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, 31 July 2012

Patrick Rols' Chenin Blanc from the Averyron

2010 la coccinelle, Vin de pays de l'Aveyron, Patrick Rols 

Back label giving brief details 

Note deposit@the bottom of the bottle 

This 100% Chenin Blanc from Patrick Rols in Conques in the Aveyron, which is amongst the least populated French départment is the first of a small case of samples from Les Caves de Pyrène, which I will be tasting over the next few days. 

Some may be surprised that Chenin Blanc is grown down in the Aveyron. In fact it is the white variety of two small appellations nearby – Entraygues et du Fel and Estaing. Quite why Chenin Blanc ended up as the principal variety of this rather hidden part of France is something I need to research. 

Here is Douglas Wregg's (Cave de Pyrène) bio on Patrick Rols and explanation about his wines:

'Patrick’s domaine is in  the  village  of Conques, in the Aveyron, the undiscovered heart of the South West. The  total vineyard  area  is a piffling 6 hectares. Although vines had  been  established  in  the  Aveyron  region  by  Burgundian  monks  in  the middle  ages,  these  were  subsequently  wiped out by phylloxera and the two world wars. Patrick replanted on a  beautiful site overlooking  the  village on predominantly schist soils. He  farms  organically,  and  also  uses  biodynamics treatments.  His vineyard  received  a  certificate for organic  farming from the  agency Qualité France  in  2009. Patrick  uses  either barriques or  ’foudres’  to  carry out  the  alcoholic  fermentation  of his white wines.'

La cochinelle is the French for ladybird – a very useful insect that eats many unwanted insects. Of course, if you stray weedkiller over your vineyards, you won't have any ladybirds. Indeed you vineyard will have few, if any, insects and no biodiversity. Patrick Rols doesn't use weedkiller at all in his six hectares of vines, so should get plenty of ladybirds and other insects.   

Light golden colour with ripe apple aromas and flavours plus good typical Chenin acidity in the finish. Also there is a touch of sweetness in the finish and some oak. Should not be served too cool. I enjoyed this as an aperitif. It was also a fair match with a very good piece of smoked haddock (bought from Billings in Sydenham High Street) and served with a cream and horseradish sauce.


Patrick Rols la coccinelle, 2010 Vin de pays de l'Aveyron 


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