Awards and citations:


1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for investdrinks.org

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award




Thursday, 23 February 2017

2005 Pétillant Vouvray to celebrate 30 years in Epeigné-les-Bois

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 2005 Brut Vouvray Pétillant, Domaine Huet


Yesterday we celebrated the 30th anniversary of having first visited our house in Epeigné-les-Bois. Thirty years since one cold Sunday morning (22nd February 1987) with snow on the ground we looked round the house in virtual darkness. The house had been up for sale for some 18 months and the electricity had been turned off. The wooden windows had swelled, so it was impossible to open them and so therefore not possible to open the shutters. Eight of us saw the ground floor of the house with the benefit of just one torch.

The 2005 Vouvray Pétillant was a very appropriate wine for this celebration. Not only is it a very fine example of a Pétillant, a local Touraine speciality but our company is called SCI Les Huîtres Pétillantes – the sparkling oysters. 

2005 was two years after the Hwang family bought Domaine Huet following the death of Gaston Huet in 2002 aged 92. In those days Noël Pinguet had a great relationship with Anthony Hwang. 

 Epeigné-les-Bois: The Mairie and the Salle des Fêtes

Parts of the village – above and below
 

 Noël Pinguet (above) and Anthony Hwang (below) during the 2010 vintage



   

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Back in London and ready for Muscadet crus....


Back in London late this afternoon having spent a good month or so in France mainly in the Loire. Back for a big tasting of Muscadet Crus at the offices of Decanter all tomorrow and also on Friday morning. 

We will be tasting not just the three officially recognised Muscadet Crus – Clisson, Gorges and le Pallet but also the four more: Château-Thebaud Goulaine, Monnières-Saint-Fiacre and Mouzillon-Tillière as well as other Muscadets made in the spirit of the cru communaux – long aging on the lees. 

I understand that the producers in the Pays Nantais have sent in a very generous number of samples including some old vintages. Naturally the tasting will be strictly blind and I am looking forward to it with keen anticipation.      

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Loire producers @2017 Millésime Bio + brief comments (Part 1)

Jean-Jacques Bonnet, Domaine Bonnet-Huteau, 
Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 
Makers of fine Muscadet 

Rémi Bonnet (below)


 
Thomas Carsin, Clos de l'Élu, Saint Aubin de Luigné, Anjou
Excellent Chenins 

Xavier Cailleau, Château Bois-Brinçon, Anjou
Good range of Anjou

Fred Niger, Domaine de l'Ecu, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 
The great experimenter
 
Philippe Vatan, Château de Hureau
Saumur and Saumur Champigny 
has long made a good range of Chenins and Cabernet Francs

Laura Semeria, Domaine de Montcy, 
Laura started in 2007
Sadly has been hit a number of times by frost 

Denis Jamain, Domaine de Reuilly
Excellent white and red Reuilly

Benoît Landron, Domaine Landon Chartier
Muscadet Coteaux du Loire  
Good Muscadet's including potential 
future cru Champtoceaux

 Some of the range of wines from Domaine Landon Chartier,
which is in the commune of Ligné on north side of the Loire 
between Ancenis and Nantes