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

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Anjou: four excellent visits

Name plate outside Château Pierre-Bise

Just got back to the Hotel du Mail after a busy day – four excellent visits starting with Claude Papin, then Vincent Ogereau, followed by Domaine des Rochelles – Jean-Yves, Jean-Hubert and Anita Lebreton – and Christophe Daviau to finish. Now off to Le Relais for dinner with Sarah Ahmed (the wine detective), Chris Kissack (the wine doctor), Neil Irvine (HG Wines) and Tom King (RSJ Restaurant).

The four visits provided not only the opportunity to see how the 2008s and some of the 2007s are developing but also raised anumber of very interesting issues including a detailed explanation from Claude Papin about the harmful effects of working the soil, several mentions of the use of osmosis machines in Anjou during the 2008 harvest to convert grapes picked at around 14˚ natural into sweet wines, and the possibility of the Coteaux de l'Aubance banning chaptalisation. Clearly all themes to return to in more detail but if the Coteaux de l'Aubance do have the courage to ban the chaptalisation in the making of sweet wine – then bravo you will have put a stop to an aberration! Hopefully the Coteaux du Layon would rapidly follow your example.

Claude Papin: "Le travail du sol is an aberration"

Similarly the use of osmosis machines, if indeed they have been used and Jim's Loire would be delighted to hear from any Anjou producer who has used them, surely undermines the hard work that a good number of Anjou producers have put into the remarkable renaissance of quality sweet wine in Anjou since 1985.

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