Stuart George

Ice maidens: Champagne at Texture

In Tastings on June 26, 2009 at 9:56 am




Last night I enjoyed the company of an old friend at Texture in Portman Street, near Marble Arch in London.

Xavier and Agnar
We drank Andre Jacquard’s Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs from Mesnil – dry and austere, but delicious. The sommelier was the delightful Swedish-born Erica Laler, who recently finished runner-up in the UK Young Sommelier of the Year competition. Well done Erica. She is studying for the Master Sommelier qualification under the tutelage of Texture’s co-owner Xavier Rousset, who I first met in October 2006 when he was working at Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons. I have met him only a couple of times since but he always recognises me and remembers my name – an incredible memory. He is very good at what he does and thoroughly deserves all his success.

After my friend left for his dinner date I was settling down to finish the bottle of Jacquard when I was ambushed by three strangers – Adam, Jane and Deborah, I later learned – who invited me to share a bottle of Vilmart Grand Cellier, which was a totally different style to the Jacquard – heavily oak-influenced and oxidative, a gypsy dancer to the Jacquard’s ice maiden, as Adam put it. The ice maiden analogy is correct for the first wine but I think the Vilmart was more French matron than gyspy dancer – strict and rather heavy on its feet.

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