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, 30 November 2015

Save Lewisham Libraries: tonight 7pm @ Civic Suite, Catford

A quick change of plan:

Rather than stand outside the Civic Suite for too long, our lobby for the Safer Stronger Select Committee will start at the same time as the meeting - 7pm!
Maximum impact for minumum time in the cold. We had a great Saturday with campaigners, poets and storytellers out on the streets collecting loads of signatures in Catford and Lewisham. Special thanks to Library Tales Lewisham, Lewisham Writer-in-Residence Chrissie Gittins and all the others who told a tale or two.

Let's get this week off to a good start too, see you there at 7pm!

Save Lewisham Libraries Campaign <>

Sunday, 29 November 2015

118 Stanstead Open Studios today

Entrance to 118 Stanstead on the South Circular 

We had a great visit to the Open Studios at 118 Stanstead, which is on the South Circular in Forest Hill just beyond the Railway Telegraph pub as you head towards Catford. It did prove to be rather expensive but that was because there are so many lovely things being made there and with Christmas coming up...! So some present buying including some for ourselves.

We were particularly impressed by: Emily Forgot, Rachel Frost, Emma Jeffs, Louisa Taylor, Janice Tchalenko (great ceramicist), Paul Murphy and Debbie Powell.  

 Looking towards the South Circular past the studios. 

In the late 19th Century apparently the workshops were part of the largest photographic studios in the world  – The Studios of A. & G. Taylor (Andrew Taylor and George Taylor).

Having visited 118 you shouldn't miss Havelock Walk
in downtown Forest Hill 

Lisbon: Adegga Wine Market Saturday December 5th – coming soon!

 Adegga Winemarket Saturday 5th December, Altis Grand Hotel 

The December 2015 edition of the Adegga Wine Market in Central Lisbon is now less than a week away. The price of tickets ranges from 15€ to 50€ if you want the opportunity to taste the rare wines in the Sala Premium. Starts at 15h to 21h – professionals or members of the Exclusivo Club have a quiet hour from 14h-15h.

After several editions at the Hotel Florida right by the Marquês de Pombal, the recently renovated Altis Grand Hotel is the Wine Market's new venue in the Rua Castilho. This is just a short walk from the Hotel Florida but closer to Rato, which is the closest Metro station at the end of the Yellow Line.The promotional video on the Altis site shows a virtually empty hotel, however I suspect that it will be more crowded next Saturday!

These are great events and a brilliant opportunity to meet Portuguese wine producers, taste and buy their wines. 

A few photos from the Summer 2015 edition of the Adegga Wine Market:


Saturday, 28 November 2015

Saint Nicolas reviendra au Château de Minière à Ingrandes de Touraine: 5th and 6th December

 Château de Minière

Les samedi 5 décembre et dimanche 6 décembre 2015


Programme :
Vendredi, Samedi, Dimanche Passage de St Nicolas sur de nombreux marchés dans les environs de Minière.

De 14h00 à 18h00  Samedi et Dimanche
Dégustation des vins du domaine
Le Samedi soir à 19h Repas typique «  Saint Nicolas d’Alsace » au Café de la Promenade
Repas accompagné des vins de Minière en présence de St Nicolas.
35 € (tous compris : vins, repas et gourmandises)
Sur réservation au Château de Minière 02 47 96 94 30 ou au Café de la Promenade 02 47 95 10 87.

A 15h00 le Dimanche
Arrivée de Saint-Nicolas qui amènera des surprises pour les petits enfants qui ont été bien sages. Soyez à l’heure !

Selon la tradition nous servirons quelques gourmandises belges : chocolats, spéculoos, bonbons, …

Ce sera également l’occasion de visiter le domaine et notre boutique où vous trouverez plein d’idées cadeaux pour les fêtes de fin d’année.

è Merci d’avance de confirmer votre présence avec le nombre d’enfants : ou tél. 02 47 96 94 30

N’hésitez pas à en parler autour de vous et de faire suivre ce message à vos contacts.
Saint Nicolas sera heureux de vous voir très nombreux.


Kathleen Van den Berghe

This weekend in Forest Hill – London SE23: 118 Stanstead and Havelock Walk

Entrance to 118 Stanstead on the South Circular 
near the Railway Telegraph 

Open Studios this weekend at 118 Stanstead. 11am - 5pm. 

