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Decanter Fine Wine Encounter – report and pictures

Nearly 2000 wine lovers braved the coldest weather of the winter to sample some of the greatest wines in the world at the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter this weekend.

London’s Landmark Hotel in Marylebone – host to the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter for more than 10 years – was packed to capacity on Saturday with 1000 guests. Some 750 wine enthusiasts came on Sunday.

Winemakers and proprietors included Thierry Gardinier of Chateau Phelan-Segur, Warren Winiarski of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa, Severine Schlumberger of Domaines Schlumberger in Alsace, Christian Seely of AXA and a host of others.

Guests sampled wines from every winemaking region in the world. In the Music Room, for example, standholders included a roll call of great names from all over Spain – Abadia Retuerta, Muga, Marques de Caceres, CVNE – as well as ground-breaking new names such as Baigorri and Pago de Cirsus in Navarra.

Elsewhere wineries from Lebanon – Chateau Ksara – rubbed shoulders with top-rank Americans such as Diamond Creek and Peter Michael, Australians such as iconic Margaret River producer Voyager Estate, and the great names of Bordeaux.

This year Decanter inaugurated the spectacularly successful Gold Room – 54 Decanter World Wine Awards Gold and Trophy winners.

‘This was a fabulous opportunity for people to taste the very best of the Decanter World Wine Awards,’ Decanter publishing director Sarah Kemp said, ‘and they embraced it with open arms. The room was buzzing from the moment the doors opened until the very end.’

At the same time the six masterclasses – St Emilion 2004, Cos d’Estournel, Bollinger, Jaboulet, Croft and Bouchard Pere et Fils – held audiences of 100 enthralled.

Guests and producers alike were delighted with the weekend.

As one stallholder, Brigitte Barreiro of Domaines Paul Mas said, ‘This has been a great event. The public was amazingly interesting, the organisation very good, and our location was wonderful.’

She added that if the event could stay open half an hour longer the ‘we would still have a lot of people visiting…especially on Saturday.’

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Written by decanter.com staff

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