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

Thursday, 20 November 2014

BIVC - new présidents elected for a three year term

Emmanuel Charrier, Coteaux du Giennois, one of the co-présidents 
of the BIVC with Catherine Corbeau-Mellot (Joseph Mellot)

Lors de la dernière assemblée générale du BIVC qui s’est tenue à Sancerre le 6 novembre dernier, une nouvelle équipe de professionnels s’est installée pour trois ans. L’occasion pour le BIVC de retravailler ses statuts et d’élire un nouveau bureau.
Des nouveaux statuts qui entérinent la co-gestion viticulture-négoce des vins du Centre-Loire

Le BIVC, qui fête ses 20 ans cette année, fonctionnait depuis le départ avec une présidence alternée viticulture-négoce mais, de fait, les vignerons et les négociants du Centre-Loire ont toujours travaillé de concert, tous les professionnels étant convaincus d’être dans le même navire.
Sur proposition du bureau, il a donc été décidé de modifier les statuts afin d’établir une co-présidence à la tête de l’interprofession, permettant ainsi d’officialiser cette co-gouvernance mais également de partager les missions dévolues à la présidence entre deux professionnels.

Un bureau renouvelé au service de toutes les appellations

Les 24 membres de l’assemblée générale ont donc désigné les deux premiers co-présidents du BIVC. Il s’agit de Catherine Corbeau-Mellot et d’Emmanuel Charrier.
Ils seront aidés dans leur tâche par 6 autres membres du bureau : Christine Laloue, Patricia Luneau, Sonia Raimbault, Quentin David, Denis Jamain et Cédrick Bardin.

Quentin David, Château Favray, Pouilly-Fumé 

Denis Jamain, Domaine de Reuilly, Reuilly

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Caroline Henry: Terroir Champagne 12 days left to hit €10,000

Caroline@work in Chianti 2011

Caroline Henry's campaign to raise funds for her Terroir Champagne book was launched on 20th October. Now nearly a month later she has raised €6390 (64%) of her target €10,000. But time is running out there are now just 12 days to push this total over the line. 

Mick Rock, one of the world's finest wine photographers, will be helping Caroline with her book. Read her blog here 

Please support Terroir Champagne! 

'Here's an update for you from the ‘TERROIR CHAMPAGNE - THE BOOK’ team:

Dear supporters, 

Thank you again for your belief in my project!! The last week seen a few articles appearing talking about my project - mainly in the french press. Sales however are only creeping up slowly. A lot of people have told me they will support the campaign but I think they do not realize the urgency.

I am trying to make them understand by sending more email messages out and have also been pushing my campaign by more intense sharing on social networks. The more people see and hear about this project the faster we can meet the target!!

And it is here that you can help me as well. I know quite a few of you have already shared the link to this campaign extensively, but if you can think of any groups you belong to on Facebook, Google +, Snooth,Cellartracker or Linkedin interested in Champagne and or more natural wine, I would appreciate it enormously if you could share my link again.

If you prefer to send a short message to Champagne loving friend or family, please email me on, and I can send you the message I use when I email my contacts.

Thank you so very much for your help!!! I really really appreciate it!! And I know that together we can get this project over the line!!

Have a lovely day!!


Shoes for Chiantishire!
Update: 20th November – 10 days to go
Good news as Caroline's fundraising has moved on: reaching €7280, which is 73% of the required total. If you haven't sponsored Caroline's new project please do so!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A quartet from Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin

 2010 L d'Or, Muscadet Sèvre & Maine sur Lie
(above and below)

A quartet of wines from top Muscadet producer Pierre Luneau-Papin – 2010 L d'Or, 2013 Froggy Wine, 2013 Folle Blanche and Luneau Brut. 

L d'Or has been a flagship of the estate since it was first launched in 1976. It ages brilliantly and has, over the years, surprised many people who thought that Muscadet had to be drunk young – DYA (drink youngest available). This 2010 is still very young and fresh but with attractive weight. Although enjoyable to drink now it will gain complexity over the next decade or more.

