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

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

2004 Belle Dame, Sancerre Rouge, Vacheron

Although I had been expecting to serve this over the next few days, this got pressed into serve unexpectedly on Sunday night when a bottle of 1999 Amarone della Valpolicella was horribly corked. In the event this 2004 Belle Dame went well with some sirloin steaks from Duncan Fraser, a very good butchers in Inverness. Ideally the 2004 Belle Dame needs another couple of years but I wanted to see how it is developing. Deep coloured this has good concentration of black fruits and firm structure, although clearly not as rich as the 2003. It is more edgy: a more classic Loire Pinot Noir than the 2003 and, perhaps, the 2005 as well. Ought to keep for another good ten years or so, this is a real success for one of the more difficult recent Loire vintages.

Jean-Dominique Vacheron tasting in the family cellars

The Vacheron's Belle Dame comes from their silex (flint) vineyard, Les Romains, which is in the commune of Sancerre. The Vacherons are increasingly using large wooden vats to reduce the amount of oak in their wines.

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