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 January 2015

9th March: Skin Côntact Live – tickets now on sale

Tickets for the wine trade's gig of the year are now on sale here.

All proceeds from Skin Contact Live are going to Wine Relief, a wine trade fundraising initiative for Comic Relief, which is holding Red Nose Day on Friday 13 March 2015. The aim is to raise at least £10,000.

More details about the event here

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Millésime Bio: newly weds, cool dudes, Marco's Rosé!

 The newly weds Michel et Monique Louison 
il y a cinquante ans!
(above and below)

 Michel busy exploring the secret of eternal youth....!

It is always great to meet up with the Louisons again, who I first met back in July 1990. They are making lovely Loire style wines in Limoux. Not that surprising as Michel was born in Tours and they moved to Limoux because they found Faugères was becoming too hot for their style of wine.

 The cool Lone Rangers of Domaine FL (Savennières, Anjou etc.)

Above: Clint Pasquiers

Below: Pierre Buvat  

Châpeaux – 'for a few euros more'!

Pierre Clavel (Domaine Clavel, Languedoc) with his deep coloured 
and weighty 2014 Rosé à Rougir
(nom grace à Marc Vanhellemont)

Pierre Clavel: this is a rosé made in the style of 20 or years ago. There is nothing new! My other lighter rosé is for the summer while this is for the other three seasons – spring, autumn and winter. Although I made the wine, it was Marc Vanhellemont (Les 5 du Vin) who came up with the name. 

 Even Pierre seems surprised by rosés success!


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Millésime Bio – around the fair Monday

 Marc Vanhellemont – one of Les 5 du Vin

 Michel Smith – another member of Les 5 du Vin – 
with a good and inexpensive red from the Abbaye de Valmagne

 Rémi Bonnet, Bonnet-Huteau (Pays Nantais)

Bonnet-Huteau: their Muscadet Sèvre et Maine looking very promising – concentration and vivacity.  

 Jean-Jacques Bonnet, Bonnet-Huteau (Pays Nantais)

 Jean-Luc Danto

 Frédéric Sigonneau, Domaine de L'R (Chinon) 
searching for finesse rather than power
 Hamish Wakes-Miller makes a defiant last stand for the tie 

 Jérôme Bretaudeau, Domaine de Belle Vue (Pays Nantais)

Domaine de Belle Vue: 2014 Main-mian – good juicy easy drinking red from Cabernet Franc; 2014 Muscadets very promising with lovely textures and balance.

 Guillaume Pire, Château de Fosse-Sèche (Saumur)

Good 2013 Arcane Saumur Blanc much better than 2012 Eolithe Saumur Rouge. 

Sylviane Quenioux, Domaine de Veilloux (Cheverny)

Another example of a promising 2014: their Domaine white: 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Chardonnay.

Clos Christelle (Muscadet SMS) by Christelle Guibert and Vincent Caillé

 Vincent Caillé and Christelle Guibert with the 2014 Clos Christelle

Adding to the increasing buzz about Muscadet is the brand new Clos Christelle Muscadet SMS – the fruit of a partnership between Christelle Guibert, who hails from the Pays Nantais but is best known as directrice of the annual Decanter World Wine Awards, and Vincent Caillé (Le Fay d'Homme), a well reputed Muscadet producer in Monnières. Today Clos Christelle had its first public outing at Millésime Bio.

Last year Christelle bought an acre of vines planted with Melon de Bourgogne and it was Vincent who vinified this 2014 Clos Christelle – happily a good vintage for a debut. She set up a small company called Vine Revival, which is based in the Impasse Auguste Renois, Haute-Goulaine and is run for Christelle by 44-year-old Rodolphe Dejoie.

During fermentation Christelle sent many text messages and instructions to Vincent from London and sometimes from Hong Kong, so hence Muscadet SMS.

The 2014 Clos Christelle was vinified in a concrete egg and this was a tank sample. It has attractive weight, a hint of butter giving complexity and is quite evolved. This may be due to being in a concrete egg. There are 3300 bottles of the 2014 Clos Christelle.    

Vincent looking slightly apprehensive 

Serving Clos Christelle 

 Christelle with an early draft mock up of the 2014 Clos Christelle label