Rajie, August 19, 2015

In Praise of Pinot

 “In Praise of Pinot” with Sanjay Menon

article by Praveen Krishnamurthy

Pinot Noir, the grape that epitomises elegance, grace, novelty and above all beauty. Tough to grow, tough to harvest but easily drinkable and liked by all. One of the harder grapes to make wine from, Pinot Noir, if made right can create a magical experience like no wine. Even more so from the Burgundy region in France that prides itself with producing this magical wine.

Terroir, The Madras Wine Club, was instrumental in arranging a wine dinner evening on 8th August at Crowne Plaza for its members to celebrate the phenomenon that is PINOT NOIR. Mr Sanjay Menon from San Sula took us on a special pinot noir journey through the famed regions in Burgundy highlighting the specialty of this grape.

3)Welcoming all -In praise of Pinot-8.8 (20)

Through this write up, it is my endeavour to showcase the wines of that evening along with some tasting notes that was compiled along with Sanjay during the evening.

Before we dive into the wines, it is only appropriate that we give an overview about Pinot Noir. As mentioned earlier, it is a tough grape to grow and very fickle to weather. It grows well in the cooler climes and this explains some of the regions that grow this grape. Though known for contributing to the wines in Burgundy and Champagne, other notable regions that grow the grape are Marlborough and Martinborough regions in New Zealand, Central Coast in California, Willamette Valley in Oregon, Yarra valley, Margaret River in Australia.

In Burgundy, through the French tradition of Terroir, Pinot Noir is grown extensively along with Gamay used in Beaujolais wine and Chardonnay used to produce Chablis. Burgundy is by far one of the highest AOC appellation dominated regions in France and unlike its famous cousin Bordeaux, the appellation was derived through centuries of production by monks and monasteries.

Amongst the sub regions, Cote D’or produces some of the most known and expensive burgundies in the world. Cote D’or itself is divided into two regions Cote de Nuit which almost exclusively produces only the red wine and Cote the beaune that produces some white wines along with the Red Wines.

5)Humour amidst wine-New memebrs intro

 

 

 

 

 

The wines

Having gained an overview about Pinot Noir, we will now explore the wines of the evening. The attempt here is to give a brief history about the wine along with some personal tasting notes of the author.

2013, Francois Labet ‘lle de beaute’ IGP Corsica.

Francois Labet Ile de Beaute 2012

The first wine we tasted was in fact not from Burgundy but from Corsica. Though closer to Italy, it is a French administered region. Ile de Beaute, literally translated as Island Beauty is the IGP appellation name given to this region and IGP itself expands as Indication Geographique Protegee which is the intermediate classification in the wine classification system of France.

This pinot noir true to its region had a little bit of everything. It displayed the trademark of pinot showing cherry, floral notes, the earthy spiceness of the Mediterranean and the tangy freshness of the Alpines. Overall a perfect start.

 

 

2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils Cotes de Nuits Villages

The most interesting thing about the house of Bouchard Pere and Fils is that they have been producing wines since 1731. Though it is no longer family owned, in 1995 the Champagne house Joseph Henriot acquired the company and its quality has risen as a consequence.

Today Bouchard is led by Stephane Follin Arbelet while the wines are made by Philippe Prost who has been with the company since 1978.

Coming into force in 1937 The villages appellation in cote de beaune refers to the 14 villages in the region from which it is grown.

My nose was filled with black cherry and licorice with a round mouth, character, good length on satin tannins and the wine maker recommends that the wine should be drunk in its youth to enjoy the freshness.

 Interesting Sorbet between courses2008 Domaine Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune du Chateau Premier Cru

Another illustrious wine from the house of Bouchard Pere and Fils, this time an older premier cru, the second highest classification below the Grand Cru. These wines are produced from pre defined single plots from the villages. These plots are known as climats.

A perfume filled bouquet filled with ripe red fruits, wood smoke and spicy notes lead into the palate with layered penetrating flavours and silky smooth texture. On the finish, the smooth spicy exit with the right touch of oak ensured I had a second fill to repeat the experience again.

1991 Domaine Bachelet Maranges 1er Cru La Fussiere

Situated in the southern end of Cote D’or The maranges region in burgundy consists of 170 hectares of villages and premier cru vineyards. 95% of the wine produced in this region is Red. The region itself is divided into 7 premier cru climats and we tasted the wines produced from the La Fussiere climat from the Premier Cru classification of Dezize.

