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, 26 April 2017

2017 Decanter World Wine Awards @Excel – some photos

 Judges' transport to and from 
DLR Prince Regent station

This year the Decanter World Wine Awards, with some 17,200 entries in 2017, has a new home at CentrEd in the Excel Exhibition Complex. This is all part of the DWWA's gradual move eastwards. When it started it was in Parson's Green just off the King's Road. Then it moved to Wapping and now this year it is close to London City Airport by the Royal Victoria Dock. 

Royal Victoria Dock and the old Spillers building

The Royal Victoria Dock
looking towards Canary Wharf

 Chris Bates 

Chris Kissack

 Colin Thorne

 Michael Hill-Smith
 Liz Gabay
 Gérard Basset

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Margaux connects with Marylebone – Clarette in Blandford Street

 Clarette in Blandford Street
(above and below)

This evening a number of us from the Decanter World Wine Awards judging along with members of staff from Decanter and Neil Beckett of The World of Fine Wine were invited to the soft launch of Clarette at 44 Blandford Street, London W1U 7HS. 

This is a new wine bar project set up in a former pub by Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos, the youngest daughter of the owner of Château Margaux, and her business partner – Perromat du Marais. They are assisted by Thibaut Pontallier, son of the late Paul Pontallier, long time managing director of Château Margaux.    

 Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos

 Thibaut Pontallier 

Poh Tiong of The Wine Review (Singapore)
at the launch studying the wine list

More on this story here and here.    

44 Blandford St, Marylebone, London W1U 7HS 

Phone: 020-3019 7750 
Website: is under development.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Clos Rougeard – a brief update

The late Charly Foucault 
during the 2011 harvest 
checking the flow of Cabernet Franc

I understand that the domaine is now definitely up for sale with the required notice has been lodged with the Mairie de Chacé. It is understood that the price may be as high as 8 million euros, as there are several years of stock. The price means that the buyer will be someone like Martin Bouygues, who has been frequently cited as the favourite to purchase Clos Rougeard. 

It remains to be seen whether any of the Foucaults will have any involvement in the domaine once it is sold. It was the late Charly Foucault who made the wine, rather than his brother Nady who is now retiring. Antoine Foucault, Charley's son, made the 2016 vintage.

It could well make sense for any purchaser to retain a link with the Foucaults as it was their skills, knowledge and personalities that made their wines special and latterly in such high demand. After all, for instance, Les Poyeux covers 15 hectares and there are a number of good vignerons who have parcels of vines here and none of them have the renown of the Foucaults nor do their wines achieve anything like the same price. 

Nady Foucault at the 2010 harvest