Havelock Walk Open Studios: 28th and 29th November: Midday to 6pm 

Friday, 27 November 2015

Bruno Curassier, Domaine de la Grange: Portes Ouvertes 5th & 6th December

Les 5 et 6 décembre de 10 à 19 heures

Vous pourrez déguster les vins du domaine accompagnés de produits du terroir proposés par des artisans locaux comme :
  • Les produits du marché de Léonard avec Claudie Moriceau
  • Les confiseries de Mr Perrin De Vernoil Le Fourrier
  • Les miels de Jojo l'apiculteur.
  • Les escargots de «L’escargolette»
  • Les charcuteries et fromages Corse de Alain Sémion

Dans l’attente de vous recevoir. 
Bruno Curassier et toute son équipe

Thursday, 26 November 2015

2015 bioTyfoule in Tours at the Hotel de Ville

Hotel de Ville, Tours 
Mass of tributes on the steps of the Hotel de Ville 
to those killed in the Paris attacks (13th November 2015)

Serendipitously I was in Tours this weekend for the Rencontres de François Rabelais as I was one of the speakers at a table ronde on oenotourism (wine tourism) so was able to go along to this Salon des vignerons bio tourangeaux - bioTyfoule (beautiful).

Interestingly the need to publicise events and to make more use of social media were among the topics raised at our round table. I only found out about bioTyfoule last Wednesday through an email from Château de Minière. Although I did post the information on Jim's Loire, it would have been far better to have the information much earlier as one of my aims with the blog is to help to publicise events like this.

I was able to spend about four hours at the Salon, so was able to taste most of the wines there. The vignerons were, in theory, limited to showing four wines, which most respected while there were a few who bought a few more wines. Azay-le-Rideau, Bourgueil, Chinon and Montlouis were strongly represented.

It is clear that there are many attractive wines from 2014 with round, seductive reds. It is also impressive that there are some successful reds even in the very far from easy 2013 vintage, even though they are overshadowed by the 2014s.

It was good to get up to date with the changes at the former Les Loges de la Folie in Montlouis. I understand that Valery Mordelet left the domaine at the beginning of 2014. Hervé Grenier, who was looking for an organic domaine in Montlouis, bought the property during 2014, which is his first vintage. The domaine is now called Vallée Moray with six hectares of Chenin and four of assorted reds, including some Pinot Noir, planted on ground classified as Montlouis and close to Les Bournais. Ironically
Hervé says that this vineyard  would be very good for Chenin.

Vincent Bergeron

Fortunately there is continuity as Jean-Daniel Kloeckle, one of the previous owners, is now employed by Hervé. Little or no wine was made in 2012 and 2013. Also involved is Vincent Bergeron. I was impressed by their 2014  L'Aubépine (Montlouis sec) and the clean and lemony Bulles Palladium. Later I tried two reds - a very good, concentrated Gamay - 2014 Arcadienne vin de France as well as a Pinot Noir - 2014 Les Figurines.

Other producers who impressed on the day

Julien Pinon 

François Piñon - represented by his son Julien, especially 2014 Silex Noir, and their new single vineyard - Les Déronnières. Grapes from this vineyard have long gone into Silex Noir but the Pinons have wanted to bottle it separately. Frost intervened in 2012 and hail in 2013. 

Domaine de la GarrelièreFrançois and Pascaline Plouzeau (Touraine) esp 2011 Marquis de C – a Chenin/Sauvignon blend and the fizz Millard d'Etoiles, which is a blend of 50% Chenin and 50% Cabernet Franc.

Ludovic Chanson (Montlouis)
Ludo disarmingly admitted that his yields in 2015 had been - down in the 20s as he hadn't been as active in his vineyard as he should have been. I liked particularly the 2014 Les Cabotines - precise, honey and quince.

Benoît Mérias (Montlouis) I enjoyed both 2013 Les Quarts - saline, quite austere but precise - and 2013 Maisonnettes (also saline but with a little more structure and concentration – 6grams of residual sugar). 

Lise et Bertrand Jousset (Montlouis) 
2014 Clos aux Renards has attractive texture, honeyed weight and good length.

Château de la Roche en Loire (Azay-le-Rideau) - Louis Jean and Florence Sylvos.
Their 2014 Azay-le-Rideau Blanc Frédérique is softly and delicately honeyed with good length. Louis Jean is admirably farsighted: he is convinced that his 2020 vintage will be excellent.....and available to taste soon!!

