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Farandole of cuvees and dancing bubbles

Prestige Champagne tasting

Prestige Champagne tasting Vinay

farandole of cuvees and dancing bubbles


SommelierS International, now customary to the region, has chosen the Hostellerie La Briqueterie, the only prestigious place in the area that had not yet hosted its traditional Special Champagne Tasting. The beautiful Relais & Chateau thus welcomed 60 sommeliers and 230 cuvees for the event.

See the video of the tasting / Videos of others tasting available on

In the heart of the vineyards of Champagne, on the hillsides of the Marne, nestled in a vast landscaped 3-hectare park, the Hotel created in 1973 has been built in place of a former brick factory.
The mansion with its traditional extremely careful decor is a welcoming resting place to revel in gentle lifestyle and to come and discover the vineyard. A few minutes from Epernay, it is a paradise of well-being and well-living.
All is done to make worldwide travellers comfortable. Superb bedrooms, hung with fabric stemming from the greatest editors, carefully chosen by owner Alix Philipon, a spa, and above all the one Michelin star gastronomic restaurant. There, young chef Michael Nizzero makes the most of his talent to turn the stay at La Briqueterie into a genuine epicurean journey.
The restaurant room all in red and gold has rightly been the setting of the effervescent tasting behind closed doors. The event was honoured by the presence of Paolo Basso, 2013 Best Sommelier of the World, who specially came from Switzerland. Philippe Faure-Brac, also Best Sommelier of the World, was by his side to support Yves Chapier, President of the Association des Sommeliers de Champagne-Ardenne, who directed the morning. Sixty sommeliers from Champagne, but also from Paris and Charente, accepted the invitation to take part in the difficult exercise of the sensory analysis of the wines.
A wonderful selection of 230 Champagnes benefitted from their sensitive feedback. The brands, cooperatives and independent winegrowers were worthily represented by their prestige cuvees, brought into the dance of the bottles on the cork music. Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Noir were set in majesty in wines of unanimously praised exceptional quality. White or rosé, Premier or Grand Cru, blend or monovarietal, brut or extra-brut, many Champagnes filled the sommeliers’ heart with emotion.
To highlight the wine of the kings, the Verrerie de la Marne, historical partner of the event, kindly provided the Opale 21 glasses of its brand Lehmann Glass.
The master glassmaker and industrial designer originally created the collection to meet the requirements of prestigious Champagne Houses that were looking for a flute with a pronounced pointed bottom to highlight the delicate bubbles of their Grands Crus. Over the years, the range has grown increasingly popular with discerning enthusiasts on account of its many oenological features that benefit fine and long effervescence.
Hervé Lelarge, Champagne Regional Manager of Diam Bouchage, took the beautiful opportunity gathering 100 Champagne Houses, to present Mytik Diam to the audience. This technological cork for sparkling wines is a closure which offers both a perfect homogeneity between one bottle and another and an optimized sealing quality. Thanks to a special process, it also provides incomparable sensorial neutrality. By preserving the bubbles’ finesse and protecting the wine’s aromas throughout its maturation, Mytik Diam is the closure of choice for a successful tasting experience every time.
It was time to welcome the representatives of the Houses for an aperitif then a lunchtime cocktail, served in the very cosy bar of La Briqueterie. The palates were delicately and festively livened up with a farandole of bouchées carefully prepared by Michael Nizzero’s team. To name but a few: Quail egg and Cucumber remoulade, Smoked Eel, sour cream and apple, among the cold ones. Snail tartlet with garlic and béarnaise sauce, Lobster Arancini, for the warm ones. And to finish with a sweet touch, Elder Blossom Granita, Granny Smith sorbet or Crisp Bailey-flavoured Choux buns.
The guests then gathered in the big restaurant room overhanging the park for a new tasting of the cuvees. An opportunity for the Houses to get the sommeliers’
live opinion, recommendations but also compliments. The afternoon went on in a warm atmosphere that even the bad weather did not manage to spoil!
Many thanks to those who, by participating, have once again made of this Champagne appointment a great moment of conviviality and sharing. Let’s especially praise La Briqueterie’s team for their extreme kindness, patience and high availability.

Sylvia van der Velden
Photos: Michel Jolyot
Vidéo: Michel Akrich, Les Productions de l’Ange


Paolo BASSO, Best Sommelier of the World

Philippe FAURE-BRAC, Best Sommelier of the World

Association des Sommeliers de Champagne-Ardenne

Yves Chapier, Président
Jean-Pierre Hubaille,
Roselyne Aguesse
Vincent Aguesse
Médina Amosse
Eric Arnaud
Karine Arnaud
Georges Blanck
Frédéric Bouché
Henrick Bouché
Anne Briet
Emmanuel Briet
Anne-Marie Chabbert
Mathieu Cré
Bruno Dapremont
Marie Doyard
Bernard Etien
Jean-Paul Gandon
Nathalie Gérard
Thierry Gérard

Pierre-Alexis Gobillard
Jean-Luc Gonot
Fabienne Guerdin
Walter Junquet
Isabelle Landragin
Thierry Landragin
Michel Larchez
Dorine Le Bot
Julien Leroux
Anne-Sophie Leroy
Brochet Madeleine
David Mangeat
Amaury Merchez
Maurice Méresse
Geoffrey Orban
Cédric Pilot
Simon Radet
Silvio Roussette
Barbara Slowinski
Jean-Luc Vitoux

Association des Sommeliers Nord Picardie

Michel Widehem,
Jean-Luc Amat
Laurent Devos

Virginie Forteville
Cybille Martin
Yann Satin


Florian Bergaud, Sommelier, Sofitel Paris 8e
Marie-Caroline Bourrellis,
Vanessa Cazeres, DivaVins,
Marie-Noëlle Diosca,
Thomas Durieux,
Sommelier, Fouquet's, Paris
Richard Fétré,
Directeur, Lycée Saint Pierre Fourmiès
Hervé Lelarge,
Mytik Diam
Jérémy Magnon,
Sommelier, Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Paris
Pierre-Hervé Masson,
Charlotte Page, Sommelière,
Atelier Etoile, Paris
Jérémy Page, Sommelier,
Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Paris
Dominique Prunier,
Association des Sommeliers
de Poitou-Charentes -
Sud Vendée
Amanda Regan,
Grégoire Schnerb,
Sommelier, L'Etang Blanc (40)
Lucie Soltysiak,
Elève sommelier, Lycée d'Avize
Florie Tap,
Sommelière, Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Paris
Clara Tristani,
Sommelière, Paris
Laurent Vallet,
Lycée Saint Pierre Fourmiès
Michel Véron,