Archive for September 8th, 2022

September 8, 2022

Some news from Spain CXXXI

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Summer is slowly coming to an end with many visitors coming back ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

An easy way to save money on flights is to drive across continental Europe, as you will enjoy a unique driving experience. Following the Ruta de la Plata, which runs between Gijón and Seville, in western Spain. It will take you through the city of Salamanca, a UNESCO heritage site, and through other cities such as León. Although the original route is still done on foot and by bicycle, it can also be done by car on the road. Indeed great road warrior ride !!! One wonderful webpage to do it ! :

The site of Segóbriga (Province of Cuenca), Castilla La Mancha, This archaeological site, is one of the best examples of urban development in Roman and Celtic Hispania. In addition to the houses, the remains of the necropolis and the wall, you can visit the theater, the baths, a Visigothic basilica, the circus or the acropolis. A wonderful experience !! More info here and my post :

The Volcàn Cerro Gordo (province of Ciudad Real), Castilla La Mancha, Here is an opportunity to visit a volcano from the inside and discover the geological secrets of the Earth. Located in Campo de Calatrava, we are facing the first visitable volcano in the Iberian Peninsula. In Cerro Gordo you can see the internal structure of a volcano and its dynamics throughout its life. It is the reflection on the surface of a volcanism inside the plate of upper Miocene age (8.5 to 6.5 million years) that lasted until the middle Pleistocene, explain the geologists. The genesis responds to the presence of a hot spot in the crust due to a magmatic flow. But there is everything with explanatory panels for all ages and easy to understand. More info here :

The Biblioteca Nacional or national library ,since it opened its doors in the 18C, this monumental building has accumulated all the publications made in Spain. Inside, limited to academics and specialists, you can enjoy a first-rate architectural gem. Something that is only possible with guided tours that take place, in the museum part, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 17h and Wednesday is and Thursday at 10h, And from Monday to Friday at 12 noon. to the building, in this case carried out by cultural volunteers. Webpage :

The Prado Museum has some twists. For those who prefer to save the general admission fee, there is a possibility. Every day, on its website, free tickets are made available to the public that require reservation and give free access to the interior of the Prado from Monday to Saturday from 18h to 20h and Sundays and holidays from 17h to 19h. More info official Prado webpage :

The CentroCentro in the Palacio de Cibeles has until October 2 2022, and within the PhotoEspaña program, the exhibition The Sixties offers a very visual overview of what that time was like through books, magazines, album covers and posters. Richard Avedon, Eduardo Ayrosa, David Bailey or Robert Davidson are some of the artists whose works can be seen on this journey to a time full of optimism and hope.Free admission more info official CentroCentro :

The Jardines de los Palacios de la Finca Vista Alegre or gardens of the palaces of finca vista alegre are not as well known as they should be Designed by architects and gardeners from different eras, a walk here is a visual and design pleasure, since it brings together spaces as significant as the Romantic Garden, the Plaza de the statues, the Ría and the Parterre. Madrid tourist office on the gardens :

Some ideas for visit of my dear Spain, all wonderful of course!

If you want to know what a medieval Castilian city was like, you have to visit Covarrubias: fortified wall, narrow cobbled streets, arcaded squares, double-height houses made of wood and stone. Founded by the Visigoth king Chindasvinto in the 7C on the remains that left by the turmódigos (pre-Roman tribe that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula), the medieval vestiges coexist with the Herrerian style characteristic of King Felipe II in the 16C, a time of great splendor for the town and for Spain, which rose as a superpower, You can see the Bishop Peña’s House and Doña Sancha’s House , one of the most important figures in the town: daughter of Queen Urraca and Don Raimundo de Borgoña, she was the third Infanta of Covarrubias and became Queen of Castile . But if she is remembered for something is because she in 1148 granted the Fueros to the people, making her subjects stop being servants. Opposite stands the Torreón de Fernán González, the first count of Castile, a Mozarabic-style defensive construction that he himself ordered to be built in the 10C for the defense of Arlanza. Few know that it communicated with the House of Doña Sancha through an underground tunnel, and that it is also known as La Empedrada, because her sister, the Infanta Doña Urraca, was locked up here without any communication, by order of her father. The Archives of the Adelantado de Castilla (military and political chief of the province), a Herrerian-style building with Renaissance decoration that was built by order of King Felipe II in 1575 in honor of his chamber doctor, Francisco Valles, a native of the town. When the documents it contained were transferred to the General Archive of Simancas, in the 18C, it lost its function and today it is the tourist office and the municipal library, as well as one of the main entrance gates. Continuing along that street, you reach the Plaza de la Infanta Urraca, where the former Fernán González palace was located, now the City/Town Hall. And turning to the right, you reach the Church of Santo Tomás, a temple that was ordered to be built on top of another ruined Romanesque for all those who moved to the town after the charters were approved. A sober 12C parish whose interior has a fabulous 16C Plateresque staircase, considered the little sister of the one in Burgos Cathedral. The former collegiate church of San Cosme and San Damián hides authentic artistic gems within its walls. Seeing them all is only possible through a guided tour of just over an hour, something highly recommended. It is believed that the original church dates back to the 7C and was ordered to be built by King Chindasvinto, one of the founders of Covarrubias. The one we see today, in Gothic style, began to be built in the 15C and its main altar, with a golden baroque altarpiece, is a real wonder once we pass through the doors that lead to the small cloister from 1540 and which houses the tomb of Princess Kristina of Norway. Known as the Viking princess of Covarrubias, she arrived in Spain very young to marry the infant Don Felipe, brother of Alfonso X the Wise, who needed the support of the Norwegian king; her remains were found by chance, behind a wall, during some remodeling works in 1952. she died very young, aged 23, without offspring and only four years after setting foot on Spanish soil. A bronze statue in front of the former collegiate church pays homage to her, The museum is also located here, which has 150 pieces of art, including paintings and sculptures. The triptych of the Adoration of the Magi, the miracle of S. Cosme and S. Damián, by Pedro Berruguete (Spanish painter of the 15C who represents that artistic transition from Gothic to Renaissance) stands out; and also The Virgin of the Book, attributed to Van Eyck (14C Belgian artist and father of the first wave of Dutch painting). Webpage :

