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, 25 September 2008

Pierre Sauvion: Château du Cléray

(24 September 2008)
Last November La Maison Sauvion, which includes Château du Cléray near Vallet, was sold to Grands Chais de France. This is part of the recent strategy of Grand Chais de France to build a range of luxury wine brands. As part of this strategy they bought Château de Fesles in Anjou earlier on this year. Pierre Sauvion, the nephew of Jean-Ernest Sauvion who previously ran the company, remains in charge of the company’s affairs.

Pierre Sauvion in the cellars of Château du Cléray

“We made a small test on Monday 15 September and then started properly on Thursday (18 September) and we’ll finish either today or tomorrow. With the frost of 7 April we lost 60% of the crop. Before we started harvesting we thought that yields would be around 24/25 hl/ha but the actual average yield is 20 hl/ha. However, this is not as bad as 1991 when it was just 10 hl/ha. However, even without the frost, I don’t think we would have had a big harvest this year because of the difficult flowering last year. We’d probably have had around 40 hl/ha.”

The Loire as well as other parts of Western France including Bordeaux was very badly hit by frost on 21/22 April 1991. Just as happened on 7 April this year much of the damage in 1991 was apparently caused by the heat of the early morning sun being magnified by the ice droplets encasing the tender young vine shoots.

“I’m quite optimistic about the quality of 2008, which I think may be similar to 2000 and 2001, perhaps especially 2001 which was a good vintage that has kept well. There are no wrong tastes in the 2008 musts, although the acidity is quite high and I may do a malo on some vats to soften the acidity. I was pessimistic about 2008 at the beginning of August but, leaving aside today, we have now had two and half weeks of good weather with the wind from the east.”

Pierre Sauvion@Château du Cléray with a glass of 2008 Muscadet juice

Pierre hopes that that the short 2008 harvest will lead to a repositioning of Muscadet. “The price will have to go up. We cannot cover our costs of production on this year’s yields. I hope that bad Muscadet sold at too low a piece will disappear and that the Muscadet will be sold at a price that reflects its true value. Muscadet should be the top wine from the area and any wine that isn’t good enough should be sold under a second label and not be called Muscadet.” Pierre explains that to cover costs this year the price would have to double. “Of course this isn’t possible but the price of Muscadet needs to rise to a level that will allow youngsters to start and for producers to gain a proper margin.”

Château du Cléray - Sauvion en Eolie
BP 79453, 44194 Vallet Cedex
Tel :
GPS : 47°09'590"N 01°14'686"W
Email :


Mr.Anonymous said...


Jim's Loire said...

Thanks Malcolm. I assume this means you are now fully connected.

Jim's Loire said...

Sorry I think I got the wrong Mr Wall.