Under the skin of Margaux

Article from 15-06-2006

This summer, to travel around France’s vineyards, stay at home.

E.g. on the patio, in the garden in the shade or in a comfy armchair. At your side, a pile of books that come out regularly from Fayard and make up the "Le sang de la vigne" Collection.

Heading off on a wine region tour, in the company of Benjamin Cooker, winemaking detective married to a cordon-bleu and a big cigar fan, and his assistant Virgile Lanssien. Yes, detective as we really are talking about crime investigation, series, thrillers, sometimes with a twisty denouement.

The authors, Jean-Pierre Alaux (reporter and publisher of gourmet, wine and cigar titles) and Noël Balen (music producer and writer) both live in Bordeaux. They invented... criminoenology. They write about real investigations that are also real accounts of love and understanding of wine. Wine is the plot’s starting point: vineyards aren’t just a backdrop.

Ambition, jealousy, spite, passion, deadly atmosphere, gunshots but also smells, tasting notes and historical insights on vineyard sites and appellations. A throbbing combination of police investigation and unearthing the vineyard way of life.

Here’s your wine route, from north to south, but it’s up to you to decide where to stop off first.

In Aÿ, Champagne: the silky widows
In Colmar: late harvest in Alsace
In the Loire vineyards: drinking and setbacks in the Loire Valley (coming in August)
In Burgundy: red-handed in Romanée-Conti, nightmare in Côtes-de-Nuit
In Beaujolais country: the nouveau doesn’t show up
In Cognac: Jarnac’s last stand
Between Pomerol and Médoc, Graves, Sauternes and Saint-Emilion: Saint-Petrus and the bloody saviour, Under the skin of Margaux, Mission in Haut-Brion, Golden wedding at Yquem, For whom does Angélus toll?
Between Côtes-du-Rhône and Montmartre’s vineyards: Don’t shoot the wine merchant
In Gascony: Matter of life (eau-de-vie) or death
In the Languedoc: Lightening strikes in Corbières (coming in August) 

From Fayard, "Le sang de la vigne" Collection

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