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Prestige Tasting in Bordeaux

Grand Hôtel Bordeaux & Spa – February 13th, 2012

Prestige Tasting Bordeaux

February 13th, 2012

Prestige Tasting in Bordeaux

Grand Hôtel Bordeaux & Spa

SommelierS International organized on last February13th its traditional Prestige Tasting of Bordeaux, in the sumptuous setting of the Bordeaux Grand Hôtel & Spa, facing the Grand Théâtre, right in the heart of the city. This event, now become an annual rite, gathered a college
of about 50 sommeliers around a range of 162 cuvees from 76 domains.

An exceptional decor

Opposite the Grand Théâtre, the Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux & Spa offers elegance and
glamour in the heart of the Golden triangle, commonly called ‘district of the Great Men’, and registered on the world heritage of UNESCO. Facade of neo-classic inspiration, Corinthian style colonnade, immoderation of the internal arrangements, the Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux & Spa entered from its creation the life of its city, its heritage, its region and its vineyard. What was true in the late 18th century, at the very beginning of its history, is still 230 years later. With the same strength, the same commitment, the same passion, and the same taste of the perfection. Five stars are shining now on top of this historic building which has combined with accuracy its rich past with luxurious features.

A prestigious aegis

Philippe Faure-Brac, Best Sommelier of the World and Jean-Pascal Paubert, founder and Honorary President of the Association des Sommeliers de Bordeaux–Aquitaine, and Treasurer of the Union De la Sommellerie Française, honoured this day of share and conviviality with their friendly and benevolent presence. They were accompanied by Bertrand Bijasson, President of the Association des Sommeliers de Bordeaux-Aquitaine; and Joël Soupé, President of the Association des Sommeliers de Poitou-Charentes.

Discerning tasters

With hits view on the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, the Saint-Emilion lounge boasts a theatrical setting: huge carpets, curtains of style and big chandeliers. This is where Bertrand Bijasson brilliantly orchestrated this morning tasting by managing the work of the 47 professionals of the wine world divided by tables of 7 persons. The Sommeliers of Bordeaux-Aquitaine, supported by their counterparts from the Association of Poitou-Charentes, whom had joined by some Parisians come quite specially, have been busy: 162 cuvees sent by 76 Houses were to comment! Jean-Michel Thomas, Head Sommelier at the Grand Hôtel Bordeaux & Spa, helped by his team, has perfectly managed the stewardship of this tasting and the preparation of wines.

A first

The Verrerie de la Marne also contributed to the success of the event by kindly providing its latest model of wine-tasting glass: Œnomust. Bringing out all the œnological qualities, its generous, ground-breaking shape lets you rediscover the flavours and aromas. Its official launch being planned a few days away from the event, the attending sommeliers could therefore boast of being the very first to use it!

The art of the cooper

To underline the theme of the event, the Tonnellerie Demptos had sent six beautiful new barrels. Founded in 1825 in St-Caprais de Bordeaux, this company has now an international presence. Its expertise has been forged over two hundred years, building on experience and new developments. Demptos is proud of still being a family business, where tradition and close customer relations are paramount. Here, all the skill goes into making top quality barrels to meet the requirements and expectations of winemakers all over the world.

An aperitif full of effervescence

The Domaine du Cassard has shared with the sommeliers and the owners who joined them for lunch, the delicate bubbles of their superb Crémant de Bordeaux Brut that the Silver Medal at the Contest of the Effervescent of the World 2011, where 24 countries were represented.
The Billières vineyard is situated to the North of Blaye (65 km in the North of Bordeaux) on south-facing stony outcrops. The nearby estuary of the Gironde, with its temperate maritime climate, provides excellent conditions for the ripening of grapes. The domain produces white and red wines in Premières Côtes de Blaye and Blaye-Côtes de Bordeaux appellations, as well as red Bordeaux and a Clairet whose vintage 2011 received the Gold Medal of the prestigious Concours Général Agricole in Paris.

A memorable menu

It is in the salon Margaux, all dressed in gold and red, that the guests were seated for lunch. Warm atmosphere, carefully laid
tables, delicate tableware and meticulous service let expect an
exceptional moment. SommelierS International's accomplice, Pascal Nibeaudau created a sumptuous lunch for this special occasion: Duck Foie Gras from the Landes with Sangria condi­ment, followed by a Very slowly cooked Beef chuck, Red wine dressing and mashed Charlotte potatoes. The symphony of flavours finished on a Three chocolates Fudge with crispy Praliné.

A very convivial moment

From 2.30 p.m., the sommeliers that had had the heavy responsibility-but also the honour and pleasure-to comment the wines tasted in the morning could share their impressions with the producers who had come numerous to meet them for an afternoon of exchanges and conviviality. The atmosphere was relaxed, each one could freely taste the wines that had been displayed all around the lounge, could go from a group to another, or take part in an interview.
Right bank as Left bank, all had accepted to participate in the prestigious event organized by SommelierS International which thanks them for it very deeply, as well as all the sommeliers who worked for the success of this day.

Dominique PEYRAL-BON

Photos : Thierry Garcia - Bordeaux
Reportage Vidéo: Michel Akrich – Les Productions de l’Ange

Collège des Sommeliers

Philippe FAURE-BRAC,
Meilleur Sommelier du Monde
Jean-Pascal PAUBERT,
Fondateur et Président d’honneur de l’Association
des Sommeliers de Bordeaux – Aquitaine,
et Trésorier de l’Union De la Sommellerie Française

Association des Sommeliers
de Bordeaux - Aquitaine

Bertrand BIJASSON, Président
Patrick AUDOUI
Chantal BELOT
Dominique GARCIA
Charles-Julien HUBERT
Nicolas PIFFRE

Association des Sommeliers de Poitou - Charentes

Joël SOUPÉ, Président
Xavier LEGRY
Francis MERLE
Philippe PONS
Dominique PRUNIER
Sylvie SOUPÉ


Jean-Paul BOUTITON, Consultant privé
Philippe COSTESEQUE, Consultant privé
Marie-Noëlle DIOSCA, Consultant privé
Pierre-Hervé MASSON, Association des Sommeliers de Paris
Vincent DAMESTOY, Meilleur Caviste de France, Vice-Champion du Monde
Pierre DUPOUY, Professeur de Bar/Sommellerie au Lycée Hôtelier de Biarritz-Atlantique
Muriel LAFOURCADE, Professeur de Bar/Sommellerie au Lycée Hôtelier de Gascogne – Talence
Jérôme Muzard, Inspecteur de L’Education Nationale, sections hôtelières

Photos of the manifestation