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Goustevin Scotland Newspage
Obituary ~ Marcus David Theodore Fyfe
Marcus Fyfe

Goustevin Scotland is sad to note the passing of Chevalier Marcus Fyfe who died earlier this year on 5 January 2015. The following obituary was written by Peter Henderson, retired Director Wine Importers Edinburgh. Based in Leith, Marcus was an occasional attendee at Goustevin events, enjoying those he came to as well as the camaraderie he found among members in Inverness.

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After almost forty years in the wine trade, Marcus spent his retirement living in Leith  keeping in touch with family, relatives and friends around the world. He also enjoyed cooking,  languages  and, of course, receiving Harpers, Decanter and other wine publications. 

Marcus  was born in Devon and had an older sister Mariella and a younger surviving sister, Miranda.  When still a youngster his father was posted by the Foreign Office for a few years  to do some special work in the north of Italy, a time which Marcus could recall. I was always amazed by Marcus’s wonderful memory. Throughout his life Marcus was very close to his sisters, their children and relatives.

Marcus’s first job was with Justerini & Brooks in London as an eighteen-year-old cellar boy. He then worked for another well known London wine merchant until he moved north to Lochgilphead around 1980 to be near his family home. Marcus’s wine shop in Lochgilphead and his product knowledge, which he was always willing to share, were great additions to the area.  Around 2000 Marcus moved to Edinburgh to be closer to Scottish and English tastings and to seek work. The London Wine Trade Fair was a must every year with a few days added on for visiting relatives and friends.  Marcus spent some very happy years with the enterprising Franco Margiotta, as wine buyer for Margiotta Convenience Stores in Edinburgh.  He was very popular with customers and staff, and enjoyed this period  enormously. It was a just reward for many years of honest service in the trade he loved.

Marcus’s knowledge of wines, spirits and beers built up through years of study, work, tastings and vineyard visits was second to none.  He was a member of the Under Forties Wine Trade Club which arranged trips for the younger trade employees to wine-growing  areas, with which over the years Marcus visited many countries and made many trade friends.  In the mid 1960’s Marcus had spent a very happy estage in the Margaux area, where he had helped an Englishman with his mobile bottling business.  He had a room in Margaux village in a pension which also housed the tiny local cinema.  Cinema and jazz were two of Marcus’s lifelong loves and he could break out in the Blues at will.  Marcus always enjoyed the contact with everyone connected to wine production, and there was nothing he enjoyed more than dining amongst the locals at a café or restaurant in vineyard areas,  always accompanied by the house carafe wine.

For those of you who knew Marcus, you will remember his lovely manners and sure delivery of his presentations, with any questions answered honestly and expertly.  Marcus enjoyed enormously his trips to Inverness, treasuring the wonderful  hospitality, fun and  knowledge he was shown by members and friends. Marcus passed away on 5 January 2015

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Obituary ~ Alasdair Mackay
International Recognition for Nicol

Twice yearly, the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin brings together to the iconic Chateau du Clos Vougeot a jury consisting of more than 250 tasters selected from the elite of connoisseurs and discriminating palates: famous wine-growers, great merchants, heads of viticultural unions, wine-brokers, oenologists, government officials from the government's office, restaurant owners, and enlightened amateurs. This panel is accompanied by officials and journalists acting as witnesses.The organisers from the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin confine themselves to organisation and do not taste, thus remaining neutral.

Twenty or so wines per table are presented anonymously, that is without the name of the grower, merchant or cooperative, are put through this hard test for about two hours. The questions that the jury must answer are precise: "Is this wine worthy of the appellation and the vintage on its label? Is it genuinely representative? In a word, is it a wine I would be pleased to have in my cellar and proud to serve to a friend?" The verdict is without appeal.

In March this year, Inverness Hotelier-Restaurateur Nicol Manson OBE was invited to be one of the select tasters when the table to which he was allocated tasted a range of Appellations of White Burgundies of the 2012 and 2011 vintages from the Chablis area. Of 15 wines tasted three were granted the coveted Chevalier du Tastevin label of approval and one received a “Coup de Coeur” – an exceptional wine in its appellation.

Nicol said “It was a great honour and a wonderful experience to be invited to this prestigious event as a judge” and Gosutevin Scotland adds its congratulations for such a well deserved recognition.

Co-incidentally and concurrently there was another very large tasting (“Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne) the day prior which is a week of tasting throughout the Burgundy wine region attended by wine sommeliers, brokers and journalists. Nicol also obtained an invitation to this event when, in one afternoon, he tasted 50 Grand Cru wines of the 2012 (red as well as white) from the world famous Appellation “Corton”. These fabulous wines tend to start around £40 per bottle and, at this stage, are for safekeeping and maturing although some are already very approachable.

 

40 Years of History

It was in the Grotto at Dieppedale near Rouen, on the 17th March 1973, that Nicol Manson was inducted as an Ecuyer of the Confrerie known in these days as "La Confrerie des Compagnons Haut-Normands du Goustevin". This started a 40 year association with the Confrerie in which Nicol has made many close friends with whom he remains in regular communication. His closest friend in the fraternity is Michel Goulon who, along with the late Grand Connetable Pierre Juban, initiated the setting up of a Consulat in Inverness in May 1977 which later became an Embassy on 6th October 2001.

