Sarment first opened to the public with its flagship store in Shanghai in 2012, aiming to provide the ultimate wine experience to its Chinese clients. Founded by Bertrand Faure Beaulieu whom started his career in banking and commodities world as well as a founding partner of numerous multinational companies, Bertrand reserved his greatest passion for wines for a deeply personal project to create Sarment in 2007 with offices in London and Hong Kong. The launch of its operations in Singapore, precedes expansion plans to Macau, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
What it aims to do, unlike any wine seller, is to provide bespoke wine connoisseur services to wine aficionados here in this region. Sarment aims to provide members around the world a sommelier service, and have continued the idea in Beijing, Shanghai, Cheng Du, Suzhou and Hong Kong. The office in Singapore serves as a hub for South East Asian countries mainly Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, in addition to Singapore being a mature market for the region.
What is the difference between a wine maker and a wine merchant ? Quentin Chiarugi, Managing Director of Sarment Singapore gently explained that Sarment is more than just a wine seller. A past practice of wine makers routinely making vineyard rounds of wine testings before bringing the wines back to London is something that Sarment aims to re-create. This authentic personal engagement brings attention first and foremost to the quality of wine, then people behind the wine, and efforts are placed to make these bottles accessible through careful pricing.
But in order to bring this to large number of people, one needs to be entrusted, with an interest to learn about the wine.
That is why Sarment has wine directors available and through its membership program enhances wine drinking as part of lifestyle, especially in Asia. Other services such as special wine dinners with gourmet chefs and restaurants such as Tippling Club, Sommelier service, vineyard trips and tie-ins with Spas, Hotels and luxury Yachting services. Julien Drevon, Sarment Sommelier, also made subtle references that Sarment’s wine collection is not tied to the style of cuisine as in any Michelin star restaurant, but to the taste preferences of the individual members.
Another service Sarment aims to bring to Singapore members in the next 12-18 months is ‘Prive’, or private in French where wine experience is elevated to another level such as representing discerning members at wine auctions, to quote an example.
Sarment shows commitment to wine quality be it boutique wines from established vineyards that have been operating for several generations, to a 23 year-old DIY talent scouted through a network of chefs and sommeliers in France.
Membership in Sarment is granted though the first order, with a welcome pack & membership card and thereafter a careful analysis of members’ taste profile is noted. Quentin emphasized that segregation is not based on monetary prowess but on enthusiasm ! This certainly calls for the occasion to raise a glass of bubbly !
Sarment has already garnered 120 members in Singapore, with a team is made up of experienced noses in the industry whom tirelessly scour the earth to discover new wines. It is the wine directors’ and sommeliers’ prerogative to know the folks behind the wine, their stories behind the vineyard, even to the extent of locking themselves up to taste samples of Bordeaux early in the morning for days so as to make the best and quickest recommendation on which wines to procure for members’ enjoyment.
With qualified wine directors speaking English, Cantonese, even Japanese, and with wide range of wines from South Africa to Lebanon, Sarment pays attention to the wine makers of tomorrow and its dedication extends to investing in the logistics in wine cellars and transport trucks to make sure members’ wine arrive in Singapore in pristine condition.
One might ask if Sarment draws the attention away from traditional spirit drinkers. On the contrary Sarment works with spirit drinkers on a complimentary mode such as a arranging a tasting of a rare 1848 cognac with only 75 bottles available worldwide. Needless to say that with only 2 bottles are for sale, Sarment managed to purchase one bottle for a private client, with the remaining bottle procured by an interested party in Myanmar.
One does not get a better service from Sarment, likened to admiring the rare elegant stem of a champagne glass, and slowly savoured.
Tastings offered by Sarment includes :
Hommage – Aÿ Grand Cru
Fruit and flowers from the Coteaux of Aÿ – vinified 6 months in stainless steel vats, then matured in little oak barrels. Unique in the Champagne Region,homage to the family ancestor, François Hémart – Ay 1625. To the eye, the deep, amber-tinted colour is a mark of its raising process. Fine and generous bubbles form an attractive and constantly renewed bubble trail. To the nose, elegance and freshness of honeysuckle, yellow fruit and green almonds with a pleasant dash of mint. To the palate, great elegance, round and delectable, savours of pear with yellow fruit and dried apricots, finishing on orange zest and chocolate. A subtle balance between the smooth meatiness of this wine and the chalky, fresh notes in its finish.
In Julien Drevon’s words, Sarment Sommelier, this champagne easy to drink, yet classy and sophisticated !
Staete Landt ‘Annabel’ Sauvignon Blanc
When Abel Tasman first landed in New Zealand back in 1642, the name he gave to his discovery was “Staete Landt”. More than 350 years on, Staete Landt is the realisation of the lifelong dream of Dutch owners Ruud Maasdam and his wife to make great wine. Acquired in 1997, it produces single-vineyard, handmade wines with a strong commitment to quality and sustainability. Consistently gaining great accolades and awards from around the world for their Marlborough classics, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, they represent the very best of Marlborough and their passion for wine-making is contagious.
Fraser Gallop Estate 2012 Cabernet Merlot
81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. This Cabernet Merlot is a wine that has greater freshness from short barrel maturation and good concentration of flavour that comes naturally from dry grown Cabernet Sauvignon. The blending of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot has been proven in Margaret River’s short history and elsewhere, such as Bordeaux where the blend originated. The varieties work so well because structural tannins of Cabernet are tamed by the inherent mid-palate richness and softness of the Merlot grape. An attractive looking wine in the glass with bright crimson and ruby red hues with good density of colour. This wine has a bright aroma of dusty blackcurrants, plums and some violet floral notes coming through.