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, 2 April 2019

A long, lovely lunch Chez Olivia et Vincent....


Olivia and Vincent @ Vincent le Cuisinier
Ingrandes de Touraine

The idea was to organise a lunch around the wines of Jo Pithon that we haven't yet drunk, especially his first real vintage – 2005 – from the Clos des Treilles. Jo hasn't kept many examples of his old vintages. Ivan Massonnat hadn't tasted the 2005, so it made sense to have a lunch at Vincent le Cuisinier in Ingrandes de Touraine with the 2005 as the centrepiece. Clearly one bottle, however good, would not suffice so we added a few more, while remaining moderate.


As an apéro we opted for the 1961 Le Haut-Lieu demi-sec from Gaston Huet. It still had a youthful golden colour. It was initially quite austere but took on more weight when decanted giving a lovely balance of fruit and acidity.

We had intended to hold the lunch the day before but that was not possible. Holding it on the Saturday proved to be fortuitous as Jacques Pusais was also lunching Chez Vincent. Giving him a glass of the 1961 Huet to try led to us discovering that it was Jacques who vinified this vintage for Huet – the first of several at the domaine. Jacques was born in 1927, so it was good to see him in such good form.

Jacques Pusais, Ivan Massonnat and Jo Pithon 

Vincent and Olivia kindly created a special menu for us to go with the wines. For this they charged us a remarkably reasonable 39€ per person.

Ris d’agneau roulés au beurre fermier,
jeunes poireaux et poêlée de betteraves
IMG_9336 (1)
2005 Les Treilles. Anjou, Domaine Jo Pithon (100% Chenin)
IMG_9337 (1)
Happily the 2005 turned out to be the real star of our meal with its great vivacity and energy. With its lovely texture, balance and finesse it went well with all of the dishes with perhaps the exception of the dessert. We served it with the entrée and kept it on the table.
1992 Les Nouettes, Coteaux du Layon,
Saint Lambert du Lattay, Domaine Jo Pithon
This was remarkably impressive for a 1992, a decidedly difficult year starting with a very big crop as the vines had had a year off due to the terrible frost of 1991 and then the weather during harvest wasn't favourable with plenty of grey rot. It was fascinating hearing Jo talk about the measures and precautions they had to take to achieve this result – very clean, quite rich with well balanced length. Its richness matched the sweet succulence of the riz de veau.
Vincent is not a man to be trifled with ......
Poulet de notre vigne , cuit en cocotte
en deux services
la poitrine , Bourgueilette de légumes
la cuisse , jus réduit au thym
The 1997 Le Gory, Saumur Blanc was made by Françoise Foucault, the wife of the late Charly Foucault. The 1997 is very rich, concentrated and powerful with still some traces of new wood. Although impressive it didn't have the finesse of the very food-friendly Les Treilles.

This one is definitely reserved for special occasions like this – 1989 Dioterie, Chinon, Charles Joguet. Initially it was rather closed with notes of green pepper but in the decanter it opened up revealing lovely soft texture, complexity and length. Still youthful at 30 years.
Pomme rôtie longuement
Biscuit d’épices , une escalope de foie gras pochée

Desserts are the preserve of Olivia and this one is very unusual as it features a slice of foie gras – utterly delicious!
1993 Clos du Bois, Coteaux du Layon Saint Aubin,
Domaine Jo Pithon

Another very impressive wine from a far from easy vintage – not as difficult as 1992 admittedly. The 1993 Clos du Bois was richer and more concentrated than the 1992 Les Nouettes. It had lovely rich fruit – apricot confit, very fine texture matched with good acidity and a long finish. Making wine this good in a difficult year is the mark of a great vigneron! Chapeau Jo !  

The evidence of modération
– none of the bottles were emptied by us

Vincent cuisinier de campagne
19 Rue de la Galottière, 37140 Ingrandes-de-Touraine
Téléphone : 02 47 96 17 21

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