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Round-up of wines tasted

wine testing
No slurping or spitting!

Normally this is a compendium of wines that, in the main, are really drunk with food, friends and family, but I would say about two thirds of this issue’s are from tastings, all though between December 2007 and March 2008.

A higher incidence of corked wines with at least 9 bottles – though from 250+.

REGIONAL WINES

2006 Albert Bichot, Bourgogne Pinot Noir Vieilles Vignes try to find this wine.
Ever-candid, my contact at Bichot tells me it is often economically stupid to vinify yourself an entry-level burgundy, but this is the task they set themselves. Medium-plus colour. The nose is soft, dark and a little musky – but with quite polished fruit. Good ripeness and plenty of tannin with a faintly lingering finish. A clean and tasty wine which I expect to be great value.
2006 Bouchard P&F, Bourgogne Rouge Coteaux des Moines try to find this wine.
Bottled at the end of October. Medium, medium-pale colour. There’s a soft but rather tight nose hiding in the glass. Fresh, with some bite to the tannin and fruit just below the surface. A nice mouth-watering finish. This needs food or a couple of years in the cellar.
2005 des Croix, Bourgogne Pinot Noir try to find this wine.
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour. The nose is pungent with creamy, mineral, ripe and soft red fruit – it’s like a grand cru – an okay start then! The palate is not quite so silky smooth as the Morgon, but the concentration is undoubted, neither is the quality of the creamy fruit that pushes, long, long into the finish. The creaminess seems to have an oaky base, so I’d personally let this slumber a while despite its ‘come hither’ demeanour – just like you would any cru. Its modern-styled and with a decent dose of oak, but ignoring the Leroy 2004 Bourgogne (appellation chimera) this could be the best bourgogne I’m ever likely to buy!
2006 Alex Gambal, Bourgogne Pinot Noir Les Deux Papis try to find this wine.
There is some Pommard fruit but this is mainly from Volnay. Medium colour with lovely dried red fruit on the nose – cranberry and redcurrant. Pleasing and nicely expanding in the mouth. Nice clean and fresh with a good finish. Highly recommended bourgogne.
2005 Jayer-Gilles, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits try to find this wine.
Medium, medium-plus colour. A nose that has plenty of oak – dark, slightly toasty and sweet with fainter higher tones. Equally flavour-packed as the previous day’s Lejeune but less fat despite the oak quotient. Good acidity that leaks sweet flavour across the tongue. Plenty of oak but it certainly diddn’t turn me off. This is a very tasty, darkly fruited drink right now.
2005 Léchenaut, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits try to find this wine.
A nice, bright medium-plus colour. The nose shows plenty of spicy, deep-toned oak and eventually higher toned, slightly diffuse red fruit. The palate is less dense than the best 05 bourgognes and certainly less sweet/ripe than the majority, but still with a decent intensity, if lots of oak flavour. Actually pretty good with food, less interesting without. Cheaper, but short of the quality of last week’s Jayer-Gilles.
2005 Lejeune, Bourgogne try to find this wine.
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is a little backward yet at its base there’s sweet red fruit – almost jammy – and some musky-floral notes, the last drops are fine and red though. The palate has good concentration and smooth acidity that leaks darker, ripe fruit flavours into the finish and there’s some well-submerged tannin. In any other vintage this would be a super bourgogne, in 2005 it’s only ‘above average’. I find it’s just missing a little zing and zest, but I’ve had other Lejeune Bourgognes that turn out very well so I would say that despite it being not totally engaging today, this could get into quite a nice place in another 3-5 years. I think the odds are easily in my favour if I put a few in the cellar, if only for their handy 50cl size.
2005 Ponsot, Bourgogne Cuvée Pinson try to find this wine.
Deeply coloured with a twist of purple. Wide, with a high toned and slightly estery nose. The palate is well concentrated and certainly well textured. High-toned, ripe fruit in the mouth with good acidity and good length. There is plenty of wine here, but today I find the high-toned flavour and aroma profile just a little odd (I remember a Dominique Laurent like this), in fact I didn’t want a second glass. Day two was much better – less high-toned and ‘chemical’. I very much enjoyed the last two glasses. A couple of bottles can sleep in the cellar.

