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 investdrinks.org

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, 20 November 2017

Cave Co-operative de Francueil closes its doors

An ad from happier days



From La Nouvelle République: 17.11.2017 : 
'Dans la vallée du Cher, la Cave de la Gourmandière à Francueil a choisi de mettre la clef sous la porte plutôt que de virer au rouge. La fin d’une époque.

L’esprit coopératif a-t-il du plomb dans l’aile dans le vignoble tourangeau ? Une nouvelle fois, c’est la question que l’on est amené à se poser après la dissolution volontaire de la cave de La Gourmandière à Francueil. A la fin du mois d’octobre, les derniers adhérents de cette vénérable société coopérative créée en 1923 ont effet décidé de jeter l’éponge plutôt que de s’exposer aux affres d’une faillite potentielle. « La décision a été prise a l’unanimité des votants. On a préféré anticipé plutôt que d’aller dans le mur et d’entraîner nos fournisseurs dans notre chute », résume l’actuel président de la structure, Jean-Pierre Moreau.'

Read the rest here 

The closure of the Francueil Cave Co-operative does not come as a surprise. In September there were rumours that it would close. The NR article cites that of its 100 remaining members only 6 were under 60 years old. Production had fallen to just 4700 hls with a turnover of 1.7 million euros in 2016. This was down 22.06% on 2015. Doubtless the 2016 frosts and mildew were a big factor here. However, I also sense that the Francueil co-op failed to move with the times.  

Although it is true that many producer now prefer to make and sell their own wine there are still successful co-operatives. The nearby co-op Cellier de Beaujardin in Bléré is certainly more dynamic and it also exports to the UK. In 2016 its turnover was 2.4 million euros. 

The best Ligerian example, however, of successful cooperative organisation is Alliance Loire. The group was formed in 2002 and is based in Saint-Cyr-en-Bourg and includes seven co-operatives running from Muscadet to Touraine not forgetting the Vendômois.

Alliance Loire was originally eight coops but La Cave de Mareau aux Près near Orléans is closing this year due to the severe 2016 April frost. In any case there are few vineyards left around Orléans. 

Alliance Loire's membership of 775 growers has 4050 hectares of vines. Last year the Cave Cooperative of Bourgueil and Robert & Marcel, the co-op at Saint-Cyr, already part of Alliance Loire decided to fully join forces. The combined set-up has a turnover of 28 million euros and produces 11 million bottles. Puts Bléré and Francueil into perspective!  

Alliance Loire is also a shareholder in Ackerman, the producer and négociant, who have pursued a decidedly expansionist policy in recent years. Recent acquisitions include Château la Varière in Brissac-Quincé, Monmousseau in Montrichard and this year – Château de Sancerre.       

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Loire reds: two fine 2010s – Bourgueil and Chinon



Yesterday evening we enjoyed a soirée de la modération. The main course was slow roasted lamb with a herb, anchovy, garlic and mustard crust. To accompany the lamb we looked at two 2010s.

The first was the well concentrated Cuvée Prestige from Lamé Delisle Boucard in Ingrandes de Touraine (AC Bourgueil) . Although it showed well I think it is still a little tight in the finish and could well benefit from a few more years in bottle. The second Pierre de Tuf from Domaine de la Noblaie in Ligré (AC Chinon). This is showing very well at the moment with soft, attractive fruit and well integrated structure. It will doubtless continue to impress for a number of years but it is drinking very well at the moment.
     

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Angevins – date for your diary: 25th to 27th November 2017




Vous aimez le vin ? Alors vous serez forcément au Salon Les Anges Vins les 25, 26 et 27 novembre en Anjou. Eux ils le font et ils seront là pour vous le faire goûter: Mosse, Oosterlinck, Cousin, Herbel, Chaffardon, Baudouin, Courault, Garnier, Ménard, Chéné, Saurigny, Daviau, Bainbridge, Rochard, Pithon Paillé , Domaine Le Soula, Domaine Benastra, Les Vignes de Babass..

Salle Jean de Pontoise, 49190 Saint Aubin de Luigné.

More details here.