Why Big Red Diary?
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1959 Moreau Roger, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.JacquesMar. 2012
There was a satisfying release of air around the cork as I began to slide it out – positive pressure behind the cork – impressive for one so young(!) In the glass, at first, there was the smell of coffee and chocolate to offset the usual funk of a newly opened old-timer, slowly it became more about leather and soil. Super-silky, linear and mineral with a very sneaky length indeed – yum! It was at least an hour before I, once more, had the glycerol impression from the lst bottle…
1959 Moreau Roger, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.JacquesOct. 2011
Deeply coloured – still. The nose has a little oxidation – wait 20 minutes and it is only a memory; still hints of pure fruit from a largely understated nose. In the mouth you have the same as the nose – some oxidative flavours that entirely cure themselves with about 25 minutes in the glass. Full, round, good texture and still an underlay of great structure. Plenty of glycerol mouthfeel that gives an opulent impression. Could I guess it was from Gevrey? – no I couldn’t, did it spoil the enjoyment of comparing two wines with fifty years between them? – certainly not!
1985 Dauphin Cave du, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.JacquesOct. 2011
The first task was successful – the cork came out in one piece. I poured a little and the colour was pretty good, and clearly as I swirled there was some viscosity – the glycerol clinging to the side of the glass. The first aroma was of soil but it was very quickly joined by dark molasses – very clean though. In the mouth this wine exemplifies why I see 1985 and 2009 as close cousins – there is depth, good flavour, ample sweetness and in this case a little glycerol-enhanced fat – what more could you want? Well maybe just the merest hint more acidity, but it’s nit-picking really! There’s still a little tannin if you search for it and a brown-sugar dimension to the finishing flavours. Clearly an ‘easy’ wine, but equally one that’s very easy to like and enjoy.
2002 Esmonin Sylvie, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.JacquesJan. 2011
Medium, medium-plus colour. Soft and very complex aromas. A lush impression and the lovely acidity is seemingly a perfect balance for the still young tannins. I’d say this is showing rather well for a ‘middle-years’ wine.
2001 Jadot Louis, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.JacquesNov. 2010
The nose had a slightly burning, alcoholic top-note, below is a diffuse but deep layer of red fruit, augmented by occasional leafy aromas. The palate, whilst silky smooth, only serves to move you along the conveyor to the mid-palate, there waiting for you is a shrill mid-palate that whilst intense is not all that nice. Long but bitter finishing. I remember this being much, much better last time, though admittedly that was 4 years ago. I can only assume that cork must have have been the culprit!
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.
2004 Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.JacquesAug. 2010
The wine is quite darkly (medium-plus) coloured – though far from young in shade, most 02s still look younger. The nose starts in that awkward slightly toasty oak way that Fourriers (to my bemusement) often do – they don’t see that much new wood, particularly the toasted type – I think it is reduction that needs to blow off. Less than 5 minutes in the glass and the oaky character is gone, now we have a deep, quite dark impression and a hint of cream gone lactic – it’s a hint so it’s still nice – a slight suggestion of dry forest leaves before a fruit note builds from the core, the fruit becomes ever-more prettier. In the mouth this has a silken texture and a concentration that builds as you head into the mid-palate. Initially I find the acidity not quite seamless – I’ll wait a little, hoping for either my palate or the wine to come together. The almost absent tannin only starts to reveal itself as a late bitter component in the mineral finish. The balance improves with food but I find the mid-palate flavours a little lumpen – smells great though.
2002 Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.JacquesMay. 2009
Medium ruby-red colour that’s just turning to offer a hint of mahogany at the rim. The nose starts with red fruit but also a dark, reductive undertow that initially makes one (wrongly) think to oak – it takes a little over 90 minutes (without decanting) to disappear. Over time the nose becomes lovely and transparent, just a little powdery and young though. From the start there is sweetness coupled to perfect acidity – it’s relatively narrow at the entry but there’s a tight core of concentration in the mid-palate – this also shows a dark, reductive flavour for as long as the same lasts on the nose. This is about transparency rather than impact and is exactly to the Fourrier ‘template’, if arguably not to the terrior. The finish a good one, if not really remarkable. Very tasty, indeed I would say its balancing of sweetness and acidity make it delicious.
2004 Bourée Pierre Fils, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.JacquesDec. 2008
A rare négoce bottle of Clos St.Jacques. A deep core of already ruby-red colour – quite deeply coloured for a Bourée. The nose is the usual interesting blend of smoky Bourée stems a faint undertow of cedar, earthy Gevrey notes and another faint undertow of mushroom – the last droops in the glass hold a lovely pure redcurrant note. In the mouth there’s good texture; the plentiful tannins are not so astringent and are very well covered. There’s clearly plenty of concentration here, though the acidity shows a little too tart for the first hour, hence, defining the wine and becoming the major aspect of a very long finish. Density and complexity on the mid-palate is very good. This is a very young wine that improved in the glass such that the acidity was much less forward (maybe I was just ‘used’ to it) after an hour or so, but it is also today, slightly compromised by low levels of the 2004 green but there’s is plenty of wine here so my remaining bottles will stay at least 10 years in the cellar – if the green fades into the background it will be an excellent wine.
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