The nose had a robust tones of red cherry, raspberry and matured wood. The palate is strong, mature with a firm but smooth finish leaving a tinge of Turkish delight and earthiness on the palate. A star premier cru.Polenta steak with Chilli Parmesan crisp served with Wild Mushroom Guazetto

1998 Domaine Bachelet Maranges 1er Cru La Fussiere

In no way inferior to the 1991, this wine once again displayed all the characters of the predecessor but the differentiator and the uniqueness coming from the taste which left a touch of Vanilla on the finish.

2000 Domaine Louis Latour Corton Grand Cru

Louis Latour 2000The final wine of the evening was the delightful Grand Cru from Corton in Cote de Beaune. Corton itself is the largest and only Grand Cru appellation of Cote de Beaune. This particular wine is from the climat of Clos du roi in the village of Aloxe-Corton.

The aroma immediately fills you with dark Cherry and ripe berries with hints of rustic earthiness. Medium to full bodied on the palate with silky mature tannins the taste reveals full power of the fruits and integrated oak with a balanced and full finish.

This brings us to the end of this terroir event. Overall it was an enjoyable evening and of course a special mention about the food during the evening which was spectacular to say the least and paired extremely well with the wines.

My pick of the evening was the Heart of Palm and the squash and walnut Ravioli.

 

 

Rajie, August 18, 2015

Louis Latour Corton 2000

Louis Latour 2000

Louis Latour Corton 2000

Grape Type : Pinot Noir

With a deep red-brick colour this wine has a very aromatic bouquet of gamey , earthy notes with  dark cherry. Full bodied in the mouth revealing smooth tannins this Corton would be a perfect match  for all game  dishes or equally with a chocolate dessert.

Food pairing : beef bourguignon , mature cheeses

A very good wine

Serving temp : 16 – 17 deg

Notes: Tasting notes by Arijeet

 

Rajie, August 18, 2015

Beaune du Chateau Premier Cru 2008

Grape Type : Pinot Noir

This Premier Cru is eye catching with a sparkling, translucent, ruby red color. This Burgundy offers up more than eye appeal: Its fragrant aroma haunts the senses. A bouquet resplendent with the perfume of ripe red fruits, peat, graphite, deft touches of hickory nut, wood smoke and Asian spices tantalizes the olfactory. Layered, penetrating flavors add depth to this harmonious Pinot Noir, as silky, textured flavors work their magic in the mouth. And on the finish, the wine’s pleasantly smooth, spicy exit, replete with just the right touch of oak.

Food Pairing: meat dishes in white sauce, grilled poultry

Notes: In Praise of Pinot- Tasting notes by Arijeet 

Rajie, August 18, 2015

Francois Labet Ile de Beaute 2013

Francois Labet Ile de Beaute 2012

Grape Type : Pinot Noir

Country of Orgin : France

Red, Dry, Medium Bodied

Tasting Notes : Ripe fresh fruit notes and balanced acidity

The fruit is fresh and silky with notes of strawberry and raspberries.

A hint of underbrush and violets add depth and complexity.

Food pairing : Veal, Pork, Rich fish (salmon,tuna…) Chicken

Notes: Tasting notes by Arijeet

Rajie, August 17, 2015

“In Praise of Pinot” with wine expert Sanjay Menon

Wine connoisseur Sanjay MenonIn Praise of Pinot event in Indulge

An unforgettable evening with Wine expert Sanjay Menon at Crowne Plaza on 8th Aug 2015. Press coverage in The Hindu and Indian Express.

Everyone present agreed that it was one of the best events of Terroir in the recent past. We had some delicious dishes specially prepared by the Chefs of Crowne Plaza to go with each one of the exquisite 6 Pinot Noir wines.

2013 Francois Labet ‘Ile de Beaute’ IGP Corsica Pinot Noir ; 2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils Cote De Nuits-Villages ; 2008 Domaine Bouchard Pere & Fils ‘Beaune du Chateau’ Premier Cru ;

 

 

6 Pinot Noir winesi

1998 Bachelet Maranges 1er Cru La Fussiere ; 1991  Bachelet Maranges 1er Cru La Fussiere ; 2000 Domaine Louis Latour Corton Grand Cru

Interesting Sorbet between coursesPolenta steak with Chilli Parmesan crisp served with Wild Mushroom Guazetto

Dish of the evening “Polenta steak with Chilli Parmesan crisp served with Wild Mushroom Guazetto” paired with the wine of the evening “2000 Domaine Louis Latour Corton Grand Cru”

 

Rajie, April 23, 2015

SOMM-movie night

SOMM-Movie night

SOMM-Movie night

SOMM-movie night

SOMM-movie night

SOMM was an eye opener to Terroir members.