The Basilica of San Juan de Baños, located in a small town near Palencia, from the 7C, is one of the most significant buildings of religious architecture from the Visigoth period, The Basilica of San Juan de Baños is on the outskirts of the town , Venta de Baños, surrounded by cereal land, near the Pisuerga riverbed, less than twenty minutes from Palencia. It is one of those temples where its dating date can be quoted with certainty, 661, as stated on a tombstone above the head. In any case, it is believed that this may be the oldest standing church in Spain, which is already a reason enough to organize a getaway to one of the most significant buildings of the religious architecture of the kingdom of the Visigoths. It has a basilica floor plan, with three naves ,the central one, wider and higher, and three apses. Eight marble columns , four on each side, probably taken from nearby Roman constructions support the horseshoe arches separating the naves, the oldest of this type known in Spain, with eight capitals. The presbytery or central part of the head is from the Visigoth period, although the gabled roof and the wall that supports them have been raised later. The exterior arch of the portico is also original, although the upper part of the wall and the belfry are from the 19C. In any case, the state of conservation is very good. Another example of a well-preserved Visigothic church is Santa María de Melque, located about 50 km from Toledo, in the town of San Martín de Montalbán, which was born as a monastic complex in the 7-8C in the vicinity of the one that It was the capital of the Visigoth kingdom: Toledo !webpage :

In Lugo you have to start, of course, with its wall, the most complete and best preserved Roman wall in the world. Surrounding and closing the old town with its more than two km in length and a height of 10 to 15 meters , Inside old Lugo there are other important Roman remains, such as the House of Mosaics or Domus Oceani, at Rúa Doutor Castro 20, preserves the remains of a domus from the 3C. The entire area, up to the current Plaza Mayor, which occupies an area of ​​about 17,000 m², is the heart of Roman Lugo. In the Plaza Mayor is the Casa do Concello (City/Town Hall), an 18C building in the Galician civil baroque style, festooned with a group of eight arcades. At the opposite end are the statues of Emperor Augustus giving the magistrate Paulo Fabio Máximo the order to build the city. Nearby is the cathedral, built between 1129 and 1273, in which the Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and neoclassical lives together. If we want to have the best view of this temple we have to go to its rear, to the Plaza de Santa María, where the Episcopal Palace is located. A wide triangle with granite paving and a stone cross next to the Gothic apse of the cathedral. In the subsoil of one of the corners of the square, a Roman pool from the 4C was discovered in the 1970s, which was not visible to the public until 2011, when a glass cover was placed at ground level. Discover Lugo, to check that the Camino de Santiago passes through here, specifically the so-called Camino Primitivo, which starts in Oviedo and is the first Jacobean route of which there are references. We can follow it passing through the metal plates strategically placed on the cobbled pavement of some streets. Awesome Lugo ! More on Galicia Tourism on Lugo :

Vinology is the sommelier Pilar Oltra ultimate, and worth the detour. This coming autumn 2022 they will expand the wine references on the menu to 200 and, in addition, they renew the wines by the glass. The seasonal artisan cheeses, the gratin ricotta and spinach cannelloni and the oxtail brioche with caramelized onions are included in the new seasonal menu. Soon they will launch the physical and online store and its tastings and courses. They are located at Conde de Aranda, 11, Webpage :

And to close this post, two simple local wines of my dear Castilla La Mancha which we can buy in my Morbihan France and really enjoy it, Here they cost less than 7 euros !!!

Bodega Volver, Paso a Paso cosecha Tierra de Castilla, 100% Tempranillo Intense ruby colour, aromas of mature red fruit, fresh in the mouth with lively tannins but mature enough to give a sweet, pleasant sensation in the mouth webpage :

Venta Morales ,Tierra De Castilla 100% Tempranillo, This riper version of Tempranillo shows black cherries and blueberries, along with sandalwood and sawdust from American oak. The finish reflects its warm region origins with some raisins and dusty earth lingering on the palate. Finca Las Cruces, Casa de los Pinos, Provincia de Cuenca , distributed by Bodega Volver as above.

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! Summer is here with all that heat wave as well. Time to enjoy sunny Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

September 8, 2022

The new Santiago Bernabeu stadium !!!

Well I have written several posts on my other love ,the Real Madrid CF and this is their stadium in Madrid. The Santiago Bernabeu stadium is undergoing a complete renovation which at last news will be done by 2023. Nevertheless, the stadium is still been use for games. The La Liga has started and we already came out winning !!!

