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               Why Big Red Diary?

The others tasted…

wine testing

No slurping or spitting! These wines were (in the main) really drunk, and mostly at home with food and friends between November 2005 and March 2006…

I’ve added the following icon  try to find this wine...  to each description as a link to winesearcher to help you find wines if your interest has been woken…

Corkwatch: 4 from 73 = 5.5% for ‘corked’

REGIONAL WINES

2004 Camille Giroud, Bourgogne Rouge  try to find this wine...
I still have a few of the 2003 left and it’s easy to under-estimate how good these wines can be. A friend’s ‘house red’ in recent months was the 2003 Bourgogne from Chanson – worthy, tasty, sweet and simple; we followed one with the Giroud 03 and there was an incredible extra dimension of fruit in the mid-palate and finish – as good as many village wines, but what about the 04 version? A wide and fresh powdery fruit nose. The wine is fresh, with some sweetness but walks a tightrope with the acidity that is just a little prickly. The fruit is nice and so are the aromatics, better than the 2003, but I prefer the texture of the 2003.
1999 Nicolas Potel, Maison Dieu Bourgogne Rouge  try to find this wine...
First bottle corked, marginally, but corked. Medium ruby-red colour. The nose starts meaty, eventually giving up red berries – quite super as the bottle is finished. In the mouth it’s somewhat stodgy with acidity a little to the fore and noticeable tannin. It’s still almost good, but perhaps needs a couple more years in the cellar if ‘easy-drinking’ is your target – we’ll see.
2002 Louis Jadot, Bourgogne Blanc  try to find this wine...
A few bottle of this have already been consumed this summer. Sweet, high-toned, creamy, oaky nose. Sweetness on the palate to, with good acidity, a good mid-palate and a faint coconut cream finish – though a bit of an ’empty gap’ when first in the mouth. Great value for ~€8.5
1999 Guy Roulot, Bourgogne Blanc  try to find this wine...
Golden colour. The nose is understated, indeed rather dumb. The palate is glossy and complete – good mouthfeel and acidity – but also overly understated. Less vivacity than when last drunk – perhaps it’s this bottle or perhaps the merchant’s storage is not so good(?)

VILLAGE WINES

2002 Albert Bichot, Nuits St.Georges  try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red. The nose soars with red cherry fruit, nice depth too. Fresh, forward acidity that provides a lift to the finish – nicely mouthwatering. A trace of tartness to the fruit, but chilled, this will be lovely summer drinking. Pure and fresh, only the acidity closely avoids rusticity but it’s got a super nose.

1996 Pierre Bourée Fils, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos de la Justice   try to find this wine...
Medium-pale ruby-red core moving through salmon to clear at the rim – looks delicate. The nose is anything but delicate – like its younger sibling this has a very forward presentation – intense red confiture surrounded by much interest, plenty of stem aspects too. Has a very lithe stance – typical of many from 1996 – super acidity and very silky tannins. Certainly no need to rush your drinking, but this was a lovely bottle today.
2004 Camille Giroud, Aloxe-Corton Le Cras  try to find this wine...
A high-toned nose that gradually becomes deeper, denser and redder. The palate is nicely textured and intense. Again quite racy acidity with a super finish – a real burst. A very good villages.
2004 Camille Giroud, Gevrey-Chambertin  try to find this wine...
High-toned red fruit against deeper mineral notes. Sweet palate with slightly drier tannins – lots of high-toned fruit in the mouth that has a really super creamy component in the long finish. Another wine that opens out in the mid-palate to the finish – more subtly-so than the Aloxe. Excellent villages.
2004 Camille Giroud, Santenay  try to find this wine...
Deeper, redder nose, high floral tones and some minerality. Sweet palate with very good acidity that is forward and just a little racy – but not aggressively so. Should age very nicely on this balance, just a little faint drying tannin on the finish. This is a world away from most 2003 Santenays, but I rather like it.

