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, 29 October 2014

Heading to #dwcc14: Nyon 29.10.14

The small marina@Nyon at dusk

After our drive up into the Juras we headed to Nyon in time to catch the last hour of sunshine. This evening the fading light was superb on Lac Léman and across to the French Alps. 

Tower of the Château de Nyon

 Château de Nyon (above and below)

Château – through to the Lac

Château de Nyon
The Lac and mountains on the French side

Towards Montreux

Towards Geneva

Vaud: no diving


Hotel Beau Rivage down to a private jetty

Heading to #dwcc14: Swiss Juras and Mont Blanc

 From the Swiss Juras over Lake Geneva towards Mont Blanc

We are staying a couple of nights at Divonne-les-Bains to get ourselves acclimatised for #dwcc14 in Montreux this weekend. Today we drove up into the Swiss part of the Jura mountains that overlook Lac Léman and Mont Blanc and other mountains. 

Shades of Mont Blanc

 La Barillete communications centre

Café de la Barillette

Mont Blanc behind a tree  

Café de la Barillette with Lac Léman below
 Modern Swiss snow plough

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

2014 Loire: Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé in luck again

Domaine Henri Bourgeois: grapes waiting to be 
picked for a late harvest wine 
(above and below)  

Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and the other Central Vineyards have been fortunate again in 2014. Not only have they had a good vintage but they have had a generous vintage unlike other parts of the Loire, where many producers have their third successive short vintage. In Sancerre and Pouilly quality producers like Domaine Henri Bourgeois, Domaine Vacheron, Michel Redde and Masson Blondelet have harvested around 60 hl/ha this year and the quality is high. Here 2014 appears to be similar to a vintage such as 1990 where both the yields were high and so too unusually the quality.  

A big vintage in the Central Vineyards looks likely to widen again the wealth gap between Sancerre, for example, and the rest of the Loire. 

(More details to add.)

Golden vines 

Jean-Marie 'Jany' Bourgeois

Vines and woods from above Chavignol

Sunset over Sancerre from East bank of Loire

Monday, 27 October 2014

Saint-Georges-sur-Cher: Sunday market day

Yesterday we dropped down to the Sunday market in Saint-Georges-sur-Cher. This market that started a number of years ago with just a few stalls has now expanded. Moving the market out of the small square by the church to the relatively recently developed square with shops immediately north of the church has proved to be a success with an increase in the number of stalls.

Among our purchases today was an excellent small chicken that I roasted simply with olive oil and butter served with a reduced red wine sauce with wild mushrooms. Excellent value at just over 10€.

 The very popular pork and charcuterie stall

 Stalls including the very good stall that specialises in duck 
products from a farm just to the north of Amboise

 Stall with paella and roast chicken

Cheese from Epeigné's goat farm run by Eric Schneider is also a 
very popular stall. No wonder as the cheese is excellent.  

Redevelopment of the new shopping area has taken its toll, 
however – the Central Café is the latest to close 

 Fermature pour cessation d'activité
(above and below) 
It must be very difficult for a small, traditional 
bar to survive these days in a small town.