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

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Newtonmore – convalescence amid the mountains

View from Newtonmore's golf course 
looking towards snow capped Creag Dhubh

Sheep happy now they can munch the grass 
now the snow has finally gone 

There are compensations to convalescing in Newtonmore in the Cairngorm Mountains and today's magical weather is one of them. A day of almost continuous blue sky and some warmth in the sun even though the temperature probably never rose above 6˚C. Good to see the end of the snow and ice at low level, at least for a while, but still having the snow capped mountains. 

In comparison to London I'm much more aware of nature up here along with a real sense of the lengthening days – today light until nearly 6pm.. All the more welcoming since in mid-winter the hours of daylight are so limited – dark until nearly 9am with dusk around 3.30 pm.   

I am now around seven weeks into my recovery with about another five weeks before the brace comes off. Good progress with my left leg means that I can get out and enjoy walking along the quiet roads of Newtonmore. 

During today's walk I headed down to the Grill, at the southern end of the village, to have a look at Scotland's mobile cinema – The Screen Machine (twitter: @screen_machine). This large lorry opens out into a cinema with screen and seats.        

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

2016 Côté – Chardonnay & Sauvignon, Côtés de Gascogne, Tariquet

2016 Côte – Chardonnay & Sauvignon, IGT Côtés de Gascogne, 
Domaine du Tariquet, Famille Grassa

This is another white from The Wine Society's South-West France Whites case (£75 for a case of 12 bottles). 2016 Côté is an attractively clean blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Chardonnay giving softness and some weight, while the Sauvignon Blanc gives crisp citric notes. A good aperitif. Made by the Grassa family at the long established Domaine du Tariquet.  


Monday, 19 February 2018

2011 Finca Antigua Crianza, La Mancha

 2011 Finca Antigua Crianza,  La Mancha  

Although 2011 this Crianza from La Mancha is still youthful. A blend of 50% Tempranillo, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, this is quite typical of a certain style of Spanish red with good concentration and some sweet American oak notes, although it is aged in old barrels – a mix of French and American. A good red for the winter. 

Another good value red from The Wine Society.