Nicolas Paget (Azay le Rideau) I tasted an impressive range with Nicolas including some very interesting reds – to be covered in the next post. The two whites (Azay-le-Rideau) were 2014 Opus Azay – weight, texture and a touch of honey from 40 year-old vines planted on flint – and

Jean-Max Manceau’s 2014 Noir et blanc Chinon Blanc with good weight, concentration and currently a little touch of wood. This cuvée is vinified and aged in 400-litre barrels. Jean-Max stresses how different is his white cuvée, which is vinified in an oeuf.    

2014 Les Culs de Boeufs at Limerary (northside of the Loire) a single vineyard on the premières côtes facing south overlooking the Loire.

Finally from Domaine Montoray (Claude Aupetitgendre) in Lussault-sur-Loire their 2014 L’Oiseau Blanc Montlouis, which was picked about a week later than their entry-level Montlouis – Libreval – and consequently has more weight than the former while remaining delicate.   

A post on the reds will follow.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Bouvet-Ladubay back with Monmousseau family after 41 years

 President Patrice Monmousseau
Conducteur en chef !

Juliette Monmousseau CEO


Indian-based United Spirits, controlled by Diageo, recently put its non-core businesses, including Bouvet Ladubay, up for sale. In early November the sale was announced though the purchaser was not revealed at the time. On 18th November a management buyout deal was finalised to put the Monmousseau family are now back in control of Bouvet-Ladubay 41-years after it was bought by Taittinger. 
Under the deal the family hold 100% of the shares. In order to finance the purchase, the Monmousseau family created an acquisition holding in conjunction with three private equity firms - Ouest Croissance, regional investor and leader of the operation; CM CIC Investments; and Unigrains – together with a consortium of banking institutions headed by Banque Populaire Atlantique, and including the Banque CIC Ouest, the Banque Européenne du Credit Mutuel, and the Banque Caisse d&#039;Epargne Bretagne Pays de la Loire. With a majority of partners based in the Loire region, this deal marks the return to regional based financing for the company

Bouvet-Ladubay has changed hands a number of times since it was founded in 1851 by Etienne Bouvet and his wife – Célestine Ladubay. In 1932 it was bought by Justin-Marcel Monmousseau, Patrice's grandfather. In 1974 Taittinger bought Bouvet along the Monmousseau sparkling wine business in Montrichard in Touraine. In 2006 Taittinger sold to Indian-based United Breweries/United Spirits. This allowed Bouvet to launch in the Indian market. 

However, United Breweries, owner of Kingfisher beer, ran into problems with their Kingfisher Airline. During 2013 Diageo became the largest shareholder in United Spirits.   

The Monmousseau family, however, continued to run the company. Patrice has been the in charge since taking over from his father, Jean, in 1972. The dynamic, ebullient, trumpet-playing Patrice Monmousseau will remain president and Juliette, his daughter, continues as CEO.

Bouvet-Ladubay is based in Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent, a western suburb of Saumur. In 2008 they have invested in a new vinification and cellaring facility at nearby Distré called Bouvet Full Metal .

Cuvée Trésor, white and rosé, are Bouvet's top sparkling wines. The company has long been a patron of the arts. Since 1996 they have hosted the Journées du Livres et du Vin, celebrating literature and wine.

In 1994 Monmousseau (Montrichard) was sold by Taittinger to the Bernard-Massard, who in turn sold the company to pan-Loire company Ackerman in 2010.    


 In Bouvet's historic cellars


The Monmousseaus love to hold 
elaborate parties for their distributors 

Monday, 23 November 2015

#winelover cancer auction @ Château Ksara, Lebanon – bid for a magnum!

Lisbon February 2015

Message from Luiz Alberto, the high-priest of #winelovers:

'My friends and fellow ‪#‎winelover‬-s:
On Tuesday (24th) you will have an opportunity to bid on a bottle of Clos Saint Alphonse 1986 (magnum bottles) that were kindly donated by Château Ksara from Lebanon. You can help a great cause and put your hands on a bottle of this wonderful wine! 
PS: I would really appreciate if you could help us to spread the word to all people who love wine and hate cancer. THANK YOU!!'

Caves de Ksara 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

2015 Les Vins du Coin @Thesée – Vallée du Cher

After several years in Blois the annual Salon – Les Vins du Coin has moved to Thesée-la-Romaine in the Cher Valley and at the heart of wine-making in this part of Touraine. 

From La Nouvelle République: 
'A Thésée, ils seront une vingtaine de vignerons entre Loir et Cher à présenter leurs cuvées. Il y aura aussi des vignerons invités de Bourgogne. Stands de bouche (pain, fromage), d'artisans d'art (céramiste, coutelier) et de lectures (Editions de l'Epure, revue Le Rouge & Le Blanc) compléteront ce salon.

