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, 25 December 2014

Esme Morris Macintyre's new gravestone@Banchor Cemetery

Recently installed gravestone for Esme Morris Macintyre 

 Iconic sunflowers –  artificial as rabbits eat real ones

 Note purple harp – CD 'Esme's Adventure - 

 Hills showing through the mist in the background 
(above and below)

 View of the lower part of the cemetery

Sun trying to break through the mist 
(above and below)

 Trees on the edge of the cemetery
(above and below)

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Trio of Loires recently enjoyed

 2003 Moelleux Vouvray Domaine de la Taille aux Loups 

Rich honeyed concentration from the heatwave year, this sweet Vouvray from Domaine aux Taille aux Loups worked well as an apéro – just a glass or so – but also with pheasant cooked in cream and apple and finished with a little Calvados and some more cream. Long finish but not especially complex, although certainly would have aged for decades if I hadn't pulled the cork.  

 2013 Pierre de la Grange Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie, Domaine Pierre Luneau Papin

Attractive, fresh, lemony, saline young Muscadet from Domaine Pierre Luneau Papin. This spends seven months on its lees before bottling. We enjoyed this with simply fried halibut steaks. It also worked well as a contrast with a starter of scallops and black pudding also a good, refreshing apéro. I'm sure would have been perfect with shellfish including oysters.     

 Secret des Vignes 2012 Saumur Champigny, Ackerman 

Secret des Vignes 2012 Saumur Champigny (11.90€) is the first of three samples of the Secret des Vignes sent to me from Ackerman. 2012 is not the easiest Loire vintage and while this shows some of the characteristic acidity of 2012 it has impressive concentration of black fruits. Still youthful though drinkable now it would benefit by being left for another year or two. The back label suggests this Champigny could age for 5-10 years, which given its concentration (for the year) is a fair estimate. Also in this series is a Saumur Blanc and a Coteaux du Saumur, which I will be trying over the next few days. The 2012 Saumur Champigny was a promising start.       

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Memories of July 2014 – tasting with Patrick Johner

Tasting@Villa Wolf with Patrick Johner on 2nd July 2014:

2011 Pinot Noir Gladstone (New Zealand) medium level PN 18€
Light plum colour, attractive Pinot Noir nose, soft attractive fruit, ripe and quite rich 

2011 Reserve Pinot Noir Gladstone (New Zealand) 25€
Toasty blackberries, more texture - silky, quite rich, some acidity bring freshness in finish. 

2011 Blauer Spätburgunder

Rich fruit, texture, Mouthfilling, some toast, length and persistence 

2009 Blauer Spätburgunder

Definite Pinot Noir nose, texture, silky, ripe and richer than Jean Stodden's Pinot Noirs in the Ahr.

2008 Pinot Noir Steinbuck volcanic site

More attractive, delicacy, lovely ripe, good acidity, slightly drying in finish. Impressive. 

2011 Pinot Noir Steinbuck 
Light plum/mid plum, delicate, ripe texture, good acidity and freshness in the finish. (Chocolate and cherry flavours).

Patrick Johner: "German Pinot Noir clones productive giving green bean character." "Less need for tannin structure under screwcap."

2011 Blauer Spätburgunder SJ 
Sweet ripe fruit, concentration, some toasty character, needs time to soften and develop further complexity.   

2011 Blauer Spätburgunder SJ Oberrotweiler Eichberg 
Mid-plum, lovely caressing soft texture, red cherry, touch of tannins in finish, bit of tannin in the finish. 

2009 Grauburgunder + Chardonnay 
 Delicacy and purity, rich. 

2010 Grauburgunder Beernauslese 
Lovely concentration, apricot and apple. Freshness in finish