The great and the good from the international fine wine world congregated at Le Gavroche in London yesterday for the first of several celebrations for Decanter's 40th anniversary.
Guests for the first of the Decanter 40th anniversary celebration, included Marchese Piero Antinori of Antinori wines, Frederic Rouzaud of Champagne Louis Roederer, Christophe Salin of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Peter Gago of Penfolds, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild of Mouton Rothschild, Olivier Krug of Champagne Krug, Angelo Gaja of Gaja Winery, Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier, Nicolas Catena of Argentina’s Catena, Gerard Basset MW MS OBE, Pablo Alvarez Mezquiriz of Vega Sicilia, Paul Symington of Symington Family Estates, Eduardo Chadwick of Errázuriz, Georg Riedel of the Riedel wine glass producer and Mauricio Gonzalez-Gordon of Gonzalez Byass – to name but a few of the 80 attending glitterati, many of whom had flown in specially to be present.
Decanter writers were also out in force, including Michael Broadbent, Hugh Johnson OBE, Andrew Jefford, Steven Spurrier, Sarah Jane Evans MW and Stephen Brook – and many other regular contributors.
Chef Michel Roux Jr talked guests through a carefully prepared special menu to go with the celebratory wines.
The wines served included Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2006, Penfolds Yattarna 2008, Isole e Olena’s Cepparello 2006, Chateau Montrose 1975 in magnum, Chateau Coutet 2009 and a special ‘Decanter’ bottling of Taylor’s 40 Year Old Tawny Port.
All producers of the wines were present – including Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, Aline Baly of Chateau Coutet, Herve Berland of Chateau Montrose and Adrian Bridge of Taylor’s. Paolo de Marchi of Isole e Olena was unfortunately unable to fly due to bad weather.
Speaking at the lunch, Decanter’s publishing director, Sarah Kemp told guests, ‘Each of you has played a significant part in Decanter’s history, and we also must thank you for that.’
She added, ‘Decanter, from the beginning, has sought to bring together the most authoritative an entertaining writers on wine.
She paid special tribute to two ‘titans of the wine world’, retired columnist Michael Broadbent and also Hugh Johnson OBE.
‘From them we learnt that it is the pleasure that wine gives that is the most important thing.’
Decanter’s commemorative 40th anniversary issue will be on sale on 7 October.