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Winners of the 10th Annual Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards

LRWWA_2013_BookFinalistThe jury is in, and the winners announced last week for the 2014 Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards.

Held in London’s Piccadilly at the Royal Academy of Arts, the ceremony was attended by an international assortment of members of the wine trade and publishers from around the world as well as writers and journalists. It was noted that the event is becoming ever-increasingly more international.

To commemorate this tenth edition of the Awards ceremony, a special cuvée of Cristal 2006 was served in flutes, called Jamesse champagne flutes, that were designed by the head sommelier at Reims’ Les Crayères restaurant.

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WINNERS 2014

THE ARTISTRY OF WINE AWARD 2014

ADRIAN LANDER

 

DOMAINES SCHLUMBERGER
EMERGING WINE WRITER OF THE YEAR 2014

EMMA SYMINGTON

Various from thewinemonkeys.com

RAMOS PINTO ONLINE COMMUNICATOR OF THE YEAR 2014

TIM ATKIN

Reports from www.timatkin.com

DOMAINE FAIVELEY INTERNATIONAL
WINE BOOK OF THE YEAR 2014

THE NEW CALIFORNIA WINE

Jon Bonné

CASTIGLION DEL BOSCO
INTERNATIONAL WINE COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR 2014

NINA CAPLAN

Columns from New Statesman

DOMAINES OTT INTERNATIONAL WINE
FEATURE WRITER OF THE YEAR 2014

RICHARD MAYSON

World of Fine Wine

INTERNATIONAL SHORT COPY
COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR 2014

SUSY ATKINS

Articles from Stella Magazine, The Sunday Telegraph

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♥Chérie Du Vin

 

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God Bless The Baroness

by Paige Donner

Last summer, while attending Vinexpo in Bordeaux, I had the great good fortune to be issued a Press invitation to the Gala Dinner held at Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac, hosted by Madame Philippine de Rothschild. 

“The Baroness” Madame Philippine de Rothschild

The gala dinner that The Baroness (as her friends referred to her), Madame Philippine de Rothschild, was putting on was in honor of the first unveiling of their chateau’s exquisite new cellars and museum on the premises of the venerable domain of Mouton Rothschild.

It was extraordinary to see the liveliness, ever present,  in such a courageous woman like The Baroness. She stood up on stage, alongside her son Julien and also the Mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppé, and spoke to the assembled guests of  250 people for a solid 20 minutes, unflagging. More than once she drew hearty chuckles from the crowd of some of the world’s most esteemed winemakers and winery owners. She was still every inch a glamorous actress, even at 80.

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Though petite in stature, her courage was immense. 

We all too often associate Mouton Rothschild and Bordeaux wines with tradition and venerability. And while I am not disputing its solid ranking in the history of wine, it is important to remember that the house has bucked tradition continuously since its founding. 

Firstly with the near-sacrilegious innovation of bottling at the chateau a couple centuries ago. Then, under Philippine’s father’s tutelage, dedicating label design to outstanding contemporary artists of the day. And, finally, appointing a woman, his daughter no less, to lead the house into the next millennium.

In a world of French wine all too often overshadowed by a huge majority of men, Madame Phillippine de Rothschild, The Baroness, showed courage, fortitude, leadership and an enviable sixth sense for business acumen (Chile!) and innovation (Mouton Cadet!) during her day. 

That’s a legacy that will not be forgotten.

God Bless The Baroness. 

(More here about her life and legacy  on the NY Times)

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Posted by on September 2, 2014 in French Wine, Paige Donner, red wine

 

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Trendy Wine Bars circa 2014 Infographic

This comes grace à la our friends over at VinePair.

Check out their awesome blog and Wine101 posts if you feel like picking up a trick or two about wine…

This one is awesome!

 

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Résistance Naturelle

Ten years after releasing the acclaimed film, Mondovino, Jonathan Nossiter is back in theaters with his newest film, Résistance Naturelle.

