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

Friday, 29 April 2016

2016 Loire frost – nos pensées et condolences aux nos amis vignerons ligériens but let the good times roll again!

 L'Amour toujours L'Amour

The news this week has been grim and there will be time tomorrow to post an update on the damage caused by the frost of 27th April. Now, however, at the weekend it is the moment to remember some of the good times that will surely return despite today's darkness. My Decanter news report on frost here.

Let the good times roll encore !

Ripe Cabernet Franc

 At Café de la Promenade, Bourgueil 

Harvest time 
(above and below)

Barca in Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil


The eve of Les Grandes Tablées 2015

 Les Grandes Tablées 2015

 Tasting recent vintages of Bourgueil.....

Château de Chenonceau

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Frost in Loire the night of 26th/27th April 2016 – grim and heartbreaking news (an update)

La nature est parfois difficile avec ceux qui pour autant l'aime encore.
Exemple confirmée à La Charpenterie.
Photo by 
Near La Chapelle-sur-Loire 
(Photo taken from a post by Sabrina Cyprien Caslot-Bourdin.
I hope my use of her very sad photo will be acceptable.) 

Sadly the news coming out of the Loire continues to be largely grim

Unfortunately due to my commitments as the Regional Chair for the Loire at the Decanter World Wine Awards this week at Tobacco Dock, it has been difficult to spend much time checking on the damage caused by the frost early in the morning of Wednesday 27th April.  

Central Vineyards 
A brief update from Benoît Roumet, director of Les Vins du Centre Loire:

Pouilly-Fumé, Menetou-Salon, Quincy and Reuilly have been hit to varying degrees in places very severely. He will have a better idea of the damage next week. However, once again Sancerre appears to have been lucky with apparently little damage.

Touraine – Vallée du Cher 
Report from Vincent Lacour, Domaine Lacour, Saint-Georges–sur-Cher:
'Sur St Georges tous les bas de coteaux sont gelés et même certains endroits sur les hauts des coteaux.

Aucune exploitation n'est épargné avec des situations différentes allant de 10 a 80 % de perte selon les exploitations.

La situation va etre tres compliqué car les stocks sont bas et les récoltes faibles des années précédentes ont fragilisés les trésoreries. Beaucoup d'exploitation vont se retrouver dans des situations critiques et on se demande comment les marchés vont réagir.

A priori plus on va vers St Aignan moins il y a de degats mais des secteurs comme Couffy, Lye and Saint-Romain a priori sont très touchés également

Bléré est tres touchés egalement et sur Civray c'est proche des 90% de degats.

Voila ce que je peux dire pour l'instant j'en saurais plus cette apres-midi, mais on connaitra le bilan veritable la semaine prochaine.

(Vincent reports that many parts of Saint Georges-sur-Cher, which is the commune in the Cher Valley with the most significant area under vine, has been hit especially the lower parts of the coteaux but even some parcels of vines high up have suffered damage. No-one has escaped with losses ranging from 10%-80%. 

As you move further east up the Cher Valley towards Saint-Aignan the damage appears to be less but the communes of Couffy and Lye to the east of Saint-Aignan have been hit as has Saint-Romain to the north of Saint-Aignan. 

West of Saint-Georges-sur-Cher – Civray has been very badly hit as has Bléré. 

Pays Nantais
Damage reported here and in the Fiefs Vendéens.

Benoît Gautier, Domaine de la Châtaigneraie, Vouvray is reporting considerable damage to some of his parcels of vines.            
Better news: Jérôme Billard, Domaine de la Noblaie, Ligré, AOP Chinon repoprts that only 20% of his vines have been affected and I believe these are mainly the Cabernet Franc vines that Jérôme uses to make his rosé which are not the best parcels and on the lower part of a slope that would be frost prone.  

Now that the Loire DWWA judging is now over, I will have time to get fuller information, so I expect to post further updates in the days to come.