Critical of the Critics - 2004 & 2011 Red Burgundy

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Peter C.
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Critical of the Critics - 2004 & 2011 Red Burgundy

#1 Post by Peter C. » November 21st, 2013, 9:33 am

Based on recent threads, it sounds like 2011 is shaping up to potentially be 2004 redux in terms of GMs.

Dismaying news.

I suspect reviewers didn't note the GMs in barrel samples or early bottlings of wines, as in 2004, which begs the question:

Why trust red burgundy reviewers moving forward when in 2004, and potentially again in 2011, they are unable to, for whatever reason, identify GMs in barrel samples?

Fortunately due to lack of funds, I've only purchased a small amount of 2011s, however I do have some Bertheau. Seeing the notes on the 2011 1er Cru gives me concern - I can only imagine what those who blindly followed the critics AND had the coin to spend are thinking right now.

I stumbled upon a BH review of the 2011 Bertheau CM 1er before purchasing and no hint at all of a GM disaster, let alone VA, rot, etc. I'm sure it wasn't just BH, I know IWC, WS, WA etc missed 2004 entirely, so I'd assume they missed the boat on 2011, too.

Will you continue to buy blindly before tasting future red burgundy vintages?

How responsible do you think the critics have been in reporting/under-reporting the issue in 2004 and 2011?

Is there ANY way for a human to discern these offputting aromas in barrel, and if not, what's the point of barrel tasting if it's all a crap shoot in the end?
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#2 Post by Paul H Galli » November 21st, 2013, 9:55 am

FTR, Bill Nanson was WAY ahead of the curve on this 2011 issue!

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#3 Post by Berry Crawford » November 21st, 2013, 9:59 am

Peter C. wrote:Why trust red burgundy reviewers moving forward when in 2004, and potentially again in 2011, they are unable to, for whatever reason, identify GMs in barrel samples?
Bill Nanson was able to identify GMs in barrel samples

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#4 Post by Hans Strand » November 21st, 2013, 10:25 am

First of all this GM word which I think is ridiculous. There has always been lesser ripe vintages and therefore the wines are tasting a bit green if you like to call it that way. That greenness is to be found in every wine region in the world in some vintages. Some of the unripe flavors disappear with cellaring and some does not.
This is nothing new and therefore I don´t understand the mass panic. 2011 is a lesser ripe a vintage than 2009 and 2010 for sure, but it is not the kind of polluted vintage that some posters here tend to call it.

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#5 Post by Fred C » November 21st, 2013, 10:27 am

Peter C. wrote: Why trust red burgundy reviewers moving forward when in 2004, and potentially again in 2011, they are unable to, for whatever reason, identify GMs in barrel samples?
I don't know if it is an inability to identify vs. an unwillingness to include that in the notes.

They are after all, a critical cog in the sale of burgundy. People's livelihoods are at stake here.

That's why a forum like this is so valuable.
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#6 Post by Berry Crawford » November 21st, 2013, 10:34 am

Hans Strand wrote:First of all this GM word which I think is ridiculous. There has always been lesser ripe vintages and therefore the wines are tasting a bit green if you like to call it that way. That greenness is to be found in every wine region in the world in some vintages. Some of the unripe flavors disappear with cellaring and some does not.
This is nothing new and therefore I don´t understand the mass panic. 2011 is a lesser ripe a vintage than 2009 and 2010 for sure, but it is not the kind of polluted vintage that some posters here tend to call it.
I think you are conflating standard "unripe" greenness with what has come to be called "greenie meanies" (GM). Greenie Meanies (despite having the word "green" in the term) isn't your standard issue unripe greenness. Frankly, GMs smell and taste unlike anything else I have ever encountered and are very different from the unripe character one normally encounters.

Does 2011 have 2004-styke GMs or just standard issue unripeness? Personally I don't know but my one antidotal experience with a 2011 was that it smelled and tasted just like the 2004s smelled and tasted when they first started showing that characteristic.