1999 Jean Grivot, Vosne-Romanée Bossières  try to find this wine...
Deep ruby colour with a browner caste. The nose has a beefy depth and starts heavily, slowly giving up higher, more herby notes and guarded black cherry. The palate is loaded with soft tannin, concentration that builds into the finish and, overall, seems quite balanced. The acidity seems on a lowish level but that’s partly because of the strength of the fruity extract, but lingers well in the finish. What’s missing just now is a measure of elegance – perhaps it will come with age – I won’t open another in the next 5 years.
1998 Jean Grivot, Vosne-Romanée Bossières  try to find this wine...
Medium-plus ruby colour. The nose is sharper and more focused than that of the 99, higher toned with a little cedar. Still drying tannin, but not with the volume of my last tasting about 3 years ago. Fresher, perhaps less concentrated but with good length. This is a better drink today than the 99, the extra density of the latter will probably give it a longer, if not more interesting, life.

2004 Domaine Comte Liger-Belair, Vosne-Romanée La Colombière  try to find this wine...
Sweet, slightly powdery red fruit, almost a trace of blood-orange too. Following on from the 05’s in barrel, the house-style of supple, very fine tannins is again evident – lovely mouthfeel – it’s almost as if they are not there until you get a little dryness in the finish. Sweet, forward and interesting.

2004 Domaine Comte Liger-Belair, Vosne-Romanée Clos du Château  try to find this wine...
The nose really foxed me at the start, if the wine had been served ‘blind-folded’ as opposed to ‘blind’, I would have guessed gewurztraminer – it just had that slightly heavy, spicy feel. Swirling, warming and a little time in the glass convinced me that this was actually Vosne-Romanée as the red fruit started to shine through and the spice fade into the background. Again there is great texture and higher-toned fruit vs the Colombière and a slowly contracting finish. The acidity is just on a slightly higher level, and helps to show an edge more elegance than the first wine.

