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

Friday, 20 February 2009

2008 Sauvignon Blanc Ambassadors selected

Sarah Ahmed giving careful thought to selecting the Ambassadors

Following a further tasting this morning at the offices of Interloire in Tours, we finalised the selection of the Sauvignon Blanc Ambassadors for 2008, the first year of the project. The panel of five headed by Sam Harrap MW with Sarah Ahmed (the wine detective and recent winner of the 2009 annual Portuguese Wine Awards Wine Writer of the Year), Joe Wadsack (formerly a wine buyer for Waitrose and now a media star), Henri Chapon (formerly wine buyer for the Hotel du Vin chain in the UK) and myself tasted all of the wines at least once. Those that were eliminated were only rejected if there was complete agreement. Any, over which there was a difference of opinion, were retasted, some several times.

This morning all the wines that we had provisionally selected yesterday were retasted. Where there was complete unanimity that they were of Ambassadorial quality they went through. Where the panel was split, these were retasted and discussed at length. All in all, this was a very thorough exercise with the jury impressed with both the quality of the wines selected and with the variety of styles from the herbaceous and grassy through citric to ripe tropical fruit of mango and guava.

There are 29 Sauvignon Blanc Ambassadors for 2009 with wines coming from the Pays Nantais through to eastern Touraine out of around 75 submitted – 38.7%. Given that this is the first year of the project this is a pretty good start. Certainly the good conditions in September and October 2008 helped, although the vintage was not straightforward for Sauvignon Blanc. The list of wines selected will be published on Jim's Loire as soon as the growers involved in the SB project have been informed.

I hope that it will be possible to promote Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc Ambassadors jointly as this will give both selections more punch.


Micaela and Sue said...

Looking forward to hearing your results Jim. Must have been a really interesting couple of days. Give our best to Sarah.

Jim's Loire said...

Hi Micaela and Sue

Will post them asap once I have the go-ahead. Have forwarded your message to Sarah as she has already headed back to London.

Best wishes