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

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Renaissance tasting @Angers yesterday

Carbon neutral tasters making their way to the Renaissance tasting...

Didier Hauret, Domaine Hauret-Baleine

Benoît Blet, Les Terres Blanches, Oiron between Thouars and Loudun

Anne Guégniard, Domaine de la Bergerie, Anjou 
(above and below)

The 2014 Anjou Blanc Sous la Tonnelle is very clean and precise but quite austere at the moment. 

Benjamin Joliveau, Domaine Huet, Vouvray

Jean-Bernard Berthomé, Domaine Huet, Vouvray

Tasting the 2013 Clos du Bourg confirmed my favourable impression when I tasted the three 2013 Huet secs in London a few weeks ago – estate's wines back on track after the disappointing 2012s.   

Sylvain Potin  Clau de Nell 
(given the green light!)

Tasted: good ripe, juicy 2012 Grolleau

Christian Jacques, Clau de Nell 
Tessa Laroche, Domaine aux Moines, Savennières 

Interesting contrast between the austere 2013 and the fatter and richer 2012, which underwent a 30% involuntary malo.

Virginie Joly, La Coulée de Serrant

The 2013 Le Vieux Clos and 2013 La Coulée de Serrant are showing well.

Jean-François Regnier, Domaine Regnier, Meigné

Was impressed by his attractively textured 2012 Saumur Blanc Cuvée de la Guichardière.

Laura Semeria, Domaine de Montcy, Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny

Laura's two 2013 Cour Chevernys – Domaine de Montcy and Plénitude – showing promised but need time in bottle like Cour-Cheverny usually does. 

A different and more complicated pruning system!

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Prime sights @ Angers

Christmas decoration in the courtyard of the Hotel du Mail

Le Lézard Vert: have Nacer and Stéphanie 
opened a second branch after Epeigné-les-Bois!! 

Fountain and merry-go-round: playing with the aperture 

Entrance to the Place de Ralliement and a passing tram

Old wooden building close to Place to Ralliement

Je Suis Charlie @  a Spanish tapas bar
above and below

Hommage à Notre Père: Henry James Budd 25.4.1919 – 30.1.2015

 December 2014: the last photos I took of my father 
Still bright eyed.
(above and below)

My father died quite suddenly late yesterday afternoon aged 95. I had last seen him a week last Thursday at Halden Heights Care Home (High Halden, Kent) before leaving for Millésime Bio. He seemed physically well, although he was confused and probably didn't really know who we were. 

We had had to move him into Halden Heights Care Home in April 2013 because we couldn't give him the specialist care that his dementia needed. He was very well cared for there – seeming happy, contented and had a good appetite right up until the end. 

This week Henry developed a chest infection, which antibiotics didn't fix, and he died peacefully while asleep. He just stopped breathing. Given that he smoked 40 untipped cigarettes a day until he was 50, that he lived to be 95 is a testimony to his strength!  

For all of us, especially his four offspring – David, Henrietta, Andrew and myself – his death is a sad shock. I was confident that he would see his 96th birthday this April. In any sense, however, it is good that he died quickly and peacefully. Had he lived his dementia would have got worse and he would have become more and more incapacitated. He died while he still had some dignity left and he didn't suffer a lingering death. I'm so thankful for that!

October 2006: My mother and father celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary 
She died the following March aged 87
25.4.2014: at the wedding of Richard (my nephew) and Rosie
He is with Martha – one of the carers from High Halden. 
She was particularly kind to him

Christmas 2011

July 2012 
Christmas 2013

Christmas 2014: Henry with Alice, his great grand-daughter 

Christmas 2014: four generations: my father, my brother David, 
his son Richard and Alice Richard's baby daughter born in early October 

 1919 Le Mont Moelleux, Vouvray 

In April 2009 our family celebrated Henry's 90th birthday with this amazing bottle of 1919 Le Mont Moelleux, which was so remarkably fresh and together. Tasted blind you would never guess that it was 90 years old!   

Friday, 30 January 2015

Millésime Bio: around the fair Tuesday and Wednesday.

Bruno Ciofi et Laura Seibel: Domaine de la Pinte in Arbois

Fab design@Vincent Caillé

Arnaud Bourgeois enjoying Millésime Bio!

Staying with Sancerre: Jean-Laurent Vacheron (Domaine Vacheron)
(above and below)

Fine shirt – so he probably makes good wine!

Romain Guiberteau: Domaine Guiberteau (Saumur)

Marie-Laurence Saladin (Domaine Saladin, Ardèche)

Laurent Charrier (Le Pas Saint Martin, Saumur and Anjou)
More details to follow in separate post

The new commercial director@ Le Pas Saint Martin! 

Guy Rochais, Château de Plaisance, Chaume, 
Quarts de Chaume and Savennières  

Guy is looking to pilot through a new AC from dry white from Chaume – naturally pure Chenin and to be called Les Coulées de Chaume, after the two stream that descend from Chaume into the Layon. Apparently the two Syndicats – Chaume and Quarts de Chaume – are in agreement. Whether their dossier, once it is complete, will find favour with the regional committee of the INAO we will have to see. 

Olivier (La Source de Ruault, Saumur-Champigny)
Guillaume de Conti, Tour de Gendres, Bergerac
 (above and below)