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

Sunday, 13 December 2009

2008 L'Authentique, Simon Hawkins, Domaine du Fontenay

11 December 2009

Simon gave me this bottle to try when we stayed at their excellent chambres d'hôtes (Domaine du Fontenay) in the Côte Roannaise in August with the instruction not to taste this cuvée until the end this year at the earliest as it had just been bottled and needed time. The label explains the name – L'authentique – 'On the 12th May 1855, the Archbishop of Lyon came to bless the domaine's private chapel. This wine reflects the full bodied style produced at that time. Traditionally made with no added sugar or tannin. Bottled unfiltered.'

Inside the chapel

Made from 100% Gamay (the only grape allowed for Côte Roannaise) this is still a youthful purple, medium weight with vivid raspberry fruit and quite vibrant acidity in the finish. Enjoyable now but may well soften and mellow a little over the next year or so.

View from the decking of the chambres d'hôtes across La Loire towards Roanne

See report of visit to Domaine du Fontenay here.

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