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

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

2002 L'Effrontée, Touraine, Vincent Ricard

2002 L'Effrontée, AC Touraine, Ricard Père et Fils (Vincent Ricard)

It is always somewhat of a lottery (perhaps challenge more like) being given a glass blind and asked to guess what it is. So it was as my nephew, Richard, offered me a glass last night after a visit to the Sleeping Beauty panto@The Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells. Golden coloured – it was evident as the glass approached that the mystery wine was obviously sweet or quite oxidised. From first taste – definitely sweet and, although very attractive, with much apparent acidity. So where was it from?

The lack of apparent acidity moves me away – foolishly as it turned out – from the Loire. A Pinot Gris from Alsace I offer without much conviction and wasn't really surprised to learn that this guess was wrong but we establish that it is definitely from France. Flavours of unctuous ripe peach and some apricot confit – might it possibly be a late harvest Chardonnay?

Time for an ambiguous question – phrased so it can be read both ways – "It's not from the Loire, is it?"

Vincent Ricard circa 2003

It's from the Loire. Well it certainly isn't Chenin Blanc not enough acidity, so it has to be a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc. It might, of course, have been a Malvoisie but am fairly confident that Richard hasn't got any of the pretty rare Loire Malvoisies. I hazard a guess that it is a late harvest Sancerre forgetting that a number of years ago I had taken him to see Vincent Ricard in Thésée and one of the wines he had bought that day was the 2002 L'Effrontée – a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc vinified in wood. A lovely example - and a fascinating curiosity from Touraine.

Sleeping Beauty@Tunbridge Wells – fortunately all turned out OK in the end!

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