 2013 Froggy Wine, Muscadet Sèvre & Maine sur lie 
(above and below)

The Froggy Wine Muscadet is intended to dispel some of the mystique that often surrounds wine and to appeal to a younger generation as well as the export market. It should not, however, be dismissed as a frivolous wine. This is a well made Muscadet to either drink now but will keep several years. It calls out to be closed under screwcap.  

 2013 Folle Blanche, Gros Plant du Pays Nantais sur lie

Gros Plant has suffered from a poor reputation – lean and acid. However, well made and from good grapes it can be delicious as this wonderfully vibrant 2013 is. Yes it has acidity but is is ripe as is the fruit. Bring on the oysters – a brilliant match!   

Luneau Brut

The Luneau sparkling is a blend of 40% Melon de Bourgogne, 30% Folle Blanche (Gros Plant), 20% Chardonnay and 10% Cabernet (vinified as a white). The grapes come from a parcel of 40 year-old vines. It spends five months on its lees before being bottled for its secondary fermentation. It spends 18 to 24 months minimum sur latte. 

I find this the least convincing wine from the Luneau stable. Although pleasant enough, it is too frothy and 'soapy' and not on the same level as the still wines – both Muscadet and the very good Folle Blanche.   

(Bottles were given by the domaine as samples.)


Monday, 17 November 2014

Loire tasting @J&B

2011 Vendanges Entières, Sancerre Rouge, Vincent Pinard 

The annual J & B (Justerini & Brooks) Loire and Rhône tasting is certainly worthwhile. Although their Rhône list is more comprehensive than the Loire, there were a number of good things to taste this afternoon. Furthermore having tasted the Loire there was time for me to go and play and try a few Rhônes before departing.  

One of the highlights of the tasting was 10 Sancerres from Vincent Pinard – five white and five red. I particularly enjoyed the ripe and richly textured 2011 Vendanges Entières, Sancerre Rouge (£35.46). It still needs time but will be a lovely bottle in a few years time. At £25.46 the 2009 Charlouise is a little more evolved – again with seductive texture and charming Pinot fruit. 

Not easy to pick a favourite from the Pinard whites but I'll go for the 2012 Harmonie (£25.46) with good weight, concentration and length that will surely age well.

2009 La Croix du Roy, Sancerre Rouge, Lucien Crochet

2011 Le Cul de Beaujeu

Two wines from Lucien Crochet (represented by Gilles Crochet) impressed. La Croix du Roy (£16.96) is an old favourite and the charming, soft 2009 underlines again how good Pinot Noir now can be from Sancerre and other Central Loire vineyards – well worth considering given the increase in prices in Burgundy.

The other – Le Cul de Beaujeu, Sancerre Blanc – was new to me. The Cul de Beaujeu is the very steep slope that is directly above Chavignol on the other flank from the better known Les Monts Damnés. The Beaujeu parcel belongs to a cousin of Gilles' wife. He was a pilot with Air France but has just retired and intends to make his own wine from 2015, so Gilles has only been able to make six vintages of this wine – 2009 - 2014. The 2011 Crochet Cul de Beaujeu (£23.96) is noticeably richer and fuller than than the other Crochet Sancerres, although it is still quite tight in the finish and certainly needs time to show its best. 

J & B have reduced their Sancerre range as they are no longer listing the wines of François Cotat – not finding the recent vintages sufficiently convincing.  

2012 Anjou Blanc, Domaine Thibaud Boudignon (£17.46)

2012 Anjou Blanc à Francois(e), 
Domaine Thibaud Boudignon  (£23.46)
2012 Savennières, La Fougerais,  
Domaine Thibaud Boudignon

As at last year's tasting the startlingly precise wines from Thibaud Boudignon stood out in particularly his beautifully textured and long 2011 Savennières (£30.46).   

Other wines that impressed:

2012 Clos de Venise, Vouvray, Domaine de la Taille aux Loups (£22.46)
2008 Clos de la Dioterie, Chinon, Charles Joguet (£22.46)

2011 Les Fevettes, Saumur-Champigny, 
Château de Hureau (£16.46)