The members of Terroir and their guests got a good measure of what it takes to be a connoisseur of wine through a film. In the first event organised this year-2015, a documentary film titled SOMM, made by Jason Wise , which tracks the mammoth effort to crack the Master Sommelier Exam was screened at the Hyatt Regency on April 11th as part of it’s agenda to raise consciousness among members and guests.

The movie offers a ring side view on what goes on in the lives of those who aspire to pass the Master Sommelier Exam.

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Madhu, September 13, 2012

French Wine & Fine Dining at Vintage Bank, Hilton, Chennai

I have been a member of Terroir, the Wine Club in Chennai, for a couple of years. Terroir facilitates many events in a year. I must confess that although I love the wine (most of the time) at the Terroir events, being a foodie, it’s usually the Cuisine that holds the pull for the events.

Earlier this week, there was a Terroir mail about wine tasting event being hosted by the Hilton in Chennai, featuring Wines from the Maison Louis Jadot vineyards in Burgundy France. The mail mentioned that there were ‘limited’ invites, I confirmed my attendance within seconds of receiving the mail.
The event was to be held at the ‘Vintage Bank’ at the Hilton Chennai. I was greeted by the General manager of Hilton, Mr Roger Brantsma and his wife and a glass of bubbly. It was my first visit to the Vintage Bank and I was very impressed with the ambience, wood and leather, a typically plush European feel of the place. There was live music (which was excellent).

We were soon joined by the other members of Terroir. The wines were presented by a one Mr. Olivier Masmondet from Louis Jadot, who himself is a Sommelier. Incidentally he was the youngest Master Sommelier in France and before taking up upper level corporate responsibility he had been Sommelier in 3 Michelin star restaurants in Paris. He took us through the History and Viniculture in Burgundy. He also gave us a brief introduction about the wines. I have written a separate blog post about the wine(which you could click the link to go to the posts). Each of the wines were paired with different courses of food in typically French Cuisine.

The First Wine of the Evening was the Maison Louis JadotChablis 2010. This wine was accompanied by an Entrée of three dishes…

The first was Grilled Scallop, sweet Chilli and Crème Fraiche (which in French literally means ‘fresh cream’, but is actually sour cream, soured by bacterial fermentation.) The next was called the ‘Sarson Mahi Tikka, mint coriander and Missi Roti, this was basically Seer fish marinated in Mustard, served with Mint and Coriander Chutney, along with an ‘idli’ sized Missi roti. I have tasted this combination for the first time and loved it! Especially the mustard marinating of the fish. The third dish was Tartlet of smoked Vegetables, Genovese and Goat Cheese. All three dishes complemented the Wine and did indeed make me Smile 😉

The Second wine of the evening was Chassagne- Montrachetpremier cru Morgeot 2004 Vintage. This Brilliantly well defined wine was accompanied by three more dishes.

The first was Smoked Salmon over a tiny Dill scone, along with some Horse radish cream. The salmon was exquisite and quite possibly one of the best dishes of the evening. Next was a Chicken and Asparagus Roulade (Roulade originates from the French word ‘Roule’ which means Roll, this is typically a dish where some form of meat is rolled over a filling, which is either a meat or a vegetable; in this case Chicken was rolled over an asparagus stub). This was a little too bland for my liking probably because I tend to mentally link asparagus to the ‘healthy’ soups I force myself on. The third dish was Corn Cakes served with Tomato Pepper relish; basically a mixture of Corn and flour cutlet served with a relish and was pretty tasty. An excellent idea, I thought, for a quick snack that can be made at home.

From the Whites we moved on to the Reds, the first Red of the evening being the Maison Louis Jadot Chateaux de Jacques Moulin-a-Vent 2008vintage, which was a Gamet.

This wine was accompanied by another triplet of delectable looking dishes. The first being Grilled Tenderloin Cutlet, the second, Salsa Verde Croutes, which basically was a Grilled tenderloin Cutlet served on a piece of round bread along with some salsa. The Cutlet was well made. The Pork sausage wrapped with Oak smoked Bacon. This was another winner. The Bacon was heavenly and along with the sausage and the wine was a match made in heaven. The third dish was an Aubergine Caviar Crostini, which basically tasted like Aubergine blended and shredded served on a small toast. It tasted strictly ok, but it was up against the bacon which was a hands down winner.

