a hint of raspberry – aromatically involving – just lovely. The palate has none of the astringency of some from the vintage, more a melted whole of soft texture and sweet-acid balance. Plenty of very fine silt in the bottom of this bottle, but the cloudiness of the last glass did nothing to spoil the flavours and aromas. A winner.
1998 Clair Bruno, Marsannay Les LongeroisFeb. 2011
Medium colour. The aromas plumb a great depth of clean dark fruit and a little forest floor – occasional halves of these are showing VA, but not this full bottle. A narrow entry slowly widens; the tannin is almost all resolved but still delivers a little bitter chocolate in the finish. The acidity is just a hint prominent, but there’s nothing currently to worry about. The fruit has plenty of sweet maturity about it, particularly I like the strong note it holds in the mid-palate. No shame in drinking these now, and to my taste the last bottle about three years ago was better, but like most burgundy there’s no rush!
1998 Guyon Antonin (Hyppolite Thevenot), Corton-CharlemagneDec. 2010
Deep colour. One sniff of the nose and I’m smiling; there are the lanolin aromas of an even older wine, and perhaps the merest suggestion of something oxidativebut it’s an interesting complexity – no more – so no complaints. Good acidity and nice intensity too – actually the flavour is very long too. There isn’t the seemless, smooth-ness of a very good vintage but this is a very nice drink. I don’t recommend the odds of taking a replacement bottle, but I’ll happily accept what this one offers.
1998 Laurent Dominique, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.JacquesOct. 2010
Medium colour – a hint of salmon pink at the rim. There is a little tilled earth and a wealth of warm and eventually sharp red berries. Initially I though a suggestion of cigarette ash too, but it was transient and replaced with violets, more time brings a little dried leaf. The palate is silky-smooth, softly balanced and still betrays a suggestion of the vintage tannin – but only a suggestion. The flavours build in the mid-palate rather in the manner of a decent Lambrays vintage -subtle yet still impressive – behind remains a depth of dark, oak derived flavour but at this stage of maturity I can deal with it, even if I find it slightly distracting. Overall this is a really great Clos St.Jacques – really great! The next bottle in 3-5 years.
1998 Billard Gabriel, Bourgogne Pinot NoirApr. 2010
Cuvée Millianne. Lovely dark aromas of leaves and undergrowth – but clean aromas. Sweet, very good in the mid-palate, still some tannin as a backdrop to the melting flavours – a superb bourgogne!
1998 Audoin Charles, Gevrey-ChambertinApr. 2010
There’s the impression of some reduction amongst the dark aromas. It seems to be there on the palate too, yet there is balance and a very a tasty wine here. Very good.
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