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#7 Post by Rick Dalia » November 21st, 2013, 10:35 am

Hans Strand wrote:First of all this GM word which I think is ridiculous. There has always been lesser ripe vintages and therefore the wines are tasting a bit green if you like to call it that way. That greenness is to be found in every wine region in the world in some vintages. Some of the unripe flavors disappear with cellaring and some does not.
This is nothing new and therefore I don´t understand the mass panic. 2011 is a lesser ripe a vintage than 2009 and 2010 for sure, but it is not the kind of polluted vintage that some posters here tend to call it.
Hans, whether or not the presence of a fault with wines in this vintage exists is still clearly of debate. The panic, however, is justifiable in that I personally will not dump $30k into what may be a total loss. Not willing to take that risk. Don't have the opportunity to try the wines before buying, etc

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#8 Post by Berry Crawford » November 21st, 2013, 10:36 am

Rick Dalia wrote:Don't have the opportunity to try the wines before buying, etc
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#9 Post by Hans Strand » November 21st, 2013, 10:48 am

Hans Strand wrote:
First of all this GM word which I think is ridiculous. There has always been lesser ripe vintages and therefore the wines are tasting a bit green if you like to call it that way. That greenness is to be found in every wine region in the world in some vintages. Some of the unripe flavors disappear with cellaring and some does not.
This is nothing new and therefore I don´t understand the mass panic. 2011 is a lesser ripe a vintage than 2009 and 2010 for sure, but it is not the kind of polluted vintage that some posters here tend to call it.


Hans, whether or not the presence of a fault with wines in this vintage exists is still clearly of debate. The panic, however, is justifiable in that I personally will not dump $30k into what may be a total loss. Not willing to take that risk. Don't have the opportunity to try the wines before buying, etc
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Rick,
I would never dump 30k into any vintage and certainly not into 2011. Which is OK, but nothing fantastic.

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#10 Post by Hans Strand » November 21st, 2013, 10:55 am

The 2004 nose is for sure very special and I have not found anything that reminds me of that in any of the wines I have had this far from 2011. I have just detected that it is less ripe than 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The wines have just a sort of greener pitch typical for this kind of vintage and that is only in the taste.

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#11 Post by Jonathan Favre » November 21st, 2013, 10:58 am

Hey guys! If you can, please post your notes on any and all '11s here - http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... =1&t=91960. Using the working definition of a Greenie Meanie as "Pyrazine like flavors and/or scents - overtly green and chemical in nature - overt high toned broccoli - also can be described as crushed lady bugs. This should not including stem like flavors/scents that are a part of the wines from producers whom use stems during vinification."

This should also give us a nice picture over time as to how these perceived scents/flavors show over time.
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#12 Post by billnanson » November 21st, 2013, 11:12 am

Berry Crawford wrote:
Peter C. wrote:Why trust red burgundy reviewers moving forward when in 2004, and potentially again in 2011, they are unable to, for whatever reason, identify GMs in barrel samples?
Bill Nanson was able to identify GMs in barrel samples
Over-stating a bit, Berry.
I simply pointed out at 2011 harvest that 'if' ladybugs were the reason for the ladybug smell in 04, then based on observation alone - and I have photos of lots and lots of bugs below the sorting tables from many villages in 2011 - we should be very circumspect about what 2011 might deliver. Thereafter, like 04, there was nothing to see for the first few months, but already sensitised by 04, me and many others (I had many invites to taste simply because some producers wanted my opinion on various cuvées) could start to find it as the CO2 from the malos faded - except where a lot of new oak was used. But we were looking for it, no-one was looking for it in 04s. If the 04 history plays out, more will be revealed as that oak fades - I'm pretty sure that some I think clean now may leave me thinking otherwise in 12 months. I simply had multiple opportunities to taste and happen to be sensitive to this...
That said, I put the info out there over 1 year ago, and it was reported here, so anyone bitching about their purchases will have little sympathy from me. Just the way it is...
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#13 Post by Berry Crawford » November 21st, 2013, 11:15 am

