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, 19 October 2017

L'eglise d'Epeigné-les-Bois – at the apex


Today the workers – real craftsmen – on the church at Epeigné-les-Bois reached the apex of the roof with their tiling.The church is looking increasingly magnificent.



Wednesday, 18 October 2017

2017 Loire: David Vigan (Château du Breuil)


 Château du Breuil, Beaulieu sur Layon

After our quick visit to the Quarts de Chaume we bumped into David Vigan, who has been the régisseur at Château du Breuil since 2006. Time for a quick chat about the 2017 vintage.

David explained that they had started picking for their Crémant at the end of August before moving onto their dry whites. He was pleased with the quality and commented on the very expressive aromas from the reds during fermentation. The Cabernets, especially the Cabernet Sauvignon had come in at 14% potential. Yields from their Grolleau were low due to frost and then the drought. There was little juice in the berries. 

Like many others they had been badly hit by frost in Savennières. They normally make between 7000-7500 litres there but this year there will be just 1000 litres.  

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Wines @La Promenade, Le Petit Pressigny on 6th October 2017


Michel Autran, Cap à l'ouest, 
Brut Nature, Vin de France
based in Vouvray 



Seven of us gathered for a celebratory lunch at La Promenade, Le Petit Pressigny on Friday 6th October. We started with Michel Autran's lovely sparkling wine, which is fermented in barrel and then transferred to bottle. Brightly clean and crisp, this underlines how good Michel's wine have become. 

Then for our first courses and the fish we briefly left the Loire for Burgundy and this fine Saint-Aubin. Then we came back to the Loire with a bang with a duo of Foucaults – their Saumur-Champigny 2010 and 2011. It was the 2011 that Xavier Fortin, the star sommelier at La Promenade, had on the list. Very kindly he let us have one of his last 2010s that he had squirreled away someone. 

The contrast between the 2010 and 2011 was fascinating. The 2011 is still fairly closed with quite marked acidity in the finish. In contrast the 2010 is a real delight with lovely texture, some opulence, complexity and length. Xavier believes that with more time in bottle the 2011 will equal the 2010. Maybe but I am far from sure.  

It was very good to be able to drink these two Foucault wines as you have to wonder whether under the new ownership these wines will become even more expensive.  



2012 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Clos de la Chatenière Vieilles Vignes 
Hubert Lamy

2010 and 2011 Saumur Champigny 
Clos Rougeard, Frères Foucault