Bourgogne Blancs

2006 Albert Bichot, Bourgogne Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes try to find this wine.
In this case, the VV designation means a minimum 20 years, and this 20,000 case cuvée is from grapes that are sourced only in the Côte d’Or. The nose majors on direct, slightly savoury fruit notes. Flavour fills the mouth, backed with good acidity and a fruity, savoury, slightly mineral finish. Nothing facile or ‘fruity, fruity’ – recommended.
2006 Jean-Claude Boisset, Bourgogne Chardonnay try to find this wine.
10% new oak. A very high-toned, slightly floral nose – but focused. The palate is fresh, mineral and easy. Good and not to simple.
2006 Jean-Claude Boisset, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits try to find this wine.
15% new oak but very light in colour. The nose shows that oak, but is also a little richer for it. This is much more flavourful and intense. Very good at this level.
2006 Bouchard P&F, Bourgogne Blanc Coteaux des Moines try to find this wine.
A nicely forward nose with both width and depth. Full of flavour and just a little brioche depth. Stylish and tasty – a super bourgogne.
2006 Alex Gambal, Bourgogne Chardonnay try to find this wine.
Bottled in August. More concentrated on the nose, mainly showing some melon character. This medium bodied wine shows nice acidity and a good burst of concentration in the mid-palate. Only about 10% new oak, but you still get some of the flavour in the finish. Well made Bourgogne.
2006 Alex Gambal, Bourgogne Chardonnay, Cuvée Prestige try to find this wine.
Whilst this is a barrel selection, they usually fin that year-in, year-out it is wine from exactly the same producers that is chosen. There’s a little more oak (20%) and a high proportion of the grapes are sourced from the Hautes Côtes. The nose is not so deep as its sister cuvée but it’s wider and more interesting. More citrus bite, more dimension and an improvement in the finish too – this is quite a big step-up.