billnanson wrote:
Berry Crawford wrote:
Peter C. wrote:Why trust red burgundy reviewers moving forward when in 2004, and potentially again in 2011, they are unable to, for whatever reason, identify GMs in barrel samples?
Bill Nanson was able to identify GMs in barrel samples
Over-stating a bit, Berry.
I simply pointed out at 2011 harvest that 'if' ladybugs were the reason for the ladybug smell in 04, then based on observation alone - and I have photos of lots and lots of bugs below the sorting tables from many villages in 2011 - we should be very circumspect about what 2011 might deliver. Thereafter, like 04, there was nothing to see for the first few months, but already sensitised by 04, me and many others (I had many invites to taste simply because some producers wanted my opinion on various cuvées) could start to find it as the CO2 from the malos faded - except where a lot of new oak was used. If the 04 history plays out, more will be revealed as that oak fades - I'm pretty sure that some I think clean now may leave me thinking otherwise in 12 months. I simply had multiple opportunities to taste and happen to be sensitive to this...
I don't feel like I was overstating it at all. You suspected there might be GMs and then reported on them when you tasted them in barrel. Its that simple. I appreciate you being humble but I think you really deserve credit here.

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#14 Post by Peter C. » November 21st, 2013, 3:51 pm

Kudos to Bill for noting a potential issue with the vintage.
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#15 Post by Nick Gangas » November 21st, 2013, 4:51 pm

Peter just for my interest why do you assume the the naysayers are correct ? I believe overwhelmingly on Jonathan's thread most people are not having a problem.

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#16 Post by Andrew Gold » November 21st, 2013, 5:46 pm

Nick Gangas wrote:Peter just for my interest why do you assume the the naysayers are correct ? I believe overwhelmingly on Jonathan's thread most people are not having a problem.
+1

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#17 Post by Peter C. » November 21st, 2013, 6:16 pm

Nick - just trusting people at their word. What else can you go by?

I don't recall anyone saying they tasted astringent, GM notes in 2005-2010, though there were a few who found rot in 2006 IIRC.
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#18 Post by Z Scheiner » November 21st, 2013, 8:21 pm

Nick Gangas wrote:Peter just for my interest why do you assume the the naysayers are correct ? I believe overwhelmingly on Jonathan's thread most people are not having a problem.
Not Peter but I'm taking the '11 GM warnings seriously due to experience of tasters reporting, known variability of sensitivity and the precedent of '04 GM taking awhile to become prominent enough to show itself widely.
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#19 Post by A Yambor » November 21st, 2013, 8:55 pm

2004 is the GM vintage
2011 is NOT

Some wines in 11 have the issue; many more do not.

To equate 04 Burg with 11 Burg is a huge mistake and unfair to the region and its growers.

You know where assuming gets you.... be patient and evaluate the wines.
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#20 Post by Berry Crawford » November 21st, 2013, 9:02 pm

A Yambor wrote:To equate 04 Burg with 11 Burg is a huge mistake and unfair to the region and its growers
What do you mean by "equate"? 2004 has a bizarre anomaly characteristic that made many id not most wines flat out undrinkable (depending on one's sensitivity). Some people are noticing the same characteristics in some 2011s. How do you not talk about this? Its a big deal. I think everyone is hoping that it doesn't turn out as bad as 2004 and that it is limited to just a small percentage of wines in the long run, but to dismiss it or give people a hard time for discussing it seems totally unreasonable.

Sorry if Im being overly emphatic but Im hopped up on Beaujolais Nouveau.

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#21 Post by A Yambor » November 21st, 2013, 9:09 pm

2004 is a wreck for reds due to a flaw that showed up in every commune and in nearly every producer's wines (maybe a few producers outstanding).

2011 is a vintage that is variable. I've tasted over 250 wines from the 11 vintage in bottle. I've detected GMs in 31 of them.

Different vintages, different issues, to call 11 like 04 as a vintage as a whole is ignorant.

Let your fear of another 04 guide you and you will think 11 is the same based on reading concerns from people who have not actually tasted the *&^$*&%^$ wines.

