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Figeac, Henschke and other greats at recent Decanter Fine Wine Encounter

The annual Decanter Fine Wine Encounter attracted some of the world’s most renowned producers last weekend – and for the first time a Turkish winery, and one of England’s finest sparkling wine producers.

Chateau Figeac’s Comte Eric d’Aramon

Alongside great names such as Chateau Figeac, Australia’s Henschke, Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, Dom Perignon and a host of others, the highly-respected Turkish winery Kavaklidere from Central Anatolia, and Ridgeview from Sussex also showed their wines.

The annual two-day event included six Masterclasses and five tutored tasting sessions in the Discovery Theatre.

Christian Seely of Château Pichon-Longueville Baron presented 10 vintages from the Pauillac second growth including the renowned 2000 vintage, as well as an opportunity to taste the lauded 2010 vintage. The full list of wines included vintages 2000-2006 and 2007-2010.

The second masterclass was presented by Richard Geoffroy, chef de cave at Dom Pérignon, who delighted wine lovers to 10 vintages from the luxury Champagne house.

Geoffroy told Decanter.com, ‘I thought it was so thrilling. I could sense the energy in the room. It was one of those moments I’ll remember for life.’

The last masterclass of Saturday was presented by Thomas Duroux, general manager of Château Palmer. The 90-strong audience tasted 10 vintages from the Margaux third growth, including the Alter Ego 2009, Château Palmer 2000 and a rare chance to experience the historical 19th-century blend codenamed L.20.06 – 90% 2006 Palmer with 10% Syrah from the Northern Rhone.

Four Discovery Theatre sessions took place on the Saturday covering wines from France, the UK, Germany and Spain.

Mike Roberts, founder, director and winemaker at UK sparkling wine producer Ridgeview treated fans to a tasting of their award-winning wines including: Grosvenor 2009, Grosvenor 06, Knightsbridge 06, Knightsbridge 09, Bloomsbury 1997 and Bloomsbury 09.

Roberts said: ‘We are honoured to be invited to this weekend – Decanter readers are a truly discerning group who love their wines and know about wine.’

Sunday’s collection of masterclasses started with 10 vintages of Château Figeac, presented by owner Eric d’Aramon, followed by a tasting of the renowned Barossa producer Henschke wines by sixth-generation Henschke winemaker Johann. The selection ranged from Julius, Riesling 2011 to Mount Edelstone Shiraz 1994 to one of the most famous Shiraz wines in the world: Hill of Grace 1994.

The final masterclass was a tasting of unusual grape varieties from Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide, chosen by the book’s authors Jancis Robinson MW OBE, Dr José Vouillamoz, and Julia Harding MW.

The tasting included wines from Switzerland, Portugal, Greece, Virginia, Turkey and Croatia.

Decanter writer Jane Anson also attended to sign copies of her new book Bordeaux Legends, a history of the five first growths.

The grand tasting rooms welcomed over 1500 people over the weekend to taste more than 1000 wines from wine regions around the world including: Alsace, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Canada, Champagne, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, New Zealand, Portugal, Rhone, Slovenia, South Africa, Southern France, Spain, Turkey, UK and USA.

See all the pictures from the weekend’s highlights:


Discovery Theatre sessions:

Book signings:

Grand tasting:

Written by Decanter.com staff

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