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, 19 February 2012

Quarts de Chaume: Grand Cru: New York Times article

Part of the Quarts de Chaume (CRM)

There is an interesting article – The Bitter Battle Over Sweet Wine – by Eric Pfanner in the New York Times (17th February 2012)*.

While not wanting to spend much more time on this controversy on Jim's Loire until I have had an opportunity to get Florent Baumard's objections (he is currently away travelling) to the new décret the following caught my attention:

'Mr. Baumard has another objection, this one more personal. Under the fine print in the proposal, certain vine-growing and winemaking practices long employed by his estate would be banned.

These include a technique called cryo-selection, which involves freezing the grapes before they are pressed. Some critics describe this as a way to artificially concentrate the wine, though Mr. Baumard said he used it merely as a way to sort out inferior grapes. Some of the most prominent producers of sweet wine in Sauternes, the great Bordeaux appellation, do the same, he added.

Banning such processes “is Bolshevism, a return to the Middle Ages,” he said.'

It is much more surprising that top properties in Sauternes, including Château d'Yquem, are allowed to use cryoselection/cryoextraction rather than producers in the Quarts de Chaume have chosen to ban this practice with effect from the 2020 vintage.

If Eric Pfanner is correct in reporting that Florent uses 'it merely as a way to sort out inferior grapes', the Baumards are hardly going to disadvantaged by the ban as inferior grapes can be rejected during the harvest either by the pickers themselves, by using a sorting table in the vineyard or by having a sorting table in the winery or a combination of all three.

*: A version of this article appeared in print on February 18, 2012, in The International Herald Tribune.


Details here and here of what is in the new Quarts de Chaume décret.

See also a post by Chris Kissack (the wine doctor) here on L'Affaire des Baumard and their 1997 Quarts de Chaume and his profile of the domaine

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