The incidence of GMs in 11 is exponentially lower than those of 04.
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#22 Post by A Yambor » November 21st, 2013, 9:15 pm

Berry Crawford wrote:
A Yambor wrote:To equate 04 Burg with 11 Burg is a huge mistake and unfair to the region and its growers
What do you mean by "equate"? 2004 has a bizarre anomaly characteristic that made many id not most wines flat out undrinkable (depending on one's sensitivity). Some people are noticing the same characteristics in some 2011s. How do you not talk about this? Its a big deal. I think everyone is hoping that it doesn't turn out as bad as 2004 and that it is limited to just a small percentage of wines in the long run, but to dismiss it or give people a hard time for discussing it seems totally unreasonable.

Sorry if Im being overly emphatic but Im hopped up on Beaujolais Nouveau.

I mean equate based on the title of the thread. I've tasted more 07s with GMs than 11s in terms of a % and total # of wines.
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#23 Post by Berry Crawford » November 21st, 2013, 9:24 pm

A Yambor wrote:Different vintages, different issues, to call 11 like 04 as a vintage as a whole is ignorant
I only have tried exactly one 2011 so far but it absolutely had 2004 style greenie meanies. I am certainly not going to make a judgment on the vintage based on a single or even dozens of wines but there is no question in my mind that it was greenie meanies in that one bottle. Perhaps it is just a crazy coincidence but given other people are noticing this Im not going to be buying any 2011s for a while.

In that vein, I agree wholeheartedly that we should wait and see before coming to any sort of judgment because its important to remember that 2004s only had this issue subtlety or not at all at first and the problem grew with time. We aren't going to know for a while how widespread the issue is one way or another so it is premature to condemn the vintage but it also is premature to confidently say that the vintages are not comparable.

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#24 Post by Berry Crawford » November 21st, 2013, 9:30 pm

A Yambor wrote:I mean equate based on the title of the thread. I've tasted more 07s with GMs than 11s in terms of a % and total # of wines.
I totally am not trying to discount your experience because there is a degree of taste sensitivity at work here (and maybe Im not that sensitive) but Ive tried many hundreds of different 2007s and I have not noticed a single one with 2004 style GMs. I have encountered unripe greenness (standard issue pyrazines) but nothing even remotely like 2004 GMs. Again, I'm not saying you didn't experience what you did but its interesting that our experiences are so different.

I wonder if we are both using the term "greenie meanies" but actually talking about different things. From me experience, the character in 2004s tastes and smells very different than the pyrazines that normally come from under ripeness.

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#25 Post by A Yambor » November 21st, 2013, 9:45 pm

Berry what I am saying is that I'm interested in exact wines that have the flaw.

On the sensitivity scale, I abhor GM and am extremely sensitive. I will post my notes from a recent large 11 tasting to provide a reference for whose wines have GM and whose don't based on my experience.

But already I can say that 11 & 04 vintages are quite different just after bottling.

I'm not ready to make the exception the rule. Concern is one thing but paranoia based on a previous negative experience is quite different.
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#26 Post by Nick Ryan » November 21st, 2013, 10:28 pm

04 took about two years after bottling before it got really bad. I remember tasting flights of 04 at a local shop and thinking they were OK, and bought some. Then they turned into evil green alien juice from Mars, to the point where I could smell them from across a large table...
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#27 Post by Martin Steinley » November 21st, 2013, 10:38 pm

Peter C. wrote:How responsible do you think the critics have been in reporting/under-reporting the issue in 2004 and 2011?
Very. Posters on this board can dump on a vintage and, if they get it right, accept pats on the back from others on the board and, if they get it wrong, walk away without consequence. The critics, such as Allen Meadows, Steve Tanzer and John Gilman, cannot do that, and, appropriately, take responsibility for what they write. Robert Panzer called it all right in another thread. Potential buyers should taste the wines and make their own call. The 2011s are not moving so fast that they can't be tasted before buying.

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#28 Post by Tom Blach » November 21st, 2013, 10:41 pm

Having stopped buying new vintages I haven't tasted a single 2011 that I recall, but I still wouldn't get into a panic. If the price is too high, don't buy, it's as simple as that.

