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Roundup of Wines Tasted

wine testing
No slurping or spitting!

This is a compendium of wines that, in the main, were really drunk with food, friends and family between August and November 2007. There main exception in these pages are about 60 2005’s which were tasted at a large gathering in Zürich in November.

Only the bottled, consumer-ready wines – no barrel samples are included.

REGIONAL WINES

2005 Barthod, Bourgogne Rouge try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red. Slightly volatile and high-toned, but these notes mainly disappear with swirling to leave a deeper, cream-edged base – it’s then quite impressive. Fresh in the mouth, dense and slightly furry with very good fruit that follows through into the finish. Very impressive – average 2004 villages quality here – but I’d still mainly drink over the next 2-3 years.
2005 Gros Frère et Soeur, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits try to find this wine...
Deep oaky toast on the nose – it’s not so bad though. Sweet and interesting in the mouth. Okay if you like the style.
2005 Guyon, Bourgogne Pinot Noir try to find this wine...
From vines near Vosne-Romanée. An interesting dark nose. Soft in the mouth with excellent dark fruit and reasonable length. Excellent bourgogne.
2005 Thierry Mortet, Bourgogne Rouge try to find this wine...
Medium-pale colour. A sweet and coffee-inflected nose. Ripe and sweet, medium concentration – only the tannin is a little forward, but leave it in the cellar for a year and this should be fine.
2005 Perrot-Minot, Bourgogne Rouge try to find this wine...
A soft, sweet and cultured nose. Very well textured with reasonable concentration. Well above averag Bourgogne – even in 2005.
1999 Nicolas Potel, Bourgogne Maison Dieutry to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus ruby-red colour. The nose is deep, with dark oak coating more distant baked red cherry, topped by higher-toned alcoholic notes. Initially good acidity starts to turn a little bright in the mid-palate and even faintly bitter as it runs into the finish – but I’m being picky here. To focus purely on the acidity ignores reasonably well grained tannin and ripe, oak coated fruit. This remains an above average and quite young bourgogne that is pretty well balanced and still needs a couple more years in the cellar – I think it will always retain its oaky base, but it’s not drying.

Bourgogne Blancs

2005 Pierre Morey, Bourgogne Blanc try to find this wine...
A trace of sulfur dioxide on the nose, but in the mouth this is quite full-bodied and shows a well-judged balancing acidity. I like this very much
2005 Leflaive, Bourgogne Blanc try to find this wine...
A wide if slightly diffuse nose. Plenty of power on the palate and a reasonable length. I think this is getting expensive for the quality.

