Les 5 du Vin

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Echoes of Bourgueil

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Vincent Simon – left his restaurant in Belgium last year with his wife Olivia to set up a small restaurant in Ingrandes-de-Touraine next to Domaine Lamé Delisle Boucard. Vincent raises chickens and geese in his vineyard which is looked after by LDB.

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Café de la Promenade: you don’t mess with Dorothée!!

It is now two years since Les 5 du Vin spent a truly memorable weekend in Bourgueil and Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil. Sadly to date due to the pressing nature of our diaries this is the last occasion that we have managed to organise trip involving all of Les 5. Last week I was in Bourgueil mainly to take photos for an upcoming exhibition called ‘Aspects of Bourgueil’ which will be starting at the same time as the 2014 Bourgueillothérapie (www.bourgueillothérapie.com). The exhibition will open on Friday 12th September @Café de la Promenade with the proceeds going to this year’s charity. It will close on the 21st October by which time the 2014 vintage here should be well finished.

Here are a few recent photos that may make the selection.

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Pierre, Stéphanie and Emmanuel Caslot (Domaine de la Chevalerie) star in Les journées binette.

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Unlike last year the 2014 flowering here and elsewhere in the Loire has benefitted from ideal weather. The vignerons are smiling – no frost, no serious hail (so far), the flowering is nearly finished and grapes (Cabernet Franc) should ripen evenly for a harvest from around 20th September. Long way to go yet, of course, but some serious hurdles have already been cleared.

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The fence at Vincent’s restaurant in Ingrandes has a triple purpose – keep the chickens in, the foxes out and imprison journalists who push their luck!

Jim Budd


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A suitable shirt for an historic occasion

ImageA new shirt – discretion assured

Historic occasions, I’m sure you will agree, should be suitable marked and acknowledged. In future years the first time a Chinese winery exhibited at the London International Wine Fair may well come to be seen as an historic occasion – see press release:

‘China to exhibit wine for the first time at LIWF 2013

‘Chinese wine will be represented at this year’s London International Wine Fair for the first time.  Château Hansen was established by the Han family in the 1980s and winemaking has been overseen by French winemaker, Bruno Paumard since 2010.  Bruno Paumard, who was previously at Saumur-based Bouvet-Ladubay, will be presenting the wines at the LIWF in May.

Château Hansen is an organic estate – China’s first – located in Wuhai, on the southern edge of the Gobi Desert, in Inner Mongolia.  450ha of vineyards have been planted in the Wuhai Valley and adjacent region of Ningxia, at around 1,500m.  Conditions are arid with temperatures dropping to as low as -30°C over the winter months, when the vines are buried for protection.

Château Hansen currently produces around two million bottles annually, with no history of exporting until now.  Château Hansen will be showing its Côtes du Fleuve Jaune du Désert de Gobi at the LIWF.  This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Gernischt, Cabernet Franc and Merlot sourced from parcels in Ningxia, Gansu and Wuhai and aged in 30% new French oak for 16 months.  Cabernet Gernischt is considered the flagship varietal for China with spicy, peppery characteristics.’

On Friday I was delighted to find a shirt above that will mark this occasion in this own modest manner.

Apparently China is the fifth largest wine producing country in the world. Only France, Italy, Spain and Turkey* have more vines planted than China, where there are now 1,233,000 acres (498,977 hectares).

* A significant proportion of vines in Turkey are for table grapes.

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