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, 3 July 2015

Two dates for your diary: tomorrow + August Vouvray fair

Picnic@Château du Petit Thouars, Saint Germain sur Vienne on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July to mark the Independence of the United States. 


Retrouvez les vignerons de

les 13, 14, 15 et  16 août de 10h à 19h,
pour la 53 ème édition
de la Foire aux Vins de Vouvray,
une vingtaine de vignerons de l’appellation
vous attendent dans les caves troglodytiques
de la Bonne Dame
pour vous faire déguster
leurs vins.
Restauration sur place  - Entrée libre-
Prix du verre de dégustation 3 €
Pour en savoir plus, rendez-vous sur

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Distance celebration@Barrio Alto of LA's birthday

Cheers Luiz! André Ribeirinho and Jim @Garrafeira Alfaia
 The Garrafeira Alfaia in the Barrio Alto – André's Lisbon drinking home 

André and I met up at the Garrafeira Alfaia in the Barrio Alto last night for a convivial evening of la modération. We kicked off with a bottle of Filipa Pato's excellent white – 2013 Nossa Calcario made from Bical. It was a little too cool when the cork was first pulled and needed time to open up, so Nossa went into a carafe. The 2013 Nossa has lovely crisp balance and even when relatively warm an hour or more later it still had impressive acidity. 
André lurking at the bar's entrance 

 Side label sponsored by an optician 

 André uploading the photo at the beginning of this post

 Fine selection of hams

 Pedro: owner of the bar and its attached restaurant

After Filipa's Nossa we moved onto the 2004 Meruge from Lavradores de Feitoria. It is good to see that Pedro stocks some older vintages. The 2004 was showing very well – nicely balanced with quite a rich texture but certainly not overblown. A light spicy and gamey character gave the wine extra complexity. Drinking very well now it still plenty of life, so could happily kept a number of more years.

We concluded our evening of restraint with a couple of small glasses of white Port in the spirit of research. 

 The very impressive and complex: 
Andresen 10-Year-Old White Port 

Viera de Sousa: rich but without complexity of Andresen 
- Port and water.... 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

1855 (aka Heracles) under French fraud investigation

Le Parisien devotes a full page today 
to these 'crooks' – Chalon and Hyon

Le Parisien is reporting that and fraudsters Emeric Sauty de Chalon and Fabien Hyon may finally be facing French justice with the Paris Public Prosecution looking into how Chalon and Hyon ran companies that owed 40M€, had 11,000 disappointed clients and failed to deliver a large percentage of the wines its clients ordered.  

Philippe Blanchetier, lawyer for 1855's management, 'the accusations of fraud are entirely wrong, that they were victims of the Bordeaux establishment who disapproved of 1855's approach and set out to undermine the company. Chalon and Hyon are now penniless.'

Is the English translation of 'Blanchetier' perhaps whitewash?    

Decidedly good news, although very belated, if Le Parisien is correct.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Farewell Alastair Mackenzie: teacher and wine writer

I am very sorry to learn that wine writer and long-time member of the Circle of Wine Writers, Alastair Mackenzie, died last night. He had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for some time.

He was a teacher by profession and taught English and Latin for many years at St Paul’s, an independent school beside the Thames in Barnes (London). Alastair wrote his first article on wine in 1970 and passed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust's Diploma Examination, with honours, in 1974.

Although until he retired wine writing was a part-time activity, Alastair nevertheless produced an impressive body of work. With fellow Circle member, Jeffrey Benson, he wrote two books: Sauternes: A study of the great sweet wines of Bordeaux (1984) and The Wines of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol (1979). Alastair’s Daumas Gassac: The Birth of a Grand Cru appeared in 1995.

A CWW Honorary Life Member, Alastair was a very keen supporter of the Circle. He served on the Committee and was a frequent attender at our AGMs, tastings and dinners. Alastair had a great and scholarly interest in wine without in anyway being stuffy.  

My sincere condolences to Alastair’s wife and family. 

Alastair with Freddy Price (2006)