VILLAGE WINES

2004 Denis Bachelet, Côte de Nuits Villages try to find this wine.
Medium-plus colour. The nose is pungent with cedary green odours, a significant swirl is required to release a faint sweet red note. Overnighting makes little difference to the aroma profile. The palate is supple, well textured and has a ripe complexion, but the cedar is very forward here too. Excellent for CdNV length, slightly creamy – but too green, even on day two.
2005 Denis Bachelet, Côte de Nuits Villages try to find this wine.
Maybe a shade paler than the 2004, but there is still quite deeply coloured core. The nose is wide, with high-toned black berry-notes and a softer underbelly that hints at, but never really shows its cream. Mouth-filling, with almost covered, velvet tannin. Lots of primary fruit extract and a good expansion in the mid-palate. This is seriously lovely – with emphasis on the serious. I’ll have to check the price – and availability.
2004 Ghislaine Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny try to find this wine.
Medium colour. The nose is dominated by that cedar-green note, it does slowly recede over 2 hours, revealing more of the ripe red strawberry fruit below. In the mouth it’s ripe and sweet, full of red fruits, a nice texture and a good burst of concentration on the mid-palate – but it’s also here that you can taste the green element. It’s soft, sweet and nicely concentrated, but with this level of green I can’t recommend it.
2006 Jean-Claude Boisset, Savigny-lès-Beaune try to find this wine.
Bottled in December – ten barrels. An intense, very focused nose. Lithe, tannic and with very good intensity for a villages. I think this will be super.
2006 Jean-Claude Boisset, Chambolle-Musigny try to find this wine.
A blend of 4 plots which will account for 3,000 bottles. An understaedly fragrent nose. In the mouth it’s a little rounder and has similar concentration to the Morey, but it’s much less complex. Lovely.
2006 Jean-Claude Boisset, Chambolle-Musigny Les Chardannes try to find this wine.
This a villages lieu-dit that I’ve never seen explicitly on a label before. The vineyard is lower down the slope from Bonnes-Mares, and touches on the villages portion of Les Beaux Bruns. The nose is quite ‘big’, wide and interesting. The well-textured palate has a sneaky width and length. Clearly a structural step-up from the last wine with plenty more tannin – but it’s well-enough packaged. This is very nice.
2006 Jean-Claude Boisset, Pommard Les Vaumuriens try to find this wine.
Fine depth on the nose and it’s just a little wilder than than the previous Chambolle. Full-bodied and tannic. Does exactly what it says on the label – sturdy, burly Pommard – but no hard edges. Very good.
2006 Bouchard P&F, Savigny-lès-Beaune try to find this wine.
50% is from ‘domaine’ fruit, the rest from long-term contracts. little deeper nose with some aspects of dark oak. A little more fruit concentration and plenty of structure. Another wine that needs cellar time for a softer stance.
2005 Cornu, Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Saucours try to find this wine.
Medium, medium-pale cherry-red, hints of purple. The nose has a wide red-fruited conserve impression. Entry in the mouth is narrow, swiftly widening into the mid-palate where the acidity comes through late coupled to a extra creamy vanilla dimension. This a beautifully detailed, light-bodied with all-but absent tannin, and it’s a very fine villages wine. It’s delicious right now but with the balance to gracefully age.
1998 Jean Chauvenet, Nuits St.Georges try to find this wine.
A relatively narrow and slightly volatile nose – some, though marginal, improvement in the glass. Plenty of minerality and well-managed tannins in the mouth. After the last wines this was found significantly wanting, but even in isolation I think there is a lack of personality here.
2004 Philippe Chavy, Puligny-Montrachet Rue Rousseautry to find this wine.
Medium-plus yellow. High-toned green and yellow fruit and, for the first 15 minutes some oak. High-toned ripe fruit on the palate, slightly estery. Very bright in the mid-palate and quite wide too before fading into the finish. This has a rather full and round fruit profile, which is not my favourite style – just seems to lack for elegance. Good wine if you like the style, but doesn’t say ‘Puligny’ to me though.
