Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bubblies and Cognac at Vinexpo

A major wine show always has a huge selection of sparkling wines, Champagne and others. We like to start a tasting with a glass of Champagne to refresh and educate our palates

Lynne's friend Alison Jee is responsible for Gosset's PR work in the UK, so we went to the Gosset stand first and were shown their 2002 Celebris, which was delicious, rich and bready
 and the Rosé version too. If you are interested, speak to Morgenhof
Odilon de Varine-Bohan, Directeur Général Adjoint, Gosset
 Gosset also has Frapin Cognac, but we didn't taste it
 At a tasting of Gold Medal winners from the Brussels Exposition, we tasted some Champagnes from small producers
We were invited to the launch of Lanson in South Africa about three years ago, but we have seen little of them since. We saw that they were having a launch of Extra Age Champagnes and wrote asking for an invitation. 
As we'd not heard from them, we went to their pavilion 
to see if we had an invitation
 They were also showing a special range of tennis themed Champagnes for Wimbledon, where Lanson (the second biggest label in England) is a sponsor 
 Next morning, on our way to the Lanson launch, we passed by the Drappier stand 
 where they told us about their big event of the day: opening this huge bottle. We hoped we'd get there, but our Lanson appointment was first and we didn't make it
 At the Drappier stand, we saw Johan and Pieter de Wet of Dewetshof passing by and called to them. They joined us for a tasting of Drappier Champagnes. Drappier was imported by Cuvées Classiques in Cape Town. Since they have closed, sadly, Drappier is now being imported by The Wine Cellar
 After that intro to the day, we moved along to Lanson for their launch
 A row of Vintages
 Tennis Champagnes
 and Lanson White
 Champagnes being poured
 under the eyes of the Cellarmaster, Jean Paul Gandon, and Anton Hobbs, Export Director Asia Pacific, who translated for those of us less fluent in French
 After the Lanson launch, we moved across to their subsidiary Besserat de Bellefon, who make a low-pressure Champagne, which has a very soft, delicate mousse. Like Lanson, it does not undergo malolactic fermentation
 and the rain poured down
 Cédric Thiébault, Cellar Master for Besserat de Bellefon
 Then back to Drappier to taste the 1995, which we missed in the morning
 At the German stand, a Riesling Sekt from the Rhineland
 and a very elegant Vouvray from the Loire Valley, made from Chenin blanc
Champagne Henriot is looking for a distributor in South Africa
We took Pieter de Wet along to the Mounier/Prince Hubert de Polignac/Cognac Hardy stand for an introduction to the Cognacs we had tasted in Cognac
 Again, we received very generous treatment
 CEO Christophe Juarez and colleagues
 Beautiful colour of aged Cognacs from Cognac Hardy
 A Lalique decanter of Cognac Hardy
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013

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