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, 26 November 2015

2015 bioTyfoule in Tours at the Hotel de Ville

Hotel de Ville, Tours 
Mass of tributes on the steps of the Hotel de Ville 
to those killed in the Paris attacks (13th November 2015)

Serendipitously I was in Tours this weekend for the Rencontres de François Rabelais as I was one of the speakers at a table ronde on oenotourism (wine tourism) so was able to go along to this Salon des vignerons bio tourangeaux - bioTyfoule (beautiful).

Interestingly the need to publicise events and to make more use of social media were among the topics raised at our round table. I only found out about bioTyfoule last Wednesday through an email from Château de Minière. Although I did post the information on Jim's Loire, it would have been far better to have the information much earlier as one of my aims with the blog is to help to publicise events like this.

I was able to spend about four hours at the Salon, so was able to taste most of the wines there. The vignerons were, in theory, limited to showing four wines, which most respected while there were a few who bought a few more wines. Azay-le-Rideau, Bourgueil, Chinon and Montlouis were strongly represented.

It is clear that there are many attractive wines from 2014 with round, seductive reds. It is also impressive that there are some successful reds even in the very far from easy 2013 vintage, even though they are overshadowed by the 2014s.

It was good to get up to date with the changes at the former Les Loges de la Folie in Montlouis. I understand that Valery Mordelet left the domaine at the beginning of 2014. Hervé Grenier, who was looking for an organic domaine in Montlouis, bought the property during 2014, which is his first vintage. The domaine is now called Vallée Moray with six hectares of Chenin and four of assorted reds, including some Pinot Noir, planted on ground classified as Montlouis and close to Les Bournais. Ironically
Hervé says that this vineyard  would be very good for Chenin.

Vincent Bergeron

Fortunately there is continuity as Jean-Daniel Kloeckle, one of the previous owners, is now employed by Hervé. Little or no wine was made in 2012 and 2013. Also involved is Vincent Bergeron. I was impressed by their 2014  L'Aubépine (Montlouis sec) and the clean and lemony Bulles Palladium. Later I tried two reds - a very good, concentrated Gamay - 2014 Arcadienne vin de France as well as a Pinot Noir - 2014 Les Figurines.

Other producers who impressed on the day

Julien Pinon 

François Piñon - represented by his son Julien, especially 2014 Silex Noir, and their new single vineyard - Les Déronnières. Grapes from this vineyard have long gone into Silex Noir but the Pinons have wanted to bottle it separately. Frost intervened in 2012 and hail in 2013. 

Domaine de la GarrelièreFrançois and Pascaline Plouzeau (Touraine) esp 2011 Marquis de C – a Chenin/Sauvignon blend and the fizz Millard d'Etoiles, which is a blend of 50% Chenin and 50% Cabernet Franc.

Ludovic Chanson (Montlouis)
Ludo disarmingly admitted that his yields in 2015 had been - down in the 20s as he hadn't been as active in his vineyard as he should have been. I liked particularly the 2014 Les Cabotines - precise, honey and quince.

Benoît Mérias (Montlouis) I enjoyed both 2013 Les Quarts - saline, quite austere but precise - and 2013 Maisonnettes (also saline but with a little more structure and concentration – 6grams of residual sugar). 

Lise et Bertrand Jousset (Montlouis) 
2014 Clos aux Renards has attractive texture, honeyed weight and good length.

Château de la Roche en Loire (Azay-le-Rideau) - Louis Jean and Florence Sylvos.
Their 2014 Azay-le-Rideau Blanc Frédérique is softly and delicately honeyed with good length. Louis Jean is admirably farsighted: he is convinced that his 2020 vintage will be excellent.....and available to taste soon!!

Nicolas Paget (Azay le Rideau) I tasted an impressive range with Nicolas including some very interesting reds – to be covered in the next post. The two whites (Azay-le-Rideau) were 2014 Opus Azay – weight, texture and a touch of honey from 40 year-old vines planted on flint – and

Jean-Max Manceau’s 2014 Noir et blanc Chinon Blanc with good weight, concentration and currently a little touch of wood. This cuvée is vinified and aged in 400-litre barrels. Jean-Max stresses how different is his white cuvée, which is vinified in an oeuf.    

2014 Les Culs de Boeufs at Limerary (northside of the Loire) a single vineyard on the premières côtes facing south overlooking the Loire.

Finally from Domaine Montoray (Claude Aupetitgendre) in Lussault-sur-Loire their 2014 L’Oiseau Blanc Montlouis, which was picked about a week later than their entry-level Montlouis – Libreval – and consequently has more weight than the former while remaining delicate.   

A post on the reds will follow.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Bouvet-Ladubay back with Monmousseau family after 41 years

 President Patrice Monmousseau
Conducteur en chef !

Juliette Monmousseau CEO


Indian-based United Spirits, controlled by Diageo, recently put its non-core businesses, including Bouvet Ladubay, up for sale. In early November the sale was announced though the purchaser was not revealed at the time. On 18th November a management buyout deal was finalised to put the Monmousseau family are now back in control of Bouvet-Ladubay 41-years after it was bought by Taittinger. 
Under the deal the family hold 100% of the shares. In order to finance the purchase, the Monmousseau family created an acquisition holding in conjunction with three private equity firms - Ouest Croissance, regional investor and leader of the operation; CM CIC Investments; and Unigrains – together with a consortium of banking institutions headed by Banque Populaire Atlantique, and including the Banque CIC Ouest, the Banque Européenne du Credit Mutuel, and the Banque Caisse d'Epargne Bretagne Pays de la Loire. With a majority of partners based in the Loire region, this deal marks the return to regional based financing for the company

Bouvet-Ladubay has changed hands a number of times since it was founded in 1851 by Etienne Bouvet and his wife – Célestine Ladubay. In 1932 it was bought by Justin-Marcel Monmousseau, Patrice's grandfather. In 1974 Taittinger bought Bouvet along the Monmousseau sparkling wine business in Montrichard in Touraine. In 2006 Taittinger sold to Indian-based United Breweries/United Spirits. This allowed Bouvet to launch in the Indian market. 

However, United Breweries, owner of Kingfisher beer, ran into problems with their Kingfisher Airline. During 2013 Diageo became the largest shareholder in United Spirits.   

The Monmousseau family, however, continued to run the company. Patrice has been the in charge since taking over from his father, Jean, in 1972. The dynamic, ebullient, trumpet-playing Patrice Monmousseau will remain president and Juliette, his daughter, continues as CEO.

Bouvet-Ladubay is based in Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent, a western suburb of Saumur. In 2008 they have invested in a new vinification and cellaring facility at nearby Distré called Bouvet Full Metal .

Cuvée Trésor, white and rosé, are Bouvet's top sparkling wines. The company has long been a patron of the arts. Since 1996 they have hosted the Journées du Livres et du Vin, celebrating literature and wine.

In 1994 Monmousseau (Montrichard) was sold by Taittinger to the Bernard-Massard, who in turn sold the company to pan-Loire company Ackerman in 2010.    


 In Bouvet's historic cellars


The Monmousseaus love to hold 
elaborate parties for their distributors