2001 Coche-Dury, Auxey-Duresses try to find this wine.
Medium-pale colour with a hint of amber at the rim. The nose is soft, with a suggestion of undergrowth and pretty violets. The palate is mineral yet soft, not so deep but a fine width and a savoury finish. An altogether lovely aperitif if you can get a good price.
2006 Domaine du Clos Frantin, Gevrey-Chambertin Les Murots try to find this wine.
Medium-plus colour without the purple of the others. Some faint reduction slightly masks darker fruit. Wide on the palate with plenty of tannin – faintly reduced flavours here too. Nicely lingering flavour.
2006 Domaine du Clos Frantin, Vosne-Romanée try to find this wine.
Medium-plus colour. The nose is wide and typical with good fresh fruit. Some complexity and balanced tannins (that are much more sophisticated than the last wines) compliment good fruit. Always a dependable cuvée here.
2006 Alex Gambal, Chambolle-Musigny try to find this wine.
Bottled in August. Red fruits dominate a wide and quite fine nose. There is sweetness, slightly forward acidity and a good and very persistent flavour that’s finally bounded by a faint edge of tannin. A nice wine that shows none of its 25% new oak.
2006 Alex Gambal, Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Saucours try to find this wine.
Very red aromatics with maybe a hint reduction at the base. There is a good mix of bright flavours blended with well managed tannin. Very nice wine.
2006 Alex Gambal, Vosne-Romanée try to find this wine.
The nose is a little tight, but it’s wide and shows the spice. More depth and dimension versus the Savigny. It’s not stunningly long, but it’s very tasty and ‘correct’.
2006 Comtes Lafon, Volnay try to find this wine.
The only 2006 that’s currently in bottle. Medium colour. The nose is subtle and floral. Round in the mouth with well-covered tannin and shows a nice burst on the mid-palate.
2005 Comtes Lafon, Volnay try to find this wine.
A deeper medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is also deeper, showing more oak and a hint of reduction. Lovely coverage of the tannins and plenty of oak on the palate too, but the finish is pure and fruit-driven. Good wine.
2004 Georges-Mugneret, Gevrey-Chambertin try to find this wine.
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose starts with a waft of dark oak that is slowly replaced by cedar. It’s a short peak of green that slowly, but never completely subsides, filling out with soft, ripe and creamy fruits with fainter brûlée. The palate is well-textured, ripe and sweet. Initially the acidity is a little prickly – carbon dioxide probably as it fades and smooths. The finish is a very good one, again edged with cream. The green element has faded to the extent that it is no longer part of the flavour profile. I’m more confident now for the future – perhaps the next in 3 or 4 years.
2005 Georges-Mugneret, Gevrey-Chambertin try to find this wine.
Deeper colour than the 2004. The nose more reticent but is deeper and with darker black-shaded fruits against a faintly sweet spicy gingerbread background. Starts narrow but really widens on the palate with inky, palate staining concentration. It’s rather mineral but very impressive – the structure is completely buried. An absolute home-run for this wine in 2005 – and it will need at least 10 years in the cellar – did I leave it too late for more bottles?
2006 Domaine du Pavillon, Pommard, Clos des Ursulines try to find this wine.
The nose is a little reticent, just deep understated fruit. In the mouth, smooth fruit amply covers the structure, but as the fruit slowly fades the structure slowly becomes more visible. Interesting wine and worth putting to one side to round out.
2006 Nicolas Potel, Volnay Vieilles-Vignes try to find this wine.
The Potel signature wine is, in 2006, a compendium of around 12 separately vinified parcels whose vines average out at 60+ years old. The nose is wide with a nice complexity of dried berries; cranberry, redcurrant and black cherries – very nice. The palate has good intensity and a background of ripe tannin. The finish is a good one. – recommended as always.
