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, 31 October 2016

Two recent no nonsense wine books – Simon Hoggart + Jerry Lockspeiser

Simon Hoggart: Life's too short to drink bad wine – over 100 wines for the discerning drinker, Quadrille, 176 pages, £14.99,
Revised and updated by Jonathan Ray
Jerry Lockspeiser: Your Wine Questions Answered – the 25 things wine drinkers most want to know, Citizen Press,163 pages, £8.99 on Amazon or £5.99 Kindle edition
The late Simon Hoggart was a journalist and broadcaster, who wrote for the Guardian and Observer for 45 years until he died of cancer in January 2014. He was perhaps best known for his often wickedly funny Westminster parliamentary sketches. He also wrote a regular wine column for Punch magazine.
Hoggart was a wine enthusiast and his choice of 100 wines reflects this. He selects wines that are interesting to drink rather than compiling a list of trophy labels. Life's too short opens thus: 'First things first, These are not the top finest wines in the world. Very few of us could affords those. Last time I looked, the 1990 Château Le Pin cost £3,800 Per bottle! The same vintage of Château Petrus was £3,600. I know they say that every single grape that goes into Le Pin is personally inspected by the vigneron, but even so, these prices are ludicrous. Only very rich and vulgar people can afford them.'
'Instead I have chosen 100 wines which are, in their entirely different ways and at their entirely different prices, delicious.' Hoggart adds: 'But I have always believed that you can detect wines that are made from love, as opposed to those that are made to turn a profit. You can do both at the same time – what winemaker wishes to make a loss? – but you cannot fake the dedication, the care and the character.'
This well written and opinionated book is peppered with Simon's humour and amusing anecdotes.  But on occasions, he can make sweeping statements. For instance, in his entry on Savennières–Coulée de Serrant, he claims that: 'Most white wines don't age all that well. Even a good one can be a touch disappointing after a year, distinctly off after two, and undrinkable after three.' Although Simon gives credit to Chenin Blanc to be an exception, it is my experience that a good number of dry white wines can keep many years and gain complexity. This includes some extraordinary Portuguese whites from Bairrada and Colares. It does, of course, depend upon personal taste – some people will prefer fresh youthful flavours, while others will also enjoy those that are more evolved.
This new edition has been revised and updated by Jonathan Ray, son of wine writer Cyril Ray. Life's too short is an amusing read to be dipped into and prompts you to try an eclectic range of wines from around the world.
Jerry Lockspeiser was the founder and owner of the very successful Bottle Green wine business until he sold out a number of years ago. All the money from his recently published 'YOUR WINE QUESTIONS ANSWERED: The 25 things wine drinkers most want to know' will be donated to the Millione Foundation, which Jerry started with Mike Paul and Cliff Roberson to fund primary schools in Sierra Leone.
In the book's opening answer on Cabernet Sauvignon, Jerry cites that in the UK 26 million of us drink wine regularly buying around 1.7 billion bottles a year for an outlay of £12 billion. Supermarkets have a 75% share of this market. 'The average shopper spends more on wine in a supermarket than any other category, beating frozen food in second place and fresh meat in third. But despite the huge financial outlay most of us are shooting blind.'
A recent extensive survey involving thousands of wine revealed that 42% of those questioned knew that Chenin Blanc was a grape variety and 50% that Cabernet Sauvignon was also a grape and 28% identified Rioja as a region. 'Of the thirteen questions only 5% of respondents got more than half right. That means that a whopping 95% were wrong more often than they were right.'
Jerry attacks impenetrable, complicated and meaningless wine descriptions. He gives Berry Bros & Rudd's description of a Château Miraval Rosé:
"The transparent Ruinart-style bottle allows the evanescent almost luminous colours to tease a gentle pink. The blend is equally shared by Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Rolle (aka Vermentino), with the Syrah partially macerated on its skin by the saignée method.
Aromatics of forest floor and wild strawberry with hints of herb, cede to an impressive palate, reassuringly yet deceptively powerful. Flinty, citric notes underwrite a classic red fruit core, all in a subtle minor key but with a resonant, eloquent finish. Ideal to match fruits de mer or salade niçoise."
Come again?
Each of the 25 questions are explored in some depth with a summing up at the end – 'In one gulp'.
Among the questions that Jerry tackles include:
 'Do more expensive wines always taste better? – 'The results are clear. When they don't know what the wine is, most people can't tell which is cheap and which is expensive.' 
Which wines have the fewest calories? 'The calories in wine come mainly from the alcohol, secondly from the sugar. The lower the alcohol the fewer the calories. To reduce calories choose lower alcohol, drier wines, and drink less. 
Are heavily discounted wines worth the full price? 'Interpretation of worth is personal. A wine is worth a particular price if you like it enough, it isn't if you don't. The answer is complicated for heavily discounted wines because we 'taste' the deal as well as the wine. Many could be sold at an intermediary price all year round. When they are we buy less.'
Good detailed and thoughtful answers here making Questions answered well worth the asking price, especially as the money goes towards building schools in Sierra Leone.


