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

Thursday, 6 August 2015

#2015 Les Grandes Tablées de Saumur-Champigny – Wednesday evening 5th August

This morning's front page of Le Courrier de l'Ouest
(above and below)  

  Les Britanniques trinquent à la santé de Saumur 

Not sure that a photo of a trio of Brits (actually Juel is Australian) wearing bowlers (un châpeau melon) is going to do wonders for the sales of Saumur-Champigny. 
Yesterday was the first of two evenings for Les Grandes Tablées – a 'picnic' in the centre of Saumur brilliantly organised by the Saumur-Champigny producers and their friends. A wonderfully friendly occasion with people enjoying themselves without getting drunk, even though you could have as many glasses of the special cuvée of Saumur-Champigny as you wished. The special cuvée is made from grapes supplied by 100 Saumur-Champigny producers. The softly textured and ripe 2014 Cuvée Speciale was a delight to drink.
Many thanks to the Syndicat de Saumur-Champigny for inviting me to the 2015 edition of Les Grandes Tablées. The last time I was invited was in 2005 and that turned out to be a veryy good vintage. Although there is still awhile to go, 2015 is shaping up promisingly, although the young vines are beginning to suffer from lack of water as there has been very little rain since the beginning of June. Prayers are now being offered for 40 mm of rain before the vintage – in two equal parts: 20 mm and then a little later another 20 mm. Hopefully someone is listening!
Photos from Les Grandes Tablées – 5th August 2015:  

 Work on setting up the tables and stands starts early in the morning 

 One of the bands getting prepared for the evening

A cyclist passes an array of tables and chairs awaiting customers 

 Marie-Anne Simonneau, Syndicat Saumur-Champigny  
(right) on the boutique stand

This year the theme was 'British', 
so a French take on some typical British dishes 

'Façon' pork pie  

On plate deconstructed pork pie – terrine with separate leaf of pastry
Mushroom pie (pattie) between plate and glass – 
Cuvée 100 Saumur-Champigny 2014

 Crumble de fruits rouges 

Tables already pretty full some time before the official start

 Jamie – born in Scotland, moved to Yorkshire, then to France 
Not lost his Scottish accent nor his kilt – not shown
French lady perhaps bemused by the kilt

 Packed tables in all directions 
(above and below)

 Red T-Shirts amongst the crowd worn by Saumur-Champigny 
producers and all their helpers 

 Evening light on the Loire 
(above and below)


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