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, 4 August 2015

2015 Les Grands Tablées du Saumur-Champigny – great first day

Les fenêtres Jack Hibbeard 

Very good to retrace my steps from my last visit to Les Grands Tablées in 2005. Our small press trip – Christine Austin, Juel Mahoney and myself – are staying at the same hotel as a decade ago – Le Hotel Cristal. I looked for the blue plaque that would commemorate Jack Hibbeard's feat of climbing up the drainpipe to his first floor room in the early hours of the morning, having forgotten his key to the main entrance. Unfortunately I could find no trace of a plaque – either the town of Saumur have yet to get round to putting one up or, perhaps more likely, some souvenir hunter has made off with it.      

Les fenêtres Jack Hibbeard 

Marie-Anne Simonneau serving a blind sample 
of Saumur-Champigny in the vines

During the afternoon we stopped at three vantage points in the Saumur-Champigny vineyards to taste wines from each particular terroir. The first was by the Cave Cooperative de Sy Cyr, the next above Les Poyeux – the single vineyard made famous by Les Frères Foucault – and the last by the Clos des Murs in Parnay. 

It was interesting to see that there were indeed differences between the styles of wines tasted in each location, particularly in the first two. Overall the wines from Les Poyeux had attractive texture and finesse.    
 Parnay: Clos des Murs: vines planted on the north side, 
trained through the wall to enjoy the heat and the sunshine from the south
First signs of the véraison on Chenin Blanc in the Clos des Murs
with the grapes starting to become translucent

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