2002 Méo-Camuzet Frère et Sœurs, Côte de Nuits Villages  try to find this wine...
Medium-plus cherry-red colour. The nose is wide, sweet and high-toned – a good start. The palate is poised, mouth-wateringly long and shows lovely balance. The fruit is predominantly red and wrapped with low-key grainy tannin which can become a little messy if the wine gets too warm, but direct from the cellar this is a winner – assuming you get a discount – it’s not the cheapest of villages!
2002 Moillard-Grivot, Chambolle-Musigny  try to find this wine...
Medium-plus cherry-red. The nose really does have some nice fruit trying to get out, but something high-toned and rather saccharin seems to be getting in the way. Mouth-filling though a little spritzy. There’s plenty of dimension but this is a very raggedy and rustic wine. Not recommended.
2003 Dr Georges Mugneret, Gevrey-Chambertin  try to find this wine...
I was very taken with this wine from 2002 – young vines Ruchottes-Chambertin – this, a little less so. The colour is quite deep with a little purple at the rim. The nose is very 2003 with ripe and deep fruit notes that eventually sharpen and darken – very faint coffee overtones too. The texture is almost good – with reasonable balance and, of-course, concentration. Not the very interesting length and complexity of its brother from 02, but its also a very primary showing. Quite a good 03 but I’d certainly buy the 02 in preference.
2004 J-F Mugnier, Nuits St.Georges Clos de la Fourche   try to find this wine...
Bottled only 10 days earlier. The nose is wide and sweet, with violets and red fruits, time in the glass only adds to the penetrating weight of the aromatics – really lovely. The palate shows sweetness and freshness – super acidity – nicely intense in the mid-palate. It’s long with just a hint of bitterness at the end. This bitterness and a slightly up-and-down presentation is most likely from the recent bottling. I’ll keep an eye-out for this.
2000 Daniel Rion, Vosne-Romanée  try to find this wine...
Medium colour, still trying to hold onto that last trace of cherry red. The nose shows a little rosemary, red-berry fruit and the last traces of spicy oak. From cellar-temp this has some furry tannin and an overall nice texture. Elegant fruit of almost good concentration (way over bourgogne level) and super length – though the length has a little oaky bitterness about it. As the wine warms the nose becomes clearer and wider (very nice) the palate also becomes wider, less bitter in the finish but becomes less obviously fresh – just about the only area it shows up the vintage. Much better than I expected!
2003 Patrice Rion, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur  try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose starts with lots of spicy oak, slowly fading to leave a few diffuse, high-toned notes over a fainter sweet base, eventually a faint coffee note too. The palate is medium concentrated with grainy but ripe tannins. Black, almost scorched fruit and a little mouth watering. Lots of sweetness, medium length. Like their 03 NSG premier, still not a 03 style that I enjoy.
2000 Charles Thomas, Pernand-Vergelesses  try to find this wine...
Medium ruby colour. The nose is high toned but the lower registers are decidedly musty which is a shame as there seems to be a clean core of fruit behind. The acidity stands proud of the rest of the wine – the finish is bitter too – no thanks.
2002 Pierre Bourée, Meursault  try to find this wine...
Where the reds are light in colour, this is already quite deep golden. The nose is fat, slightly creamy and sweet – perhaps with a trace of nutty oxidative aspects – not a fault, that’s just the style. The palate is lush, sweet and creamy, yet held together very well by a good core of acidity. It’s not about minerality, rather opulence, and is a very ‘comforting’ presentation. Whilst I prefer a wine with minerality, I can very much appreciate a glass like this.
2004 Michel Bouzereau, Meursault Les Grand Charrons  try to find this wine...
Golden already. The nose starts a little creamy with silky, honeyed fruit. The palate is okay – nice enough acidity and a slowly fading finish – Good but not great villages.
2004 Corinne et Jean-Pierre Grossot, Chablis
Pale lemon yellow colour. A little sea-shore, fresh-cut greenery and lemon on the nose. Lightweight but with clean, precise flavours and a sneaky late intensity – the finish falls-off quite quickly but this is a good value wine.
2002 Louis Jadot, Meursault  try to find this wine...
Medium yellow. The nose has very understated butterscotch and oak, swirling lifts out a little high-toned pear fruit. The palate is nicely concentrated and very well textured. The acidity is nice, as is the medium and a bit finish. Certainly a large step-up from the Bourgogne, but then so is the price (3x). Good wine, but not brilliant value.
2002 Michel Niellon, Chassagne-Montrachet   try to find this wine...
Pale-medium yellow, some crystallised solids in the bottom of the bottle. A reticent nose with very faint smoky caramel – needs swirling to release citrus-infected fruit. The palate has width, depth and a burst of interest that follows the acidity. Seems a little more austere than about one year ago, but it’s infused with plenty of material
2001 Michel Niellon, Chassagne-Montrachet   try to find this wine...
Medium yellow. The nose majors on depth – slightly oak influenced – and little else despite time in the glass. The wine is concentrated, with a citrussy intensity on the mid-palate, but always remains absolutely linear. The acidity has an edge of harshness but contributes well to the good length. Like the 2002, this was drinking much better last year – that lift of sweetness is now gone – I would let these rest in the cellar for a couple of years now.
2002 Charles Thomas, Savigny lès Beaune Les Planchots  try to find this wine...
Golden colour. The nose is quite oxidative (rather than oxidised) though shows good width. The palate is sweet and simple, quite nutty with mouthwatering acidity. Very good length, but not my style preference.
2002 Laurent Tribut, Chablis  try to find this wine...
Pale-medium lemon yellow colour. Fresh and high toned – a little greengage and with swirling pear too. Equally fresh palate that has very good concentration for the appellation, equally good acidity plus a little ‘why are you drinking me now?’ austerity. Leave it a couple more years to flatten that element of harshness in the mid-palate and you should have a ‘village’ wine that punches above its weight.

1er CRU WINES

2000 Jean-Marc Boillot, Pommard Les Jarollières  try to find this wine...
Medium ruby-red. Ripe, slightly blurred red fruit, a little diffuse but okay. Another 2000 where the acid is a bit of a roller-coaster, but finishes quite well. Good sweetness and concentration with just a little bitterness on the tannin. It might not sound like it, but this is a lot better than the last outing.
2000 Bouchard P&F, Beaune Clos du Roi  try to find this wine...
Medium ruby-red coloured. Medium-sweet notes, hints of strawberry and raspberry and eventually faint smoked bacon. The palate has opened out since its last outing, reasonable intensity and a good length. The acidity is a bit up an down, but this is one 2000 Côte de Beaune that is regaining a little poise.
2002 Bouchard P&F, Beaune du Château  try to find this wine...
Medium-plus colour. The nose is sweet with vanilla accented red and black fruit. The palate is equally sweet and ripe, quite plush though at the moment I find a slightly annoying vanilla flavour through the core of the wine. Just-right acidity and quite long. Provided the ‘ice-cream effect’ fades this will be super.
1998 Bouchard P&F, Beaune Grèves Vigne Enfant Jesus  try to find this wine...
Deep ruby-coloured. High tones over a glossy base, plus some meaty and faintly herbal notes – great at the start, interesting but not great at the end. Depth, freshness and density, plenty of tannin, but only faintly astringent. Very nice fruit and length, needs at least another 3 or 4 years.