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#29 Post by Robert Grenley » November 21st, 2013, 11:27 pm

People are of course concerned because these wines are expensive, and many found themselves with some expensive 2004's that they wish they had not bought. Many wine writers do not go back and reassess or discuss the vintages and how they are progressing. How many discussions about the 2004's have we read in Tanzer, Burghound, and View from the Cellar? Really, the source for finding out about a potential problem with the vintage that may only affect certain wines is that of wine boards such as this one and others like the Burgundy Report. Whether the 2011's end up being as problematic as the 2004's, who knows, but cautionary threads such as these may at least allow those who want to purchase 2011's at this early stage to do so with their eyes open and aware of a possible issue.
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#30 Post by billnanson » November 22nd, 2013, 12:09 am

A Yambor wrote:But already I can say that 11 & 04 vintages are quite different just after bottling.
Goes without saying - all vintages are different - and nobody talked about GM in 04 at that stage...
A Yambor wrote:Different vintages, different issues, to call 11 like 04 as a vintage as a whole is ignorant.
Actually be definitive about 11 (wrt to GM) at all now is ignorant - because at this stage in 04s evolution less than half of the wines seemed to have a problem. We actually won't know how 'infected' 11s are, or are not, for at least another year, probably longer. I wrote my 04 coccinelle piece in October 2008 (and was roundly laughed-off as a crank), we are 2 years away from the same time-slot for the 11 vintage.

I'm drinking many right now while their charm is dominant...

[It's fair to say I've tasted a lot of 07s, never (yet!) one with GM in the strict 04 (burgeoning 11) vernacular]
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#31 Post by paul hanna » November 22nd, 2013, 2:18 am

I see '04 like GM in a number of the '11's I have tasted so far.

In '07, I just see an underripe chemical greeness to many wines.

Totally different thing to GM.

Not sure overall which I like less, but so far, I'm leaning towards '07's....

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#32 Post by paul hanna » November 22nd, 2013, 2:24 am

As far as critics go, once again (by and large), they are again prettry much totally wrong.

The '11 wines I have tasted vis a vis 'their '10 and '09 (and '08 even) counterparts are for me, so far behind '10 (in particular), it's just proving pointless to compare the major critics points scores.

The same wines in '11 say (vs '10) that are a point apart in critics tastings, I probably have them as being 5-8 points apart, which is more than a pretty significant difference.

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#33 Post by Robert Panzer » November 22nd, 2013, 5:25 am

The Gibourg sisters, and their longtime assistants, whole heartedly disagree with the entire ladybug pyrazine theory, from any vintage. Blocked phenolic maturity that creates underripe phenolic pyrazines that are chemically unique to Pinot Noir (as opposed to the qualities found in other varietals like Cab Sauv or Cab Franc) is what they attribute it to; its flavor, aroma, and molecular structure is unique to Pinot Noir. Different maladies create this phenomenon, specifically oidium, and the damage caused by the heat stress of 2003, both of which block a plant's ability to deliver sap, the lifeblood of grape maturity.
Indeed, Bill took pictures of sorting trays full of bugs in 2011 (sorting trays are what they take OUT of the wine to be made, a point that Jeremy Seysses confronted Bill about). This seemed to be one of his first indicators to be very cautious, and something that lead to an anticipation of the bug pyrazine presence. His follow up tasting experiences confirmed his anticipation, that there are green bug pyrazines in the wines.
HOWEVER, if this is the case, as the sisters and their assistants pointed out, why isn't there bug pyrazine in the 2003s, a vintage in which they all recall MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF LADYBUGS? They said that the ladybugs were everywhere in 2003, fist-fulls of them in the sorting trays, crawling everywhere in the winery, cuves, and barrels. People don't mention a peep about "green meanie" bug pyrazine from '03. Curious, no??? All of the growers whom I have queried about the physical presence of ladybugs in '11 don't recall large amounts of ladybugs in 2011. I harvested and sorted at 6 domaines in 2011, and specifically was looking for and sorting bugs. There were far more pincher bugs than lady bugs, and not many lady bugs at that. From the grounded scientific studies about bug pyrazine that I have read (someone posted a link about those a while back....very very informative), the amount needed to be perceptible to humans, even with a variable threshold of sensitivity, is quite high. From what I calculated, really high; while I don't recall precisely, I think that it was something like 10 bugs per bottle of wine. The ratio of bugs to fruit would have to be so high that when sorting fruit, one would be going bonkers trying to keep up. When I was sorting, there were a few ladybugs per bin of fruit, that is to say several kilos fruit had a few bugs that I was easily able to sort them out. There was not some critical mass of bugs......
I see a strong willingness on the part of many to accept the possibility that bugs are the cause of weird green flavors and aromas in '04 and (to a dramatically lesser extent) '11 Burgundy.
I, however, see little to no willingness on the part of those who are endorsing the bug pyrazine theory to accept that it could very well be the age-old familiar "regular" pyrazines that are responsible for greenness in '04 and '11.
This unwillingness to even acknowledge the potential validity of both sides of the coin from the "pro-bug" camp does seem to be an intentional psychological stance, heels dug in firmly.
My interest is in inclusive theorizing, all potential ideas given their due, backed up with concrete study and tasting.
I also think it fair to say that it is a pity that the growers own opinions are so readily discredited. One can always cite potential self-interest to discredit anything, pro or con. But I very much believe in the integrity of people like the Gibourg sisters and many many others growers whose upstanding character, humility, and deep experience is beyond self-interest. It is genuine.
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#34 Post by billnanson » November 22nd, 2013, 5:38 am

