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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 investdrinks.org

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, 2 October 2018

2018 Loire harvest: Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc
Bunch of 2018 Cabernet Franc

Generous vintage
A generous harvest:
2018 is remarkable in that overall there is both quality and quantity
– echoes of 1990

Jen-Philippe B hod
Jean-Philippe Blot emptying hand-picked Cabernet Franc @La Butte, Bourgueil

Sorting table
Sorting table @La Butte, Bourgueil
so little rot there is little to do unless
you were badly hit by mildew 

Last Tuesday we took a day-trip across from the Cher Valley to see how the 2018 vintage is shaping up in Bourgueil, Chinon and Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil. In general here it is the same as elsewhere throughout the Loire with producers marvelling at the quality of the grapes. Since we arrived in the Loire on Wednesday 5th September there has been virtually no rain, apart from the odd storm when we were down in the Côte Roannaise, and on most days we have had sunshine and quite often high temperature – at times up to 30˚C. Now as we head into October it is cooler and some nights in Touraine are decidedly fresh.

Last Tuesday picking in Bourgueil and, especially, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil was well underway, although the settled weather was allowing producers to wait for what they judged to be the best time to pick a particular parcel. Some producers were concerned about potential alcohol degrees rising too far – a risk increased by a drying east to north-east wind. Picking in Chinon was less well advanced than in the other two Western Touraine appellations.

Amirault – barrels
2018 starting to ferment @Yannick Amirault

Fred+ vat
Frédéric Mabileau's new love:
a small wooden vat

Philippe Pichard in vat
Philippe Pichard (Jourdan-Pichard, Chinon) inside a vat emptying
out grapes after maceration has finished – Philippe's boots can be just made out

Emptying a vat.jpg
Starting to empty a vat after maceration – skins etc. will be pressed


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