Sunday, 30 October 2016

Harvest Report 2016 – Pays Nantais from Vincent Lieubeau

 2016 Melon de Bourgogne

Harvest Report 2016
The 2016 vintage will remain forever in our minds and memories, it is exceptional in more ways than one. 

First, it celebrates the 200th anniversary of Joseph Gregoire Lieubeau's birth. The child, orphaned on 1816, the 10th of May, under the porch of Nantes “Hotel-Dieu”, is the founder of both family and winery.

Distributors, wine shops, sommeliers, partners Chefs... This was our pleasure to welcome you at Stereolux arts hall to celebrate this anniversary at the foot of the “Ile de Nantes Machines” Elephant. Another important event is our sister Marie’s landing as she joined the winery this year in charge of management and direct sales. 

The 2016 vintage reminds us how related to nature, in all its complexity, our winemaker’s life is. All at once, an exceptional environment in which we have the chance to live. We are protecting nature, who in return, enables us years after years to express the diversity of terroirs and vintages. Also that is a challenge to adapt and accept the climate up and downs which can seriously complicate the vineyard work. 2016 will likely remain the “superlatives vintage”, scenarized with a devastating spring frost worse than 1991, an historic mildew pressure greater than 1977 and a summer drought dryer than 2003. 

The vineyard year began on a wet and mild winter with no real extended frost episode. Several direct consequences on spring: a slower than expected budburst, around April 7th, a strong initial mildew inoculum, preparing an exceptionally high diseases pressure throughout the vintage, and a very rapid weeds development, requiring enforced soil care (plowing and/or natural grass inter-row cover), even more speaking about organic farming. In late April, the “Loire winemakers scariest nights”, we had 4 episodes (April 17, 24, 25 and 28th) of spring white frost with temperatures down to -1/-2 °C. These destroyed all hope of harvesting on the hillsides banks and significantly affected other plots to an estimated overall loss of about 20% of the yield. 

May and June gave us no rest, with exceptional moisture, punctuated by violent thunderstorms (80mm recorded on May 29th). Despite a fierce fighting, a spectacular mildew development on leaves but also on fruits, causes severe crop losses. This was followed by an unusually dry summer with less than 15mm of cumulative rainfall on July and August (vs. a norm of about 100mm) causing hydric stress and a slight maturation slowdown on the most draining sandy soils. A few showers early September unblocked the situation.

In the end, the moderate temperatures recorded throughout the year led to a slightly late harvest that began on September 19th, a week after 2015. The harvest reached the Fruitière under the sun, with perfect sanitary state and signed again the historic identity of this vintage 2016. The strong September variations in temperature, the summer drought and the very limited yields have achieved alcoholic degrees and aromatic concentration that are historic in Muscadet area: 12.2% on average and over 13% on some very old plots. Paradoxically, dehydration of the berries related to drought and cool night temperatures have also helped maintain concentration by rather high acidity levels (average 4.4 g/l), announcing full bodied but balanced wines with the greatest aging potential. Finally, yields are exceptionally low due to the disastrous spring weather conditions, around 25 hl/hectare on average at the winery. 

