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

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Rock n'roll and organic wine: Dinner last night in SW7

Marie and Frédéric Chauffrey: Frédéric is an ex-rock star

Last night I had an enjoyable evening at a dinner with organic and biodynamic growers from Languedoc organised by Maison de la Région Languedoc-Roussillon and the Association Interprofessionnelle des Vins Biologiques du Languedoc-Roussillon (AIVB-LR). I was sitting between Denis Auclair (Domaine Auclair in the Corbières) and Marie and Frédéric Chauffrey (La Réserve d'O – Terrasses du Larzac).

Not only does Frédéric have a fine line in shirts but he plays guitar and was once a rock star before becoming a caviste with his wife, Marie, before embarking on a vineyard in the Larzac. Frédéric was under the mistaken impression that I played guitar and kindly invited me to join his sometime in the Languedoc. Sadly I had to explain that I had never even played a single note.

La Réserve d'O

We tried a couple of vintages of their La Réserve d'O – the 2006 and the 2009, which is not yet bottled. Both vintages are rich and powerful using a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache.

Denis Auclair (Domaine Auclair): another good shirt

Denis and his business partner took over an old 11 hectare domaine at Fontjoncouse in the Corbières in 2007. The previous owner had been a member of the local cooperative, which vinified all the grapes. The propery has a significant proportion of old vines: 100 year old Carignan, 70 year old Maccabeu, Grenache 60 and Alicante Bouchet 50. They also have some relatively young Syrah, which is 20 years old. Domaine Auclair now bottles all the wine and is increasingly finding export markets around the world for their wines. An attractive 100% Maccabeu Domaine Auclair was served with the first course.

Clearly two domaines I should visit next time I'm in the Languedoc.

2006 Cuvée de Turenne, Abbaye de Valmagne

I also tasted the 2006 Cuvée de Turenne, an old friend – the Abbaye de Valmagne, which I have visited on several ocasions over the years. The 2006 Turenne is nicely balanced with plenty of fruit and good acidity in the finish and makes a change from the over-extracted fruit bombs that some make in the Languedoc, although this practice is not restricted to this region!

It was good to see Philippe d'Allaines, the owner of Valmagne, again and to meet his daughter. The d'Allaines family has owned the abbaye since 1838.

Philippe d'Allaines (smiling despite having an empty glass) and his daughter, Eleonor


Luc Charlier said...

Jim, may I suggest you qualify as a shirt art-hero, if not as a guitar-hero ?

Jim's Loire said...

Too kind of you Luc. Jim

Unknown said...

Hi Jim
Nice to read your paper , but are you shure about same quality and aromas in few months ?