For the record, we have also won the UEFA European SuperCup beating Eientracht Frankfurt of Germany 2×0; it is our fifth supercup! The sad news historical players are leaving the newest the Brazilian Casemiro to England, well he has won everything with us and now seek more salary naturally. We wish him the best, always a Madridista! Hala Madrid !!!

I like to tell the latest news on the renovation of the stadium with older pictures of it not yet in my blog. I look forward to be there when the new stadium is completely finish. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu will be totally new !! More power to come back to see it and keeping the memories of the old. The following is a translation from the Real Madrid CF and stadium webpage.

madrid bernabeu arriving from metro ln 10 apr17

Despite its difficult urban integration, the Bernabéu has become part of the city as a symbol and monument, in the sense of a building whose history, emotional charge and uniqueness are capable of lasting over time and even imposing their own own laws. The Santiago Bernabéu stadium has been projected based on three strokes of light. The composition is generated by tense curves or trajectories drawn in the air, clearly betting on the curvature and complexity of the volume, the changing reflections and the metallic shine. The outer envelope of the stadium, the facades and the roof, will be covered with a new unitary skin of metal slats, which will form an iconic and avant-garde image of the stadium. The volume of the building will be adjusted with the demolition of the La Esquina del Bernabéu Shopping Center, (memories forever!) the extension of the virtual alignments necessary for the new facades, the reconfiguration of the Castellana towers and a 21-meter flight without structural supports to form a large entrance atrium to the Tour and the stadium on the west side.

madrid bernabeu real cafe bernabeu concha espina feb13


A new fixed cover will be installed to protect all seats from the rain, to which will be added a retractable cover for the pitch that can be deployed in 15 minutes, which will make it possible for all members and fans to be comfortable, as well as giving the stadium the possibility of hosting events 365 days a year.
The expansion of the stadium flight to the west, with the inclusion of an entrance atrium to the building, requires an expanding public space that can accommodate a large audience and provides perspective to the building from the main artery of Madrid. A suitable square is designed for specific events such as sports broadcasts or market on game days, but also for cultural events linked to the life of the city. In the east square, after the demolition of the existing shopping center, a park for recreation and rest is proposed, which is elevated taking advantage of the unevenness of Calle Padre Damián street.
A new stand will be built on the east side with a capacity of more than 3,000 spectators, which will be used for relocations of the rest of the stadium areas in which the comfort of accesses and seats will be increased, maintaining the same existing capacity.

Madrid bernabeu sta 07avr10

The VIP area will be restructured and expanded to generate new quality products and services.
The gallery catering spaces will be completely transformed, offering members and fans new services of higher quality and easier consumption. A new logistics ring will be created inside the stadium, underground loading and unloading operations, and construction of a new car tunnel to increase versatility and number of events. The most outstanding element of the new Santiago Bernabéu Stadium will be the installation of a 360-degree video scoreboard. This video scoreboard will be key together with the complete renovation of the technological architecture of the stadium to offer all the digital services to the sporting event and associated activities, with the application of the latest technological innovations in the communication and security systems of the stadium. The expansion and improvement of the complementary leisure and entertainment spaces within the new volume of the Stadium will be given by the expansion of the Tour Bernabéu space, which will be doubled with new content to live a unique experience. In addition, a panoramic tour will be created along the perimeter roof. New restaurants will be created with the aim of turning the stadium into a special dining destination in the city. In addition, two Real Madrid megastores will be implemented and other commercial spaces will be built in different areas of the stadium.


The urbanization will be conditioned to increase and improve the public spaces in the area, improving the landscaped and pedestrian areas, as well as the perimeter public road, to turn it into a unique space in the City. The quality of urbanization will be improved with new pavements, change of lighting, installation of new furniture and signage, and planting of new trees and landscaping throughout the area, whose surface is close to 50,000 m2. The adaptation of the urban environment of the Santiago Bernabéu charged to Real Madrid’s budgets will put an end to pedestrian coexistence on Calle Rafael Salgado street and the creation of public spaces with two new squares. In the Paseo de la Castellana, a square of more than 10,000 square meters will be adapted and a space for stays privately owned by Real Madrid but for public use and enjoyment will be created in the Plaza de los Sagrados Corazones of more than 5,000 square meters.

The official Real Madrid CF on the Santiago Bernabeu stadium:

There you go folks, a wonderful work of love for the greatest club in the history of the game, so says FIFA and the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). It is worth the detour for its magnificent architecture and history even if not into football/soccer. Again, the Santiago Bernabeu stadium and the Real Madrid CF! Hope you enjoy the post and get you to see it

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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September 8, 2022

Wines news of France XXX !!

