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

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Fast approaching Loire dates for your diary


Biotyfoule21 vigneronnes et vignerons bio tourangeaux vous donnent rendez-vous dans le hall de la Mairie de Tours les samedi 24 et dimanche 25 novembre 2018 pour la 9e édition de Biotyfoule.

Alors que les Français n'ont jamais été autant intéressés par les vins bio, cet événement sera l'occasion de découvrir qui se cache derrière les étiquettes. De Bourgueil à Vouvray, en passant par Montlouis, Azay-le-Rideau, Amboise ou Chinon, les producteurs présenteront leurs cuvées issues des cépages locaux travaillés en agriculture biologique certifiée. Vous évoluerez de stand en stand, comme lors d'une balade au cœur des terroirs tourangeaux.

Dégustation et vente. Accès libre, verre à dégustation : 5€.
Hôtel de Ville de Tours, samedi 24 de 11h à 19h, dimanche 25 de 10h à 18h.
Ouvert aux particuliers et aux professionnels. Petite restauration bio sur place. Ateliers du goût gratuits.



Anges Vins details here.


Saumur Salon

Details of Saumur Salon: 1st and 2nd December.  


La Boire

La BoireSalon de vins bio et naturelsSamedi 1 et dimanche 2 décembre 2018Au Wattignies Social Club, sur l’île de Nantes


Manu et Marion Landron-Pescheux, domaine Complémen'Terre (Muscadet);
Jacques et Agnès Carroget, domaine La Paonnerie (Pinards et Jus); Marie Carroget et Sandra Chenal (Nord Loire); Johan Chassé (Pinards et Jus); Philippe Chevarin (Pinards et Jus); Adrien De Mello, domaine de la Petite Sœur (Anjou); Stéphane Delettre (Bourgueil); Jacques Février, domaine Le Raisin à Plume (Pinards et Jus); Xavière Hardy (Pinards et Jus); Mathieu Lhotellier (Pinards et Jus); Marc Pesnot, domaine La Sénéchalière; Rémy Sédès (Pinards et Jus); Thibault Stephan (Saumur Puy- Notre-Dame); David Landron, l’Aufrère (Muscadet); Benoit, Bernard et Françoise Landron, domaines Landron- Chartier (Pinards et Jus); Emilie Brunet Tourette, domaine la Tour brune (Anjou);  Igor et Melanie, domaine du Bois Rond (Pinards et Jus); Yoann Gillot, domaine les Vins jardinés (Muscadet)

Julien Albertus, domaine Kumpf-Meyer

Sylvère Trichard, domaine Séléné

Gilles Wicky

Victor Beau, Domaine Inebriati
Patrice Dethil, domaine Calimàs  Rhône Sud
Elodie Aubert, Clos des Cîmes (Rhône Sud)

Romuald Ambitio



Olivier BELLANGER-- Domaine La Piffaudière, Pierre-Olivier BONHOMME-- Domaine Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme, Mikaël BOUGES, Alain COURTAULT et Simon TARDIEUX-- Domaine Courtault-Tardieux, Cédric FLEURY--Domaine Les Gauchers, Moses GADOUCHE et Pascal POTAIRE-- Les Capriades, Corinne et Paul GILLET-- Domaine des Maisons brûlées, Jean-Christophe JÉZÉQUEL, Anouk LAVOIE-LAMOUREUX et Paul André RISSE--Domaine Les Jardins de Theseiis, Ariane LESNÉ-- Domaine de Montrieux, Estelle MAÎTRE et François SAINT-LÉGER-- Les Caves de l'Arche Macé, Damien MENUT, Berjan MOL--Domaine La Taupe, Noëlla MORANTIN, Julien PINEAU, Pierre PRADELLE--Domaine des Pies blanches, Vincent ROUSSELY-- Clos Roussely, Jérôme SAUVETE-- Domaine Sauvète, Cyrille SEVIN-- Domaine Cyrille Sevin, Philippe TESSIER-- Domaine Philippe Tessier, Brendan TRACEY, Yann LE POLLOTEC – bière, La PIGEONNELLE – bière

Friday, 16 November 2018

Various from Portugal & France


Open space

Adegga Wine Market on Saturday 1st December 2018 – a date for your diary

Details 1.12.18

This year the winter Adegga Wine Market has a new venue at Armazém 16, Marvila, Lisboa with 70 Produtores Adegga, 500 Vinhos, 5 Chefs, 1 Sala Premium (Premium Room). Scenes from the 2015 Wine Market in Lisbon

There will be a special 'Rising Stars' section with Álvaro Martinho (Douro), Arribas Wine Company (Trás-os-Montes), Herdade da Anta da Cima (Alentejo), Portugal Boutique Winery (Douro), Rosa da Mata (Dão), Titan of Douro (Douro) already confirmed.

It will be interesting to see how the empty space above will be transformed for the Wine Market. If you happen to be in Lisbon on Saturday 1st December then a few hours spent at the Wine Market is highly recommended – a brilliant opportunity to meet some of Portugal's most interesting wine producers, taste their wines and then buy at a discounted price.