2006 Nicolas Potel, Côte de Nuits Villages try to find this wine.
The nose is a mix of bright red notes and some darker reductive elements. Silky, the tannin is less obvious than on the Volnay VV. Good concentration, ripe fruit and a nice finish. Super for the appellation – I expect this should be very good value.
2006 Nicolas Potel, Gevrey-Chambertin try to find this wine.
Some lovely dark red fruits on the nose. The palate is wide and interesting and packed with very fine tannin. Thi is quite long and a very good villages Gevrey.
2006 Nicolas Potel, Vosne-Romanée try to find this wine.
Despite the nose starting a little more diffuse than the Gevrey – faint spice and a trace of coffee – I love it when you sniff a wine and can instantly say ‘Vosne’, and here you can. The palate is at the same time understated, but also quite forward – still well controlled though. Ripe tannins and a tight but lovely length.
2006 Nicolas Potel, Monthelie Champs Fûllots try to find this wine.
From the border with Volnay. Diffuse top notes over a core of bright red fruit – slowly tightening in the glass and becoming more focused if less forward. Ripe with plenty of concentration and energy. Faintly drying tannin and medium length. Unpretentious and very tasty.
2006 Nicolas Potel, Nuits St.Georges try to find this wine.
Nicely focused red and black fruit with a hint of coffee. Vibrant, with a good depth of flavour. The tannin is just a little finer than the Pommard and there’s a decent length too.
2006 Nicolas Potel, Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes try to find this wine.
A fine but very undestated, indeed tight nose – just a faint undercurrent of dried red fruits. Softer, with much more sophisticated tannin than the Nuits. There’s a lovely flavour profile in the mid-palate. This wine shows plenty of potential.
2005 Remoissenet, Gevrey-Chambertin try to find this wine.
(Half-bottle) Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose needs 5 minutes in the glass, but then it sparkles with lovely red berry fruit, though after an hour it’s closed down a lot, leaving only sullen darker elements and faint chocolate. Very smooth texture, decent enough acidity, lovely breadth of fruit across the tongue and just an added dash of creamy oak flavour on the finish. The tannins are currently buried; this is very sophisticated for a villages Gevrey that I might wish had an extra edge of acidity, but I’m being really picky!
2005 Remoissenet, Vosne-Romanée try to find this wine.
From bought grapes. Deeper in colour than yesterday’s Beaune. The nose starts a little diffuse and coarse – seems affected by CO2 – 10 minutes brings cohesion, deep spicy fruit and a trace of smoky coffee – actually it keeps getting better and better. Very nice. The palate starts very grainy – dissolved gas for sure. With 30 minutes of air you get much friendlier texture, slightly forward acidity but an impressive width as the flavour flows into a good finish. Versus the Beaune you miss a little tension and gras – this is also more expensive; a) your paying more for the name and b) it’s more expensive than the same bottling from e.g. Bouchard Père. It’s good and I enjoyed it, but it doesn’t show the same level of value.
2005 Tollot-Beaut, Chorey-lès-Beaune try to find this wine.
Quite deeply coloured. The nose is deep, broad and significantly oaked – but it’s rather impressive and fun too relative to the price and appellation. Directly after the Voillot Rugiens there is similar density but nothing close to the clarity, focus or intensity – but then we’re at 40% of the sticker price. Fun and tasty, also very good value – just don’t line it up with anything too flashy.
2006 Joseph Voillot, Volnay try to find this wine.
Medium colour – in bottle for 1 month and the colour has shrunk apologises Jean-Pierre Charlot! A lovely red-fruit nose that is delicate and focused. High-toned fruit in the mouth and plenty of acidity. Long-flowing finish is very nice. Simple, well-made and with a super nose.

