22 Feb update - I asked for more information about the Boisset-supplied Pinot Noir chez Sainsbury's and here is what Jean-Pierre Grangé of Boisset UK has to say: 'Yes we still sell VdP Pinot Noir to JS [Sainsbury's]. The wine is made by Bouchard Aîné in Beaune. It is sourced from south of France with a part oak aged in Burgundy barrels in Burgundy to add structure, complexity and a bit of burgundian style.' So there is nothing to implicate it in the Limoux co-op debacle, though nothing specific to reassure us either.''
As you read this, I will be whirling around my bedroom desperately trying to pack for a two-week tour that starts today and takes me to Japan, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and northern California. That’s quite a lot of weather in there, and since I’m in China publicising the forthcoming Chinese edition of The World Atlas of Wine, I will have to try to look reasonably smart, whether in sultry Shanghai or freezing Beijing. Then, on to possibly warm and wet California... Oh, the wonders of black - and Issey Miyake's uncrushable Pleats Please!
My schedule is so tight, I feel as though I will not be able to fit another thing in - a bit like my suitcase. So my dispatches are unlikely to be long.
Meanwhile, I have loaded up the site with lots of goodies to be published while I’m away, including tasting notes on many a smart (and mature) red bordeaux, 100 vintages of Riesling, some great American wines, a truly mind-blowing vertical of Sassicaia and much, much more.
Needless to say, however, I will never be far from an online connection and will continue to feed my two pennyworth and more into JancisRobinson.com. I may well try to keep you posted on what I find via a more bloglike commentary than usual. Please come back often and watch this space.
PS I leave you with two things to think about. Firstly comes news that my old friend the novelist-turned-wine-writer Jay McInerney is taking over the Wall Street Journal wine column from April (see What will the Journal do now?), making him effectively my rival for the attention of wine-loving readers of the supposed business press on Saturdays. And he writes so well... At the moment Will Lyons is writing a wine column for the European edition of the The Journal.
You might also like to look at Gallo's comment on yesterday's article about the Fake French Pinot Noir scandal. The giant US company Constellation have already admitted that they also bought this fake varietal wine from the south of France and, now that Gallo say they bought only 20% of it, I should imagine there will now follow a bit of a witch hunt. I well remember tasting a range of new varietal Pinot Noirs in October 2007 at the UK supermarket Sainsbury's, including a rather puzzling one from the south of France carrying a Boisset [actually, that of their subsidiary Bouchard Aîné] label. I must enquire further....