‘Droits de succession’ the inheritance tax in France which can go to up to 45% is one of host of other taxes in France which have led to most from the wine business selling off to bigger corporations and the ones are that remain are working hard and passionately to carry their legacy and heritage. Drappier Champagne which was found in 1808 is one such house and we had the privilege of interacting and dining with the 7th generation scion, Mr Michel Drappier at the Drappier Dinner hosted by Hotel ITC Maratha.
Michel opened the evening with a Jeroboam (3 litre bottle) of the Grand Millesime Exception 2002, as a house they are always Pinot Forward to the extent of almost being a Blanc Des Noirs and this was no exception albeit with slightly lesser; 65% Pinot Noir. It certainly showed the strength. Mr. Philippe Charraudeau, VP West and General Manager of the hotel and Ms Sonal Holland the Wine Director for ITC hotels played perfect hosts as they ensured that our glass were topped up at all times.
Dum Pukht the Awadhi restaurant was all laid up for a 3 course meal to be paired with 4 more beauties from the house of Drappier. The choice of restaurant couldn’t have been more apt considering the affinity of mild and flavoursome Indian food for Champagne and to top it up the brand Dum Pukht celebrates 25 years of success. Drappier Blanc de Blancs made from Chardonnay and 5 % Pinot Blanc shows lovely freshness, was very light and crisp with vibrant acidity and it paired beautifully with Dudiya Kebab, potatoes sandwiched between paneer, shallow fried and finished with dum, Nilouferi kabab, an aromatic lotus stem seekh and the Hara Bhara Awadhi, a crumbly spinach and yellow lentil patty pan fried in ghee.
For mains the richness of the gravies with yoghurt, cashews and ghee was matched with the Drappier Charles de Gaulle edition, an 80 % Pinot which surprisingly was lighter than expected but fruity with higher residual sugar and good acidity. We would have loved to have this more as an aperitif. For the next course of floral and aromatic Awadhi Biryani was the 2010 Millesime Exception and this was our pick of the Blancs. It was a Pinot Noir dominant blend bursting with fruit; was fleshy and had a long finish.
Saving the best for the last held true in the case of Drappier Grand Sendree rose 2006 vintage which saw our perspective of rose Champagnes change completely; this was luscious and laden with red fruits, sweet spice on the palate and had a very opulent nose. Done by the Saignee method of making rose, this is one of the less 3% rose Champagnes made by this method and what made this glass or rather 2 of those exclusive was that it was one of the 4500 bottles from the vintage.
We wish the family-owned Drappier continues to flourish whilst Michel trains the next generations to take on the mantle!
P.S: Drappier is imported by Ace Beveragez- 011-40503560