2016 also achieved our second year of organic farming conversion (under Ecocert certification), an additional challenge on this vintage. On plot selections, the team skill and experience improvement, generalized soil plowing, sexual confusion, regular cares based on natural or mineral preparations (copper, sulfur, orange essential oil), manual harvesting, helped us keep the sanitary state and achieved an historic maturity. At the winery, our Crus are vinified without sulfites before fermentation, with natural yeast to respect the most natural terroir expression. With a little hindsight, and our natural optimism, this vintage 2016 will remain an excellent opportunity to enhance our learnings and improve our vineyard methods in hard climate conditions. From the quality of the grapes and first juice, the outcome is on the rightest track: a maturity and balance that are, like the 2016 weather conditions, exceptional and historic.

We look forward to present you this vintage 2016. Please do not hesitate to come back to us for any kind of further info,

Best regards,

Vincent Lieubeau

Saturday, 29 October 2016

London – autumn colours and views

 26.10.16 – City of London and the Shard late afternoon
(Mark II)

 28.10.16 – City of London and the Shard 
morning  (Mark IV – above and below)

 Autumn colours around Forest Hill 

 Top of Horniman Museum and its clock
 Forest Hill's pink and blue château
among the trees 
(above and below)


Friday, 28 October 2016

Cabernet on Canvas: Paintings in Wine:

Message from Nicholas Della Morte Milewski, a sommelier and artist. Nicholas has a Kickstarter project: 
'Big Loire rouge fan here. 

I've been a somm for years, but I'm also an artist. I've recently been painting with wine. I'm running a Kickstarter for the project, and I thought I'd pass it along. 

About this project: 

"Wine is sunlight held together by water."

-- Galileo Galilei

My name's Nicholas, and I'm a sommelier (aka wine ninja) and an artist. For years I've studied wine alongside my greatest passion, painting. 
I'm fascinated by how different cultures have trained, blended, bred, and cultivated grapes over many centuries, creating the art that is modern winemaking.
I'm enamored with the beauty and complexity of the drink. It's an art derived exclusively from nature -- from sunlight and water. And every culture has distinctive styles.
So, I started painting with wine to showcase the visual beauty and unexpected color-range of this beverage.

Read the rest here  

Nicholas Della Morte Milewski
(774) 487-8693

Montlouis producers' auction to raise money for church: 4th November

Chenin Blanc in Montlouis

News story from La Nouvelle République (28.10.16) about the Montlouis producers getting together to raise money for the church in Saint-Martin-le-Beau. The church was badly damaged on 16th April 2015 by a fire set off by vandals.   

'Vente aux enchères de vins pour reconstruire l'église

Les vignerons de l’AOC montlouis organisent une vente à La Bourdaisière, le 4 novembre, pour la reconstruction de l’église de Saint-Martin-le-Beau.

Les vignerons de l'AOC montlouis-sur-loire ont souhaité s'associer aux festivités à l'occasion du 1.700e anniversaire de la naissance de saint Martin, en élaborant une cuvée collective.

Particulièrement touchée par l'incendie criminel qui a détruit une grande partie de l'église de Saint-Martin-le-Beau en avril 2015, la profession a décidé de reverser l'essentiel de la vente des bouteilles produites au profit de la reconstruction de ce patrimoine architectural.'

Read the rest here.


Thursday, 27 October 2016

Canadian bike tour operator looking for local Loire rep

Message from Susan Walter of Days on the Claise

I've had an email from a Canadian bike tour operator (Randonnée Tours) who is seeking a local rep. They want someone who speaks French and English and can meet clients (usually in Tours) for an hour to get them going on a self-guided bike tour. The pay is €70 per client, usually in groups of 2-4 and they expect to have 20-100 clients in 2017. They also want someone who knows about bike maintenance or can take bikes to the repair shop and has storage for about a dozen bikes. There are extra payments for this. They are looking for people around Tours, Chinon, Azay le Rideau or Amboise.
Anyone interested should contact Randonnée Tours. Their contact info is
tel:Toll Free: 800.242.1825, local: 604.730.1247


Susan  – updated daily, so check out what's new today! –  updated regularly with new species accounts and photos. If you are interested in the wildlife and nature of the Loire Valley, take a look. – explore the Loire Valley in style in a classic French car.


@The Source of the Loire: September 2014

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

London – autumn colours

Looking towards the Horniman Museum
(above and below)

Despite the gloom of Brexit, there were some compensations – one being the autumn colours from Forest Hill outwards.....

