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 July 2017

80 ans – bon anniversaire Bourgueil ! + Chinon and Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil

The eastern limit of the appellation at Saint-Patrice 

Appellation Bourgueil is celebrating its 80th birthday today. A little prematurely it has to be said as the appellation didn't come officially into existence until 31st July 1937. This is the same date as AC Chinon and AC Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, who will also be celebrating their 80th anniversaries.  

As the vendange is likely to be early this year the Bourgueil producers are celebrating a few days earlier, so that they can head off on their holidays and be back in time to pick.... 

 Fête des Vins de Bourgueil in Tours 

 Maison des Vins de Bourgueil

Appellation also created on 31st July 1937

Chinon town and château

Statue of Rabelais beside the Vienne
the patron saint of Chinon 

In the Caves Painctes, Chinon: 
a home of
Syndicat des Vins et la confrérie des Entonneurs Rablaisiens.

Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil 
Appellation also created on 31st July 1937.  

Largish format bottle by church in centre 
of Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil

Some of the vineyards of Saint-Nicolas
- showing the gravel leading to the clay limestone 
slopes in the distance  

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Big wine + flat screen TVs seizure – Kent Police raid warehouses in Horsmonden and Brenchley

Report from Kent Police on an alleged large distribution fraud – wine and flat screen TVs:
Policing news

Goods recovered in fraud investigation fill four lorries

Items including tens of thousands of bottles of wine and the latest flat screen televisions have been seized by Kent Police following search warrants at warehouses in Horsmonden and Brenchley.

Officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit have also recovered commodities including shipments of marble tiles and even air conditioning units, as part of an investigation into an alleged conspiracy to defraud a number of foreign businesses.

Fraudulent orders
It is reported that fraudulent orders have been made to at least 20 companies, based outside of the UK.

Victims have complained although goods have been dispatched no payments have been received.

On Thursday 20 July 2017 search warrants were executed by Kent Police at two locations; a warehouse in Goudhurst Road, Horsmonden and a second premises in Tibbs Court Lane, Brenchley

In total police have seized 217 pallets of goods, filling four HGV lorries. A process to identify items recovered from these storage areas is ongoing.

A 26-year-old man from Horsmonden has been arrested in connection with the investigation and has been bailed, pending further enquiries, until 17 August.

Significant scale

Detective Inspector Annie Clayton said:  ‘We have received multiple complaints from victims who have alleged they have lost goods due to fraud and that these goods were delivered to storage facilities in west Kent; which have now been searched. 

‘This is a complex investigation, which is being assisted by our partners at Interpol and the Metropolitan Police and which has so far resulted in the recovery of vast amounts of property we believe has been obtained by fraudulent means. The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate is committed to tackling those who facilitate organised crime in Kent and we are investigating allegations, which are on a very significant scale.’


Monday, 24 July 2017

2017 Tour de France – final overall standings and some reflections

Dylan Groenewegen wins sprint on 
Champs Elysée from André Griepel

 Chris Froome's 4th Tour de France victory

Michael Matthews comfortably wins Green
 Warren Barguil comfortably wins Climbers' Jersey

 Simon Yates has just over two minutes 
to win Young Riders

 Team Sky win Team – leading from start to finish

Dylan Groenewegen went for a long sprint on the Champs Elysée yesterday and held off the fast closing André Griepel to take his first Tour de France stage win. Griepel had been out of position and too far back at the final bend and left himself too much ground to make up. This means that this is the first Grand Tour, he has entered, since 2007 when he has not won a stage. 

Chris Froome safely completed the ceremonial ride into Paris to claim a remarkable fourth Tour de France win and the third consecutive win. He now becomes the only person to have four Tours and is fifth in line to Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain, who have all win the title five times. 

Fewer mountain top finishes almost certainly made this a closer Tour than usual, although the Giro had plenty of high mountains and the 2017 edition was very close going into the time trial on the last day. 

Froome rode an intelligent race backed by Team Sky clearly the strongest team followed by Romain Bardet's AG2R la Mondiale.

(More to follow.)