2003 Francoise & Denis Clair, Santenay Clos des Mouches  try to find this wine...
Deep colour. The nose obviously 2003 but is broad and interesting, plenty of good fruit and almost an edge of raisin fruit too. Concentrated, and like most 2003’s below 20°C seems quite fresh. The tannin is reasonably refined too. Medium finish but long on value at ~€12 – very strong quality at this level.
2002 Dudet-Naudin, Pernand-Vergelesses Les Fichots  try to find this wine...
Medium-minus ruby-red – quite a nice colour in the glass. The nose starts rubbery and toasty – not very nice – takes well over an hour to lose the rubber, still has some toast, but becomes just a little sweeter. The fruit is reasonably sweet, little tannin but the acidity is forward and tart. Just about drinkable.
2004 Camille Giroud, Pommard Epenots  try to find this wine...
A more effusive nose, only slowly becomes more coherent with red fruit coming through. Lots of vigour and concentration though retains elegance. Great balancing acidity and nice texture to this wine. It’s very long, though without the creamy edge of the villages Gevrey. Very nice.

2004 Camille Giroud, Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St.Jacques  try to find this wine...
The nose starts diffuse and slightly mineral and earthy – almost melancholy. The palate is the direct opposite, sweet, tight, wide and long. There’s just a little grain to the tannin and again good acidity. A slow diminuendo to the length. Very nice.

1999 Louis Jadot, Beaune Les Theurons  try to find this wine...
Medium ruby-red. This is a wine that needs to be cooled – at room temperature the nose and palate are diffuse and disappointing, cooler and it tightens up, becoming (a little) more interesting. The (cool) nose is high-toned with a core of red fruit and plenty of minerally earth. The palate is beautifully balanced with good acidity and almost good length. It is rather linear and despite its relative sophistication (cold) has less ‘oomph’ than most village wines. I’m still a little disappointed.
1999 Louis Jadot, Pommard Rugiens  try to find this wine...
Medium ruby-red. Deep, slightly savoury red nose and top note of violets and just a little undertone of herbs. The palate is fresh and quite elegant, shows good acidity and a nice little burst of concentration. The finish is of the slowly fading variety. Understated rather than impressive.
1999 Louis Jadot, Volnay Clos de la Barre  try to find this wine...
Medium red, still with a cherry caste to the rim. A wild and wide nose that has black edged cherry, sweet compote and a little coffee in the background – really interesting. The palate is still a little linear, though transparent and with good acidity. The length is also almost good. Time in the glass brings this to an ever-improving level, filling out the palate more and more. Leaves a good impression.
1999 Louis Jadot, Vosne-Romanée Suchots  try to find this wine...
Medium colour, still just a trace of cherry-red. Spice on the wide nose, which develops beautifully in the glass – dried red fruits and intense cherry. The palate never-quite lives up to the nose; good texture and an extra edge of concentration on the mid-palate and finish – a finish that slowly fades with a little grain on the tannin showing up. Today, this is half a great wine.
2004 Domaine Comte Liger-Belair, Vosne-Romanée Les Chaumes  try to find this wine...
Only two barrels. Louis-Michel really needs to watch this cuvée because the smaller quantity can ferment all-to quickly and produce an edge of harshness. Be keeping tabs and generally bringing more control into the cuvaison he’s sure that the wine is greatly improved. Deeper colour. A quite lovely nose of red berries and cherries, wide, high-toned and perfumed. Extra density vs the village wines, super acidity and again great texture. The finish widens out beautifully. Real class.

