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Gaja, Moueix, Chapoutier dazzle at Decanter event

Angelo Gaja, Christian Moueix and Michel Chapoutier held guests spellbound at the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter at the weekend.

The three renowned producers gave masterclasses to capacity audiences at the annual Decanter event in the London’s Landmark Hotel, showing 12-15 of their wines and treating fans to wisdom gleaned from decades of winemaking.

Gaja (pictured right) gave a blistering performance, in which he compared John Wayne and Italian screen legend Marcello Mastroianni to Cabernet Sauvignon and Nebbiolo respectively. ‘I like to hold an audience in my hand,’ he told decanter.com later.

Other masterclasses included Stephanie de Bouard standing in for her father Hubert with vintages of Chateau Angelus going back to 2000, Christina Mariani May of Castello Banfi, showing such legends as the Brunello Riserva Poggio All’Oro 1995, Chryseia, the renowned Douro red from the Symington family and Bruno Prats, Roederer estates and Jewels of Margaux – five properties from the famous Medoc appellation.

Moueix – who showed vintages of La Fleur Petrus, Trotanoy, Hosanna, Magdelaine and Latour a Pomerol – said he’d ‘had a good time. It’s difficult at first but then you get excited I have to say some things at times which are a little provocative to get people’s attention. It’s lively.’

Michel Chapoutier was pleased that he didn’t worry about becoming too technical with his audience: ‘Obviously we were with real wine lovers.’

In the main halls, visited by nearly 2000 wine lovers over the two days of the Fine Wine Encounter, producers showing their wines included Chateau Palmer – with a 1996 that stopped all movement around the stand – Chateau Beychevelle, Chateau Brane Cantenac and other top Bordeaux properties.

From Napa, Heitz Cellars, Diamond Creek and Seghesio were showing some of their most sought-after wines – like Heitz’s Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the superb 2004 vintage.

Other stands included world class producers from every wine-producing country of the world: Alpha Esate from Greece, Chapoutier from the Rhone, De Wetshof and Vergelegen from South Africa, Craggy Range from New Zealand and many more.

As ever, standholders found the event invaluable for meeting an enthusiastic public.

‘It’s been amazing this year,’ said Mariela Molinari, assistant winemaker at Bodega Catena Zapata, whose owner Nicolas Catena is Decanter Man of the Year 2009.

She added, ‘With lots of people from overseas, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, it’s very good to see how this event is really becoming strong internationally. People ask interesting questions about the wines – I’m very surprised to see how much the consumers are interested in Argentina.’

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Written by decanter.com staff

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