 Golden tree 

Central London in the late afternoon light

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Back in Mrs Brexit May's England

Leave voters were sold lies about NHS funding
Chief liar Johnson then promoted to UK Foreign Secretary

After five good weeks in the Loire we are now back in London. Back to Mrs May's Bedlam. Back to complete confusion over what Brexit might actually mean. After five weeks away we are no further forward in knowing what the UK government intends to do than we were back in the second week in September.

May's mantra that Brexit means Brexit is about as helpful as saying Weetabix means Weetabix or Pain au Chocolat means Pain au Chocolat. It is increasingly apparent that May is well out of her depth and her government has little nor no idea what it is doing. Little wonder that Nicola Sturgeon expressed very considerable frustration after her meeting with Brexit May yesterday.

Despite May and her government's continued inability to work out what Brexit actually means, its implications for the UK and what it will mean are increasingly evident:

• A plunging pound against both the dollar and the euro 
• Large banks considering moving HQs out of London in the next few months
• Nissan not committing to further investment in its car plant in Sunderland, whose voters opted to leave the EU.
• A marked increase in racial and homophobic attacks since the referendum of 23rd June 2016

• May looking increasingly out of her depth.
• Other EU leaders appear to have summed May up and got her number.
• Johnson, Davis and Fox appear to be ready to inflict maximum damage on the UK's economy on the Brexit altar.

• There are serious implications for Scotland and Ireland and can these be squared? May appears to think they can be fed a few talking bones and all will be OK. 

I could go on but it is too depressing. 

Monday, 24 October 2016

Loire 2016: to have and have not

If there is any Loire appellation that could stand a difficult and virtually non-existent vintage, it is Sancerre. Instead, if there is any substantial Ligerian appellation that has come through this 'very complicated year' relatively unscathed it is Sancerre. Indeed there appear to be a good number of Sancerre producers who have enjoyed a normal to bumper crop in 2016. 
 "It's almost scandalous!" admits Philippe Prieur of Domaine Paul Prieur in Verdigny.   
Sancerre – the haves:
Paul and Benoît Fouassier
We started on Monday 3rd October and finished on the 14th. Our Sauvignon Blanc was hit by frost, coulure and then the drought with a significant amount of these grapes burnt by the heat of July and August. We haven't fully calculated the yields yet but it is between 30hl-40hl per ha for Sauvignon Blanc with the fruit between 12-13 potential alcohol with acidity varying from 4.5- 4.8. The acidity levels are higher than 2015 but lower than 2014.
The Pinot Noir fared better both at flowering and from the heat of the summer, so yields of 42 hl/ha and 13.5% potential alc."
Henry Natter (Montigny)
Unlike many other Sancerre producers, Henry Natter was in the middle of picking but well satisfied with the quantity and quality of the 2016 vintage. Often one of the last in the appellation to picky Natter still had another five days of harvest to do. 
Vincent and Adélaïde Grall (Sancerre)
The Gralls were decidedly happy with 2016. Vincent: "We finished last Wednesday (12th October) having started on the 3rd October. Our Sauvignon is between 11.5-12.5. Following the rain towards the end of September the grapes have plenty of juice, so we have made 65 hl/ha.
Alphonse Mellot jnr (Sancerre)
"The Sancerre reds are exceptional, while the whites are good. In terms of yields the reds are at 28 hl/ha (Mellot always has low yields for their Pinot Noir), while the Sauvignon Blanc is between 50-55 hl/ha."
However the picture is very different for the Mellot vines in the Côtes de la Charité, which was badly hit by the April frosts. "Here it is 6hl/ha for the Chardonnay and just 4 hl/ha for the Pinot Noir."  

