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

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, 29 September 2016

#2016Loire – the shocking and sad ravages of mildew

In 27 years of covering wines in the Loire these are amongst the most shocking and sad sights that I have seen. On the eve of the vintage nothing here that could be picked. Bunches of Chenin Blanc grapes attacked and destroyed by mildew.

Taken in Montlouis, this is not to say that there are no decent grapes in Montlouis or other appellations but these photos bring me up short.   

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

2016 Loire harvest – brief updates inc Sancerre + Pouilly

The cross above Chavignol 
looking towards Sancerre 

La Loire and Pouilly-sur-Loire

The Ban des Vendanges for Pouilly-Fumé/Pouilly-sur-Loire is on Friday 30th September.

Even though Sancerre is further west, so closer to the Atlantic Ocean, their Ban des Vendanges is a day later – Saturday 1st October.

Elsewhere in the Central Vineyards picking in Quincy and Reuilly started at least a week ago. 

Had time today for a quick VTT (mountain bike – technical term but a considerable misnomer in this part of the Loire) ride through some of the vineyards of Saint-Georges-sur-Cher (Loir-et-Cher) dropping in briefly on Vincent Lacour in in the hamlet of Vrigny.   

Vincent was just finishing his last bin of Sauvignon Blanc. "Our Sauvignon Blanc is very variable this year but it is too soon to know the level of quality."

 Sign in Vrigny for the Vincent Lacour winery

 Pressed Sauvignon Blanc skins

Watching progress 
Vincent's father finishing  
helping to empty the trailer 

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Porto + Douro #winelovers – some more pics from 22.9 - 26.9

 The view from Burmester's reception room

After an early flight from Porto to Tours we are now back in the Loire to catch up and take stock of how the 2016 Loire vintage is going. Certainly there is a well established fine spell of weather here forecast to continue for some time, so good conditions for the moment to harvest what is left – sadly small compensation for those hardest hit by frost and mildew. Harvest updates to follow but today a few more pics from Porto and the Douro.  

 Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia: ridiculous photogenic!

 #winelover – Jürgen Schmücking 
and Giannis Krassaki @Burmester
Jürgen Schmücking 

Luiz Alberto: the master blender....

Some seafood at O Gaveto – great seafood restaurant 
in Porto close to the ocean 
2015 contacto – another Alvarinho treat from Anselmo Mendes 

2002 Viña Gravonia from Tondonia 
evidence that it is just Portugal 
that makes good whites on the Iberian Peninsula .....

Dirk Niepoort

2012 Reserva Douro, Duorum 
One of my favourite wines from the Adegga 
mini-wine market on Saturady