It examines vineyards in Italy that are cultivating their grapes organically and others that are using chemicals and pesticides. He then compares the soil quality and harvest yields of the different cultivation methods. It’s not strictly a documentary as he blends some narrative filmmaking in with the documentary.

Released in theaters since June 2014.

 

 YOUTUBE TRAILER

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Charles Heidsieck Champagne Cellars Reims

by Paige Donner

“Chanel has her No. 5. I have my Charles Heidsieck Champagne cellar No. 9.”

Cecile Bonnefond, President of Charles and Piper Heidsieck

All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2014 all rights reserved

Champagne Charles Heidsieck Reims photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014 IMG_0415 Champagne Cellars Charles Heidsieck photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014 IMG_0397 Champagne Charles Heidsieck Reims photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014 IMG_0412

All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2014 all rights reserved

The Charles Heidsieck cellars in Reims, Champagne are legendary. They are some of the best examples of the crayères, the chalk-stone cellars, that are so emblematic of Champagne. These were first excavated by the Romans some 2000 years ago. The stones were then used to the build the city of Reims, a city that was once the capital of France.

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If you take a look at the picture here of cellar (crayéres) No. 9, you will see that it resembles the shape of a bottle. The team, led now by Cecile Bonnefond, took that as inspiration to model a new bottle for Champagne Charles Heidsieck. So the bottle shape is inspired by Crayères No. 9 from deep inside the depths of their champagne cellars in Reims.

The cellars have even more historical significance as they were used as shelters during the wars of the last century. There is no elevator to get you back up once you’re several hundred feet below ground. So if you do ever get the chance to visit these cellars in Champagne, wear comfortable shoes.

 

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le Winelab by Bettane + Desseauve

by Paige Donner

Theirry Desseauve in front of the Carreau du Temple Paris photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014 IMG_0486

What?! you say?! A new wine event for Paris?! Yes. And it’s by Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve, the same wine experts/journalists who bring us Le Grand Tasting every year.

This inaugural event took place on Monday at the fabulous new Carreau du Temple. New venue, new wine event. Now how perfect is that?

All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2014

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You can catch my interview with Thierry Desseauve on my World of Wine program on World Radio Paris next week. Until then, a few photos from the event. By the way, le Winelab is designed to showcase and highlight smaller French (primarily) wine producers. The ones that people in the know, know about, before they get super expensive.

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Szamorodni Tokaji- Samuel Tinon

by Paige Donner

Recently I had the chance to taste a Szamorodni 1971, a Tokaji « Grand Liquoreux »  made by Samuel Tinon.

This was only the second time I’ve tasted a Tokaj so I daresay that from herein out my palate is completely spoilt. I understand, too, now, why it is said that this was the preferred wine of King Louis XIV.

Samuel Tinon Szamorodni – Tokaji

I do enjoy France’s Sauternes, but aside from their both being sweet wines, the two varieties  have little else in common.

It was explained to me that the Tokaji Sweet Szamorodni is a lighter version of the great Tokaji Aszù, the more famous Tokaj wine. In Polish « szamorodni » means « like it comes. » Connoisseurs find it a surprising wine and the French wine critics Bettane & Desseauve put it in its own class and category as a « Meditation Wine. »

The color is gold, a beautiful gold. The nose gives over to aromas of lemon, quince, almonds, orange zest then citrus and a bit of toast. A smooth body, delicate and spicy. It is an elegant and refreshing wine.

Serve at 10°C and in big glasses to allow for the wines’ aromatic complexity to be enjoyed.

For Aperitif : Dried fruits, nuts, almonds, cocktail toasts with blue cheeses

Starters : Fresh melon, foie gras

Desserts : Macarons, lemon tart, marzipan, fruit tarts, desserts with nuts and almonds

By themselves, in front of a fireplace or a multi-hued evening sunset overlooking a tranquil setting, one that invites a meditative moment.

Technical notes : There is no sulphur added ; residual sugar is at 115 g/l. Grape varieties are 90% Furmint and 10% Harslevelü. Hungarian State control gave this a 10/10.

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