2004 Domaine Comte Liger-Belair, Vosne-Romanée Aux Reignots  try to find this wine...
Deeper colour again. A deeper nose to match, with glossy cherry notes that are much closer to black fruit than any other wine. More structure, this is the only wine in the cave that shows a little grain to the tannin. It’s a bold yet rather tight wine, surprisingly Louis-Michel said he opened this about 6 hours earlier and it’s quite open vs then! Again super length – more linear in character than the Chaumes.
2004 J-F Mugnier, Nuits St.Georges Clos de la Marechale   try to find this wine...
This has seen only one week in bottle. The nose starts wider but less intense than the ‘Fourches’, time in the glass once more sees a real tightening, the aromatics becoming more interesting by the minute. The palate seems much more affected by the bottling, it is adolescent and out of sorts though certainly more chewy and concentrated than its brother. One to return to.
1997 Jean-Marc Pavelot, Savigny-lès-Beaune La Dominode  try to find this wine...
Medium ruby-red. The nose starts a little meaty taking time to become more and more elegant – the last sips have beautiful red fruit – quite haunting. The palate is almost good with ripe fruit of reasonable density, but less than perfect balance – particularly in the acidity department. Coarse and slightly anonymous to start, though lots of air reveals lots of wine. Finishes well, I won’t rush my last 4 bottles…
2002 Nicolas Potel, Aloxe-Corton Les Boutières  try to find this wine...
A deep core of colour, fading a little to the rim. The nose is deep and tasty, nicely pure with sweet redcurrant, slowly revealing an edge of cedar just below the radar. Fresh, reasonably long, though certainly not as plush as 6 months ago. Still tasty and clean.
2003 Daniel Rion, Vosne-Romanée Les Chaumes  try to find this wine...
Deep coloured. A tight nose of high-tones of violets and a meaty depth, nice fruit at its base, eventually a mocha note develops too. This is quite an interesting wine that has some freshness and linear, primary concentrated fruit – spicy tannins are certainly to the fore, and with a little astringency and perhaps missing a little ripeness, but to drink today I would rate this way higher M&P Rion’s NSG Argillières below – they key is freshness.
2003 Michèle & Patrice Rion, Nuits St.Georges Clos des Argillières  try to find this wine...
Deep coloured. The explosive nose is full of deep sweet oak, certainly quite OTT at this young age. The palate is deep & sweet, mixing easily with completely covered fine tannins, lots of sweet oak on the sweet fruit is hard to take. Medium-plus, very sweet length. I have another bottle to prove me wrong in the future, but today there is nothing here that I look for in Burgundy – my wife loved it!

2003 Hervé Sigaut, Chambolle-Musigny Les Chatelots  try to find this wine...
Deep colour with a purple rim. The nose starts heavy and a little soapy (or maybe that’s the glass?), it takes about 15 minute to become an interesting mix of very ripe black skinned fruits and deep cherry. The palate is reasonably well balanced and shows almost good texture. Again the dominant aspect is the ripeness of the fruit. Perhaps just a kick of complexity at the end, medium-plus length. Relatively simple, but hard not to like, a nice wine.
2003 Charles Thomas, Nuits St.Georges Clos Thorey  try to find this wine...
Medium-plus cherry-red. A wide and bright fruity nose supported by an earthy undercurrent. The palate is bold and concentrated with plenty of tannin that ends with a twist of bitterness. Good mid-palate density, and the fruit is not so bad. Almost good – particularly if you have the patience to leave this in the cellar for the next 5+ years.
2003 Domaine des Variolles, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos des Varoilles  try to find this wine...
Deep colour. The starts with a blast of camphor/menthol, slowly turns to cedar and opens out with high-toned red berry fruit and just a hint of volatility – eventually widens – becomes super. The first mouthful leaves little impression, save for a lovely penetrating length and a certain smoothness. Linear fruit, slightly grainy tannin and acidity that is just a trace tart. If the palate develops as well as the nose, this is on the buy list.
2004 Guy Amiot, Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers  try to find this wine...
Medium-pale yellow. The nose is broad and deep, a faint background of cream and bread, but no overt oak. Lovely intense and complex palate of rippling acidity and citrussy fruit – lovely extension of width on the mid-palate before slowly dying into the finish. Super and from such a youngster – this is a definite re-buy!