Villages Whites

2006 Albert Bichot, St.Aubin try to find this wine.
A savoury width on the nose. The palate is wide and slightly bubbly. This will be a very good food match with its good balance and savoury aspect. Despite the savoury character, there’s no obvious oak.
2006 Jean-Claude Boisset, Hautes Côtes de Nuits Villages try to find this wine.
From 40 year-old vines in Comblanchien, raised in 20% new oak. The nose is just a little reticent and diffuse. In the mouth it’s a narrow entry which slowly opens and provides lots of late arriving intensity – I like the personality here.
2006 Jean-Claude Boisset, Marsannay Blanc try to find this wine.
From 50 year-old vines in the south of the appellation, raised in 20% new oak. The nose is wide and high-toned with an underscore of pineapple. Wopw – explodes in the mouth! It’s not amazingly long, but it’s very attractive and shows excellent value.
2006 Jean-Claude Boisset, Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanc try to find this wine.
Four barrels from 2 parcels mainly just under Les Vergelesses. Rich and concentrated fruit on the nose. In the mouth it’s nicely concentrated, showing plenty of forward fruit and a lingering finish.
2006 Jean-Claude Boisset, Meursault Les Limozin try to find this wine.
From under Les Genevrières. The nose is reasonably precise, though not quite the focus of the St.Aubin but is quite fine. Lovely, balanced and fresh. Concentrated with a lingering finish.
2006 Jean-Claude Boisset, Puligny-Montrachet try to find this wine.
The same amount of new oak, but from a different cooper – so more noticeable – but there’s plenty of depth below. A lovely mineral aspect couples to perfect acidity. It’s not fantastically long, but it’s very, very tasty.
2006 Bouchard P&F, Meursault Les Clous try to find this wine.
From a cool parcel the domaine owns just above the premier crus. Light in colour. High toned with not so much going on below. The palate, however, is packed with deep fruit that lingers very well into the finish. Nice wine.
2004 Philippe Chavy, Puligny-Montrachet Rue Rousseautry to find this wine.
Medium-plus yellow. High-toned green and yellow fruit and, for the first 15 minutes some oak. High-toned ripe fruit on the palate, slightly estery. Very bright in the mid-palate and quite wide too before fading into the finish. This has a rather full and round fruit profile, which is not my favourite style – just seems to lack for elegance. Good wine if you like the style, but doesn’t say ‘Puligny’ to me though.
2005 Robert-Denogent, Mâcon-Fuissé Les Taches try to find this wine.
Very impressed by the length here – this is very nice.
2005 Robert-Denogent, Mâcon-Solutré Clos des Bertillonnes try to find this wine.
Slightly more tropical nose – gives a similar impression on the palate too. It’s soft, but also intense and with super acidity.
2005 Robert-Denogent, Pouilly-Fuissé La Croix try to find this wine.
Less tropical – starts much more mineral and then widens out into a wide vista of ripe fruit.
2005 Robert-Denogent, Pouilly-Fuissé Les Reisses try to find this wine.
This seems very concentrated and intense. I like this very much and there’s a super length.
2005 Robert-Denogent, Pouilly-Fuissé ‘Claude Denogent’ try to find this wine.
There’s just a hint of cream on the nose. In the mouth it’s very impressive with a creamy width and an expressive length.
2005 Robert-Denogent, Pouilly-Fuissé Les Carrons try to find this wine.
On the nose this also has the cream, but there’s an extra dimension too – lovely. Quite big in the mouth, though the ‘hit’ of concentration comes quite late. Before that ‘hit’ I might have wanted a little more freshness, but the mouthwatering finish knocked my socks off – very, very good.
2006 Alex Gambal, Fixin Blanc try to find this wine.
The team continue to offer this rare bottling. A forward nose that mixes melon and pineapple. Good, quite forward acidity with a similar density to Bourgogne Prestige but there is more dimension and a slightly longer finish. 30-40% new oak was here and I think it needs to integrate a little more, but the base material is nice and fresh.
2006 Alex Gambal, Meursault Clos du Cromin try to find this wine.
14.7° natural – and you wouldn’t guess if I didn’t tell you! A deep, dense nose with a tight core of fruit at the centre. This is concentrated and savoury with plenty of mid-palate dimension. The finish gently lingers and there’s no impression fo ‘heat’.
2006 Alex Gambal, Chassagne-Montrachet try to find this wine.
Also 14° natural. The nose is bright and forward with a faintly estery background. Ripe, nice texture but backed by very good acidity that helps to keep the finish lingering. 25-30% new oak and a good buy.
2006 Alex Gambal, Puligny-Montrachet try to find this wine.
Bright and fresh – again with estery hints, eventually showing some caramel too. Nicely presented in the mouth, again with very good acidity. This time there’s a savoury length.
2007 Domaine Long-Depaquit, Chablis try to find this wine.
Bottled the week before tasting. A wide and fresh nose with subtle sherbet. Good flavour (a gentle press and low crop) tasty, nothing artificial about this entry-level wine – should be a great buy.
2006 Domaine du Pavillon, Meursault try to find this wine.
From 8 separate, owned parcels, only grapes from the west side of Meursault. Wide on the nose with decent fruit. Penetrates the palate with nice concentration and super intensity for a villages. A nice finish too.
2006 Nicolas Potel, Meursault Vieilles Vignes try to find this wine.
A bright nose that mixes forward and clean fruit with toasty brioche and faint nuts. Mouthwatering with quite some savoury extract on the mid-palate. Good acidity but today just a little un-knit – needs a little longer in bottle.
2006 de Villaine, Bouzeron (Blanc) try to find this wine.
High-toned fruit on the nose. Lovely acidity that carries fresh, sweet fruit into a medium finish. A very pretty and understated wine. Lovely.

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2 responses to “Round-up of wines tasted”

  1. Chris Zoog

    I would love to speak to someone about particular wineries to visit during a 2 day visit to Burgundy? Would someone please contact me via email. Thank you.

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