A monthly update on the wines, the vines, and the times at Rives-Blanques.

We are very pleased to share some very good news just received this minute: the Revue du Vin de France, the oldest wine publication in the world and the foremost of France, has come out with its classification of the 2009 vintage. A wine from Rives-Blanques again has been selected for the ninth consecutive year – surely a record of sorts – and categorised as “one of the great successes” of the year. That wine is our Mauzac, the Cuvée Occitania. We feel sure you can understand why this gave a merry ring to our month of May.

Otherwise, it was pretty dire. Here is our vine again, standing witness to the series of maydays the month threw at it. First it was too dry, then it was too wet. Unusual cold was followed by unusual heat. And let us not forget the snow, hail, sleet and high winds that visited it, even though this was meant to be Spring. No wonder the 40 year-old chenin blanc dug its heels in and refused to budge for the first half of the month, and then went into frantic overdrive for the second half of it - as you will see if you click here.

The journey from vine to wine can be a long and arduous one, but a little recognition for a road well travelled can go a long way. This month bestowed medals of all colours on our wines: two gold medals (Sauvageon and Dédicace) from the Great Wines of Languedoc-Roussillon; a silver for our chardonnay-chenin country wine from the same; two bronzes from Decanter and the International Wine Challenge in London (Dédicace and Odyssée 2008) and finally Vintage Rose, the brand new Rives-Blanques sparkler was commended by Decanter and by the International Wine Challenge alike.

But what we really loved were the great descriptions and tasting notes posted on Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages last week by Tamlyn Currin ( . These same wines can be virtuously tasted and noted against those virtual tasting notes tomorrow at the Michelin star restaurant de Eyckerhof in Bornem, near Antwerp. Chef Ferdy Debecker, winner of the Auguste Escoffier prize, and Bocuse bronze medalist has designed a five-course dinner to match Rives-Blanques wines, on Tuesday and Wednesday nights... and there will be no red wines. We are looking forward to it more than anyone.

And what a way to end the month of May!


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May 31 , 2010