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

Sunday, 30 September 2012

François Le Menac'h – oenographe@Saumur 6th-8th October

Exhibition of François Le Menac'h@Hotel de la Ville de Saumur

François Le Menac'h was one of the artists involved in last weekend's Bourgueillothérapie 2012, organised by Café de la Promenade . He paints with wine, so is an oenographe. The painting he produced last Sunday was of the president of the Cave de Bourgueil created with a bottle of Cornelius 2010. There will be an exhibition of François' work in Saumur between 5th and 7th October.  

 Portrait under construction  

 The completed portrait – after some revision from that above!

Seeking inspiration: François Le Menac'h wih the Cornelius 2010 

A couple of earlier works by François Le Menac'h:

 Catherine Breton


Boat house@Le Thoureil: an update

The revamped boathouse

Salut Jim!

Thank you for signing the petition and for your support regarding the 'local' au Thoureil.

I promised to keep you updated. After an unsuccesful meeting at the Mairie in Le Thoureil yesterday morning the Asso Jeanne Camille and Club VENT are moving their campaign forward. See here :

Very best

One of the support banners in Le Thoureil

Les associations Club V.E.N.T (voiles et loisirs) et Jeanne-Camille (batellerie traditionnelle) bénéficiaient depuis 1995 du local situé 17 quai des Mariniers, au Thoureil.
Suite à la réhabilitation de celui-ci, nous risquons de ne plus en avoir l’usage.
Nous, les associations V.E.N.T et Jeanne Camille, voulons réintégrer ce local :
-pour des besoins pratiques, un accès rapide au matériel nécessaire à nos activités,
-pour la valorisation et la reconnaissance de nos actions en faveur du patrimoine historique et touristique

Saturday, 29 September 2012

2012 Loire: Domaine Pierre Guindon, Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire

Picking Melon de Bourgogne in the vineyards of Domaine Pierre Guindon@Saint Géréon  

On the way back from the Pays Nantais on Thursday we stopped off briefly in the Coteaux d'Ancenis/Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire. Here a team headed by Madame Pierre Guindon were busy picking a parcel of Melon de Bourgogne. 

Again there is a small crop here but of good quality with little or no sign of rot. The overall yield is expected to be around 30hl/ha, so a little higher than that reported by some producers in Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine and substantially higher than expectations in the Côte du Grandlieu.     

Mme Pierre Guindon (above and below)

Picking (above and below)

Some bunches with secateurs  

A trailer of Melon 

A hoddie emptying grapes 

Melon in Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire
Small bunches with some hen and chicken, the effects of a long and unfavourable flowering 

Cycling: Paul Kimmage defence fund against UCI action takes off

Le Tour@Pauillac 2010

Paul Kimmage, who has campaigned for 22 years against doping in cycling is being sued for defamation by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) in an action initiated by Pat McQuaid, the current president, and Hein Verbruggen, its honorary president.
The lawsuit was launched against Kimmage two weeks after he was made redundant by The Sunday Times in January. He was served with a subpoena on Wednesday 19th September, which summons him to a court hearing in Vevey, close to Geneva on 12th December.
The defamation case relates to allegations published in L'Equipe and The Sunday Times that the 'UCI were complicit in covering up positive tests by Lance Armstrong'. Unusually the UCI's action is only against Kimmage and not The Sunday Times or L'Equipe. The action arises from an interview with Floyd Landis in 2011, which is now available here on Velocity.
Following the serving of the subpoena a defence fund has been set up and already $43,522.49 has been raised with contributions from 1357 donors*. The Paul Kimmage defence fund is here. Kimmage has claimed that the UCI action is designed to shut him up.
Tyler Hamilton, who has made similar allegations in his new book The Secret Race, is not being sued. See here interview in The Guardian
Enrico Carpani, communications director at the UCI, said it was  “normal – at least under Swiss law – that when the author of the denounced statements is known, this author is sued and not the editor”.
He added: “Please bear in mind also that the Sunday Times had put a disclaimer on the Landis-Kimmage interview.
“Having said that, UCI is not trying to silent the press at all, nor to question the freedom of journalists: we are just defending our self from unacceptable and defaming statements made by a journalist who never could prove his allegations.” See report here.
Given the support that Kimmage is now receiving along with continuing revelations of the extent in the recent past of the doping culture in professional cycling the action by the UCI, McQuaid and Verbruggen looks increasingly like a PR disaster. 

* Update 23.30 CET: $44,150 from 1389 contributors. 


Friday, 28 September 2012

2012 Loire: vintage@Château du Cléray

Pierre Sauvion, winemaker@Château du Cléray

Château du Cléray (now part of Grands Chais de France)

The 2012 vintage at Château du Cléray, Vallet (Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine), is very similar to other estates in the region. Pierre Sauvion, the winemaker, said on Wednesday: "We started on Monday. We are taking it gently this week but will accelerate next week. The yields are low: between 12hl/ha and 35hl/ha. The dry weather of August and September has concentrated both the sugars and the acidity, so we have around 12.8 potential alcohol and 5.4-5.5 g/l acidity. Once we finish we may end up with an average yield of 30hl/ha. Although the quantity is small the quality is good." 

Certainly tasting the juice there was good concentration, some acidity and, as elsewhere, very clean.  

Pierre Sauvion with 2012 juice

 Melon grapes@Cléray

 Close up of Melon de Bourgogne  with evidence of millerandage (hen and chicken)

 Cléray through the vines

Le Thoureil: petition to save the boat house.

The Loire@Le Thoureil

'Hi Jim,

Some news which might be of interest for your blog re: Loire patrimoine (not wine this time I'm afraid).

The Association Jeanne Camille which organises the annual Fête de Bateaux in Le Thoureil and the Club V.E.N.T are at risk of losing their boat house on the quai. This is obviously not in keeping with the patrimoine of the Loire and the heritage of the mariners of Thoureil.

A petition has been drawn up which I would appreciate if you could put this on your blog to help the case to get the boat house back.

This petition will be presented at a meeting tomorrow at the Mairie the outcome of which I will report back to you on as depending on which way it goes it will lead to more interesting stories over the coming weeks. 

Many thanks in advance for your help.

Bon vendange

Micaela Frow
00 33 2 41 40 35 06'

Thursday, 27 September 2012

2012 Loire: Muscadet – Pierre Luneau-Papin

Pierre-Marie and Pierre Luneau with 2012 juice

 Bunch in the Clos des Allées

2012 Melon de Bourgogne

Le Landreau

 Monique Luneau grape testing



 Pierre-Marie and CRM

Pierre Luneau; "Is this all there is?"

 Empty underground vat

 A boss of the domaine 

2012 Loire: Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu

Eric Chevalier – Domaine de l'Aujardière

The story of the 2012 vintage is similar in Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu. In fact yields may well be even lower than in the Sèvre-et-Maine as producers here were also hit by frost in April. Eric Chevalier started picking last Thursday. From his young vines the yields was only 10-11 hectolitres per hectare, although he is hoping that the overall average will rise to 25 hl/ha by the end of the vintage. The quality, however, is very good. 



Pinot Noir (?)@Domaine de l'Aujardière (above and below)

 Jérôme Choblet, Domaine des Herbauges (above and below)

Jérome Choblet started on Monday and to date yields are only 12 hl/ha. By the end he is hoping for 15-18 hl/ha but suspects that it will be closer to 15. Again quality is very good – very clean grapes with a potential of 12.3-12.5% alcohol and around 5 g/l acidity. He is hoping that he has sufficient stock form 2010 and 2011 to supply his customers.