Matthieu and Jean-Yves Delaporte, Domaine Vincent Delaporte (Chavignol)
I caught up with Matthieu and his father Jean-Yves early on Monday evening when they were finshing sorting over their last cases of Pinot Noir. Both were well pleased with the 2016 – 60hl/ha for the whites and 50 hl/ha for the reds.
Pierre Martin (Chavignol) 
"It's a good vintage. We started on Wednesday 5th October and finished yesterday (17th October). The rain in mid to end of September was crucial after the long dry spell in July, August and early September. Our Sauvignon Blanc is between 12-13% potential alc and 4-4.3 acidity, while the Pinot Noir is at 13% potential. Yields are between 55-60 hl/ha.
Gérard Boulay (Chavignol)
Gérard was also happy  with 2016. "We started on Monday 3rd October and finished on Sunday 16th. Our white Sancerre is between 12%-13.5%, while the Pinot is at 13.5%. There is a lot of tartaric acid this year – the recent fresh nights have been good for maintaining acidity. Yields are between 45/50 hl/ha. The Cul de Beaujeu is particularly good."

Domaine Paul Prieur (Verdigny)
Luc Prieur: "We started on Monday 3rd October and finished on Friday 14th." Luc is very happy with the quality of 2016. "Our Sauvignon came in at between 12%-12.5% potential and 4.7 to 5 acidity with a yield between 55-60 hl/ha, while the Pinot is at 13.6%-14% and 50 hl/ha. Some of our Pinot suffered from mildew and sunburn during the heat of July and August. 
François Crochet (Bué)
François and Karine Crochet are also very happy with their 2016. François: "We started on Friday 30th September having got special permission to start early. Yields for the Sauvignon are between 45-50 hl with a potential around 12% and 5 gms acidity. We had to pick our Pinot twice as grapes facing south got burnt by the sun. We picked these first to make rosé. These grapes came in at 13.3%. The rest we picked a little later for our Sancerre Rouge and were up to 14% potential. The Pinot yield is around 35-40 hl/ha."
François likens 2016 to the 2014s, while a number of other Sancerre producers put 2016 between 2014 and 2015 in style, so having some of the richness of 2015 but more acidity than 15 and less than 14. Certainly the juices that I tasted appeared promising – clean, mouth-filling with a freshness in the finish.

The have nots

Above Les Loges, Pouilly-Fumé 


Jonathan Pabiot (Les Loges, Pouilly-sur-Loire)
"Overall we lost 65% of the crop including all of our Chasselas. We started on Monday 3rd October and finished on 13th. The communes of Saint Martin, Saint-Laurent and to the south of Pouilly-sur-Loire – the southern part of the appellation – was particularly badly hit by the frost. In some of our parcels where we normally harvest 50 hl/ha we only managed 5 hl/ha, while in the commune of Tracy we picked 35hl/ha. Fortunately our best parcels escaped the frost."
Michel Redde et Fils (Pouilly-sur-Loire)
Sébastien Redde: "It has been a very complicated year. Of our 42 hectares, 10ha have recorded a total loss – no more than 2 ha/ha, 5 hectares were hit between 20%-50% by the frost here we averaged 15 hl/ha.  After the April frosts the mildew ravaged two hectares with a 90% loss. Overall we have made 30 hl/ha but the quality is good.
Masson-Blondelet (Pouilly-sur-Loire)
Pierre-François Masson: "Some of our Pouilly-Fumé parcels were badly hit. In those in the commune of St Martin we only picked 7.5 hl/ha and the same for those in Pouilly. However, our vines in Saint-Andelain were not hit by the frost. We are happy with what we picked in Sancerre – 45 hl/ha, while for the Pinot it was down – 25 hl/ha compared to around 40 hl/ha in a normal year. Unfortunately we will have to restrict allocations."   

Domaine Philippe Gilbert

Menetou-Salon is among the worst hit by the April frost of the Loire appellations and Philippe Gilbert is no exception. "In a normal vintage we make 500hl of both red and white, so 1000 hls. This year we have 17 hls of rosé, between 60-70 hls of red and between 60 - 68 hls of white." This adds up to around 150-160 hls in 2016. – 15% of a normal year." The fact that the quality in 2016 is high must, of course, be particularly galling.

Philippe will not be going to Millésime Bio in January 2017. "There is no point in me going just to explain that I have no wine to sell!" he says.


Today we cross La Manche and return to to Madame May's lunatic asylum – no further comment required!


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Recently enjoyed – Pouilly-Fumé 2014, Sancerre 2015 and Chinon 2005

Here are three Loires that we have very recently enjoyed – 2014 La Moynerie Pouilly-Fumé* from Michel Redde et fils, the 2015 Le Manoir* from Vincent Grall and 2005 Les Marronniers Chinon from Baudry-Dutour.  

