Cheshire Life Champagne Oscars preview
We reveal the winner of this year's coveted Cheshire Life-Alderley Edge Hotel Champagne Oscar
Louis Roederer, the Grande Marque owned by the same family since 1776, has emerged as this year’s winner of the Cheshire Life-Alderley Edge Hotel Champagne Oscar.The coveted trophy will be presented at a ceremony at one of the county’s top social events over a gourmet dinner in the hotel’s Laurent Perrier Suite on December 2nd. The glamorous annual event is regarded as serious business by Champagne producers and Louis Roederer’s senior ambassadors will be joining local celebrities to receive the magnificent silver and gilt trophy, hand crafted by Warris & Company of Sheffield, the silversmiths entrusted with the FA Cup.Louis Roederer proved a worthy winner in every respect among judges led by Alderley Edge Hotel general manager Ahmet Kurcer along with writer and broadcaster John Stalker, former deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester, entrepreneur Max Essayan, the Alderley Edge’s wine consultant Harold Lievesley, David Garlick of wine company D&D International and Ray King, Cheshire Life’s food and wine writer. Louise Allen-Taylor, Cheshire Life’s editor, was unable to attend.The Louis Roederer style derives its richness from the dominance of pinot noir in the blend and the generous proportion of aged reserve wines tempers the fresh fruitiness of youth with elegant maturity. The jewel of the house is Cristal, created in 1876 for Tsar Alexander II of Russia and still one of the most celebrated of all prestige cuv�es. The panel toasted Roederer’s triumph with flutes of the marque’s 2003 vintage, showing elegance, fabulous richness and generous fruit characteristics. Judging was followed by a superb lunch for which the Alderley Restaurant’s head chef Chris Holland and his brigade demonstrated a kitchen at the absolute top of its form. The well deserved recent award of a third AA Rosette places the restaurant among the nation’s top ten per cent.A stunning collation of English Dover sole with razor clams and lobster with lobster oil powder and air was followed by sous-vide squab pigeon, roasted sweetbreads, seared foie gras and hibiscus sorbet which offered a fantastic array of complementary flavours. The fish course brought a delicate carpaccio of hand-dived scallop partnered with Scottish langoustine and exquisite brown crab and shrimp beignet, while the main course featured melt-in-the-mouth fillet of English rose veal with slow braised ox cheek, hot carrot panna cotta, peas and Iberico ham. Baked crotin of goat’s cheese with parmesan wafers, smoked raisins and watercress provided a wonderfully innovative cheese course ahead of the dazzling dessert finale of slow cooked peaches, textures of summer Pimm’s and crystallised garden mint.The accompanying wines not only illustrated the breadth and quality of the Alderley Edge’s cellar but also the resident skill in matching wines with food. Fine Burgundy, Louis Latour Meursault 2004 accompanied the sole; a 27-year-old honeyed and still fresh Riesling Auslese 1983 from the Rheingau was perfect with the squab; zingy Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2007 matched the scallop; silky, rich Chilean Amayna Pinot Noir 2005 was marvellous with the veal and De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon, a textbook Aussie sweetie, complemented dessert.Roll out the red carpet.