Well, we are cruising the last days of summer and soon be in the Fall (Sept 23rd France) , so we try to enjoy these days. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

The Nicolas oenologists tasted 1,200 samples from 400 partners. About 50% were selected based on several criteria, with tasting taking precedence over the others. Half of the offer is committed to a sustainable and responsible approach. A discount of 20% on average will be applied during the Wine Fair. My favorite wine store chain in France fyi,Webpage :

Already established in wine e-commerce, the Castel Frères group is about to finalize the acquisition of Vinatis, one of the French leaders in online wine sales. The Castel group, number 1 on the wine market in France and Europe, is about to buy Vinatis, as Terre de Vins revealed on September 5, 2022. Created in 2002 in Annecy by Emmanuel Toussaint and Olivier Ivangine, Vinatis today employs 120 people. The platform specializes in wines at low prices, sold between 4 and 8 euros, making it the online leader in this sector. With this takeover, Castel Frères, which notably owns the Nicolas and Savour brands, is therefore continuing its strategy aimed at wines with a good quality/price ratio. The Savoyard platform has also benefited in recent years from its development in Europe with 35% of its turnover, particularly in Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom. Enough to make the Castel group salivate.Well Vinatis I had purchase online a couple times and Nicolas as above is my favorite wine store so now same group huh ! Castel group webpage :

My previous multinational had a branch which I know and tasted their wines several times as such. Created in 2015, Cordier (formerly InVivo Wine my previous,,,) contributes to building a sustainable wine sector with its partner cooperatives, and contributes to the success of French wines around the world. In 2021, Cordier merged with the Occitan cooperative group, Vinadeis (was our old partner). The new entity is organized into 2 major divisions: Cordier Wines, which includes all services related to the development and marketing of estates, châteaux and wine brands: oenology, R&D, marketing, sales and integrated distribution. Cordier Excel, which brings together production, from bottling to manufacturing. Castel was our main competitor then and believe still is lol ! Webpage :

This is a story about Beaujolais and what is to come with young new folks into the business of wines, We have Phillip Pascal, who already owns, with his wife, Catherine, the Domaine du Cellier aux Moines, a premier cru in Givry, and well-chosen plots planted with pinot noir or chardonnay, such as Les Combes and Les Charmelottes in Montagny, Les Pucelles in Puligny-Montrachet, En Chevret in Volnay and a few others. The property has also created Felix Helix, a range of more accessible organic wines. Together with Guillaume Marko, already co-manager of the Domaine du Cellier aux Moines. In Juliénas, they found a 5.5 hectare triangle of vines, set at an altitude of more than 300 meters, which is ideal in a context of global warming,   Around the village of Juliénas, the price of hectare oscillates around 40,000 euros, when it flirts with 150,000 euros in Morgon. Les Amourettes, a small house located in the middle of the vineyards, is used for technical meetings. The first harvests are carried out in a hangar transformed into a makeshift vat room, a few hundred meters further on. The restoration of crops requires large investments, up to 50,000 euros per hectare. It is a matter of uprooting plants in poor condition, preparing the soil, replanting, etc. From the outset, the vine is converted to organic viticulture, before switching to biodynamics. The estate was baptized Mont Bessay, in reference to the place called Côte de Besset. The building will be erected on the side of a hill, buried, integrated into the landscape, at an altitude of 400 meters. This furtive cellar, open to the vineyard, with its green roof, should be ready for the 2023 harvest. Moreover, the small production of the 2021 vintage of Mont Bessay gives rise to all hopes. At the tasting, the elegant frame and the balance of this Gamay already make it a serious vintage. Philippe Pascal and Guillaume Marko are not limited to Juliénas. They also acquired a parcel of Moulin-à-Vent and another of Saint-Véran. Beaujolais is enjoying a great dynamic today. The great Burgundian trading houses, such as Jadot, Latour or Drouhin, prospered there. Others prospect. The movement is partly accelerated by the passing of domains between generations. In the years to come, Beaujolais vines could disappear. Those that will remain should promote the appellation. Their main property Domaine du Cellier aux Moines :

The Beaujolais wine route :

Two Beaujolais we love over the years and recommended are :

Domaine Louis-Claude Desvignes , Côte du Py Javernières 2020,Morgon. The class! With supreme finesse, this cru combines both a great juice, a beautiful shine, with a suave substance that does not reveal its richness. Because obviously, the maturity and the material are there, but melted in a whole of great elegance, with slippery tannins ,An essential domain, always at the top of the rankings and the prize lists, embodied by Louis-Benoît and his sister Emmanuelle.

Château du Moulin-à-Vent, Champ de Cour 2020, Moulin-à-Vent. A must in the appellation. Always at the top of the charts with each vintage, this model estate, whose rating has exploded over the past ten years, once again offers a remarkable cuvée, perfectly timed, from just over 3 ha, at 200 meters, on slightly stony ground. Fruit, balance, maturity, melted tannins: everything is already in place. It’s perfect !

The Conseil interprofessionnel du vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) has been thinking about ways to correct the image that sticks to the skin of the region: wines that are essentially red, tannic and strong, of classic taste, expensive and elitist. This identity card corresponds less to current tastes and consumption patterns, and this is reflected in sales. Indeed, the French eating less red meat, the consumption of red wine at the table is falling, while the demand for white is on the rise all over the country and that rosé is showing an insolent form. Whites and rosés dominate, for example, to accompany aperitif platters, very popular in cities. The other driver is price. It’s up to us to show the consumer that we produce terrific and very diverse Bordeaux wines between 5 and 15 euros. For this, the region intends to embody its vineyard more, to highlight the hard work of hundreds of winegrowers working in the shadows as well as winegrowers who are committed to telling their story, their wines, their approach. The CIVB webpage :

