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, 26 March 2015

Epeigné-les-Bois: fin mars 2015 – vegetation behind 2014

 Mistletoe in the poplars 

In comparison to the mild weather during March and early April 2014, this year is now much cooler with temperatures around 9˚C/10˚C max along with cold nights, although we have had one or two warmer days since we arrived here on 18th March. To date there is no sign here of the vines being anywhere close to budbreak at the moment. 

In terms of max temperature 2015, to date (data from weather station in Tours), is slightly above average with 12.6˚C against 12.3˚C norm. 2014 was much warmer with 15˚C and much more sunshine 217 hours compared to 116 hours this year (norm 144). Both 2014 and 2015 have seen low rainfall – only 25.8 mm compared to 27.3 mm in 2014, while the norm is 50.3 mm.  Although the forecast for the rest of this month threatens a fair amount of rain. 

Producers will be fairly relaxed that the vines aren't well in advance of normal as this reduces the length of danger time for Spring frosts. Some of the most damaging frosts have been in years when bud-break was early – 1991 and 2012, for instance. Unfortunately a late start doesn't rule out a frost as the very late starting 2013 showed with vines being frosted at the end of April. Fingers crossed!   

Some photos from late-March in Epeigné-les-Bois.   

 Road between Montrichard and Loches is blocked
 by road works in the centre of Le Liége

 Just a faint hint of green

 A late patch of sunlight yesterday

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Jim's Loire named Best Loire Blog in first annual Winerist Blogger Awards

I am very pleased to have been named as the Best Loire Blog in the first edition of Winerist Blogger Awards

'Welcome to the very first annual Winerist Blogger Awards! This is our chance to recognise some of the best talents within the wine, food and travel blogging community. We have scoured far and wide to find the most innovative and exciting writers (and vloggers!) to award and share with you from the past year.
The Popular Choice Award
The Popular Choice Award is your chance to vote for who you think is the best overall blogger from the award winners of the main categories.  
Winerist will be supporting the Popular Choice vote on all of our platforms but winners are also encouraged to promote their blog for the public vote. 
On social media, please use the hashtag #bloggerawards2015. 
Please note your vote will only be counted once! 
Details of the other winners – a star studded field – and how to vote here.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

2015 Fêtes des Vins de Bourgueil: 21st March 2015 (3rd post) + preferred 2014s

Benoît Amirault, Domaine Yannick Amirault

Tasting Bourgueil in the rain of Saturday

Nathalie Omasson (above and below) 

Bertrand Nau, Nau Frères

 Domaine les Pins – Pitault-Landry

 Christophe Blot, Domaine de la Taille aux Loups

 Hervé Menard, Domaine Menard 

 I wonder how lomg Guillaume can talk 
without drawing breath?!

 Guillaume Lapaque, Vins de Bourgueil

 Philippe Pitault,  Domaine les Pins – Pitault-Landry  

 Emmanuel Caslot, Domaine de la Chevalerie

2014 Bourgueil
Unfortunately tasting conditions on Saturday were far from ideal – it was cold under 10˚C and it rained for part of the time heavily enough for drips to come through the wooden slats of the huts, so it wasn't a lot of fun tasting cold 2014 Bourgueil with cold hands and feet. However, it had to be done. 

The majority of the Bourgueil producers present (around 40 in total) were showing some of their 2014s, although there were a few producers with just previous vintages. Some of the 2014s are already in bottle but many are samples of unfinished wines. 

My preferred wines from the 2014s I tasted
2014 Domaine de la Petite Mairie 
2014 Petit Mont, Domaine du Petit Bondieu (Thomas Pichet)
2014 Vieilles Vignes, Nathalie Omasson 
2014 Vieilles Vignes, Nau Frères
2014 Jeunes Vignes + Vieilles Vignes, Audebert 
2014 La Vigne aux Alouettes, Domaine Ménard
2014 Chévrette + Cuvée du Grand Clos, Michel, Joëlle, Jérémy Lorieux  
2014 Cuvée les Rochettes + Vieilles Vignes, Pitault-Landry
2014 Pied de la Butte + Haut de la Butte + Mi-Pente, Domaine de la Butte
2014 Jean-Marie Amirault
2014 Clos de l'Abbaye
2014 Cuvée les Chesnaies, Lamé Delisle Boucard
2014 La Perinelle, Domaine des Raguenières 
2014 La Petite Cave, Yannick Amirault
2014 Rouge de Minière, Château de la Minière
2014 Tsoin Tsoin, Laurent Herlin
2014 Sur les Hauts + Closeries, Aurélien Revillot
2014 Cuvée Santenay, Jean-Marc Breton


Monday, 23 March 2015

Could the French parliament ban the Breton's " Nuits d'ivresse " ?

Paul Breton, son of Catherine and Pierre Breton

It looks as though April 1st may have arrived early this year! The French parliamentarians apparently want to ban the use of Nuits d'ivresse on Catherine and Pierre Breton's well known cuvée of Bourgueil. They claim that it sets a bad example and could enourage drunkeness.

Perhaps they also want to ban the film Nuits d'ivresse made by Bernard Nauer and released in 1986?

Report in La Nouvelle République:

'A Bourgueil, faut-il interdire la cuvée " Nuits d'ivresse " ?La célèbre cuvée du Domaine Breton est prise comme “ mauvais exemple ” par des parlementaires qui préparent une loi sur la santé publique et le vin. 

Dans le vin, comme en politique, l'étiquette a son importance ! C'est pour cela que des parlementaires vont bientôt remettre sur le métier une loi sur la santé publique et l'alcool. « Et ils ont pour objectif de faire interdire sur nos étiquettes toutes références au plaisir. D'ailleurs, c'est une cuvée de bourgueil, Nuits d'ivresse, qui est citée dans ce rapport », s'insurgeait hier matin Jean-François Mabileau, au micro, devant un parterre d'élus locaux.'
Read the rest here

Jean-François Mabileau