Send us the images of bugs in 2003 Robert - I was 'there' but not harvesting, so only have 04 and 11 'evidence' - I don't remember seeing bugs, but I've quickly emailed 10 vignerons, and of the 2 that have replied so far, neither remember bugs in 03. Let's see what the others say...

"I, however, see little to no willingness on the part of those who are endorsing the bug pyrazine theory to accept that it could very well be the age-old familiar "regular" pyrazines that are responsible for greenness in '04 and '11." - would that be because we find the smells completely different? ;-)

As for 10 bugs a bottle of wine - try reading the swiss report and my observations at the end of my original coccinelle article in 2008. Before 2011 I was completely open to the possibility that 2004 might eventually be attributed to something else - that's what us scientists do - we change horses when there's a story (theory) that fits better. 2011 has strengthened that initial theory, not lessened it - so far. You have a cash/money horse in this race, I don't...
Burgundy Report - online since 2002...

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#35 Post by Ian Fitzsimmons » November 22nd, 2013, 6:31 am

Bill: What's your scientific background? The 'about.me/nanson' link is inactive.

Cheers.

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#36 Post by Paul H Galli » November 22nd, 2013, 6:55 am

billnanson wrote: [It's fair to say I've tasted a lot of 07s, never (yet!) one with GM in the strict 04 (burgeoning 11) vernacular]
I agree.
2007 in most definitely not a GM vintage....

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#37 Post by Paul H Galli » November 22nd, 2013, 6:57 am

paul hanna wrote: In '07, I just see an underripe chemical greeness to many wines.
Totally different thing to GM.
I appears you haven't tasted the 2007 Volnays.
Many of them are quite special....

TTT
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#38 Post by Nick Gangas » November 22nd, 2013, 8:00 am

Well back to my original point. It seems that a handful of people declare catastrophe and everyone is running for the lifeboats. Many more people who also have a lot of experience tasting are saying not. I personally have not tried any 11s yet so can't give a personal note.

Also I must say I have to question the ladybug thing. It doesn't make sense to me that they come out of nowhere every 7 years like a plague and infect every vineyard in Burgundy. In fact the more Panzer speaks the more sense he makes. Now I'm really scared ! :-)

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#39 Post by Martin Steinley » November 22nd, 2013, 8:30 am

billnanson wrote:You have a cash/money horse in this race, I don't...
Perhaps you have no "cash/money horse" in the race, Bill, but you certainly have a horse in the race at this stage. You hold yourself out as a Burgundy critic, and have staked out and defended a position. Perhaps you have no money at risk, but your reputation as a critic is. Thus, I don't see that Robert's opinion on this subject should be viewed as any less legitimate than yours. Also, I really doubt that Robert and his business gain anything by passing flawed wine on to customers.

