DAVID MASSARELLA

Senior Private Client Specialist

What is your most memorable wine experience?

Hands down the duo of a vertical of d’Yquem back to ‘37 and Cheval Blanc back to ‘39 tasted on the same day at the respective châteaux … a back to back lunch and dinner I will never forget. Everything fell into place, the weather (glorious sunshine), the wines (I can’t remember a bad one), the company (the ever-charming Mr Pierre Lurton as well as clients and friends) and the fact I knew this may never happen again. We are spoilt in the wine trade, but this was on another level. I was there professionally and have been to Bordeaux many times, however it was hard not to get caught up in the excitement of the day – a kid in a sweet shop, a wine lover in paradise. If it can be repeated, I’d be on the first plane out there!

If you could choose any wine from the CV Top 100, what would it be and why?

Those who know me, they know I’m an Italophile at heart, searching for undiscovered gems as well as sourcing the already well known and trusted producers. Yet, having tasted, drank and enjoyed so many great Italian wines over the years, from Masseto to Marroneto, from Solaia to Sandrone, one wine has so far eluded me … 1985 Sassicia, a monumental wine which firmly stamped ‘Super Tuscans’ on the map. Yes it has 100 points, yes it’s on everyone’s bucket list and yes, finding ‘perfect’ bottles is tough – but the chance to drink this bottle is a quest I will forever be on. It carries special meaning for me both as a means to satiate my love of all things Italian but also due to the fact that 1985 is that of my birth. If you’re looking for birthday present ideas, look no further!

You’re throwing a dinner party and can invite anyone, dead or alive. Who do you invite and what would be your signature food and wine pairing?

Family and friends aside, as they are always the most fun and relaxed to be around, my ‘celebrity’ guests would be … first, Sir Alex Ferguson for his football wisdom and renowned wine collection. Second, the trio of Frankie Dettori, AP McCoy, and Ruby Walsh, representing the pinnacle of horse racing who seem full of stories and natural born entertainers. Next up, Anthony Bourdain, with his adventurous spirit and culinary expertise, brings a dash of worldly intrigue. His public persona as a globe-trotting chef and storyteller aligns with my appreciation for diverse cultures and cuisines. Lastly, Aretha Franklin, an unmatched force of nature, would bring musical razzmatazz. To drink, ‘96 DP Oenoteque, Monfortino 1990 and d’Yquem 1937 – all in magnum or multiples thereof. Maybe Sir Alex will even bring a bottle too. A seafood platter to start, Bistecca alla Fiorentina up next followed by copious amounts of cheese and simple Italian ice cream would be served before we all roll home with full bellies, stories to dine out on and a song in our ears!

STORIES FROM THE CHELSEA VINTNERS TEAM

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