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”