VILLAGE WINES

2005 Ghislaine Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red. The nose shows a transient deep and toasty oak nose – then it’s gone. At 20° the nose is diffuse and flabby but at 17° there is some tightening, black cherry and just an edge of reduction. The palate starts just a little rough, but I think this is just a little dissolved carbon dioxide as there is quite some improvement, eventually it’s lovely. Following the Voillot, this is more masculine with darker shaded fruit and perhaps more density, but certainly missing a little of the magic complexity of that wine. Lots of dimension and a very impressive finish. It needs a little time in the glass, but this is a top-class villages.
2005 Vincent et Denis Berthaut, Fixin Le Crais try to find this wine...
A very tidy and smooth red nose. Tannin is the first thought though it’s soft and not overly pronounced, it’s also coupled to red fruit showing an additional creamy depth. Well balanced acidity and a reasonable length. High quality villages Fixin.
2003 Vincent et Denis Berthaut, Fixin Le Crais try to find this wine...
Only 20 hl/ha in this vintage – normally it’s 40. Ripe red/orange fruit on the nose. The palate is soft, ripe and enveloping – just slightly decadent. For my own taste it could do with a little more acidity, but the balance is not so bad, just a hint of anise to go with the fruit. If you like the vintage you’ll like this wine.
2000 Vincent et Denis Berthaut, Fixin Le Clos try to find this wine...
A little paler. Ripe, baked fruit with some pot-pourri spice background. A sweet palate that avoids being cloying – plenty of red confiture. Soft, with good apparent concentration. Not quite so decadent as the 2003 ‘Crais’ but still with a twist of hedonism! I’d say that this would still benefit from 1-3 years more in the cellar.
2005 Vincent et Denis Berthaut, Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos des Chézeaux try to find this wine...
Delicate, fragrant and focused, it’s a lovely nose though not what I would guess to be Gevrey. Some fat, this nicely textured wine again shows an additional creamy edge to the fruit. The tannin is less transparent than the previous ‘Arvelets’, but it’s fine and ripe. Finishes long and fresh. Excellent villages.
2003 Vincent et Denis Berthaut, Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos des Chézeaux try to find this wine...
Medium-plus ruby-red, still with a cherry-hued rim. The nose is understated, deep and just a little tight. The palate is concentrated, ripe, sweet and by a hairs-breadth avoids being ‘porty’. The flavour clings to the inside of your mouth with understated, faintly bitter but relatively fine tannins and little dried fruits as a background – it hangs around quite long. Sumptuous if not elegant. A pleasant enough 2003.
2002 Vincent et Denis Berthaut, Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos des Chézeaux try to find this wine...
Medium cherry-red colour. The nose starts with just a twist of dark and spicy oak. The palate has ebullient acidity, the classic 2002 grainy tannin and a narrow but quite long finish. The acidity is really a key part of the expansion in the mid-palate which brings quite some character to the wine. Perhaps not quite 1er cru level of intensity or, today, complexity, but certainly engagement. Nice wine, even in a 2002 context.
2001 Vincent et Denis Berthaut, Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos des Chézeaux try to find this wine...
Medium cherry-red colour. The wide nose mixes high tones, powdery red fruit and an interesting depth. The palate is lovely; ripe, sweet fruit, perfectly balancing acidity, melting tannins and a burst of intensity in the mid-palate that leads you to the mouth-watering finish. The finish is medium-plus length with a hint of chocolate. Young but I have to say drinking beautifully today!
2005 Bouchard Père et Fils, Mercureytry to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour. The nose is high toned and very, very pinot with a faint oaky undertone. The palate is fresh with a faint astringency coupled to some grain from the tannins. Not so dense, but flavour-packed, though perhaps the acidity is just a little to the fore. A nice red-fruited complexion with a reasonable finish. Almost good, though factor in the price of 22 Swiss francs and it also stays only at ‘almost good’ value stakes – there are many bargains to be found in 2005, this doesn’t qualify.
2004 Château de la Crée, Santenay Clos du Châteautry to find this wine...
A ‘monopole’ I never heard of. Lots of attention has been made to the upmarket packaging, but how do the contents reflect the producer’s aspirations? Medium-pale ruby-red colour – looks older than the label suggests. The nose shows plenty of medium-toast, deep oak, above is a herbal pot-pourri element rather than the more common cedar of the vintage. Light-bodied but light on it’s feet too and with very good texture – the tannins have quite a fine grain. The acidity is fresh and even intense in the mid-palate, lingering into a good finish. Actually this is very well made – plenty of expensive oak, but well integrated and no heavy-handed extraction. The oak is just a little more obvious than my preference but this is both well-made and good value at €15.
2005 Bruno Clair, Marsannay try to find this wine...
Nose is a little powder – soft red fruit too. In the mouth there’s good acidity and length – tannins with just a trace of bitterness and vanilla. Almost good value
2005 Bruno Clair, Morey St.Denis En la Rue de Vergy try to find this wine...
A wide, high-toned and clean nose. Dense and intense mid-palate with good fruit and plenty of tannin.
2002 Bernard Dugat-Py, Gevrey-Chambertin Coeur de Roy try to find this wine...
Medium-plus cherry-red colour. On opening, the nose was actually rather engaging – like the Fourrier only denser. After about 40 minutes it’s deeper-still, rather savoury and ungainly – which is a shame – fortunately after 90 minutes it freshens up a little to give a relatively diffuse black-shade fruit which is not great but is certainly better – the last drops in the glass give cause for optimism though. The palate has a smooth, understated entry, in fact it’s silky smooth, linear and with darker-shaded fruit. The finish is understated, and the length is the equal of the 99 Fourrier that follows.
1999 Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieille-Vigne try to find this wine...
Medium ruby-red. A nose that starts deep and surprisingly oaky given that there’s normally a maximum of 20% in this cellar – but it’s short-lived before fading into redder, layered fruit overlaid by higher toned alcoholic aspects, maybe even an edge of coffee. In the mouth it starts impressively; it’s well balanced, and shows a lovely, succulent, creamy red fruit. Time increases the depth but eventually dulls the excitement just a hint. It’s intense in the mid-palate and you never really think of the tannin before it slowly fades in the finish – still with that creamy edge. Poised, elegant and a first-class villages.
