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, 20 September 2010

Picking at La Tesnière – Clos Roche Blanche and Noëlla Morantin

Clos Roche Blanche – part of the record 2010 crop

A mid-morning visit to see Catherine and Didier (Clos Roche Blanche) picking their Sauvignon Blanc. Catherine and her dog organising the team of pickers, while Didier was at the press house. Nearby Noëlla Morantin was also picking – Chardonnay from vineyards she bought from Catherine and Didier. 

Like yesterday the weather today has been fantastic – cool overnight but warm sunshine during the day with little wind and mostly clear blue skies. Not surprisingly all three were very happy with the conditions, which are due to continue until around Thursday lunchtime when showers are possible with heavier rain forecast on Friday. From Saturday it is due to clear up until well into next week.

"We are going to get in as much in as possible in the first part of this week," said Didier. "After the Sauvignon we'll pick the Gamay and the Pineau d'Aunis, which are all ripe. The Sauvignon is now coming in at 12.5%-13% potential. The acidity has dropped from 5.7 to 5.5. We have plenty of Pineau d'Aunis this year, so we will be making some red."

This is good news – I'll have to reserve some 2010 Arpent Rouge from Catherine. Perhaps there will finally be a Touraine en primeur campaign centred on red Pineau d'Aunis. Demand ought to rival that seen for 2009 Lafite – it is certainly much more rare!

Catherine's team

The patient hod-carrier
Emptying Sauvignon into the trailer
Laurent preparing a short macération Saillard
Catherine as the 'Outlaw of Mareuil'
Under surveillance
Noëlla's team of pickers

Noëlla's Chardonnay
One of Noëlla's pickers

After a busy morning's picking time to relax and have something to eat

Next post a few photos from the press house with Didier Barrouillet and Laurent Saillard.

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