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

Monday 15 June 2009

Frantz Saumon: Portes Ouvertes

Frantz (far left) showing his wines

Muriel and Yvan Chavrier (Brouilly)

Yesterday afternoon we went to Frantz Saumon's Portes Ouvertes at Montlouis. As well as Frantz's Montlouis there was Laurent Barth from Bennwihr (Alsace), Muriel and Yvan Chavrier from Brouilly (Beaujolais) and Patrick Corbineau (Touraine) from Candes-Saint-Martin. In addition Cyril Zangs was back in Montlouis with his Norman cider (Glos near Liseux) and Ludovic Hardouin of the Brasserie de la Pigeonnelle in Céré-la-Ronde.

Frantz was showing two Montlouis. Firstly 2007 le p'tit caporal – floral, hint of honey, purity and long mineral finish – typical of 2007. Then 2008 Mineral + his demi-sec with attractive weight and sweetness counterbalanced by tense minerality. He also pulled out a yeasty 'pet nat' (pétillant naturel), which I find nothing like as convincing as his still wines are.

Patrick Corbineau (right)

Patrick Corbineau has four hectares of vines at Candes-Saint-Martin right on the western limits of Touraine. The very pretty village of Candes is on the confluence of the Vienne with the Loire. He is apaprently the last vigneron left in Candes. Most of his vines are Cabernet Franc, although he does have 70 ares of Chenin Blanc. He is the first in his family to live solely by making wine – his grandfather practised polyculture. Patrick was showing two reds – 2006 and 2005 Les Conqûetes, AC Touraine. The grapes are harvested by hand, vinification is in conical vats. He uses pigeage and the wine is matured in 15 hl foudres for at least 18 months – considerably longer in years like 2005. The 2006 is attractively easy, drinking Cabernet Franc with some herbal notes, while the 2005 is more structured with concentrated black fruits but with quite marked acidity in the finish. Although I liked the wines, I thought they were quite expensive for what they were at 10€ (2006) and 15€ (2005). However, if you only have four hectares you have to sell them at a decent price to make a living.

Glouguele has piece on Patrick Corbineau here.

Ludovic Hardouin and a bottle of La Salamandre

Frantz Saumon
10 Rue Rocheroux
37270 Montlouis-sur-Loire


Patrick Corbineau
4 Rue de la Courdinière
37 500 Candes-Saint-Martin
Tel: 02 47 95 96 68

Muriel et Yvan Chavrier, Domaine Chavrier
Les Caboches
69460 Odenas

Brasserie de la Pigeonnelle
10 Rue de la Ronde
37460 Céré-la-Ronde

Cyril Zangs – cidre 2 table
8 Rue de la Gare, 14100 Glos

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