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, 31 May 2012

#DWWA12: David Greillier and winning Chaume

 2010 Chaume Château de la Guimonière: wonderful texture and balance
Winner of the Regional Loire Sweet Wine Trophy   

Today we shot over from Touraine to the Layon for the day principally to interview David Greiller, the winemaker and responsable d'exploitation, to interview him for a Decanter profile as a winner of a regional trophy.  

Close up of David Grellier, winemaker and responsable d'exploitation

David Grellier and the winning wine

More to add

1855: share price drops back to 0.05€

Château Grand Puy Lacoste: some en primeurs not delivered by 1855 

After rising to 0.07€ on the publication of more favourable results for 2011, the price of shares in 1855 has now fallen back to a low of 0.05€ with trading in the range 0.06€ and 0.05€. Presumably this may reflect the number of clients awaiting their en primeur Bordeaux, the number of pending court cases against 1855 and the growing evidence that some suppliers are not being paid.

Addition (1.6.12): The shares closed (31st May 2012) at 0.05€.  

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Carriage ride, tasting and lunch @Domaine Eric Louis: Sunday 10th June

View from Sancerre looking towards Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre

Sunday 10th June@Domaine Eric Louis

Sunday, 10 June 2012 10:00 until 14:00

Thauvenay (5 km en bas de Sancerre)
Visites guidées des vignes en calèche :

Nous vous ferons découvrir l'histoire du vignoble Sancerrois et de sa région ainsi que le secret de ses terroirs privilégiés. Vous aurez également l'opportunité de découvrir les différents travaux de la vigne.

De la vigne au vin :
Nous vous accompagnerons ensuite pour une visite au cœur de nos chais. Notre espace moderne vous permettra de découvrir de façon ludique et instructive, la vinification du vin.

Dégustation autour du repas traditionnel :
Enfin, nous vous invitons à déguster huit vins dont vous aurez suivi la métamorphose. Les enfants et personnes ne consommant pas d'alcool auront également l'opportunité d’éveiller leurs sens par le biais d'une dégustation de sirops régionaux.

Pour accompagner cela, nous vous proposons de partager un moment convivial autour du casse-croûte vigneron, composé de charcuterie régionale, du fameux crottin de Chavignol, d'une tarte aux fruits de saison.

Les tarifs : >>> Bénéficier de 20% de réduction en inscrivant le code promotionnel ELFAC2012 lors de votre réservation !
Adulte : 50€ > soit 40€
Enfant : 37€ > soit 29,60€

Les dates :
Dimanche 10 juin
Dimanche 8 juillet
Dimanche 22 juillet
Dimanche 5 août
Dimanche 19 août

Réserver votre place :


Epeigné-les-Bois: 2012 Fête Country – brief report + video

Range Heroes (2009 edition)

Brief report on the Fete Country on 20 May from local correspondent Mark Robertson:

Despite a rain-sodden Sunday the Fete Country was a big success. 280 meals served at lunch, another 40 or so in the evening.

A film clip of 'The Partners' in the Salle des Fêtes here, here and here.

Picnic@Montlouis with Isabelle, Aynard et François Hollande?!

Was this François Hollande@Montlouis on Monday?
"Will Greece leave the euro before the end of the picnic?"

On Monday we went to another of the Pique-Niques chez le Vigneron Indépendant. This time with Isabelle and Aynard Clermont-Tonnerre in the vineyards of Montlouis above Saint-Martin-le-Beau overlooking the Cher Valley. We were joined by a Monsieur who bore a considerable resemblance to François Hollande but who probably wasn't as there were no accompanying bodyguards and Aynard and Isabelle had been very relaxed about setting up the picnic. Anyway a potentially profitable new career as a Hollande impersonator may beckon!   

We drank the 2011 Touraine Sauvignon (screwcapped) from the Clos du Porteau, the Chenin Blanc and a 2011 blend of Cabernet Côt and Gamay.    

12.40pm: starting to set up  

The first picnickers arrive 

Louis CT on barbecue duty

Picnic in full flow (above and below)

Antoine CT

Still life - Aynard with corkscrew and bottle 

More views of the picnic (above and below)

'M. François Hollande'?


