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, 18 March 2020

Michael Broadbent MW: 2.5.1927-17.3. 2020

Michael RIP

Michael Broadbent MW, who was a major influence on the development of the fine wine trade, died yesterday at 92. My thoughts are with his family and many friends.


Michael with Dorothy, his first wife who died in 2015, and Luca Paschina
(winemaker @ Barboursville, Virginia). December 2011
Michael remarried last year at the age of 91.
on 25 April 2019, in London, he married Valerie Smallwood, widow of Simon Smallwood, MW.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

A few notices relating to the lockdown in Indre-et-Loire

From midday today France has been in lockdown. You have to have good reason to leave your home – essential shopping, medical assistance, exercise  etc. You have to carry a self-signed document explaining why you have left your home temporarily.

Cycling for exercise but not as an organised group is one permissible activity. This afternoon I went for a ride both for exercise and to see what was open in Bléré, our nearest significant town in Indre-et-Loire. The roads were incredibly quiet, so cycling was even more of a pleasure than normal in comparison to London. Bléré was close to being a ghost town.

Notice @L'Empad (home for the elderly in Bléré) banning visitors 

Quite a large range of shops can be open – including garden centres.
Here Vive Le Jardin but limiting the number of 
people in the store to 15 at anyone time.
This morning the Intermarche were limiting the number 
of people allowed in.  

 Announcement: Château de Chenonceau 
closed – a rare occurence!

Closing cafés and restaurants undoubtedly 
causes them cash flow problems
especially those like the Le Relais de Francueil
that has just changed ownership.
Fortunately they can still offer takeaways
Details on  

Monday, 16 March 2020

A creative response to Covid-19 + 1992 M de Marionnet

Prowein cancelled
Prowein 2020 was initially postponed but has now been cancelled
The next edition will be in March 2021

Covid-19 or Coronavirus has brought chaos to the wine world with the cancellation of Prowein, Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne, RAW London along with the postponement of Vinitaly (now 14th-17th June – will it happen?) and Bordeaux's en primeur week (30th March - 2nd April). For the moment the London Wine Fair (18th-20th May) is still going ahead but this looks increasingly unlikely with a number of European countries closing their borders along with limits on the number of people who can gather together. 

In the absence of Prowein Adegga, the Portuguese company that organises consumer wine events and  other activities, has set up a live streamed two-day virtual trade event called Portugal Wine Week  on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th March.

"In the aftermath of Prowein’s cancellation, we’re doing a live streamed two-day virtual trade event to help Portuguese wine producers present the wines they were going to bring to the international trade fair.

Aimed at you, the trade from around the world (importers, sommeliers, retailers, etc), the digital event consists of a series of interviews with dozens of wine producers, hosted by André Ribeirinho as a Portuguese wine correspondent and including some guest speakers."

Portugal Wine Week (on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) is free to both producers and wine professionals. Registration is now open.

I continue to be impressed by the creativity and inventiveness of the trio that run Adegga. Portugal Week is such an example of thinking creatively and realising the positive possibilities of social media and the internet.

Yes the spread of Covid-19/coronavirus is a crisis but it is also presents an opportunity and incentive think differently and to look for and find alternative solutions.

I hope Portugal Week will be a success and will assist Portuguese producers, who will have missed out on the potential opportunities that Prowein 2020 would have offered.


Article by Richard Siddle on Portugal Wine Week in The Buyer.

Update: 16th March 2020
List here of the Portuguese producers involved.

Saúde !!

For the sake of transparency I am good friends with the three people who run Adegga – André Cid, André Ribeirinho and Daniel Matos – and have attended their Adegga Wine Market events without charge. Adegga has not requested that I write this post nor are they aware of this post. I have no commercial interest in Adegga.


M de Marionnet 1992
1992 M de Marionnet, AC Touraine 

Having cancelled my place at the Concours Mondial de Sauvignon Blanc, which was held in Blois in the latter part of last week, on Saturday night we tried an old bottle of Henry Marionnet's latish harvest M de Marionnet. 1992 was not a particularly auspicious vintage – large volume due to many vines having a year off due to the 1991 April frost and probably a number of producers not pruning hard in order to compensate for their losses the previous year. So I thought the 1992 might make an interesting apéro as we had friends coming to dinner.

As it happened Marionnet's 1992 had held up well with citric and honeyed aromas, good concentration of ripe fruit and some sweetness on the palate but with enough acidity in the finish to carry the richness off. We tried it again with the cheese by which time it had developed a slight mustiness, so the bottle wasn't finished. However, when we finished it on Sunday the slight mustiness had departed leaving a clean and enjoyable wine.

Nearly 28 years on, a demonstration that Loire Sauvignon Blanc has the potential to age – admittedly in this case from a later than customary harvest.

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