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, 1 September 2014

2008 Mi-Pente, Bourgueil, Domaine de la Butte

2008 Mi-Pente, Bourgueil, Domaine de la Butte

Now approaching six years from harvest time, this 2008 Bourgueil (100% Cabernet Franc) from Jacky and Joëlle Blot is starting to show very well and was delcious with a roast chicken on Saturday evening. Mi-Pente is the top cuvée from Domaine de la Butte coming from vines in the middle of the slope, so equating to Grand/Premier Cru in Burgundian terms.  

2008 is not as opulent as hotter vintages such as 2005 or 2009 but does have very attractive fruit and texture, good length and ripe acidity in the finish. So drinking well now but should continue to do so for a good length of time – for the rest of this decade anyway.    

Sunday, 31 August 2014

In memory of Yvonne May@the Young Wine Writer of the Year Award, November 2013

It is desperately sad that Yvonne May, director of Wine Australia Europe has lost her battle against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. She took extended leave from her post in April and there was then optimism that the disease had been caught in time. Sadly this optimism proved to be misplaced. 

Here are a few photos of Yvonne that I took last November at the Young Wine Writers of the Year Award held at Australia House, London. 

My thoughts and condolences are with David, her partner, and Yvonne's family.

 With the pianist – watching the award's ceremony

With Steven Spurrier and Hugh Jones (2013 Young Wine Writer)

 With the two runners up

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Warren Adamson's End to End UK charity cycle ride – a week to go!

 Warren and the BMC bike that will take him from 
Land's End to John O'Groats in nine days 

Saturday 6th – Sunday 14th September 2014
Seven days from now Warren will have started his epic ride through the UK from Land's End to John O'Groats. He will be riding nearly 1000 miles and climbing over 17,000 metres – the Deloitte Ride Across Britain

Warren finishes just four days before Scotland votes to decide whether it will become an indpendent country .... or not.

He dropped around today after his last club ride on his bike, which will be shipped down tomorrow to the start at Land's End. He will be raising money for the The Benevolent 'The Drinks Industry Charity'. Warren has already raised £3,270.00 including gift aid.   

Fundraiser:  Warren Adamson  

Hi there All,
Thanks for checking out my fundraising page. I've decided to take on the mammoth challenge of Deloitte Ride Across Britain. In short I'll be cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats so that's 969 miles from 6th - 14th September 2014, yup that's 9 days!

Here’s the lowdown:

9.7 times the distance of Ride London 100

4.3 times the ascent of the average Etape Du Tour

3.0 times the duration of London to Paris

969 Miles (1,560 Kilometres)

9 days

23 counties

3 countries

17,068 meters ascent

750 riders

The charity I'm focusing on is The Benevolent 'The Drinks Industry Charity' which does an amazing job looking after people from the drinks industry facing serious issues such as cancer, Multiple Sclerosis and financial crisis. If you would like to read more about the people they help click here. I hope I never need to call on them yet it's reassuring to know they are there.

I know they really appreciate your support, as I do too.

Wish me luck!
Cheers Wazza'

Details of the route – stage by stage:

 Dropping down Sydenham Hill, London SE23 
(above and below)

 Warren's got Cadel Evans worried!

It's a big challenge and will call for a lot of grit! 

 Warren showing off the finer points of his BMC bike

Ride's end: the revamped John O'Groats Hotel

 Looking ahead...

Friday, 29 August 2014

2010 Saumur-Champigny, Château de Villeneuve + 2014 – prospects?

2010 Saumur-Champigny, Château de Villeneuve 

August is rapidly disappearing with September just around the corner, so my thoughts are naturally turning to the impending 2014 Loire vintage. After the difficult years of 2012 and 2013 and 2011 not always that easy with plenty rot about, will 2014 produce wines as good as those from 2010 – certainly my pick for the best Loire year of the second decade. The 2010 Saumur-Champigny (the straight domaine) from Château de Villeneuve is drinking beautifully now  – its concentrated and richly textured black fruits well balanced with acidity in the finish.

To date (fingers firmly crossed) the Loire has escaped catastrophes in 2014 – no frost, no reports of bad hail damage – although Vouvray wasn't far off being hit for a second consecutive year in early June. The flowering passed off quickly and successfully. September tends to be the crucial month for the Loire but what of August 2014?

Climate stats from two Loire met stations – Tours and Beaucouze (just to the west of Angers) – show that this August has to date been cooler, wetter and with less sunshine than the average (1981-2010). Stats for 2014 only go up to 28.8.2014 for the final figures will be a little different.

2014: average maximum temperature – 22.8 C
2014: highest maximum temp – 26.9C
Average (1981-2010): 25.4

2014: 154.3 sunshine hours without a day with strong sunshine 
Average (1981-2010): 223.7 hours with 7.9 days of strong sunshine

2014: 110.9mm of rain
Average (1981-2010): 41.3mm

2014: average maximum temperature – 23.1C
2014: highest maximum temp – 28.2C
Average (1981-2010): 25.4C

2014: 166.2 sunshine hours with one day with strong sunshine 
Average (1981-2010): 236.4 hours with 8.85 days of strong sunshine

2014: 78.1mm of rain
Average (1981-2010): 42.5mm

A cooler wetter August may suggest that the harvest could start a little later than initially thought. It will have thrown up its own challenges. Although at Tours the 2014 rainfall (78.1mm) is well below the record 169.5mm in 1963, the figures in Anjou are rather closer: 110.9mm this year against 134.5mm in 1965.

Given that we talk about weather being so much more unpredictable today, it is interesting to note that at Tours the driest August has been 1961 with just 0.8mm for the month, while two years later – 1963 – has the record for being the wettest. 

Here's to a drier September!