Par ailleurs, ceux qui souhaitent poursuivre l'échange avec les vignerons peuvent les rejoindre pour le dîner du samedi sur les lieux du salon. Un hébergement accessible à pied est également prévu !

Où dormir ? Où manger ?
Pour poursuivre l’échange, les Vins du Coin invitent ceux qui le souhaitent à se réunir le temps d’un dîner le samedi 28 novembre, sur les lieux du salon en compagnie des vignerons. Et comme il est sage de ne pas reprendre la voiture après de telles festivités, l’association a tout prévu : un hébergement accessible à pied a été réservé, une cinquantaine de places sont disponibles.dîner : 25€ Hébergement : 23€ la nuit, avec draps et petit-déjeuner
Sur réservation à l’adresse suivante :

Les Vins du coin, les 28 et 29 novembre, salle Vaux-Saint-Georges (mairie) à Thésée. Entrée : 4 €, verre à dégustation offert. Dîner (25 €) et hébergement (23 € avec petit-déjeuner) sur réservation à :
Vignerons exposants:
- Bruno Allion, Olivier Bellanger, Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme, Mikaël Bouges, Alain Courtault et Simon Tardieux, Moses Gadouche et Pascal Potaire, Paul Gillet- Ariane Lesné, Estelle Maitre et François Saint-Léger, Noëlla Morantin, Julien Pineau, Jean-Pierre Robinot, Vincent Roussely, Jérôme Sauvête, Laura Semeria, Cyrille Sevin, Philippe Tessier, Brendan Tracey, Hervé Villemade.

Des artisans: Mademoiselle B - Sarah Bertin, boulangère- au gré du lait; Caroline d’Houwt, fromagère; Yann Petit, coutelier; Stéphanie Beaudouin-Goujon, céramiste; Nathisserie - Nathalie Asselin, biscuits artisanaux; Ferme de la Faubonnière, foie gras

Pour lire: 
Les Éditions de l’Épure - Marie Rocher; Le Rouge &amp; Le Blanc

Plus some producers from Bourgogne– yet to be listed 

The Facebook page highlights some producers who will be present including Vincent Roussely and Julien Pineau, who has taken over some of the vines of the now retired Clos Roche Blanche.

So next weekend will be a busy one for Loire fanatics with the bio Salon in Saumur as well as Les Anges Vins. Santé !     

Saturday, 21 November 2015

bioTyfoule@Tours: Salon des vignerons bio tourangeaux

 Hervé Grenier, Domaine Vallée Moray, Montlouis 
– very expressive with his hands  
(above and below)

Some photos taken today at 2015 bioTfoule – Salon des vignerons bio tourangeaux. The Salon is on again tomorrow at the Hotel de Ville in the centre of Tours and is well worth a visit. 

 Vincent Bergeron, Domaine Vallée Moray, Montlouis 

 Julien Pinon, Domaine François Pinon
The Pinon wines continue to be a precise as Julien's moustache!

 Johann Spelty, Domaine Johann Spelty
Good Chinon Blanc (below) and 2014 Cuvéés Les Folies from Vienne plain 

 Johann Spelty: 2014 Chinon Blanc – comment sa perdre en Chenin .... 
(easy fail to make sure that the camera is properly focused on the label!)

Rémy Mabileau, Domaine Frédéric Mabileau 
Rémy is now working with hid dad mainly in the 
vines but sometimes in the chai

 Fine 2014 Les Culs de Boeufs, Touraine Amboise. Domaine Mesliard 
from vignes on les primières côtes de Limeray
 (on north bank of the Loire facing south)
 Thierry Landry (Chinon) 

 Impressive 2011 Clos Guillot, Vieilles Vignes, Chinon,
Thierry Landry. €10.50
Thierry has the upper part of the Clos Guillot (1.80ha),
while Domaine Bernard Baudry has the lower part  
 2011 Moulin de Rochette, Vieilles Vignes, Chinon, Thierry Landry
Also impressive and great value €7.50

 Nicolas Paget, Domaine Nicolas Paget, Azay le Rideau and Chinon
Since the 2014 vintage Nicolas has opted to destem his reds grapes by hand.
The result is impressively soft and attractive  

2014 Les Cabotines, Montlouis, Ludovic Chanson 
Very precise, honeyed, touch of quince with real potential to age

More details of wines tasted to be added in a further post.