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

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

@The Green Man & French Horn with Jo Landron and Pierre Breton

Jo Landron (Muscadet Sévre-et-Maine sur lie)  

Dinner with Pierre Breton and Jo Landron 

Pierre Breton (Bourgueil, Chinon and Vouvray)

Last night was the first time that the relatively recently opened Green Man and French Horn have held a dinner with Loire producers. They kicked off with a vertical from Jo Landon's Fief du Breuil, which was fascinating with the wines really reflecting their vintages. With the reds we started with three vintages from Pierre Breton followed by two older years from Pierre Ferrand, Château de Ligré. 

Dinner cooked by Ed Wilson and his team was very good - not flashy just good ingredients correctly cooked. I thought the sander in beurre blanc and the rabbit in white wine with mashed potatoes were the stand out dishes.

Journalist guests at the dinner included Victoria Moore (wine correspondent for the Telegraph), restaurant critic Bill Knott, Richard Siddle (editor of Harpers Wine & Spirit).

Notes on the wines:
Joseph Landron – vertical of Fief du Breil:

Weight, good conc still youthful - attractive now but should develop greater complexity with time.

Nicely austere typical of the vintage very clean – très droit. Oysters please!

Weight more flattering and approachable than 2007. Still youthful tons of life. Calls for a plâteau fruits du mer. 

A return to austerity although less so than 2007 has evolved a little, good length persistence – another one for a plâteau fruits de mer. 

Slight deviation in the middle, quite austere.crystalline quality but not sure about middle palate. Unfortunately the second bottle was completely corked.

With dinner: 

2012 Grains de Raisin
Easy drinking with some weight from the concentrated 2012 vintage. Has to be called Muscadet Nouveau. Jo prefers to stress the Grains de Raisin name rather than Muscadet Nouveau. ut this is only part of his reservations over the wine, which stem from having to rush it by mid-November only weeks after the vintage, although it does have the advantage of giving him more time with his Amphibolite cuvée before releasing it. A solution would be to release Grains de Raisin in January – it wouldn't be a nouveau but this might well not matter. 

2002 Fief du Breil magnum 
Unfortunately the first bottle was corked but the second was excellent with all the purity and balance you would expect from the 2002 vintage. Sadly Jo has very few of these left. 


Pierre Breton: vertical of Bourgueil Perrières and two from Château de Ligré

Mid-plum, some weight grainy tannins, touch of sous bois pas mal but not same standard as the Villeneuve Grand Clos but perhaps an unfair comparison.

Bricky colour, evolved Cabernet Franc nose, certainly impressive for this difficult  vintage where tropical conditions during the harvest produced a lot of rot, lighter body than 1996 but enjoyable and showing well.

Noticeable green pepper aromas but soft fruit on palate. Needs food but holding up.

There is a definite nod to Burgundy in these wines especially as they age.

Two from Château de Ligré: 

Sous bois, bricky, sweet evolved fruit but still there.

1976 Ligre
Aromas of mousseron and sous bois, rich fruit, another 76 on impressive form

With dinner:

2011 Avis de Vin Fort
Very easy drinking, soft red from a five day cuvaison. However, it is quite expensive for what it is. wine-searcher shows the 2011 retailing in France from 11 euros, while the 2010 Château de Villeneuve Saumur-Champigny is available from 8.50€.   

1997 Les Perrières Pierre Breton
Very soft and seductive – typical of the 1997 vintage and showing very well. 

Chef Ed Wilson tasting

 L_R: Bill Knott, Victoria Moore, Douglas Wregg and Richard Siddle 

 Victoria Moore

 Josie Stead of the Quality Chop House 

Jo and his moustache 

  Douglas Wregg expressing mild surprise that 
natural wines haven't yet conquered the world

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