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, 27 January 2015

Millésime Bio – around the fair Monday

 Marc Vanhellemont – one of Les 5 du Vin

 Michel Smith – another member of Les 5 du Vin – 
with a good and inexpensive red from the Abbaye de Valmagne

 Rémi Bonnet, Bonnet-Huteau (Pays Nantais)

 Jean-Jacques Bonnet, Bonnet-Huteau (Pays Nantais)

 Jean-Luc Danto

 Frédéric Sigonneau, Domaine de L'R (Chinon)

 Hamish Wakes-Miller makes a defiant last stand for the tie 

 Jérôme Bretaudeau, Domaine de Belle Vue (Pays Nantais)

 Guillaume Pire, Château de Fosse-Sèche (Saumur)

Sylviane Quenioux, Domaine de Veilloux (Cheverny)

Clos Christelle (Muscadet SMS) by Christelle Guibert and Vincent Caillé

 Vincent Caillé and Christelle Guibert with the 2014 Clos Christelle

Adding to the increasing buzz about Muscadet is the brand new Clos Christelle Muscadet SMS – the fruit of a partnership between Christelle Guibert, who hails from the Pays Nantais but is best known as directrice of the annual Decanter World Wine Awards, and Vincent Caillé (Le Fay d'Homme), a well reputed Muscadet producer in Monnières. Today Clos Christelle had its first public outing at Millésime Bio.

Last year Christelle bought an acre of vines planted with Melon de Bourgogne and it was Vincent who vinified this 2014 Clos Christelle – happily a good vintage for a debut. She set up a small company called Vine Revival, which is based in the Impasse Auguste Renois, Haute-Goulaine and is run for Christelle by 44-year-old Rodolphe Dejoie.

During fermentation Christelle sent many text messages and instructions to Vincent from London and sometimes from Hong Kong, so hence Muscadet SMS.

The 2014 Clos Christelle was vinified in a concrete egg and and this was a tank sample. It has attractive weight, a hint of butter giving complexity and is quite evolved. This may be due to being in a concrete egg. There are 3300 bottles of the 2014 Clos Christelle.    

Vincent looking slightly apprehensive 

Serving Clos Christelle 

 Christelle with an early draft mock up of the 2014 Clos Christelle label

Monday, 26 January 2015

Ken Payton kicks over the Traces@Scrupule

 Ken Payton on the right with Jean-Luc Etievent 

Some of the photos of the American West

After spending much of the day at Millésime Bio I headed off to the opening of Ken Payton's Traces – an exhibition of his photos from the Midi, Turkey and the American West. His exhibition is housed in Scrupule and alternative bookshop and meeting place in Montpellier, whose attrractions includes a choir that specialises in revolutionary songs. 

Leaving the Parc des Exposition I knew I could take the tram and if I chose the right stop I wouldn't be very far from 26 Rue du Faubourg Figuerolles. Unfortunately the internet connection at Millésime Bio is hopelessly slow, so I couldn't load the amp on my iPad, so I just had to try and remember what I had seen previously on a map. As I might have known I got off far too early and so had a fair to get there as well as an interesting time trying to find the Rue du Faubourg Figuerolles and then Scrupule, which is on the first floor up a steep wooden staircase. 

My walk to Scruple and then the return to my Ibis hotel near to La Place de la Comédie further reinforced the idea that I need to explore Montpellier more and that when exploring it's best to go north. Best to avoid the souless and rather nightmarish Antigone and then the flat southern suburbs and instead wander through the maze of streets to the north and west of the Place de la Comédie.  

Ken has a keen eye for interesting faces and scenes along with the bizarre. The exhibition was accompanied by songs from Woody Guthrie very much in keeping with a few of Ken's American West photos featuring ruined buildings.   

The exhibition runs until 14th February and Ken will be there most evenings of this week.   

Ken Payton

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Portraits of some Outsiders in Montpellier tonite!

Le Trio du Clos du Serres –  Béatrice et Sébastien Fillon et Nicolas Mollard

A few portraits taken at the Outsiders' tasting this evening @La Panacée – mainly producers but not entirely.

Ken Payton (film-maker, photographer, writer)  

Ken Payton has a photo exhibition called Traces that opens tomorrow from 18h at Scrupule, 26 Rue du Faubourg Figuerolles, Montpellier. The exhibition runs until 14th February.  

Nearly a selfie – my camera but  Ken took the photo

Jan-Ailbe, Château Rives-Blanques 

Nina Schomakers (Domaine Jonathan Pabiot)
Jonathan Pabiot as a slightly concerned gunslinger from Northern France!
A true outsider in this company!

Trevor Gulliver, leading London restaurateur 
including St. John Restaurant

Daniel James, Domaine Saint-Hilaire

Jon Bowen, Domaine Sainte Croix

Elizabeth Bowen, Domaine Sainte Croix
Robin Williamson, Domaine de Saumarez

Nicolas Mollard, Le Clos du Serres

Angélique Grijseels
Château de Panéry 

Rutger Grijseels

 Caroline Henry concentrating hard

Cyril Bourgne, Domaine La Madura

 Nadia Bourgne, Domaine La Madura