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, 16 January 2013

More Loire from French Independent Wine Growers 15th January 2013

Bernard Maillard, Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine 
with his 2009 Clisson – a cru communaux

Bernard Maillard, owner of 19 hectares in Saint Lumine de Clisson, has good reason to smile: he was one of the few producers in Muscadet to enjoy a reasonable vintage in terms of volume. His average yield was 40 hl/ha. Granted  this is lower than normal but way higher than the miserly average of 23 hl/ha for the Pays Nantais. Bernard believes one of the reasons for his higher yield was due to his vines being less advanced than those further north in the appellation – he had a more successfully flowering.  

I liked Bernard's weighty 2012 Prestige des Roches Pyrénées, Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine as well as his fresh and lightly floral 2012 Sauvignon Gris IGP – a more delicate expression of Sauvignon than that customarily provided by Sauvignon Blanc. 

Xavier Amirault, Clos des Quarterons, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil

Xavier Amirault (Clos des Quarterons): '2012 was really difficult with a lot of rain while we were picking in October with increasing amounts of rot. We pick by hand and because of the conditions we were running to keep up. I kept thinking perhaps we should pick by machine for a couple of days to catch up but eventually decided against it. In 2012 we were 20% down on our normal production. 

Xavier (above) holds the softly textured, black fruited 2010 Vieilles Vignes Saint Nicolas-de-Bourgueil. – certainly the best of the three reds he showed and one that should keep at least a decade. It demonstrates once again what a fine red vintage as well as white 2010 is. It is on a par with the acclaimed 2009s and may perhaps be superior.    

Xavier Amirault

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