The Champagne Boutique

A visit to Gidleigh Park

In Sommeliers on October 22, 2009 at 10:38 am

Edouard tasting

This week I visited Gidleigh Park to meet up with Edouard Oger, the Head Sommelier to taste the range of Larmandier-Bernier. Meeting was booked for late afternoon with great expectations as I never visited this iconic hotel. Waiting at the bar overlooking the magnificent grounds Edouard arrived and gave me a warm welcome. The last time we have seen each other was at Summer Lodge in August for the very popular Sommeliers Dinner organised every year by Eric Zwiebel MS.

Another person joins us in the lobby, which I used to work with at Le Manoir, Sue Williams who is now the lady in charge of both Gidleigh Park and the Bath Priory. After a quick chat on how life was eventful in Great Milton it was time to lead for the cellar. On the way Edouard explained me that it has been newly refurbished and was now a place being part of the show round that duty managers give to visitors and guests alike. Divided in two distinctive rooms, one for white wine and champagne and one for the many fine red wines, the cellar is tidy and appealing for any wine connoisseur.

The four bottles of Larmandier-Bernier were ready to be tasted next to his “office”, in the red wine cellar. We decided to start the tasting by the lightest to finish by the ever famous Rose de Saignée. We were up for a very different session of tasting than your average champagne “degustation” and we knew it. I will not give you all tasting notes but a few words to summit each one of them. First the Cramant Grand Cru is “So Refreshing yet Elegant!”, the Blanc de Blanc 1er Cru “A Chablis 1er Cru with bubbles”, the Terre de Vertus is “an Outstanding Chardonnay, very focus in the like of the wines of Rollot in Burgundy” and finally the Rose de Saignée is “Out of this world with this colour like a Beaujolais and this fruity taste of Crème de Framboise”. It has been the most intense tasting so far and we will be publishing the full description and matching recipes very soon. Gidleigh Park: www.gidleigh.com

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