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, 31 May 2011

Le Master 2010@Charpentier-Fleurance

Concealed bottles ready to taste

Today was the occasion to choose Le Master (Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine) for 2010. The almost unanimous choice was the 2010 from Charpentier-Fleurance in Le Landreau-Bretonnière.

Launched in 1984 the concept of Le Master was established in the 1980s when Donatien Bahuaud was still family owned. The final selection would be made by a panel of tasters including oenologists, journalists etc. with the winning wine sold under the name of Le Master. When Donatien-Bahuaud went bust and was bought by Grand Chai de France this practice ceased. However, when Ackerman bought the Donatien brand in 2009 from Gabriel Meffre, they decided to relaunch Le Master. Once more there is a super-jury that makes the final selection.

I was invited last year to judge but unfortunately was in the UK, so unable to make it. This year as the tasting is a bit earlier it was possible with an early start from Bléré-la-Croix by train to Nantes.

Just as last year the tasting, followed by lunch, was held at La Cigale, a café-brasserie that is a Nantais institution.

We had ten bottles of 2010 Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine to taste. Much of our work had already been done with a pre-selection process whittling down some 68 samples to ten.

My favourite wine turned out to be the overall winner – no 4 in the order. Next was Joseph Petiteau – Vigne et Saveurs and the third – Luneau Courtage, Vignobles Delaunay. I found Charpentier-Fleurance the best balanced with a lemony, mineral nose and good palate weight plus a long fresh finish. It certainly stood out in the line-up.


All the stress of collating the results!

La Cigale: outside and the bar inside

Shellfish stall outside La Cigale
Preparing oysters

Bernard Jacob, director-general of Ackerman

La Bretonnière 
44430 Le Landreau
Tel: 02 40 06 43 39 

Epeigné: grapes developing and other photos

Epeigné's extensive roadworks under repair

All doors open – a white van in the vineyard|

Flowering almost over with small grapes being to form
Decidedly unsettled
Church nestling in the valley

Monday, 30 May 2011

Epeigné-les-Bois: a few vintage cars


Yesterday morning a procession of vintage cars passed through the village. I missed most of them but managed to capture a few towards the end. The tailenders clearly failed to follow their GPS systems as they headed up the hill to Francueil rather than turning down to Saint-Georges.

 Wonderful classic Citroen

Lamé Delisle Boucard: Portes Ouvertes 8th, 9th and 10th July

Philippe Boucard during the 2009 vintage

Date for the diary: open days at Lamé Delisle Boucard (Bourgueil): 8th, 9th and 10th July. Also 9th-11th September – although this year this date may be in the middle of the vintage!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Epeigné-les-Bois: photos 30th May 2011 am

Road to Francueil

Church, memorial square and sign to Luzillé and Le Liége and to Céré la Ronde

Rose and l'eglise



Fishing tackle

Early morning mist rising off the lake

Vitiloire 2011: some photos mainly producers

Pascal Janvier@Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir

Régis Breton@Jasnières and Coteaux du Loir
Sébastien Vaillant@Valencay
François Jamet@Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil and Bourgueil

Looking after the Simoneau (Touraine) stand

Pierre Van Den Boom@Domaine de l'Enchantoir, Saumur le Puy Notre Dame
Rémi Cosson@Noble Joué

Nadine Dehelly@Le Clos Neuf des Archambaults (AC Touraine) – above and below


 Grazing with the Gare de Tours in the background
 Time for lunch
Pierre Pichot's St Kerber oysters from Cancale (above and below)

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Vitiloire: 28th and 29th May

Went to the annual wine fair, Vitiloire, in the centre of Tours for the first time today and can recommend it highly – very friendly and relaxed and brilliant weather with the same forecast for tomorrow. So if you are in the Tours area tomorrow well worth a visit with some 116 producers from throughout the Loire to choose to taste their wines.
 Beside Tours station

Festival de Rablay-sur-Layon: 11th -12th June

The Layon@Rablay

Festival de Rablay-sur-Layon

Du 11/06/2011 au 12/06/2011

Depuis 1994, le village de Rablay-sur-Layon se mobilise pour organiser un festival artistique, familial et convivial.

Pendant 2 jours, le Festival s'installe au coeur du village et accueille des groupes de différents horizons musicaux, des troupes de danse et de théâtre.
Les vignerons de Rablay participent activement à la préparation de l'événement.
Venez les retrouver autour des "apéro-concert" ou au "Bar des Vignerons"... pour y apprécier les vins du terroir de Rablay.

Lieu :

Renseignements :
François Aumont / Aline Koppé
06 76 70 02 64

Friday, 27 May 2011

Oddbins: couple of extracts from administrators' report: 20th May

7.1: As part of their statutory duties, the Administrators will consider the conduct of the Directors and any person they consider a shadow or a de facto director in relation to the management of the affairs of the Companies and the causes of failure and will submit a confidential report to the Insolvency Service, a division of the department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

As part of their investigation the Administrators will consider, among other matters, the following:

• statutory compliance issues;

• misfeasance or breach of duty; and

• antecedent transactions (including transactions at an under value and preferences)

Creditors who wish to draw any matters to the attention of the Administrators should write to the Adminitrators at the address given on the front of this report.

7.2 SIP13 (E&W)
In accordance with the guidance given in SIP13 (E&W), the administrators are aware of a number of transactions with Ex Cellar Limited, a company controlled by of the Directors of the Companies, during the two years prior to the appointment. The review of these transactions remains ongoing.