Frederic Marti has the pleasure of being Director of Wines at the eclectic 45 Park Lane, which recently celebrated its 10th birthday with the launch of a brand new 10,000 square foot wellness space that is home to Park Lane’s longest swimming pool.
Frederic was born and raised in the south of France and is also a champion of small wine producers. Amongst his accolades, Frederic has judged for the Decanter World Wine Awards and been named one of the 10 best sommeliers in the UK. We spent some time with him talking all things wine at 45 Park Lane.
Describe how it feels to have the world’s only vertical line-up of Chateau Mouton Rothschild vintages dating from 1970 to 2015?
I feel privileged and really lucky to have this remarkable collection of wines as it took a lot of faith from my general manager John Scanlon who gave me his full support and trust to welcome these special bottles into CUT at 45 Park Lane. CUT at 45 Park Lane is the only restaurant in the world to have the full vertical line-up of Chateau Mouton Rothschild vintages and currently we hold one bottle from 1961 which is considered the best vintage they ever made.
At 45 Park Lane we are always looking for something unique that we can showcase to our guests who are very knowledgeable about wine and for us to proudly say you will not see this Mouton collection in any other restaurant on Earth is quite something. As a sommelier it is such a blessing and an honour.
Tell us about the importance of Chateau Mouton Rothschild in the wine world?
Mouton became legendary by being the only wines to manage a ticket into the first cru of Bordeaux in 1978, a classification first made in 1855 by Napoleon III and it now serves as an expression of quality and prestige worldwide. To be able to showcase the four best wines of the region of Bordeaux from this era was quite an impressive achievement. Being able to shake down this classification and enter the most established wines is such a tour de force and the only person capable of doing such was Baron Rothschild, who was a symbol of excellence and achievement, which for me represents the DNA of what we do at 45 Park Lane.
What is the very best vintage Chateau Mouton Rothschild ever made?
It is widely considered to be the 1961, however personally I would say any future release will be the best because they have such high standards so I am always intrigued by their latest release. So much wine making tradition and quality go into these incredible wines.
You are regarded as one of the best sommeliers in the UK. What are your top three tips in choosing a wine at a restaurant?
- Browse the wine list before to go to the restaurant and have an idea of what they serve
- Prepare questions on specific wines in advance to make the most of the restaurant’s sommelier
- Choose your restaurant by the wine not the food. If a restaurant has a good wine selection, the chances are the food will match.
What makes your wine collection at 45 Park Lane different to other Mayfair establishments?
This comes down to the relationships we build with the wineries and the wine makers, it is integral for us to have strong connections to not only Mouton but also with Sine Qua Non, Catena, Opus One, Palmer, to name a few. We work very closely with the wine makers to ensure we have the best wines that also have a story to tell, which is important to our guests.
What are your favourite wines outside France?
My favourite wine outside France would have to be a Brunello di Montalcino, Pian dell Orino, 2012 preferably in magnum, or any wine Wolfgang Puck sends us from Napa Valley. He has excellent taste and you can always trust he will select the most delicious wines.
What wine goes best with the new British Wagyu at CUT?
I would say the perfect pairing with Jamie Shear’s British Wagyu is a Ruinart Rose, 2007, which will give the perfect finesse and the harmonious complexity. I would also choose a Pinot Noir, 2008, from a wine maker in the sleepy Kentish village of Horsmonden.
What is your favourite wine and food pairing?
I love to pair Champagne with Japanese food, and orange wines with tapas.
We love sake. What is your favourite drink apart from wine?
I am a huge fan of cider and I recently discovered ‘Cidrerie du Vulcain’ from Switzerland. 45 Park Lane also serves the best Negronis in London, and bar manager Francesco Orefici always finds new ways of presenting this classic cocktail including a London Negroni using all British ingredients from Sacred Spirits based in Highgate, London.
To discover more about Fred’s wine lists at 45 Park Lane and the prized Chateau Mouton Rothschild collection, visit: dorchestercollection.com
All imagery courtesy of 45 Park Lane & The Dorchester Collection.
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