It was later in the same year, 1973, that Nicol and his wife Beverley laid to rest, in the wondrous vineyard of Corton Clos du Roi in Burgundy, the ashes of George Grahame (l'Ecossais-Bourguignon - the Scottish Burgundian) who introduced Nicol to the region in 1967 by taking him to Burgundy for the first time. Burgundy, its wine and its people became a lifelong passion for Nicol where he has many close friends and wine contacts.George Grahame was for many years the representative for the Highlands of highly regarded wine merchants J G Thomson & Co, The Vaults, Leith.

Co-incidentally, a strong connection with this sadly now defunct company is that the Scottish Embassy have in their membership the former Sales Director of J G Thomson - Chevalier David McAllister and Baron Angus Meldrum who held various posts including Managing Director.

It was a complete coincidence that it is the 40th anniversary of that laying to rest ceremony that Nicol and Beverley recently visited and paid homage at Corton Clos du Roi with local photographer and dear friend, Jean Louis Bernuy.

Obituary ~ Edward Campbell Stott

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my brother-in-law,member Ecuyer Ed Stott (60), who died on 3rd January 2012 of pancreatic cancer. Ed, who was inducted Ecuyer at our Grand Chapter in Inverness in 2004, lived in Surrey with his wife Maggie. He was an enthusiastic supporter for several years before his induction and attended Inverness Grand Chapters with Maggie whenever possible.

Ed was an Epicurean of some considerable experience. This was gained through curiosity, a thirst for knowledge and an adventurous palate as well as travel to parts of many countries well away from the normal tourist routes. Taking early retirement as an engineering manager with British Gas he turned his lifetime hobby of very fine Oriental rug purchase, sales and renovation into a full time profession. He was considered an expert by his peers.

Ed enjoyed good wine, good company and good living to the full and equally embraced a pint of good ale, Guinness or a fine Scottish malt. He was something of an authority on the better ethnic restaurants in and around London as well as some of the top end Michelin starred. He spent many holidays in Normandy helping rebuild a community farmhouse near Cherbourg where he acquired a taste for French wines, foods and Calvados. He also enjoyed a good Armagnac. He had a liking for and appreciation of both rustic and fine dining and dined according to his mood. Blessed with a pauky sense of humour and a sharp dry wit he will be sadly missed by all his friends and family. Our sympathies and condolences go out to Maggie and his three grown up children of whom he was very proud.

Obituary ~Dr Judith Spenceley MBE

It is with great sadness we announce the untimely passing, after a short illness, of Dr Judith Spenceley MBE.
Judith, despite a busy professional life, had many interests of which wine was one of her great interests and enjoyments. A Past President of Inverness Wine Appreciation Society, Judith regularly attended Goustevin tastings and Chapters in Inverness with her husband Ecuyer Dr Howard Spenceley.
Her funeral had a huge attendance, representing her connections with many aspects of professional and social life in Inverness. She will be sadly missed by all who had the good fortune to know her. Sincere condolences are extended to Howard and his family.

Praise for Hugh Constable-Maxwell

Member Chevalier Hugh Constable-Maxwell owner the Val di Toro wine producing estate in Tuscany, Italy has received high praise indeed in Decanter Magazine for his white Tuscan "Auramaris". Hugh was inducted at the Grand Chapitre d'Inverness in 2009. To learn more about his wines or where to purchase, visit the Val di Toro website.

Obituary ~ Gaby Bernuy

The Confrerie is greatly saddened by the unexpected death of a dear friend and supporter Gaby Bernuy. Scottish Connetable & Ambassadeur Nicol Manson and his wife Beverley were able to get flights at short notice from Edinburgh to travel to France and attend his funeral with 1000 others, yes 1000, from his Nuits St Georges community and further afield. So great was the esteem in which he was held did a cousin travel all the way from Seattle just to be there! In addition to our Scottish representatives trade friends also travelled from Belgium.

Nicol and Beverley, good friends of Gaby and his family for over 40 years, were very touched to treated like close family. It was a moving and fitting service with beautiful musical and oral tributes from his third daughter Monique and her daughter Margot.The "wake" afterwards was tastefully animated and convivial just as Gaby would have wanted. "Good food, good wine and good company" (the motto of the Goustevin) - that's what Gaby enjoyed most in life and that's why he was inducted a member of our Confrerie in Aviemore Scotland in 1989.

Honour for Hotelier in Inverness

Many congratulations to Nicol Manson, who with his wife Beverly owns The Waterside Hotel in Inverness. Nicol was made an OBE in the New Year Honours for services to the tourist industry in Scotland. Nicol of course is our own Connetable & Ambassadeur en Ecosse. To read the original announcement in the "Press and Journal". Click Here.

Michelin Star Awarded

The Goustevin extends their warmest congratulations to previous Noble Dame d'Honneur Lady Claire MacDonald and her kitchen team on her Kinloch Lodge Hotel in Skye on gaining a coveted Michelin star.

 
-oOo-
 
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