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

Domaine de Bablut: 2008 grapes

Christophe Daviau

After a fairly miserable day for much of yesterday in the Pays Nantais, it cleared up a bit when we moved eastwards to Anjou in the late afternoon.

Today started misty over the Coteaux de l’Aubance. Initially it promised to be fine once the mist lifted but blue skies soon gave way to clouds. I spent the morning with Christophe Daviau (Domaine de Bablut) looking at the vineyards that are now run biodynamically.

Cabernet Franc destined for Petra Alba (calcaire soil)

Cabernet Franc destined for Petra Alba
– note grapillons on ground
bottom left

Now around 10˚ potential alcohol and 8˚ acidity the Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignons are at least a good ten days to a fortnight before they are ready to pick. There are signs of the start of some botrytis developing on the Chenin but it will be a while before they start picking.

Currently the team of vineyard workers going through the Cabernets are stripping off the grapillons (also called verjus) and dropping them on the ground. Grapillons are second generation bunches that ripen later, if they ever do, than the main first generation bunches. At the moment they are green, so easy to spot. Once they change colour they will be much more difficult to identify. If the grapillons are not eliminated, then they will give the wine green, unripe flavours.

A grapillon – unripe second generation grapes
that will make your wine taste green and sharp

In 1989, which had an amazingly fine summer and autumn, Didier Richou of Domaine Richou in Moze-sur-Louet made a small cuvée of Gamay from the grapillons harvested in late November or early December, which I believe had 13% alc.

Grolleau Noir

As rain was forecast Christophe didn’t pick yesterday instead getting the highly reputed mobile bottlers Brault to come. Amongst the cuvées bottled were the Coteaux de l’Aubance Grandpierre 2005 and 2006. Picking started again today with the Sauvignon Blanc (VDP de la Loire) being machine picked.

Sauvignon Blanc: VDP de la Loire

Machine picking Sauvignon Blanc

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