This morning all the wines that we had provisionally selected yesterday were retasted. Where there was complete unanimity that they were of Ambassadorial quality they went through. Where the panel was split, these were retasted and discussed at length. All in all, this was a very thorough exercise with the jury impressed with both the quality of the wines selected and with the variety of styles from the herbaceous and grassy through citric to ripe tropical fruit of mango and guava.
There are 29 Sauvignon Blanc Ambassadors for 2009 with wines coming from the Pays Nantais through to eastern Touraine out of around 75 submitted – 38.7%. Given that this is the first year of the project this is a pretty good start. Certainly the good conditions in September and October 2008 helped, although the vintage was not straightforward for Sauvignon Blanc. The list of wines selected will be published on Jim's Loire as soon as the growers involved in the SB project have been informed.
I hope that it will be possible to promote Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc Ambassadors jointly as this will give both selections more punch.