Lisbon is booming – a week last Sunday morning we travelled back into Lisbon where we had again had a great meal at Terroso and the streets were mobbed at 1.15 am with traffic jams – true it was the weekend before the Web Summit ...... but even so. Sadly Terroso is now closed on Sundays and Mondays, so long Sunday lunches are now out, so will just have to have long Saturday lunches or even long Tuesday lunches instead.

It is more than a full-time job trying to keep up with all the new bars and restaurant openings in Central Lisbon. During our brief Lisbon visit we did try one new restaurant – Picamiolos, where the influence is very much from the Alentejo. We were very impressed.

Rabbit chops

There were some very creative dishes like the above very crispy rabbit chops – so crispy that you eat the bone and all.

Accorda Guinea Fowl

Acorda is very much a traditional Portuguese recipe – a recipe based on bread and including fish or shellfish often prawns or monkfish. Acorda is a little like a bread porridge. Although well done acorda can be very good, here at Picamiolos the approach was decidedly different. Their acorda of guinea fowl was more akin to a bread and butter pudding without the sweetness – the bread lightly toasted. With this we drank the fascinating and lightly spicy 2013 Mayor from José da Sousa, which is vinified in ceramic amphora that has a very long tradition in the Alentejo dating back to Roman times.

I do hope that Lisbon will ride the boom and continue to offer quality food and drink at a reasonable price wherever you go – one of the big reasons for the the city's current popularity. If it doesn't then there is always a danger that boom can turn rapidly to bust.


Make Mine a Pouilly-Fumé!

2014 La Mine-miner

2014 La Mine

On Friday night we opened the stunning 2014 Barre à Mine, Blanc Fumé de Pouilly from Michel Redde – a combination of lovely rich texture citric fruits edging towards more exotic fruits matching by great clean mineral length. Drinking brilliantly now but clearly capable of aging much longer.

Barre à Mine comes from a special relatively recently created vineyard planted in very flinty ground just off the D4 close to La Roche in the northern end of the Pouilly-Fumé appellation. The Reddes cleared some huge boulders (see below) from ground around an old quarry – hence the name.


Vines struggling through pure flint....


Vignobles & Signatures venture to London (part two)

IMG_8344 (1)

(First published on Les 5 du Vin)

My last week's post covered the Loire producers who were present at the first London tasting. This week covers those producers from other parts of France and whose wines I tasted and impressed me and, in the case of Roger Groult, his cider and Calvados. To make this tasting manageable producers were limited to showing four examples from their range.

Domaine Paul Blanck & Fils
It was good to see Philippe Blanck again and taste the wines which Frédéric, his cousin, makes. The Blanck wines have lovely purity and precision. This was typified by the 2017 Rosenbourg Riesling, from a parcel planted on granite, with its concentration of fruit and length on the palate. No doubt the severe April frost, which reduced yields by 80%, accentuated this wine's precision.  Their 2016 Grand Cru Furstentum, comes from a limestone vineyard, and has lovely mouth-filling texture and again is very long and precise. Surely this has the potential to age for many years.


Domaine Cauhapé
Moving from the eastern end of France to the south-west to Jurançon close to the Pyrénées, I was impressed by all four of the Domaine Cauhapé wines – 2017 Geyser (sec), 2015 La Canopée (sec), 2015 C de Cauhapé (sec) and 2015 Quator. But then Cauhapé has long been a source of fine Jurançon – both sec and moelleux. I'll pick out the richly fruited and textured 2015 Quator (100% Petit Manseng), which is a blend of the best of Cauhapé's range of sweet wines. It has wonderful freshness in the finish to balance the rich fruit.

Coume del Mas 
This domaine, which joined Vignobles & Signatures last year, was created in 2001 by Philippe and Nathalie Gard making Banyuls and Collioure. I was particularly impressed by their 2016 Quadratur Collioure made from 50% Grenache Noir, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Carignan. Full of rich, concentrated, ripe black fruits it has lovely texture and  very good length.

Les Grisettes

Roger Groult
Although I have tasted and enjoyed Roger Groult's Calvados, I had never tried his cider. The company's origins go back to the 18th Century but it was Roger Groult (1905-1988) who really established distillery's reputation and gave the company his name. His grandson is now the owner and distiller.

I liked the cider's strong appley character, which I assume comes both from the quality of fruit but also that the cider is bottled fermented and spends two years on its lees before being dégorged. I tasted the 2015, which was dégorged in 2017. Unfortunately it is not available in the UK. As it retails for 12€ in France it may be the price that puts UK imports off.

The three Calvados on show – 3 ans d'âge, Vénerable and the Sherry cask finish – were all impressive particularly for the gentleness of the spirit – not at all aggressive.

Amongst other wines tasted – Jean Durup's crisp 2017 Petit Chablis (10.80€) and the more concentrated 2017 Chablis (13.30€) were good value and that Domaine de l'Hortus (Pic Saint-Loup) remains a star of the Languedoc.