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, 21 September 2017

2017 Loire – emptying a case of Sauvignon Blanc @Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre

The start – picking up the case

A series of photos of 2017 Sauvignon Blanc grapes being emptied onto the conveyor belt to be loaded into the vat to begin their transformation into 2017 Sancerre. 
 Starting to tip 

 a bit more 

 Grapes beginning to fall

Grapes in full flow

 Last few grapes 
Off up the conveyor belt

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

2017 Loire – Sancerre

After spending one and a half days in Sancerre visiting a number of producers, the quality of 2017 appears to be promising as it does so far in the other parts of the Loire where I have had the opportunity to taste either the new pressed juice or those that have now started to ferment. All the juices appear to be very clean and precise.

On the whole the potential alcohol degrees are mainly between 12.5% - 13% with acidity between 5.0 and 5.5 giving a good balance. 

There is, however, a considerable difference in the ripeness depending on the parcels and sectors. 

Clément Pinard, Domaine Vincent Pinard (Monday 18th September)
"I'm super happy. We started picking our Sauvignon on Friday 8th September and have finished today  we visited – Monday 18th. The alcohol levels are between 12.3% and 13.1% with the acidity varying between 5.3 and 5.4 giving us a good balance. We have a new cuvée called Le Château from a one hectare plot in Bué.   

We  will start picking the Pinot Noir tomorrow." 

However, as it poured with rain on Tuesday morning they may have delayed the start slightly.

In contrast Pascal Joulain of Domaine Michel Vattan in Maimbray only started picking today. Admittedly Maimbray is higher than Bué and cooler. "I have waited until the grapes are properly ripe. They are very clean and healthy so there has been no rush to start," said Pascal.

(Other comments from Sancerre producers to be added soon.)   


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

2017 Loire – Sancerre - some photos of the harvest (18.9.17)

Victory sign from Jean-Laurent Vacheron 
busy shifting palettes of Sauvignon grapes 

 Hod carriers on the edge of Clos de la Poussie (Bué)
(above and below)

 Pickers near Amigny 

 Sancerre in the shade, vineyards in sunshine 
– signs of picking.

White vans rool OK! 

Vincent Pinard: prototype design for the new
– Le Chàteau design by Clément Pinard's 5 year old son

Fuller report on 2017 vintage at Sancerre to come shortly.