Overdrive to an old favorite of our house. It is on the fine and sandy gravel of the Haut-Médoc that the charming Château Cantemerle rises, whose origins date back to the dawn of the 12C. Consecrated as the fifth grand cru classé in 1855, WWII nevertheless left it a few shots in the jar, with hectares of vines which remained in abeyance until the unexpected takeover by an insurance company, the SMA, a shareholder known for its attachment to its vintages. However, it will take the estate a few decades to restore its image. An exceptional vintage in the Médoc region, 2016 has already been ready to drink since 2021, with Cantemerle a classic blend of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon, sweetened with a few Merlots and Petit Verdots. On the nose, small black fruits as if rolled up in aromas with the opulence of zan and vanilla flower, which we find on the palate in a delicate tangy variation, carried by tannins that have become silky, which suggests to this cuvée a bright future. Looking on the rebound indeed, Webpage :

Another old guard beauty ! A destiny that can be found at the Château d’Issan, whose wine would have been served at the wedding of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henri Plantagenêt in 1152. Today, the property has preserved its impressive medieval building as a setting, whose enclosure extends over hectares of vines anchored in thick soils of gravel and clay, which will give in 2020 one of the most convincing vintages in its history. On the nose, a bouquet of summer fruits, which rising to the hollow of the nostrils gives the illusion of being lying on a blanket, in the middle of a field of wild grass, caressed by the gentle warmth of a sun. of spring. On the palate, a wine with chiseled elegance, with a dazzling profile, which explodes on eminently crunchy fruit, whose tannins still skate like a snowplough towards a fragile finish, saved by this chalky austerity where one can read the promise of a probably fabulous guard, Always reliable indeed, Webpage :

This 2021 vintage experienced, as we know, a very disturbed genesis and the Gironde accumulated a series of climatic events which weighed heavily on the smooth running of the vegetative cycle, maturities, yields… After fierce spring frosts, it was terrible attacks of mildew, then a cool and not very sunny summer, saved by a milder autumn. In short, an enormous amount of work in the vineyards and a more favorable harvesting period made it possible to produce decent wines, sometimes even great ones, with nevertheless significant heterogeneity from one appellation to another, even from one property to another. Various successes depending on local situations, but wines whose best always overflow with personality are:

Château Mouton-Rothschild (I am on their mailing list and visit and buy lol!): 2021 captivating nose of black fruits, exotic wood, rich and elegant at the same time. The palate is just as dense as it is caressing, the tannins are incredibly mature and the whole gives off an impression of soothing serenity. A big Mouton. Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe 2021, They are among the great successes. These two appellations from the north of the Médoc, more concentrated, close to the Gironde, with a homogeneous terroir, have generally produced wines of good quality, in a less generous style than in previous years, the signature of this complicated, lighter and digestible vintage. Château Pichon-Longueville Baron: racy nose with elegant oak. Mouth already very structured by wood tannins, black fruits in retreat and delicate touch of cocoa. Great potential for sure. Petit Mouton from Château Mouton-Rothschild: concentrated, racy nose, with intense fruity and woody notes. Ample and elegant mouth, fine tannic structure, perfect maturity and velvety fruit on the finish. Grand! Château Les Ormes de Pez: fruity nose tinged with a slight vegetal note. Nice juice on the palate, very consistent, with a bit virile oak but also a lot of race!

Saint-Julien and Margaux 2021 , Here are the two Médoc appellations where the experts felt the most heterogeneity. Château Lagrange: the nose offers a generous, greedy, very ripe fruity score. Precise woodiness. Mouth of great suppleness, polished tannins, breadth and generosity of the fruit. Already very well in place. Château Léoville-Barton: nose full of sap, combining very ripe fruit and wood of great finesse. Straight palate, tense with freshness. An enticing fruity bouquet, full of juice. Racy breeding. Full wine, great potential. Château Lascombes: racy nose, floral accents, bud, subtle woodiness. The palate already displays a harmonious structure, with a nice blend of fruit and wood, even if the aromas are obviously still youthful. A safe bet from Margaux which confirms once again.
Pessac-Léognan, This appellation in the south of Bordeaux experienced a mild winter and an early budburst with the consequences that we know at the beginning of April. The end of the cycle, calmer, allowed to harvest healthy grapes and to develop a vintage of low volume but which offers beautiful qualities. The whites are fresh and very aromatic. The reds show more disparities but with interesting fruit and lots of crunch. My all time favorite here is the Château Pape Clément , and their 2021 has a concentrated nose of red and black fruits. Almost imperceptible wood. The mouth shows a nice concentration combining rigor and classicism. A construction designed for the long term. Go Bordeaux !!!

Very well known to me as way way back help sell theirs wines in Florida !! Working after my regular work hours with Philippe E Dreyfus (RIP) The famous Bordeaux wine merchant, founded in 1897, organized a major non-Bordeaux wine tasting in Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo for the start of the 2022 school year. The opportunity to return to the current dynamism of the export market. Maison Ginestet is one of the major players in Bordeaux wine merchants with a turnover last year of 107 million euros. In the segment of grands crus and similar wines, France remains the leading market (25% of its 2021 turnover). However, exports to 60 countries are proving particularly strong and current order levels remain high, particularly in a few key markets. Among them, the United States, which has fully benefited from the historic euro-dollar parity for 20 years. But we could also mention mainland China, which is dynamic due to the closure of imports from Hong Kong, As Business France indicates, with in particular a 35% increase in the United States or a 23% increase in Japan. The importance of certain markets for traders can also be explained by their longstanding local presence. Maison Ginestet has, for example, historically been present on the Japanese and Thai markets since the 1990s and globally has 8 sales representatives in Asia (out of a team of 35) ,The recovery of tourism in Southeast Asia also explains the strength of the markets such as Vietnam, the Philippines or even Singapore. For 2 years, the emergence of South Korea whose very informed consumers are more and more interested in great wines. This country now represents more than 15% of turnover in the Asia Pacific zone ,I the core business of merchants remains the influence of Bordeaux wines, the number of non-Bordeaux references in their catalogs is growing. Maison Ginestet now carries 35 high-quality references,Webpage :