It was very interesting to compare the 14 Pouilly-Fumé with the 15 Le Manoir. Both had good ripe fruit and attractive mouthfilling texture. However, the 14 Pouilly-Fumé had more zip in the finish with lovely balance. I think this is likely to be largely down to vintage difference with 2014 having more marked acidity, while 2015 has less acidity and a seductive roundness. Both are good vintages and are drinking very well now, so which wine you prefer is down to personal preference. I opt for the 2014 vintage with its higher acidity and freshness but many will, doubtless, prefer the sleek 2015s.

Eleven years on the 2005 Cabernet Francs are now delicious the initially marked tannins have softened. The 2005 Clos des Marronniers, Chinon from Baudry-Dutour is a good example with its very seductive soft fruit and fully integrated tannins. The 2005 remains deep coloured with no sign of brickiness. Proof that Loire reds merit cellaring! 

* Both of these wines were samples given me to taste.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Towards AC Amboise

The Loire and Château d'Amboise 

Further moves towards establishing Amboise as a stand alone appellation for Chenin Blanc and Côt (Malbec): 

From La Nouvelle Republique (19.10.16)
'Dans le cadre des démarches pour la création d’une appellation viticole Amboise, l’Inao lance une consultation publique sur l’aire concernée.

L'organisme de défense et de gestion de l'AOC Touraine et ses dénominations a demandé en janvier 2014 à l'Inao (Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité) la modification du cahier des charges de son appellation pour la création d'une appellation viticole « Amboise ». L'objectif des vignerons de l'actuelle appellation touraine-amboise est d'asseoir et de promouvoir une identité propre s'appuyant notamment sur deux cépages, le côt en rouge et le chenin en blanc.'

Friday, 21 October 2016

Epeigné-les-Bois: once upon a walnut tree

The increasingly dominant walnut tree

A painting showing the walnut tree in 1992 

When we bought the house in Epeigné-les-Bois in 1987 the walnut tree by the front gate was quite modest. Inevitably over the years it grew and grew despite being pruned every two years over the past decade or so. 

Although it provided shade in the front patio its expanding roots caused problems to walls, pavements etc. It did, however bear memorable witness to the severe frost of April 21st 1991. We had been at Epeigné in early April. The vines and other plants, including our walnut tree, were already starting to bud and shoot. When we came back at the end of May, all the shoots on the walnut were still blackened. 

Sadly we concluded that the walnut would have to go. Sadly its last crop of walnuts were black and rotten with only a few decent nuts. Today was the day:

Starting to go.....



Now an uninterrupted view of Epeigné's church   

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Excellent meal and lovely Red Sancerre @La Côte des Monts Damnés

The dining room @La Côte des Monts Damnés

Jean-Marc Bourgeois
On Monday night CRM and I had a wonderful meal at La Côte des Monts Damnés in Chavignol, where we were staying overnight. Jean-Marc Bourgeois is the chef and his food always impresses but Monday night it was exceptionally good. The standout dish for me was the beetroot gaspacho with crab – looked stunning and tasted equally good!

After a very agreeable 2015 Grand Reserve, Sancerre Blanc from Henri Bourgeois with the considerable weight of the 2015 vintage, we chose the 2014 Sancerre Rouge Le Cul de Beaujeu from Domaine Vincent Delaporte now run by Matthieu Delaporte, grandson of Vincent. The Delaportes are the only growers to have Pinot Noir planted on the steep slopes of Le Cul. I thought the 2014 might be a bit young. However, although I'm sure it will age well it is drinking superbly now with mouth filling silky fruit.  

Mise en bouche

Langoustines looking towards Asia-Pacific 

Gaspacho de betterave rouge et tomate, émiette de 
tourteau au basilic de cervelle Canut à l'huile d'olive 

 Rack and saddle of lamb with a special spicy sausage  
Deliciously flavoursome lamb

 Côte de veau

 2014 Sancerre 'Le Cul de Beaujeu' Vincent Delaporte 


Soufflé chaud à la mandarine et Grand Marnier 

 Le coup de grâce !