2005 A.-F. Gros, Vosne-Romanée Clos de la Fontainetry to find this wine...
The cork seems surprisingly ‘spongy’ and pliable. Medium-plus colour. The nose is dark, spicy and shows a black oak toast and tar – eventually faint red fruits diluted by cream and faint ginger. In your mouth there’s a little fat and some silky texture – the tannin is quite fine. The mid-palate runs into quite a long finish – plenty of bitter-chocolate effect from the oak but some extra creamy fruit dimension too. This wine has plenty of dark oak character today but there’s more than enough density and material to balance – and it will fade with time, even in the glass, slowly there are redder fruits appearing. I’m not the biggest oak fan, but this is nicely presented and has plenty of ‘Vosne’ personality. I look forward following it’s evolution over the next 10+ years. My en-primeur price was a reasonable 35 Swiss francs.
2005 Gros Frère et Soeur, Vosne-Romanée try to find this wine...
Also plenty of toasty aromas. Sweet and concentrated in the mouth, with impressive intensity. It’s a bit of a bruiser this one, but quite long and with a soft heart.
2005 Camille Giroud, Gevrey-Chambertin En Champstry to find this wine...
Medium cherry-red. The advice is to decant this as it may show a little reduction and carbon dioxide – so done. The initially diffuse nose takes about 15 minutes for a more focused, higher-toned impression, still with a trace of reduction. About 90 minutes were needed for an additional, darker cherry depth and a hint of toffee – the longer you wait the better, but after 2 hours I’d finished. The texture is excellent, super smooth. The grain of the tannin comes very late, just after the acidity bursts through the mid-palate. The fruit is nicely expressive with faint torrefaction providing a nod to the wood treatment. Not perfectly balanced today as the acid needs to integrate a little more in the mid-palate, but I think this will be lovely. Wait 5 years for this very sophisticated, medium-bodied wine.
2005 Guyon, Chorey-lès-Beaune Les Bons Ores try to find this wine...
Wider and higher-toned than the bourgogne with extra dark oak depth. Serious rather than jammy and quite concentrated. Plenty of dark oak again, but this is really impressive.
2005 Guyon, Gevrey-Chambertin Les Platières try to find this wine...
Back to the dark, oak-edged presentation. Decent concentration, ripe fruit and fine acidity. Good intensity in the mid-palate too.
2005 Clos des Lambrays, Morey St.Denis try to find this wine...
A high-toned nose with a little sweet, red fruit. Sweet and ripe with plenty of acidity. Elegant with a long finish – this is a nice wine.
2004 Comte Liger-Belair, Vosne-Romanée La Colombièretry to find this wine...
Medium, Medium-pale colour. Aromatically more impressive than you expect from the colour, deep with a faint edge of coffee – only turning redder and finer with a little tobacco and spice as you slowly drain the glass – no green notes. Light but intense in the mouth – it’s the slightly bright acidity that adds to the apparent intensity. Red berry fruit that slowly fades, good, understated velvet tannins. It’s precocious though quite well balanced, I’d be tempted to drink this younger rather than older. Tasty.
2005 Lignier-Michelot, Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignestry to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus cherry-red colour. The nose starts with a forward mix of red and black cherry plus a rather mineral note. The longer it stays in the glass, it becomes redder and finer but with much less volume. The palate is mainly about balance – reasonable concentration and a sneaky extra cherry dimension that goes into the palate too. It’s quite lithe, not too muscular and again a little mineral. Today it’s a classy if slightly anonymous bottle – a very good bottle for sure, but one that I hope will become even better. Given it’s lowly en-primeur purchase price of 29 Swiss francs it remains an easy and bargain rebuy, if you can find some for that…
2005 Thierry Mortet, Gevrey-Chambertin try to find this wine...
A wide nose that showcases a tight core of red fruit. Understated and mouth-watering. Good length. A rather feminine wine.
2005 Thierry Mortet, Gevrey-Chambertin Vigne Belle try to find this wine...
High tones and faint undergrowth on the nose. This is riper and more concentrated that the ‘basic’ Gevrey, grainy tannin but good intensity. Some character too!
2005 Perrot-Minot, Gevrey-Chambertin try to find this wine...
Despite being tight at the core there is some width and hints of cream on the nose. Much more concentration and structure, but the tannin is almost as fine as the Rousseau – though to a fresher effect. I have a slight preference for this.
2005 Perrot-Minot, Morey St.Denis En la Rue de Vergy try to find this wine...
Nice high-toned fruit over a dense core. Sweet, light on its feet and concentrated with a good extra dimension – but not cheap.
1998 Daniel Rion, Nuits St.Georges Les Lavières try to find this wine...
Medium-plus ruby-red. The nose is deep with wider mineral notes, an edge of spice and just a little uncouth ‘lifted’ alcoholic top-notes. A little fat that overlays plenty of tannin – it’s quite fine though. Good depth and a good length. This is reminiscent more of 1997’s with a slight lack of freshness – though funnily most of Rion’s 97 are almost good. It’s okay but I wouldn’t buy more.
2005 Armand Rousseau, Gevrey-Chambertin try to find this wine...
The nose is a little animale. In the mouth it’s soft and ripe with impressively fine tannin. Clearly an executive villages. Impressive, but could it have been a little fresher?
2005 Thomas-Moillard, Chorey-lès-Beaune try to find this wine...
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is rather mineral and high-toned coupled to faint cherry skins. There’s quite some structure here; furry tannin and plenty of acidity – but the balance is okay. Almost good.
2005 Thomas-Moillard, Côte de Nuits try to find this wine...
A hint of reduction on the nose which eventually leaves to give emphasis on fine cherry/berry notes. The acidity and tannin are to the fore, but not overwhelmingly so.
2003 Thomas-Moillard, Nuits St.Georges Richemones try to find this wine...
Roast, stewing fruit on the nose – perhaps rhubarb too – just a little better than it sounds. In the mouth this is altogether more interesting; soft, sweet and concentrated – quite friendly and warming. Not my style, but a ‘comfortable’ wine.
2005 Tollot-Beaut, Chorey-lès-Beaune Pièce du Chapitre try to find this wine...
High-toned nose with nice fruit. Ripe red fruit over background darker oak notes in the mouth. Nicely serious this – a good wine.
2005 Tollot-Beaut, Aloxe-Corton try to find this wine...
A nicely wide nose. High-toned, middle-weight sweet red fruit in the mouth. Lovely but too easily forgettable…
2005 de Vogüé, Chambolle-Musigny try to find this wine...
Simple but pure red fruits on the nose. Nice concentration and quite ripe – reminds a little of the Rousseau villages, but this is just a little more lithe. Good length. Clearly overpriced I’m afraid.

