The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2016

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88  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2016 CHAMPAGNE AN UNDER-THE-RADAR CHAMPAGNE HOUSE GETS A ROCK STAR RECEPTION AT THE SUNSET MARQUIS AND CAVATINA RESTAURANT C hampagne Collet was born in 1921 out of a revolution: the Révolte Champenoise, or Champagne Riots, to be precise. In 1911, 6,000 growers came together to seek enforcement of a law passed by France's National Assembly to secure official boundaries and regulations for Champagne production. In 1930, Collet's President Henri Landowski and Director Raoul Collet boldly moved the cooperative to Aÿ, cradle of the revolt. It is fitting that the Sunset Marquis Hotel—known for its "rock star cachet," décor and clientele—and its restaurant, Cavatina, celebrate the revolutionary spirit of Champagne Collet in many forms. "Collet is one of those gems I dis- covered through Jeff Bevan, Collet's local rep, and tasting the portfolio," recalls Jesse Flores, Director of Food & Beverage. "Although some clients may not initially be familiar with the Collet name, our staff will guide customers in the right direction with the Champagnes, depending on what they order. Although Collet is not yet on everybody's wine tasting agenda, once they try it, we find they fall in love with it." Lance Barbakow, Assistant Director of Food & Beverage, adds that the Collet Brut does well in their by-the- glass program because the restaurant is known for its well-curated wine list. Collet's non-vintage Esprit Couture, while offering customers a great value, makes an impressive statement before and after the bottle is opened. He points out that while people may think it's a vintage Champagne at first glance, it is also proof that a Champagne does not have to be vintage to be great. "Our customers know there are no dogs on that list, and although some may not be familiar with Collet, the fact that it is on our list piques people's interest," he says. "They will ask about it, and we give them a sample that often leads to their ordering a glass. The brand keys into the hotel's 'rock star' image, in that guests, including those in the entertainment industry, are adventurous and want to try new things. As long as what we provide them is superb quality, which Collet is, they will order it and re-order it." Champagne Collet Rides into the "Sunset" Lance Barbakow, Assistant Director of Food & Beverage for Cavatina. Jesse Flores, Director of Food & Beverage of restaurant Cavatina, located in the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, CA, and his "discovery." Band of brothers: Cavatina's Collet lineup. by Elyse Glickman / photos by Cal Bingham

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