Something I have known since 1990 when met what would be my now dear late wife Martine, there is Champagne in Seine et Marne 77 ! In Champagne, the shears are busy harvesting the plots of the Bombart and Ernould families, except for one detail… These few hectares of vines are located in Île-de-France region, 75 km from Paris. On the borders of Seine-et-Marne, dept 77 ,three villages in the Marne Valley. Saâcy-sur-Marne, Nanteuil-sur-Marne and Citry are the only three crus of the controlled designation of origin (AOC) to be located in the region, on clay-limestone soil suitable for Pinot Meunier, which gives the wine lively and fruity notes. People are not necessarily aware that there are winegrowers in Seine-et-Marne, In Saâcy-sur-Marne , the harvest began on last Friday on the two hectares of the family vineyard. There are more than 15,000 winegrowers who make up the viticultural champagne, only 13 operators are listed in the Seine et Marne department, counts the Champagne Committee, the interprofessional organization of the appellation. The whole represents 92 hectares in production, or 0.27% of the total Champagne vineyard, But they are here !!! Champagne Bombart :

Champagne Ernould Facebook page :

Last but not least, the passing of a great wine men that I have followed for many many years and have tasted his wines, Louis-Fabrice Latour, the leader of Maison Louis Latour, one of the largest trading companies in Burgundy, died on the night of September 5 to 6 2022 at the age of 58. Burgundy loses one of its ambassadors. He was the director of the Maison Louis Latour since 1999, a wine merchant and producer firm for more than 200 years ,He represented the eleventh generation at the head of the family business. He was also president of the Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters of France (FEVS), as well as President of the Interprofessional Bureau of Burgundy Wines (BIVB) from 2013 to 2021. Recently, Louis-Fabrice Latour had taken on the mission of raising a Cross of Charlemagne broken on one from Corton, garnished with vines from Maison Louis Latour. He gathered his craftsmen and then inaugurated the monument on May 5th. Quite a symbol. Maison Louis Latour owns 48 hectares of vines in Burgundy, including 27 grand cru, in the Vosne-Romanée, Puligny-Montrachet, Gevrey-Chambertin, Corton-Charlemage and Corton appellations. In 2003, Louis-Fabrice Latour acquired Simonnet-Febvre, a Chablis wine estate, then in 2008 Henry Fessy, a producer of Beaujolais and Mâconnais wines on 70 hectares of vines. Webpage :

Quick news update on Saint Emilion!! Finally, the new classification of properties in the Saint-Émilion appellation is revealed. The Inao unveils the 2022 classification of Saint-Emilion wines. It includes 85 properties. Figeac reaches the top of the top, the category of 1st Grand Crus Classés A. Within the Saint-Émilion appellation ,5,400 ha and a little over 500 winegrowers , the classification establishes three categories: the grands crus classés, the premier grands crus classés and the premier grands crus classés B or A, the fine flower. To reach the rank of Premier Grand Cru Classé A is to settle on the Olympus of the right bank. This new ranking is not really a surprise. It consecrates the evolution of a single leading property , Château Figeac , and confirms the position of Château Pavie, which joined the super category in 2012.

Grands Crus are : Chateau FRANC-MAYNE,Chateau GRAND CORBIN,Château BELLEFONT-BELCIER,Château HAUT-SARPE,Château LA COMMANDERIE,Château La DOMINIQUE, Château VILLEMAURINE,Château DASSAULT, Château LA TOUR FIGEAC, CLO de l’Oratoire, Château FLeur Cardinale, Château FOMBRAUGE ,Convent des Jacobins ; Château FONPLEGADE, Château FONROQUE , and Château MONBOUSQUET.

Premier Grands Crus are : Château BEAU-SEJOUR BECOT,Chateau CANON LA GAFFELIERE, Château FIGEAC (distinction A),Château PAVIE (distinction A),Château TROPLONG MONDOT,Château VALANDRAUD, and CLOS FOURTET.

The above is a partial listing of the properties that I have tasted over the years.

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. See you in the vineyards of France.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

September 8, 2022

Some news from France , CCCLXVIII

It’s time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And for those non Roman CCCLXVIII is 368 ! , another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are coming to the end of Summer ,and temps already back to normal range , cooler rainy so perfect for a glass of wine,,,anything, and we continue eating out in our veranda porch , grand! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Paris bike operators Lime, Dott and Tier have recorded a number of journeys never seen in the city since the start of the summer. The mass return of tourists has something to do with it, but also the enthusiasm of Île-de-France region residents for these micromobilities. And it’s not over. The cycle path along the Quai Branly, (7éme) has change in ten years, it’s crazy how Paris has changed, with all these cycle paths! When for example you arrived near the Eiffel Tower, place your three bicycles on the arches. The trip from the Opera district will have cost only 15€. So more bikes, more trotinettes and less cars good for business,,,,,,,,,time will tell but already many are leaving Paris.