Villages Whites

2006 Co-Op, Chablis Les Tisserandes
This is a cheap cuvée sold each year and bottled for the Co-op in Switzerland – I don’t know who by – almost always on a special offer and in this case for just under 10 Swiss francs – about £4 or €7. Each year I buy a bottle, but rarely more – in such a vintage as 2005 it was somehow watery and inconsequential – how could they have made a decent in in 2006? Don’t expect miracles at this price-point, but this is actually not bad. Medium pale green-yellow. A wide if faint, but interesting high-toned nose. Clean, well textured with a very nice crescendo of acidity coming into the mid-palate. Medium length. What helps this wine deliver is that acidity – it works rather well. If I have a party this is worth considering, though for my house wine I’d still rather pay the 50% extra and go for the Drouhin Chablis or the Jadot.
2005 Joseph Drouhin, Domaine Vaudon Chablistry to find this wine...
Pale lemon-yellow. The nose has some intensity; high tones over ripe, linear fruit – there’s no seashore but it’s nice enough. Versus the ripe, slightly sweet Drouhin bottling, that is amply balanced by lovely acidity, this is just a little more austere; again super acidity but this time a little more to the fore but the mid-palate intensity – to which the acidity contributes – is super. Reasonable length too. Painfully young, but like an itch you can’t stop scratching – and this type of itch is usually more expensive to scratch – this is already my third bottle and I can feel another order coming on…
2005 Pierre Morey, Meursault try to find this wine...
A lovely nose that’s edged with a hint of cream. In the mouth the acidity seems rather candied – makes me take this wine not seriously…
2005 Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet try to find this wine...
A creamy nose with faint coconut. Nice concentration and acidity – even some minerality. This is a very good wine but I have to say poor value.
2006 Thomas-Moillard, Hautes Côtes de Nuits Chardonnay try to find this wine...
From vines planted just above Nuits. A fresh and nicely vibrant nose with a faint edge of pineapple. Just slightly diffuse in the mouth but shows a nice intensity on the mid-palate. Not so long, but clean and fresh. This is actually quite almost good.
2006 Thomas-Moillard, Savigny-lès-Beaune Blanc try to find this wine...
Quite a concentrated nose with a subtle undertone of vanilla. There is nice texture and some depth. There is also a nicely creamy base to this wine – long too. I’m very surprised by the quality of this wine, it’s very , very good.
2005 Thomas-Moillard, Meursault try to find this wine...
High-toned, slightly diffuse nose, some suggestion of background sulfur. Fresher but less dense palate when compared to the Savigny. It’s more mineral in presentation, but doesn’t impress as much as the last wine.

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One response to “Roundup of Wines Tasted”

  1. Carl Steefel

    Interesting that the 2005 Armand Rousseau Lavaux St Jacques did not show all that well. We had the 2001 Rousseaux LSJ at the beginning of our Burgundy trip and I have to say I was expecting a bit more. This was outshone by any number of wines later on in the trip (including other 2001). Dangerous to speculate on a couple of bottles here, but I wonder…

    Also glad to hear your 2000 DRC Romanee St Vivant showed so well. We tasted this alongside a 2000 DRC Echezeaux and it was very hard to coax much out of it. We really felt it had been a bit of a waste to drink it now…

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