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Next weekend: Vitiloire and Foire nationale aux Fromages

 Entrance to Vitiloire 2011

This weekend sees the 31st edition of the Foire Nationale aux Fromages at Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine. The Foire runs on Saturday 2nd June and Sunday 3rd June. Details here

At the same time there is the 10th edition of Vitiloire in the centre of Tours, also on the Saturday and Sunday. I went last year and it was excellent and will be going again on Saturday afternoon. On Saturday (2nd) the fair is open from 10h to 21h.30 and on Sunday (3rd) from 10h to 18h. 

There will be 110 producers showing their wines. Lists of producers present can be downloaded here.  

Pierre Van Den Boom, Saumur

Vignes, Loire, Photos: Sunday 24th June

On Sunday 24th June there will be an opportunity for photographers to win prizes by taking pictures in the vineyards of Touraine, Saumur, Anjou and the Pays Nantais. Details here of Marathon Photos. 

Monday, 28 May 2012

2012 London International Wine Trade Fair: Wednesday 23rd May

Benoît and Matthieu Fleuriet of Domaine Bernard Fleuriet, Sancerre   

 Isabelle Legeron MW, creator and organiser of the recent RAW fair (above and below)

I caught up briefly with Isabelle Legeron at the LIWTF press office. She was delighted with way that that RAW fair (20th and 21st May), held in a space in the Old Truman Brewery on London's Brick Lane, had gone. 

"The venue was perfect, especially the level of natural light and its slightly edgy feel fits our event. We will certainly go back there. We had just over 3000 visitors with 1900 trade including sommeliers and restaurant managers. Of the remaining 1100 just under a 1000 were paying visitors with the press making up the rest. There were 206 producers pouring over 800 wines and I had 50 producers on a waiting list. I felt it was a real community event in a professional environment."

Many people I spoke to agreed with Isabelle about the venue. Certainly I found it way better than the series of overground bunkers in Holborn that the Real Wine Fair used. However, one dissenting voice was Chris Kissack who thought the venue was one of the least attractive he had been to recently.          

Tim Pearson of Seven Springs Vineyard (South Africa)  and Donna Jackson (


London International Wine Trade Fair: 22nd May 2012

Wines of Portugal

A few photos taken amongst the aisles on first day of the 2012 London International Wine Trade Fair.



Empty space@EXCEL

The London International Wine Trade Fair is suffering from the huge success of Prowein that now attracts around three times as many visitors and LIWTF does. A few years ago LIWTF filled all the space available plus had a separate area for spirits exhibitors – DISTIL. Now Distil is incorporated and there is now space in the exhibition hall which is not being used.     

 London City Bond boat 

David Hogg, Jeremy Pearson and Bob May: a trio of gentlemen facing a tough three days welcoming visitors to the LCB boat

Tim Stanley-Clarke: not sure what the distinguished doyen of the Port trade is doing with a £20 note on the Decanter stand. Perhaps best not to ask!!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

2012 Born Digital Wine Awards presentation

Some photos from the 2012 Born Digital Wine Awards presentation 23rd May 2012

The social Triumverate: Gabriella Opaz, Robert Mcintosh and Ryan Opaz 

Justin Howard-Sneyd of Laithwaites, one of the sponsors of the Born Digital Awards 

Richard Ross chair of the judges 

Jim on winning the Best Investigative Wine Story Award

 Damien Wilson 

Part of the audience 

 Mariella Beukers

Château de l'Aulée: pique-nique avec un vigneron indépendant

Barbecuing sausages with Château de l'Aulée in the background   

Les Vignerons Indépendants are holding a giant picnic across the French wine regions this weekend. Yesterday we went across to Château de l'Aulée just to the east of Azay-le-Rideau. Marielle and Arnaud Henrion are hosting picnics over the weekend, so there is still a chance to go today or tomorrow. l'Aulée specialises in sparkling wine, particularly Crémant – the quality is good and the prices are very reasonable (credit cards accepted). 

Their Crémant de Loire Brut was offered as the apéritif, then for the picnic there was the 2011 Azay-le-Rideau white (100% Chenin Blanc) and the easy drinking 2011 Chinon, which comes from the Henrion's six hectares of vines in Savigny, from a bag-in-box.     

The idea is simple you take your picnic and the vignerons provide the wine with usually the possibility of a visit and tasting. This is the second of these picnics that I have been at as I went last year to Frédéric Mabileau's picnic in Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil. On both occasions we have all sat together and everyone soon gets chatting and even sharing food. Great fun!   

 Marielle Henrion and two of the picnickers 

 It's a man's job!

 The château and tables in the shade 


 All ages with the vines in the background