2004 Jean Boillot, Puligny-Montrachet Clos de la Mouchère  try to find this wine...
Medium lemon-yellow. A nose of baked bread and higher, more diffuse tones. The palate has lovely smooth acidity and a depth of soft but concentrated high-toned fruit. There’s just a quick flash of something that shouts ‘Puligny’ in the mid palate, followed by a long savoury, slightly spicy – perhaps ginger – finish. As usual this is an excellent wine and it’s certainly a ‘buy’, but to drink today I’d put Amoit’s ‘Vergers’ a little ahead based on its fresh citrussy purity and joie-de-vivre.

2004 JM Boillot, Montagny 1er  try to find this wine...
Pale lemon-yellow. A woody nose at first – takes a little air to bring more balance – and a tight core of mainly pear fruit. The palate fleshes out with aeration – just a little weedy to start. The concentration is backend-loaded providing a very nice finish. Though the fresh acidity is only-just ripe enough, the texture is nicely smooth. For only 2/3 the price of Leflaive’s (for instance) Bourgogne, this is a good value wine – less sweet than the cheaper-still Jadot 02 Bourgogne, but more complex.

2002 Bouchard Père, Chablis Fourchaume  try to find this wine...
Medium lemon-yellow. A clean, if rather soft, nose that eventually shows a nice edge of butterscotch. The light palate has nice acidity and an interesting burst of flavours from the mid-palate onwards into the finish. Throughout the ‘life’ of this open bottle, and despite how tasty it was, the wine never lost that slightly ‘dilute’ sense – tasty though.
2003 Bouchard Père, Chablis Vaillons  try to find this wine...
Medium lemon-yellow. The nose is sweet, shows a little exotic fruit and honey. Slightly fat, good concentration and apparently good acidity given the mouthwatering finish, but falls short of racy. Rather lumpy and borderline harsh on first opening – never really improved over two hours – so only ‘okay’.
2003 Francoise & Denis Clair, Saint Aubin Le Murgers des Dents de Chien  try to find this wine...
Corked, and so was the second bottle!
2004 Philippe Colin, Chassagne-Montrachet Les Chaumées  try to find this wine...
Drunk following the Chassagne of Amiot. Medium-yellow. The nose is a little richer and deeper, backed by some sweet oak. The palate also shows a richer edge and is very long. The acidity is just a little more forward and steely in presentation – perhaps helps push the finish. Very tasty, not the perfect balance of the Amiot but all the same, a very good buy.
2002 Corinne et Jean-Pierre Grossot, Chablis Les Vaillons  try to find this wine...
Pale lemon yellow colour, understated nose, plate tainted by cork.
2003 Corinne et Jean-Pierre Grossot, Chablis Les Forneaux  try to find this wine...
Medium lemon yellow colour. Relatively fresh, some width, delicate and interesting. Density, indeed slightly unruly density – also not quite the freshness that I crave. But there’s dimension and power in spades, and the wine is obviously far too young. Needs 3 or 4 years in the cellar, but there’s more material than in many a grand cru and the finish lingers with a creamy edge. If there was just that edge more of acidity I’d be filling my cellar!
2004 Hubert Lamy, Saint Aubin Derriere Chez Edouard  try to find this wine...
Saved! After the last two corked bottles Olivier came to our rescue. This is a young and slightly unformed wine, light coloured, fresh with a more than a passing nod of oak on the nose – but it slowly fades. The palate is quite linear, again showing some oak, but there are plenty of interesting flavours and a lovely balance. I’m not sure it’s all that concentrated, but it’s very tasty and was very-much enjoyed.
2001 Long-Depaquit, Chablis Les Vaillons  try to find this wine...
Golden. The nose gives an impression of wood, plus a green-skinned fruit aspect. The palate is fresh an linear, certainly mineral, but the acidity is a little sour and grainy. Plenty of intensity on the mid-palate and reasonable length too, but today I found this a little austere – not so enjoyable.
2002 Long-Depaquit, Chablis Les Vaillons  try to find this wine...
Medium-pale lemon-yellow. The nose is reasonably wide with a small, tight, core of citrus fruit. In the mouth your first impression is of a lively wine, of (once again) citrus inflected fruit again good acidity and nice minerality. There’s a fine burst of intensity late in the mid-palate that flows into the finish. Today, at least with an extra layer of ripeness, this is far superior to the 2001, though it’s certainly not the ripest of 02’s.
2004 Chateau Maltroye, Chassagne-Montrachet Clos de la Maltroye  try to find this wine...
Medium yellow. A wide nose, some higher tones but not quite the amplitude or depth of some of these Chassagnes. The palate is rich and just a little softer but with real concentration. A real burst of intensity on the mid-palate though it’s just a little ‘un-knit’ at the moment. I think this is due to the oak treatment – there’s just perceptible coconut on the finish. Needs a little more time to come together, but it’s concentrated, has good acidity and should be rather good.

