Why Big Red Diary?
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2010 Gambal Alex, Chambolle-Musigny Les CharmesOct. 2018
Brilliant, medium-red. The nose starts with a suggestion of reduction, a hint of something spiced too. Wide, multi-dimensional, excellently vibrant wine – Ooh! – I wasn’t expecting the juiciness and excellence of that after such a modest nose! There’s a touch of oak at the start but it’s soon gone. Not an exciting nose, but the rest is very much exciting – yum!
2009 Ponsot, Chambolle-Musigny Les CharmesNov. 2011
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is quite different to yesterday’s M&P Rion; narrow, yet it plumbs impressive depth; redder with a note of cherry stones – blind, you would be unlikely to pick this as a 2009. In the mouth this has some fat, but there’s also a beautiful line of acidity that runs through the core of the wine. The crystalline fruit seems equally bright and quite fleet of foot too – nothing vaguely ponderous here. Quite long on a fading mineral note. Considering he’s such a late picker I have no idea how Laurent delivers such minerality in a vintage like 2009, but chapeau! Excellent wine that is far from the vintage stereotype.
2009 Rion Michele & Patrice, Chambolle-Musigny Les CharmesNov. 2011
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose shows a heavy musky fruit of impressive depth and quite some layers. Lovely texture that has just a hint of fat followed by a growing intensity of flavour – the intensity is turned-up by having understated but rather good acidity – given three or four years and the shrinking of the fruit’s puppy-fat and this could have just about perfect balance. The last part of the mid-palate, heading into the finish shows a good whack of extract and just a hint of bitterness in the finish, a very good length of finish. Full, frank and yet cuddly today, this has everything to deliver a compelling performance, but I expect that performance is the best part of 15 years away…
2008 Barthod Ghislaine, Chambolle-Musigny Les CharmesSep. 2011
Similar in colour to the villages, but the nose has more depth and dimension – there is an almost jellied quality to the black and red fruit – very lovely – heavier than the villages but not overweight. In the mouth there is likewise more dimension and impact, but there is no fat or padding to distract – such lovely acidity, and tannin that I had no inclination to search for. Nothing in the slightest ‘facile’ about this ‘Charmes; intensity, some minerality and an overall package that captivates. Bravo!
2007 Rion Michele & Patrice, Chambolle-Musigny Les CharmesJun. 2011
Medium young red colour. Very pretty red fruit still has some vanilla padding but it’s now on an altogether manageable level; surprisingly I find the fruit very focused and interesting (given the vintage). Sweet fruit leads you into a round palate – acidity comes rushing through the mid-palate into the finish. Truth be told there’s still a hint too much oak in the mid palate and finish – it’s of a sweet vanilla-coconut complexion. That said, there is a really excellent length of flavour. A wine that’s heading in the right direction. I think it might be a knock-out when it reaches it’s tenth birthday!
2008 Guyot Olivier, Chambolle-Musigny Les CharmesMar. 2011
Darker fruit but this time with a higher-toned floral dimension. This is very pretty indeed with a similar floral element in the flavours to that of the nose. The tannin is fine and the intensity slowly grows. Lovely!
2008 Gambal Alex, Chambolle-Musigny Les CharmesFeb. 2011
Medium-plus colour. From the first pour this is an excellent mix of deep dark blue/black fruit against a mineral background. Hmm, this has a real lithe character, plenty of acidity – though not out of bounds – and no padding whatsoever. There is a whisper of tannin that shows for a second or two at the end of the mid-palate, just before the wine slinks away into the finish. Perhaps slink is not the best adjective as the flavour, understated as it is, lasts very well indead. The fruit is super, if completely linear. This is gives the impression of being ‘slight’ yet at the same time shows plenty of intensity. It is a wine that demands cellar time. The acid-forward character of the vintage is clearly visible here if not overwhelming – at eight to ten years it might be worth checking whether it has filled out at all, but this is a 20+ year wine.
2008 Barthod Ghislaine, Chambolle-Musigny Les CharmesJan. 2011
Aromatically round, but less wide than the 2009. Lovely tongue-enveloping flavour, the tannins is all-but covered, but it’s there all the same. Will be a beauty.
2002 Boisset Jean-Claude, Chambolle-Musigny Les CharmesJan. 2011
From Gregory’s first vintage… Heavily scented, this seems quite mature for the vintage – though not the colour. Full in the mouth, plenty of tannin and good long flavours. Still a baby!
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