For your bicycle breakdowns the SNCF sets up a free bicycle repair workshop. From May 20, 2022, it is at the Rosa Parks station on line RER E that you will be able to take care of your little worries. According to ActuParis, the SNCF is setting up 269 bicycle repair workshops in several stations in Île-de-France region. So if you have a problem head to Rosa Parks Station, September 9 and 23, and October 13 to get your bike back to new!

The monumental clock “The Defender of Time” returns to Paris, will soon find its place in the quariter or neighborhood of L’Horloge in Paris, not far from the Pompidou Center. The Quartier de l’Horloge is a group of buildings in the 3éme arrondissement located between rue Saint-Martin , rue Rambuteau , rue du Grenier-Saint-Lazare , and rue Beaubourg next to the Centre Georges-Pompidou. The six or seven-story buildings evoke the earlier medieval parcel grid. One of the buildings bearing the inscription “Le Piazza Beaubourg”, located at 156 rue Saint-Martin is described during the sale of its apartments as a “Millionaire’s Row in the heart of Paris”, At the intersection of the Rue Rambuteau and Rue Brantôme features a work by Max Ernst, Le Grand Assistant. The maintenance being the responsibility of the condominium associations. Originally occupied by restaurants and luxury shops, there is currently the big Leroy Merlin of Paris Centre, and reprography workshops.The routes within the neighborhood are: Impasse Beaubourg; rue Bernard-de-Clairvaux, which begins rue Brantôme and ends at no. 172 rue Saint-Martin, passage Brantôme, which begins rue Rambuteau and ends rue Brantôme, rue Brantôme, which begins at no. 46 rue Rambuteau and ends at no. 11 rue du Grenier-Saint-Lazare, passage du Maure, which begins at no. 33 rue Beaubourg and ends rue Brantôme, passage des Ménétriers, which starts at no. 23 rue Beaubourg and ends rue Brantôme, Wonderful walks indeed !

On the occasion of the bicentenary of the Canal de l’Ourcq,(see post) many excursions and cruises are organized to learn the secrets of this canal, which has many surprises in store, Soufflet has therefore sold the land of its mills to a bank named… Meunier. You can’t make it up! to liven up a walk in Pantin along the Canal de l’Ourcq. City of Paris info :

Among the Most Beautiful Villages of France for 40 years, Gerberoy benefits from tourism, The Most Beautiful Villages of France label celebrates its 40th anniversary this weekend. Gerberoy was one of the first towns to obtain it, in 1982, becoming one of the tourist centers of the Oise (dept 60). A bit more info on the tourist office of Picardie Green :

You love Rimbaud, you will love Charleville-Mézières, The poet was not always kind to his hometown, locals continue to celebrate the author of “A Season in Hell”. The most literate will say Rimbaud, the tormented poet, who was born there in 1854, lived, wrote. The bookstore bears the name of Rimbaud, as does a quay on the Meuse river and the college where the poet studied. The media library has been baptized “Voyelles”, like the poem, the bistros offer the “Cuvée d’Arthur”, a craft beer, etc, The Charleville-Sedan tourist office :

One hundred years later, Paris is once again hosting the Olympic Games, in 2024. The budget for Paris 2024 is estimated at 6.6 billion euros despite everything, compared to 31 billion for Beijing 2008 or 16.5 billion for Rio de Janeiro 2016. Even if 93% of the sites are already existing, a few new ones will be added to the list. Add to that the Grand Paris Express project … Things are going to change in the city! It is in Seine-Saint-Denis (93) that the new Olympic village will come to nest on 46 hectares, 11,000 apartments, 120,000 m2 of offices, 3,200 m2 of shops, 7 hectares of green spaces… All to accommodate the some 17,000 athletes who will land from July 26 to August 11, 2024 (for the Olympics) and from August 28 to September 8 (for the Paralympic Games). Obviously, the Olympic Village could later be transformed into new housing for the residents of the city. A new Olympic aquatic center will be installed on the Plaine Saulnier, still in Saint-Denis, opposite the Stade de France. The new site will consist of 50 meter long pools and diving spots. The little extra? It will be equipped with 5,000 m2 of solar panels with an economical thermal design, a wooden roof and stands made of plastic recycled from corks. A new room will see the light of day in the Porte de la Chapelle neighborhood in Paris. 20,000 m2, 8,000 seats… It will mainly host wrestling, basketball, handball, etc. events. It will later become the main center of Paris Basketball, or even PSG Handball. The new climbing center at Le Bourget with six indoor and outdoor walls and a large gymnasium, that’s the project. For once, these are temporary facilities, except for the warm-up structure which will be kept. We will be entitled to green courtyards, pedestrianized streets, more developed cycle paths… All within the framework of the “Embellir votre quartier” or beautify your neighborhood project, an approach launched by the City of Paris. Other work is also planned as part of the Grand Paris Express, which should create 4 metro lines, 2 extensions and 60 new stations. This project is however likely not to be fully completed before the arrival of the Olympic Games. The official Paris2024 webpage :

