In Bangalore recently to attend the UB Group’s Global Conclave, Patrice Monmousseau, president of Loire’s Bouvet-Ladubay and his daughter, Juliette Monmousseau, deputy managing director Bouvet-Ladubay, took a little time out to unveil a treat for wine lovers in India, that promises to be very popular, reports SI correspondent, Ruma SinghPictured: Gérard Depardieu
The sparkling treat was a new cuvée made in collaboration with French thespian, Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winning actor, Gérard Depardieu (Cyrano de Bergerac, Hamlet, Green Card), who also happens to be a wine lover, vineyard owner and winemaker. Depardieu has produced some noted wines over the years, especially in partnership with Bordeaux winemaker, Bernard Magrez. Depardieu has vineyards in Bordeaux, Languedoc in the south of France, as well as in Spain, Morocco and Argentina, besides owning Château de Tigné, a 100 hectare property in Anjou, not more than 20 km from the Bouvet winery in Saumur.
The new sparkling wine, called Taille Princesse, is named in honour of Depardieu’s grandmother, a gemstone cutter, and refers to a particular cut of diamond, viz, the Princess cut. It also fits in with Bouvet’s jewel-inspired wine names such as Saphir, Trésor and Rubis. Taille Princesse, a blend of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay, was first unveiled internationally at Germany’s Prowein 2009 by Monmousseau and Depardieu, to excellent reviews. “It was immediately a huge success,” says Monmousseau.
Besides being neighbours, the two men are friends. Monmousseau first met Depardieu at one of Bouvet-Ladubay’s cultural events 18 years ago. “He was invited for our annual Book and Wine festival at Saumur, where we had instituted an award in the name of the late French actor Jean Carmet who was a close friend of his. Gérard is a well-known epicure who loves food and wine. Soon we became good friends,” says Monmousseau.
Pictured, Patrice Monmousseau, president of Loire’s Bouvet-Ladubay
Depardieu, who owns two restaurants in Paris, was impressed by what he saw in Saumur. So he was more than ready to listen when Monmousseau spoke to him about adding a sparkling wine to his portfolio. “I told Gérard, ‘See, you have no bubbles in your portfolio.'” He considered the idea and soon a partnership was forged and the cuvée Taille Princesse was born.
“The harmonies of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay express the character I like,” Depardieu has been quoted as saying about this wine which has fine bubbles, myriad fruit aromas, especially apple and stone fruit, as well as mineral notes in the finish.
With Depardieu’s high-profile wine preferences, did he not consider adding ‘bubbles’ from Champagne instead of the Loire to his portfolio? “No. In fact, Gérard would tell me, ‘Champagne doesn’t hold the monopoly for bubbles!’ ”
Today, Bouvet makes a very exclusive, limited 20,000 bottles of Taille Princesse for Depardieu (in contrast to their own high-end sparkling, Trésor, of which 400,000 bottles are produced).
These two sparkling wines are also quite differently made. Taille Princesse is made in new French oak barrels using the ‘methode traditonelle’ and the dosage is adjusted in the secondary fermentation, making a wine that is much drier, with a long finish.
In November 2010, Depardieu and Monmousseau launched the Taille Princesse Rosé de Gérard Depardieu, which was also very successfully received.
Indian wine lovers, already familiar with the Bouvet-Ladubay range of sparkling wines imported by UB, will soon be able to sip the Taille Princesse Saumur Brut, to be followed by the Taille Princesse Rosé.
Backed by Gérard Depardieu’s star power and Bouvet-Ladubay’s expertise with sparkling wines, these are two wines that should go down well with Indian wine lovers.