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Cellar Collection 2023 at the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter

Hundreds of wine lovers journeyed to all corners of the globe at the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter's exclusive Cellar Collection room, where 20 estates poured three back vintages of one flagship cuvée. Tina Gellie reports on the day, while members of Decanter's tasting team pick a top wine from each producer.

Passports in hand, they waited patiently. Despite getting there early to avoid the inevitable crowds, the queue quickly grew, the hundreds of like-minded souls buzzing with excitement at their impending world tour.

No, not your typical Saturday morning at Heathrow Terminal 5, but outside The Empire Room at the Landmark London Hotel, where wine lovers attending the 26th Decanter Fine Wine Encounter (DFWE) were awaiting entry to the exclusive Cellar Collection 2023.

Scroll down for tasting notes and scores of the top-scoring wine from each producer’s mini-vertical

Back by popular demand, following its hugely successful launch in 2022, this year’s Cellar Collection offered DFWE guests the chance to experience a deep dive into vertical tastings from 20 hand-picked estates. Each winery poured three back vintages of its flagship cuvée, including one library vintage of about 10 years of age – or in many cases older – to demonstrate the evolution of the wine.

Tickets to the Cellar Collection 2023, which held one three-hour session in the morning and then another in the afternoon, were strictly limited and available to purchase in addition to the Grand Tasting tickets. And as with last year, the calibre of producers ensured both sessions sold out.

Each guest received a Cellar Collection passport, gaining a stamp at each table visited on their world tour – a memento of meeting the people behind these famous estates and having them introduce three different vintages of an iconic wine in person.


After tasting, guests could get a bespoke stamp from each of the 20 producers in the Cellar Collection room, as seen here at Château Suduiraut. Credit: Ellen Richardson

Cellar Collection 2023: A world wine tour

When the doors opened, the crowds raced to Italy’s Ferrari for its Trentodoc sparkling and to Champagne house Duval Leroy, which showcased a 1996 Femme de Champagne – the joint oldest wine in the room.

White wine lovers enjoyed a rare Rhône treat of M Chapoutier’s Le Méal Blanc Hermitage plus Saint Clair Family Estate’s Omaka Reserve Chardonnay from Marlborough in New Zealand.

For reds, guests were spoiled for choice, starting with Louis Jadot’s Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, crus classés Bordeaux from Châteaux Beychevelle, Léoville Las Cases and Brane Cantenac as well as Napa Cabernet from Trefethen Family Vineyards.

Italy had strong representation from Allegrini’s La Poja, Produttori del Barbaresco’s Pajè Riserva, Fontodi’s Flaccianello della Pieve and Donnafugata’s Mille e Una Notte, while Rioja’s Remírez de Ganuza flew the flag for Spain, a highlight being its 1996 Reserva.

From South America it was Chile’s Seña alongside Argentina’s Catena Zapata and Achaval Ferrer, while St Andrea showcased its Merengõ Egri Bikaver Superior from Hungary.

To finish on a sweet note, our Cellar Collection visitors clamoured to taste the three vintages of Sauternes at Château Suduiraut and Florio Marsalas from Sicily, dating back to 2001.

Passports stamped and memories made, our intrepid travellers disembarked from the Cellar Collection and continued their world wine adventures in the Grand Tasting, with occasional stop offs to Masterclasses and Discovery Theatres.

If you already have wine wanderlust and can’t wait for next November’s DFWE, we will host an Italy-themed tasting experience at The Landmark London in February. Or, for those based in the US, join us at our third DFWE in New York in June. Sign up to ticket alerts here. Until then, look out for photo highlights from this year’s DFWE as you may be featured.

Cellar Collection 2023 highlights: top-scorers from each producer

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