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

Monday, 5 October 2015

Claude Lafond: saviour of AC Reuilly dies aged 63

Claude Lafond (October 2013) 
in his winery at Reuilly

I am very shocked and sorry to learn this afternoon of Claude Lafond's sudden and unexpected death during the night of Saturday/Sunday. He died in his bed of a heart attack.

When Claude took over the family domaine in 1977 on the death of his father, the small appellation of Reuilly was close to disappearing with only 48 hectares in production. As well as expanding his own domaine, which had just 3.5 hectares when he took over, Claude persuaded new vignerons to come to Reuilly. The appellation now has some 230 hectares in production with Domaine Claude Lafond with 43 hectares – 35 ha in Reuilly, 3ha Valençay and 5ha on Vin de Pays.   

One of the last times I saw Claude was during the 2013 harvest. With Carole and Chris Kissack (The Wine Doctor) we were on our way to Sancerre and stopped over to see how the harvest had gone. Claude was very welcoming and we tasted the still fermenting 2013s, admired his new winery and we were invited to lunch with him and winery his staff. During the lunch Claude recounted the fascinating history and renovation of the Reuilly appellation.

Claude had an engaging and mischievous sense of humour. I well remember Benôit Roumet, director of the Vins du Centre Loire, telling me that Claude had invited him to eat at the canteen. The 'canteen' turned out to be the starred restaurant in La Cognette in neighbouring Issoudun!   

Natalie Lafond (October 2013)    

 Claude Lafond's winery at Reuilly
(above and below)

My sincere condolences to Natalie and to the rest of Claude's family and friends.
Claude remembered here, here and here

Triple Zéro – seeing double: another Montlouis/Vouvray clash!

Triple Zéro from Jacky Blot 
Montlouis-sur-Loire Pétillant
(Vin naturel sans adjonction de sucre)
As Triple Zéro (AC Montlouis) from Jacky Blot has been a commercial success it was trademarked in France (marque deposée) nearly 10 years ago – 10th January 2006.  It was trademarked under two categories: 32 : Bières ; eaux minérales et gazeuses and 33 : Boissons alcoolisées, (à l'exception des bières) that comprises – cidres ; digestifs (alcools et liqueurs) ; vins and spiritueux. France's register of trademarks is here.

Interestingly another Triple Zéro, this time a sparkling Vouvray from Gilles Gaudron (Domaine Sylvain Gaudron in Vernou), has entered the field.

2009 La Symphonie Triple Zéro, Vouvray, Gilles Gaudron
Domaine Sylvain Gaudron, Vernou 

Is there legal space for two sparkling Triple Zéros?

I understand from Jacky Blot that several years ago a sommelier told him about the Gaudron Triple Zéro and that Jacky was in touch as was apparently told as they had some labels they would like to finish them up. However, on 5th March 2015 Gilles Gaudron of Domaine Sylvain Gaudron trademarked Symphonie Triple Zéro. Blot has now puts this in the hands of his lawyer, who incidentally also represents Château Pétrus.  

Will Symphonie Triple Zéro be judged to be different enough to Triple Zéro or will it be deemed too similar. Certainly Blot's Triple Zéro was registered more than nine years before Gaudron's version. Gilles Gaudron's label has La Symphonie clearly separate from TRIPLE ZÉRO which is picked out in gold letters. 

Just another episode in the apparently eternal conflict between Montlouis and Vouvray!

À suivre....

Gaudron picks out TRIPLE ZÉRO
in gold and separately from 
La Symphonie 


 Record of Triple Zéro registered 10th January 2006 
(above and below)

Record of Symphonie Triple Zéro 
registered on 5th March 2015 
(Above and below)


Sunday, 4 October 2015

#2015Loire: Pouilly Fumé – looking good here too

Some of the Sauvignon not yet picked on 25.9.15
Healthy grapes 

Apologies for this belated report on my brief visit to Pouilly-sur-Loire on Friday 24th September to catch on progress with the 2015 vintage there. By this Friday many had finished including Jonathan Pabiot, who had finished on Wednesday and Masson-Blondelet, while Michel Redde who be finishing the next day.  

Jean-Michel Masson (Masson-Blondelet)

Jean-Michel with nascent 2015 Pouilly Fumé

Pierre Masson with nascent 2015 Pouilly Fumé