The most exciting new feature of the guide is the new award system we have devised. Those who have had previous editions of the guide will recall that we awarded in each edition a winemaker award for those star winemakers who have made the most impact on us during the period of research for that edition. In this 9th edition we have expanded our choices from about three to nine. As well as the award winning winemakers of this edition, there are many Stellar Cellars that stand out for the quality of their current releases. We have opted with this edition to amend our approach with many more producers awarded with rosettes to reflect the quality of their work. For details of these awards - see pages 9 & 10 of the Guide.
Worst domaine profiles where there have been deaths have not been updated. Yves Lambert is said to be running Domaine St Just in Saumur – sadly Yves died in June 2012. Similarly Joël Taluau of Joël Taluau et Thierry Foltzenlogel in Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil died in June 2013.
Noël Pinguet is listed as running Domaine Huet with Anthony Hwang when he left in acrimonious circumstances in February 2012 and Anthony has handed over the running of the domaine to his daughter and son. Jacky Blot (Domaine de la Taille aux Loups – Montlouis and Vouvray) is said to have 25 hectares of vines. He now has at least 60 hectares across the two appellations.
Château Yvonne (Saumur) is said to still belong to Yvonne and Jacques Lamunière when the property was sold to Matthieu Vallée in 2007.
Brief mention is made of the late Didier Dagueneau’s project in Jurançon is expected to ‘produce brilliant results’ when the first vintage was 2004. Domaine Henri Bourgeois – 'A new investment has been made in Marlborough in New Zealand.' The Bourgeois Clos Henri was set up in 2000 with the first vintage in 2003 – admittedly just three barrels.
More positively there are profiles, such as Domaine FL (Anjou) and Domaine de l'Ecu, that do cover recent changes. However, if the Loire section is a guide then Wine behind the label still needs considerable further revision. Certainly before it is published as a printed book in late summer at £50 or $80 or €60.