If you’re looking for a light, refreshing, fruity and super easy-drinking Rosé this Summer, then you probably want to try a bottle of Lady A from Château La Coste. We spoke to Vincent Gasnier, the award-winning sommelier behind the luxury brand’s very own Rosé about the bottles heritage, ideal pairings and his impressive and illustrious career so far.
Tell us about your involvement with Lady A Rosé.
This summer, I will celebrate 20 years working with Soho House. It has been a long journey filled with several highlights and many exciting projects. One which stands out has been developing Lady A rosé over the past few years. Originally, as the team looked around the tables in our restaurants, we realized we didn’t have a unique rosé offering. I was tasked with creating a signature rosé dedicated to the membership community. It needed to be pale in colour, light, refreshing, citrus and crisp with the aim of creating something special. I knew the best place to achieve this would be with a special blend from the prominent rosé region of Provence, France working with the outstanding Château La Coste vineyard. We wanted to create our own blend and special label. It has ended up turning into an exciting project and the whole team has made it a unique product from the delightful label and packing on the outside, to what is uniquely discovered once opened on the inside that has a focus on friendship, food, and fun. It started as a wine exclusive to Soho House but has garnered such popularity we’re expanding to share it more widely.
What makes Lady A stand out from other Provençal rosés on the market?
There are many rosés available and even though consumption and popularity have skyrocketed, many people don’t view rosé as a serious wine, which in my opinion is off the mark. Lady A comes from a lovely region in Provence near Aix-en-Provence on a stunning estate, Château La Coste. The vineyard is a leading producer of rosé and never compromises on exceptional quality. La Coste’s wines are Biologic and they take particular care to cultivate the land to give authenticity to their wines and this was one of the aspects that made us so interested in working with them to create Lady A. Lady A has lovely crisp lingering flavours and can be drank on its own laying by the pool and can also hold its own while being enjoyed alongside a lobster at Cecconi’s. It is an incomparably diverse wine designed as a food wine, but also a thirst-quenching wine. The unique story behind the rosé, built on the fundamentals of community and quality, also makes it a one-of-a-kind on the market.
Tell us how about your relationship with Château La Coste?
We were looking to create a rosé that was suitable for our community which we could offer at a fair price without compromising quality. Château La Coste’s premium location in the heart of Provence which is known for its excellent rosé production is where we knew this would be possible. Together, we tried over 50 different blends of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault grapes at different quantities to get the masterpiece of Lady A. Through this lengthy and detailed process of elimination in order to get the right colour and taste, we worked very closely with the Château La Coste team who have become like family. Creating the perfect wine and especially rosé is a long, challenging, sometimes frustrating but mostly fantastic and exciting journey and having strong partners like those we have found in Château La Coste makes it possible to end up with something successful.
If you had to choose one meal/food to pair with a bottle of Lady A, what would it be?
My favourite pairing with Lady A is a spread of chargrilled seafood: sardines, squid, and lobster off the barbeque. I would also pair it with the setting of a sandy beach if that is available!
Can you talk to us about the stunning Lady A packaging?
Not every bottle of wine is designed with a story but Lady A’s has a fun one full of meaning. We worked with Château La Coste to create Lady A as something special for the Soho House membership community. The label is designed by prominent artist Damien Hirst for his good friend Markus Anderson, one of the founding team members of Soho House and depicts a ‘social butterfly’ – imprinting the artistic, inclusive yet discerning, personality the wine stands for.
Was there something that specifically led to you becoming a Master Sommelier at such a young age, was this always something you wanted to do?
I grew up in the Loire valley and spent my summers as a boy helping in the vineyards. From a young age, I saw the art of the winemaking process and the beauty in the differences of the grapes. Being surrounded by this definitely had an impact on me and what I would focus on pursuing in my future endeavours. I began working in hospitality for a catering company and trained as a professional waiter in France.
I started wine school at the age of 15 at Lycée Hotelier de Saumur, Loire Valley. When I graduated, I gain experience and worked in Paris for three years before moving to England. I started at Hotel du Vin and began entering competitions, earning the title of the UK’s Best Sommelier at age 22. From there I pursued Master Sommelier and was able to pass all 3 sections successfully in 1997. Working with wine has always been something that seemed natural to me, and it grew into something I wanted to do over time working with some incredible mentors including Gerard Basset, Robin Hutson and Philippe Bourguignon while I was working in Paris on Champs Elysees.
What do you most look forward to as restrictions ease?
I am excited to feel the buzz in our restaurants again and see them busy like they used to be. Being forced to shut down essentially overnight was very surreal and I am excited for people to get back to a new idea of normalcy and start having fun again. I think the past year has made people realise how important socialising is and to enjoy every moment while you can. I really look forward to welcoming everyone back into our restaurants safely to enjoy good food, wine, and company.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I hope to be a part of all the exciting projects and growth on the horizon with Soho House. I will also feel successful if I am still having as much fun as I am now, travelling, and drinking the best wine with even better people.