Why Big Red Diary?

random ruminations…

02_03_rrumA quick thank-you to those of you that took the trouble to write in with comments and encouragements, I’ve incorporated many of your suggestions – particularly those on legibility/readability of the text – so again thanks. This time I’ve made a compendium of all the wines tasted in bottle – over 80 – the 30-plus barrel samples stay put in the relevant articles.

Now I’ve mentioned before that the aim of Burgundy Report is not to evangelise, it is to provide useful info to help maximise your enjoyment of wines from the region, but of course, the Côte d’Or is not the only location to produce good wines from chardonnay or pinot noir – though some might try to sweep this notion under the carpet – which is why I’m delighted to have a winemaker from “a different place” providing my ‘Guest-Text’ – and where better to introduce you to the concept of ‘Grand Cru AOC Cow’!

This issue I’m taking a look at the reds of 1997 – the result being that I’m happy to have many of these in my cellar – it’s a vintage with some problems, but already lots of good drinking. It will be very interesting to see how a similar tasting of the whites performs in the next issue – already tried a few – looks quite promising.

Traveling the Côte and chatting to people, it’s obvious that for many, the state of the world economy means that less wine is being sold. There’s a lot of talk about USA vs France and the repercussions over Iraq, but most believe the real cause is ‘credit-card fatigue’. 1997 Tuscany, 1999 Burgundy, 2000 Bordeaux – all apparently vintages of the century – couple that to a very weak dollar and it’s tough to shift as much wine. It’s also fair to say that many countries compete for your credit card today that might not have been on your list 4 or 5 years ago. The ‘star producers’ still have to allocate their wine, but for many others life isn’t so easy. That brings me neatly to the 2002 vintage; I have to say that to-date (and I’ve tasted it in barrel almost every month since December) it seems rather fantastic – the problem is, as the hype builds, there’s every chance people will save the money in their pockets for 2002, so what happens to the very nice wines from 2000 and 2001? 1991 was the forgotten vintage after 1990 – only now are people realising how good it was – maybe the same fate awaits 2000 and 2001 – but I hope not, otherwise some suppliers could go out of business. I buy something every year – why? – well if I keep chasing rainbows, there will be nothing in the cellar! For example; as I write this in 30°C+ of heat, the vines are over 3 weeks ahead of normal schedule; at this rate the harvest will be in August and then this ‘vintage of the century’ will be on the shelves just after the 2002’s – so who needs 2002?

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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