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

Monday, 26 March 2012

A new player in Montlouis

Aynard de Clermont-Tonnerre amongst the vines@Les Boulayes
Aynard de Clermont-Tonnerre: "what a ridiculous angle!"

In January 2012 Aynard and Isabelle Clérmont de Tonnerre concluded a deal with Michel Antier, which gave them access to 22 hectares of Montlouis – some already planted 13.5 ha in two parcels: Les Boulayes and Les Batisses. These parcels used to belong to Olivier Deletang, who for personal and financial reasons, sold up in 2009 to Michel Antier – the largest landowner in Montlouis.  

Aynard de Clermont Tonnerre with Michel Antier 

In turn Antier decided that he now had too much land, so has started to sell off  a few of his parcels. This has allowed Aynard de Clermont-Tonnerre to rent Les Batisses on a long contact and Les Boulayes but with the option to buy the latter in a couple of years. Aynard and Isabelle already have 22 hectares of vines at the Clos du Porteau in Saint-Georges-sur-Cher as Appellation Touraine. Following the Montlouis deal, they have given back some of 12ha of their rented vines in AC Touraine to the their owner, leaving them with 10 hectares mainly planted with Sauvignon Blanc with some Cabernet Franc and Côt in addition. 

 Aynard amongst the old Chenin vines: Les  Boulayes

At Les Batisses, which is just to the north of Jacky Blot's Le Clos Mosny, all 11 hectares are planted, while at Les Boulayes, about a kilometre or so further east, only 2.5 hectares are currently in production with a potential 8.5 hectares to plant. This year the vineyard will be farmed organically and next year will see the start of conversion to biodynamics. 

After the visit we tasted a couple of Olivier Delétang's wines from 2009 – his last vintage. Firstly Les Batisses sec followed by a Moelleux. Although both were perfectly pleasant, well made and would be a good choice for a wine by the glass in a restaurant or wine bar, neither were at the standard I remember Delétang producing in the past. They lack the concentration and character that would lift them to make them memorable. A question of pushing the yields up towards the maximum permitted?  

Some Cabernet Franc vines@Les Boulayes (not part of the deal)

Elderly Chenin vines@Les Boulayes

Vine@Les Boulayes looking south towards the Cher Valley and Saint-Martin-le-Beau (above and below)

Sunlight on the wires and vines@Les Batisses

The chai@Les Boulayes

The parcel at Les Boulayes comes with a winery. Although the functional building will not win any beauty prizes, Aynard is very pleased to have this facility as apparently it is more difficult to find a winery/chai in Montlouis than vines.   

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