2004 Ramonet, Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot  try to find this wine...
Medium-pale yellow. Deep and creamy, vanilla-laden nose – I never did find any fruit. The palate is a real mix of fruit and mineral attributes, well-balanced acidity and really impressive complexity. This is a lovely wine and quite easy to drink today, though for the short-term I’d put Amiot’s wine ahead, longer-term I think there’s more to this wine.

GRAND CRU WINES

1999 Pierre Bourée Fils, Charmes-Chambertin   try to find this wine...
Medium-pale colour. Very much like the 1996 the nose has tons of complexity – again that core of red fruit shining through – lovely just to sniff. The palate is not dense, yet manages to be packed with flavour and complexity. In some respects it is still a little unruly, and certainly needs a few more years of maturation for ‘charm’ but was anyway great fun.
1999 Guy Castagnier, Clos de la Roche  try to find this wine...
Medium cherry-red colour – perhaps just a trace of purple. The nose is wide with high-toned fruity headroom and more than a hint of sweetened cherry. The palate is fresh and wide – not the highest level of concentration, but depth and lovely fresh fruit with super complexity on the finish. I think with a little lower yields this could have been outstanding – as opposed to interesting and satisfying – first from this case, and no ‘buyer’s regret!’.
2004 Camille Giroud, Corton Rognets  try to find this wine...
High registers of floral notes, middle registers of ripe red cherry plus a deeper, tighter impression – multi-layering at its best. A step-up in texture and density vs the last wines; linear and concentrated. A very pretty and long wine with super acidity. It’s a little tight, yet despite the linear face there’s no harshness. Super.

1998 Antonin Guyon, Corton Clos du Roy   try to find this wine...
Medium-plus ruby-red. When cold, this is wide and fresh with good purity. As it warms there is a touch of herb and the fruit has a more jammy edge. The tannin seems a little more prevalent when cold, linear, expanding into a very long finish. Warmer, it is fatter, the tannin sits better and the acidity is just right. Not a great grand cru, but it’s tasty and almost good value.
2004 Domaine Comte Liger-Belair, La Romanée  try to find this wine...
Spicier, initially less fruit-driven nose than the Aux Reignots, yet each sniff brings new aromas as the nose widens out, but at the centre is a tight core of fruit that never-quite opens out. Velvety tannin that’s on a higher level than the other wines, yet very well balanced. Super acidity and really impressive length – it’s a more linear length than the ‘panoramic’ 05 in barrel – but it’s a rather haunting diminuendo.
2003 Charles Thomas, Clos de Vougeot  try to find this wine...
Medium-plus cherry-red colour. A high-toned rather narrow nose – you have to work to get at the fruit at its base. Concentrated, reasonable texture too. Reasonable acidity too. The wine opens out nicely on the finish. Whilst it might not be a classic Clos de Vougeot, it certainly has the classic austerity. A good wine, but only almost good Clos de Vougeot.
2003 Long-Depaquit, Chablis ‘Moutonne’   try to find this wine...
Medium-pale yellow. The nose has many pluses – lovely high tones and a tight, linear depth – they just seemed a little unconnected at the start, eventually widens and comes together more, much more forward. The palate is quite unformed, intense, almost good acidity and certainly very long, though just tending to bitterness at the end. Quite impressive, and definitely not a 2003 for early drinking.
2002 William Fevre, Chablis Bougros  try to find this wine...
As the 2003’s and 2004’s head ever-higher (price-wise), mopping-up 2001’s and 2002’s is not a bad idea. The colour is still a very pale lemon-yellow. On the nose it’s wide, fresh and nicely high-toned but it is under pinned with lovely fruit. The palate has not-yet tightened up, intensely concentrated, falling more into the mineral category than fruit-driven. Lovely balance though just a trace of harshness on the finish – only a minor blot at 65% the price of the 2004!

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