The four-star hotel reopens in the hope that the étangs de Corot ponds (see post) will regain their splendor, The establishment and its spa area have just been completed after more than a year and a half of work, Eight spa cabins offer a view of the ponds, to relax facing an exceptional environment. The hotel Les étangs de Corot located in Ville-d’Avray, on the edge of the emblematic ponds immortalized in the 19C by the painter Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, This four-star establishment and its spa area, called Les Bains de Corot, have reopened discreetly their doors this past August. At the beginning of September, it is the turn of its bistro and its one-star restaurant to welcome the public again. Webpage :

At the Palace of Versailles, a little less tourists and a lot less thieves, Thefts recorded near the tourist site decreased by 50% this summer compared to 2019, according to the prefecture of Yvelines. And this, despite the return of foreign visitors …. except Chinese and Russians. The Palace of Versailles remains a safe bet for tourists ! The site attracted 825,000 visitors in July, almost twice as many as last year. It is thus approaching pre-Covid levels. This renewed vigor is correlated with encouraging figures in terms of safety: “only” 25 thefts were recorded there between January and August, according to the prefecture of Yvelines. That is a big improvement as this place has become a lot more touristy than ever !

Other castles in the region produce their wines. The stars Chenonceau and Cheverny, and others, less known, from Indre to Maine-et-Loire.I have written on these castles and their wine is good, took them home each time, Could be source of Wines from France but rather for a touristic point of view will list them here for all to enjoy the castles and the wine bien sûr ! (See posts on the castles in my blog).

The Château de Valençay (Indre 36) ,The castle and the town of the same name gave birth to the Valençay appellation, which covers an area of ​​2,400 hectares. Specificity of Valençay Indre, in addition to the AOC of wines, it also offers an appellation of cheese, the pyramid of Valençay , and very good, a goat from Berry, At the castle itself, the vineyard extends over 165 hectares, with the main grape varieties gamay, for the reds, and sauvignon, for the whites.

The Château de Chenonceau (Indre-et-Loire 37) ,The vines and the cellar have always belonged to the most visited private château in France, The vinification of the 10 hectares is nevertheless entrusted to the Caves du Père Auguste, a few km from Chenonceaux (town), in the village of Civray-de-Touraine. The traditional grape varieties are Chenin (white) and Cabernet Franc (red), to which Sauvignon and Côt, or Malbec, have been added. Two cuvées (white and red) are offered in the Touraine-Chenonceaux appellation, which extends over both banks of the Cher, the rest of the wines in AOC Touraine.

The Château de Cheverny (Loir-et-Cher 41), It’s hard to miss the architecture of Cheverny, the inspiration for Moulinsart d’Hergé, The vines that grow a few hundred meters from a château that belongs to the Hurault de Vibraye family: the first half a hectare was planted in 2018. The first harvest, last year, could not be done due to an episode of frost. The grapes (Sauvignon and Chardonnay) will give white Cheverny, vinified by the cooperative cellar of Mont-près-Chambord winegrowers.

The Château de Brissac (Maine-et-Loire 49), The 28 hectares of vines of a château in the town of Brissac-Loire-Aubance, 15 km from Angers, are cultivated by the Caves de la Loire, a cooperative which brings together 180 winegrowers. The cuvées, baptized “Château des Cossé”, named after the owner family since the beginning of the 16C, are made from Chenin in white, and Cabernet Sauvignon and Grolleau in red. They come from multiple appellations: Anjou, Cabernet d’Anjou (exclusively in rosé), Crémant-de-Loire, Anjou-Villages-Brissac…

The Château de Montreuil-Bellay (Maine-et-Loire 49) ,15 km south of Saumur, the château, which combines Renaissance and medieval military architecture, houses 16 hectares of Cabernet Franc, Chenin and Chardonnay. We are here in the Saumur appellation, of course, and the vineyard offers several cuvées, in white and red, without forgetting the bubbles with the essential Crémant-de-Loire.

The Château de Chambord, (Loir et Cher 41), The rebirth of a vineyard, The beautiful heritage vine, replanted on 14 hectares of the estate in 2015, has benefited from a new cellar since July 14 2022. You have to be attentive to notice the vines, planted within sight of the castle. The Chambord vineyard covers 14 hectares. When the young King François I ordered its construction in 1519, there was no vineyard. The same year, by an order of September 6, the King had 80,000 vines planted with white grapes originating from Burgundy at a forty km away, near the castle of his mother, Louise de Savoie. The village, Romorantin (Loir-et-Cher), then gave its name to the grape variety which would become the only reference for the small area of barely fifty hectares with the Cour-Cheverny designation of origin (AOC). This differs from the adjoining appellation, Cheverny, which covers some 600 hectares.

Star chef Mory Sacko will have from this Wednesday, September 7,2022 a new fried chicken restaurant within the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. A second address will open a little later in October, in the 14éme arrondissement, very close to his MoSuke restaurant. The MoSugo, Mory Sacko’s take-out and delivery street-food offer, had already delighted us during the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns, this time focusing on what it does best: fried chicken. On the program: chicken aiguillettes breaded to perfection, sweet potatoes fried or roasted with a delicious Cajun sauce and above all the big expectation of the menu, the fried chicken burger. With its very soft pretzel bread, delicious miso mayonnaise and cucumber pickles ! The first address within Galeries Lafayette will have around sixty seats, while the second, a few meters from the star restaurant MoSuke, will take the form of a counter with a room of fifteen place settings,webpage :

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior of this blog. Hope you enjoy the post and do prepare for finishing Summer with a bang and welcoming Fall (here Sept 23rd) , And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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