The Second red of the evening was a Pinot Noir, Maison LouisJadot Pommard 2007 Vintage. This Wine was paired with the following three dishes.

The first was a Beef Skewer glazed with Sesame and Soy, which was skewered just right and tasted succulent. The next was a Pan seared Duck with sage Jus. I must confess that after weeks of watching masterchef, I had been looking forward to some duck meat and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. The Pan seared duck was delicious and blended well with the Sage Jus (which was basically a reduced combination of Chicken stock, sage, shallots and pepper). The third dish was called the Bharwan Dingri, Feta and Safron Nan, which I guess was the Chef’s attempt at providing a fusion experience to go along with the predominantly European fare. This was basically Mushroom stuffed with Feta cheese and served along with a small saffron flavoured Nan. This was interesting and good.

The third red of the evening was another Pinot Noir from Burgundy, called Maison Louis Jadot Gevrey Chambertin premier Cru ‘LesCazetiers’ 2004 Vintage. This was another brilliant smooth wine accompanied by another triplet platter.

The First Dish of the platter was Grilled lamb Chops serve with Mushroom Jus. Lamb Chops are always on the top of my favourite picks at most five star properties because of the quality of the lamb, which they import. This particular dish also was definitely an imported New Zealand lamb, cooked to perfection and went well with the Mushroom and the Pinot Noir. Another Winner!!. The next Dish was Roasted Chicken served with Olive tapenade, this was a little too bland, and maybe because anything after lamb chops is always a let down I guess. The third dish was a Potato and Carrot Roesti served with Sour Cream, palatable if you are vegetarian. For me it was another helping of Lamb Chops please !!

Roast Chicken, Baguette, Olive Tapenade (Foreground), Potato and Carot Roesti with Sour cream (Left Back ground), Grilled lamb Chops, Mushroom jus (Right background)
Next came the cheese Platter with three cheeses 1. Manchego (Spanish origin cheese made from the milk of the Manchega sheep of the La mancha Valley. This was a firm and compact cheese), a little too hard for me. 2. Emmenthal : which is a swiss cheese from the emme Valley. It has the big ‘holes’ that we associate with the Swiss cheeses. This was also a firm to hard cheese. 3. Gorgonzola : The Italian blue cheese, which was my definite favourite, with its buttery consistency and a salty taste . This was accompanied by a fruit paste.

The Finale of the evening was the Bitter Chocolate truffle, which was literally a melt-in-your-mouth ball of sin. Thankfully it was served on a huge platter and the waiter carried it around from one table to another, lest it had parked in out table, it would have been wolfed down in a jiffy completely and regretfully considering my long drawn love-hate relationship with the weighing scale usually the morning after.

Bitter Chocolate Truffle
By the time the evening ended most of us were on the floor jiving to some peppy music by the house band. Olivier confessed that it was one of the best tasting he had attended with a lively and vibrant bunch.

On a final note I must compliment the Executive Chef at the Hilton Chef Daniel Leah, who demonstrated his wonderful culinary skills along with the rest of his team. Also the resident Sommelier of Hilton ,Ashlin Moses, though he played second fiddle to Olivier on this evening he made sure that the Hospitality was impeccable. Finally Roger Bantsma, the general manager for having conceived a fine symphony of good wine, great ambience, excellent food and impeccable service.

I would strongly recommend the Vintage bank for the ambience and the excellent selection of wines and the Hilton Chennai for its quality of food and Service.

admin, January 17, 2012

Party Whirl

Coverage on Deccan Chronicle

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admin, July 22, 2011

Four Seasons

Location: Chennai
Date & Time: Thursday, September 3, 2009 – 15:02

Terroir – Madras Wine Club organised its fourth event since its inauguration in Jan 2009 with a tasting of UB’s Four Seasons range of wines held at the fashionable pub of Chennai called 10 Downing street on the 3rd September 2009.

Mr Abhay Kewadkar, the chief wine maker and Business Head of the UB Wine division was present at the event attended by about 30 members of Terroir.

The event started with the tasting of UB’s Sparkling Wine from the Bouvet Ladubay range – Bouvet Ladubay BRUT, one of the prestigious Loire valley sparkling wine producers which was bought by UB a few years back.

