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

Friday, 21 October 2016

Epeigné-les-Bois: once upon a walnut tree

The increasingly dominant walnut tree

A painting showing the walnut tree in 1992 

When we bought the house in Epeigné-les-Bois in 1987 the walnut tree by the front gate was quite modest. Inevitably over the years it grew and grew despite being pruned every two years over the past decade or so. 

Although it provided shade in the front patio its expanding roots caused problems to walls, pavements etc. It did, however bear memorable witness to the severe frost of April 21st 1991. We had been at Epeigné in early April. The vines and other plants, including our walnut tree, were already starting to bud and shoot. When we came back at the end of May, all the shoots on the walnut were still blackened. 

Sadly we concluded that the walnut would have to go. Sadly its last crop of walnuts were black and rotten with only a few decent nuts. Today was the day:

Starting to go.....



Now an uninterrupted view of Epeigné's church   

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Excellent meal and lovely Red Sancerre @La Côte des Monts Damnés

The dining room @La Côte des Monts Damnés

Jean-Marc Bourgeois
On Monday night CRM and I had a wonderful meal at La Côte des Monts Damnés in Chavignol, where we were staying overnight. Jean-Marc Bourgeois is the chef and his food always impresses but Monday night it was exceptionally good. The standout dish for me was the beetroot gaspacho with crab – looked stunning and tasted equally good!

After a very agreeable 2015 Grand Reserve, Sancerre Blanc from Henri Bourgeois with the considerable weight of the 2015 vintage, we chose the 2014 Sancerre Rouge Le Cul de Beaujeu from Domaine Vincent Delaporte now run by Matthieu Delaporte, grandson of Vincent. The Delaportes are the only growers to have Pinot Noir planted on the steep slopes of Le Cul. I thought the 2014 might be a bit young. However, although I'm sure it will age well it is drinking superbly now with mouth filling silky fruit.  

Mise en bouche

Langoustines looking towards Asia-Pacific 

Gaspacho de betterave rouge et tomate, émiette de 
tourteau au basilic de cervelle Canut à l'huile d'olive 

 Rack and saddle of lamb with a special spicy sausage  
Deliciously flavoursome lamb

 Côte de veau

 2014 Sancerre 'Le Cul de Beaujeu' Vincent Delaporte 


Soufflé chaud à la mandarine et Grand Marnier 

 Le coup de grâce !