Disclaimer: I sell Burgundies (but if I used the time that I spent doing so practicing law, I would be far ahead financially).
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#40 Post by Jonathan Favre » November 22nd, 2013, 8:33 am

Post here guys with solid tastings of '11s if you can - http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... =1&t=91960. Here's your chance to put your thoughts down about these Greenie Meanies without all the back and forth of a he said/she said mystery novel :). Make note of the official "official" definition of what a Greenie Meanie is in post #1!

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#41 Post by Ian Fitzsimmons » November 22nd, 2013, 9:05 am

Paul H Galli wrote:
paul hanna wrote: In '07, I just see an underripe chemical greeness to many wines.
Totally different thing to GM.
I appears you haven't tasted the 2007 Volnays.
Many of them are quite special....

TTT
Not only Volnay: Bize Vergelesses (from halves), for example, is gorgeous.

Nick Gangas wrote:[...]
Also I must say I have to question the ladybug thing. It doesn't make sense to me that they come out of nowhere every 7 years like a plague and infect every vineyard in Burgundy. In fact the more Panzer speaks the more sense he makes. Now I'm really scared ! :-)
If you have time, read some of the material Roman has linked to. Variation in beetle population can be explained in part by winter temperatures: moderate temperatures allow larger populations to survive and burgeon during the growing season. The same pattern is observed in populations of bark beetles, which have decimated large swathes of western forests in recent years, as the frequency of moderate winters has ticked up.

I'm not sure if these bugs are a native or introduced species. In North America, per Roman's sources, Asian bugs were introduced in order to predate aphid populations that were damaging soy bean crops. If the the bugs in the Burgundy vineyards were also introduced, then you would not expect to find any record of their activity before the time they were brought in by humans.

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#42 Post by Berry Crawford » November 22nd, 2013, 9:08 am

Ian Fitzsimmons wrote:I'm not sure if these bugs are a native or introduced species. In North America, per Roman's sources, Asian bugs were introduced in order to predate aphid populations that were damaging soy bean crops. If the the bugs in the Burgundy vineyards were also introduced, then you would not expect to find any record of their activity before the time they were brought in by humans.
I am not sure to its validity but Ive read that the type of lady bug infestation one now sees in burgundy is indeed the Asian lady bugs that were brought in as organic pest control methods.

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#43 Post by A.Gillette » November 22nd, 2013, 9:40 am

In 2001, the Ontario wine industry dumped over 1 million liters of wine that were deemed inappropriate for shelves because they were tainted by asian ladybeetles. One could debate whether all of the wines truly suffered from ladybug taint, and one could make a reasonable case that there were non-ladybug pyrazines affecting some of the wine. But I don't think anyone argues that there weren't many, many ladybug tainted wines. Unfortunately, this is a real thing. It happens. The real issue in my mind is that in burgundy, this problem, like other major systemic problems with burgundy wines (for example, premox) are shifted 100% to the buyer.

A
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#44 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » November 22nd, 2013, 9:50 am

I have no experience with 2011. Have not and will not be buying any, as I stopped buying Burgundy after the 2006 vintage (for various reasons, including my age and my ample cellar). So...can't shed any light on the comparison. Nor can I really share any light on the cause of the pyrazine pollution in the '04s, other than that credible winemakers who've posted on this board and some who haven't believe that to have been the cause. That the Mugneret sisters ("Gibourg" is their father's mother's maiden name, and they both have their own married names, though they were born "Mugneret") do not believe it, is another piece of evidence, I guess, FWIW. An ongoing controversy...about a flaw which is really "evil", IMO, because of the various tasters' varying sensitivities to things, so one can never tell anything from anyone else's notes, as a rule, about the wines.