While the members were sipping the BRUT and making their palate ready and fresh to taste the Four Seasons range, Mr Abhay Kewadkar gave a brief talk on the Bouvet Ladubay range and then introduced the members to the Four Seasons range of wines made at their Baramati winery. The five varietals of Four Seasons wines launched this year all over India – Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Blush Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

The Chenin Blanc was an instant hit with the members of the Terroir compared
to the Sauvignon Blanc. The reds were soft and easy drinking too without too much of tannins. A few members preferred the white wines over than the red ones and there was a comment from one of the members that India needs a few more years to experiment and come out with a good red wine. Mr Kewadkar emphasised that Four Seasons range of wines are simple wines which are light in body and have low alcohol content. He also pointed out the “ herbaceous” character of the wines.

Some members did like both the reds and I personally liked the Shiraz and all the members agreed that this vintage happens to be the first vintage from Four Seasons and we were all very confident that their wines will improve with every vintage with the able guidance of Mr Abhay Kewadkar who is right now India’s only well known “ Indian” winemaker and we should all be proud about that.

Mr Kewadkar answered the questions of some members about the winemaking process in Baramati winery and also shared with us Dr Vijay Mallya’s preference when it comes to Wines. The snacks offered by 10 Downing Street was a good accompaniment to the wines tasted.

Terroir was proud to have the first tasting of Indian wines from the Four Seasons range after having organised a few tastings of Imported wines from the old and new worlds. We look forward to organise such tastings to promote and popularise wines “ Made in India”. Mera Bharath Mahan!

Chinmaya Arjun Raja

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admin, July 22, 2011

An Evening with Steven Spurrier in Chennai

Location:
Chennai
Date & Time:
Thursday, April 8, 2010 – 19:30

Right: Steven Spurrier with the Terroir Chronicle 2009

Talk about shattering preconceptions about wine. “Steven Spurrier’s take on the current wine scenario is that the French are drinking less wine, the Chinese can’t get enough and that India is the next big market,” writes Parvathi Nayar. The setting was the wine dinner held at the Sheraton Park, Chennai.

Right: Steven Spurrier with the Terroir Chronicle 2009.

Mr Spurrier’s myth-shattering persona is famous – he was responsible for the 1976 blind tasting competition, “The Judgement of Paris” which made the world sit up and take notice of Californian wines. The story was given the Hollywood treatment in the Alan Rickman starrer, “Bottle Shock”. Interestingly enough, a screening of Bottle Shock paired with wines, was one of the activities that Terroir members enjoyed last year.

Quite appropriate then, that Terroir’s 10th event was an evening with Mr Spurrier himself. Today, Mr Spurrier is Chairman, Board of Wine Advisors, Wine Society of India, as well as consultant editor to Decanter and director of Christie’s wine course among other wine-related activities.

The evening’s liquid refreshments opened with a sparkle, an Italian Ti Amo Prosecco. Mr Spurrier recalled how, in Italy, his preferred mid-morning drink was always a glass of Ombra Prosecco; adding, his choice of beverage was influenced by the knowledge that you risk being labelled an ignorant tourist if you ask for a cappuccino any time after 10 am.

Our caviste for the evening declared the first wine served with dinner, the 2005 Maison Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay 2005 from Burgundy to be “perfect”, from its balanced structure and fresh fruit aromas to how it had been stored. However, the crowd pleaser of the evening was probably the 2004 Joseph Phelps Sonoma Napa Chardonnay. Spurrier commented on the richness of the wine and pointed out how “the higher alcohol content in this wine does make the wine bigger.”

Diners were duly appreciative of the selection of wines over the evening. Terroir member Salony Kane, for instance, noted, “The two reds tasted were both wonderful representations of the stylistic traditions of their regions. The Stag’s Leap Artemis showed vivacious zest and elegance whereas the 97 St Estephe was mature and subtle.”

Mr Spurrier was happy to share his knowledge, and his expertise publicly with the assembled guests, and more privately in one-on-one conversations, where he took time to answer specific questions. He explained, for example, exactly why 2009 was an extraordinary year for wine in France.

“The reasons were because the flowering and fruit-set was early, at the beginning of June with sunny and relatively dry weather, so that there was no loss of buds; the ripening was complete, thanks to hot weather and just the rainfall needed in August and September. The grapes were in perfect condition in the final ripening stages in late September/early October and the vintage took place during unusually dry conditions.”

Good conversations and legendary company, the Steven Spurrier evening was a memorable occasion – and a sign of many more such good vintages to come for wine lovers in Chennai.


Left: Founding members of the Terroir Madras Wine Club

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