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

Wednesday 17 May 2023

Jacky Blot – one the Loire’s greatest vignerons – died on Monday

 (This post was originally published on Les 5 du Vin on 16th May 2023)

Jacky in the Taille aux Loups cellars in Husseau – all the wines were fermented in wood

During the harvest Jacky was always in the vineyard at the sorting table.

I am still in shock I have just learned that Jacky Blot (Domaine de la Taille aux Loups/ Domaine de la Butte) died on Monday of pancreatic cancer having only been diagnosed this April. It seems like a bad dream!

I had huge respect for Jacky – for what he and Joëlle achieved joined by their son Jean-Philippe along with their dedicated team in particular Dominique, Natalie and Christophe. I can only imagine how devastated they feel. My thoughts are with them.

From a modest start in 1988 Jacky and Joëlle created one of the Loire’s greatest domaines producing wonderful wines from Montlouis, Vouvray, which latterly had to be labelled Vin de France but were actually ‘Grand Cru Vouvray’, and Bourgueil. Jacky was an inspiration with an almost ruthless passion to make top quality Chenin and Cabernet Franc and he succeeded making world class examples of both varieties. He was very hands on – during the harvest he would be out in the vineyard working on the sorting table.

There will be time to say more but for the moment I want my own personal space to remember Jacky – proud that he counted me as a friend.

So terribly sad that the Loire has in the space of just four days lost two great men, great human beings – yes wonderful producers but much more than that!

Jacky @ Domaine de la Butte with a glass of his Bourgueil

Farewell Jacky you have left a huge legacy

Farewell Guy Bossard

 (This post was originally published on Les 5 du Vin on Sunday 14th May 2023)

I was very sorry to learn overnight (13th-14th May 2023) that Guy Bossard (Domaine de l’Ecu, Pays Nantais) had died. Guy passed away on Friday 12 May aged 72. Guy was a major figure in the Loire both for his Muscadet Sèvre et Maine and for being a successful early champion of biodynamics. It appears that he had been suffering from a long illness.

Guy was one of several vignerons including – Pierre Luneau, Louis Métaireau and Jean-Ernest Sauvion – in the 1980s and early 1990s who demonstrated through the quality of their wines that Muscadet could be so much more than a simple wine with a great capacity to age gaining further complexity.

Our sincere condolences to Guy’s family and friends. Un hommage lui sera rendu mercredi à 10h45 au crématorium de Château-Thébaud.

I can do no better than to share Pascaline’s Lepeltier’s very fine tribute on Facebook to Guy:

‘Le vin a perdu une très grande âme, et un vrai, beau vigneron, unique par sa sincérité et sa compréhension exceptionnelle de la vigne, et bien sûr des superbes terroirs du Muscadet qu’il a défendus toute sa vie autant qu’il a défendu une viticulture préservant le vivant. Guy Bossard s’en est allé hier et je dois dire que cette nouvelle me touche beaucoup. Je me souviendrai toujours de la première bouteille goûtée : jeune apprentie, Mr @jacquesthorel à l’Auberge Bretonne m’avait demandé de servir une bouteille du Domaine de l’Ecu 1989 à @olivier_poussier_sommelier Quel vin! Quelques semaines, Guy dînait à l’Auberge pour le fameux Repas de Vignerons. Il m’invita à le visiter, ce que je fis quelques semaines après. Je lui dois beaucoup dans ma carrière : quel puits de connaissance sur la vigne, la greffe, la biodynamie, le sol, la musique – et l’âme humaine. Avec quelle gentillesse et humilité partageait-il ses connaissances Ses vins n’ont jamais quitté mes cartes – des vins magnifiques qui ont convaincu tellement mes clients que le Muscadet pouvait produire des vins de classe mondiale. Alors que le vin plus que jamais devient pour certains ce produit spéculatif et m’as-tu-vu, nous perdons avec Guy l’absolu opposé. « C’est la nature qui a le dernier mot, pas l’homme » disait-il. Merci pour tout Guy.’

‘Wine has lost a very great soul, and a real, beautiful winegrower, unique in his sincerity and his exceptional understanding of the vine, and of course of the superb Muscadet terroirs that he defended all his life as much as he defended a viticulture that preserves life. Guy Bossard left yesterday and I must say that this news touches me a lot. I will always remember the first bottle I tasted: as a young apprentice, Mr Thorel at the Auberge Bretonne asked me to serve a bottle of Domaine de l’Ecu 1989 to Olivier Poussier. What a wine! A few weeks ago, Guy dined at the Auberge for the famous Repas de Vignerons. He invited me to visit him, which I did a few weeks later. I owe him a lot in my career: what a wealth of knowledge on the vine, grafting, biodynamics, soil, music – and the human soul.’

Thursday 29 September 2022

Farewell inspirational Catherine Roussel @ Clos Roche Blanche

September 2014: Catherine at the start of the last vintage  
We were very sad to hear late yesterday afternoon that Catherine Roussel, the inspirational owner of the Clos Roche Blanche in the Cher Valley had died. Catherine along with Didier Barouillet made wines that punched away above the standard reputation of Appellation Touraine. Their wines enjoyed great success in the USA and the wines' quality inspired others in the Cher Valley by showing what was possible through dedicated work in the vineyard and small yields. 
I first met Catherine and Didier in 1989 and made many visits to their vineyards in Mareuil-sur-Cher/Pouillé. We regularly bought their wines, which Catherine preferred to drink them young and wasn't convinced about their ability to age. Here I have to say she was mistaken as they age amazingly well not just the reds but their Touraine Sauvignon as well. To date examples have already aged well for best part of 30 years. 
We will be opening some to drink in Catherine's memory.
Our thoughts and condolences are with Didier and Catherine's family and friends.   
Her funeral will be at the Blois Crematorium on Tuesday 4th October. 


September 2014: Catherine at the start of the last vintage  


A couple of earlier posts on Jim's Loire: 

Monday, 7 September 2009

T-shirt, shorts and sandals vintage@Clos Roche Blanche starts Thursday

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Clos Roche Blanche, AC Touraine – historic last vintage for Catherine & Didier