But, this thread raises in its first post (which subject has been promptly ignored) the value of professional tasters' notes. To be brief, the 2004 reds caused me to drop all such subscriptions. I bought 2004s in 2006; then visited in 2007 and was overwhelmed with the plague when I tasted the bottled 2004s (and have been a "broken record" since). I was not at all prepared for what I found in 2007. Neither Burghound nor Tanzer nor anything else I'd read prepared me. The former, with whom I communicated after visiting was in denial about "missing" anything then. So, whether it's the need of such tasters to taste in barrel and/or the inability of anyone to find the 2004 plague while the wines were in barrel (which I think might have been the case), it does raise the question of the reasonableness of relying on such notes ..and tasters, in general. (And, the guy who posts?/ used to post here from CA who has a publication.....I think...was and is oblivious to the flaw, which even adds more folly to relying on such publications).

So, whether it is a criticism of the "critics" themselves.....or of the whole notion of relying on such tasting notes for such flaws...or anything (I do think barell tastings is as good a predictor of the future of a vintage as is possible), it does show things we all need to know in valuing those publications and tasters. Caveat emptor, I guess. Like with everything else..in wine and anything involving the senses....there is no substitute for personal experiences...and tasting onesself before buying, even if that results in more purchases of a narrow group of wines, rather than a broader approach.

Luckily, though, I'm done buying...and there was only one 2004 -- that I know of-- in the vintages (1983-2006) I tasted very young and bought.

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#45 Post by Robert Panzer » November 22nd, 2013, 9:52 am

billnanson wrote:You have a cash/money horse in this race, I don't...
Bill, i'd like to buy a copy of your book on Amazon. You're such an insider expert......you so go against the grain of what all of those biased people have to say......
neener
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#46 Post by A Songeur » November 22nd, 2013, 9:58 am

I don't remember about the 2004s, but I am gratefull that Bill N did ring the alarm early for the 2011. So, at least some critics can detect the phenomenon early. Kudos to Bill!

This being said, I don't always agree with him on everything he writes... I take notice!
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#47 Post by k s h i n » November 22nd, 2013, 10:18 am

I personal buy any highly allocated wines year in and year out. The rest, I would only buy from the vintages that I like. I bought a lot of the 09s and only half of that in the 08 and the 10, due to price and availability. I only bought 8 bottles of the 11 reds. I didn’t get fourrier and dujac allocation.

The critics usually taste in barrel and it appears as GM doesn’t show at this stage. I also think that some of the critics scores are quite predictable. I am not disagreeing but just not much help making buying a decision.

e.g. Gevery commune, the baseline is

Bourgogne 87 points
Village 90 points
1er 92 points
1er CSJ 94 points
Chambertin and CdB 95 points

Then, vintage quality +-2

Producer +3, -2
Kevin
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#48 Post by Paul H Galli » November 22nd, 2013, 11:07 am

Robert Panzer wrote:
billnanson wrote:You have a cash/money horse in this race, I don't...
Bill, i'd like to buy a copy of your book on Amazon. You're such an insider expert......you so go against the grain of what all of those biased people have to say......
neener
Say what you will about Bill.
He WAS the first wine writer (that I saw) that brought this to the attention of the public.
He saved me from buying any further 2004s and allowed me to sell off what little I had left.
Mega Kudos to Mr N... [worship.gif]

TTT
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#49 Post by Craig G » November 22nd, 2013, 11:10 am

Martin Steinley wrote:if I used the time that I spent doing so practicing law, I would be far ahead financially
Our wives might be happier if you stuck to law, too.
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#50 Post by c fu » November 22nd, 2013, 11:11 am

Nick Gangas wrote:Well back to my original point. It seems that a handful of people declare catastrophe and everyone is running for the lifeboats. Many more people who also have a lot of experience tasting are saying not. I personally have not tried any 11s yet so can't give a personal note.

Also I must say I have to question the ladybug thing. It doesn't make sense to me that they come out of nowhere every 7 years like a plague and infect every vineyard in Burgundy. In fact the more Panzer speaks the more sense he makes. Now I'm really scared ! :-)
ladybugs are taking over the world nick.
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