Five major Châteaux, 15 different wines. The Bordeaux Terroir Experience promised to be as educational as it was to be a deliciously decadent affair. Presented through a guided tasting by ambassadors of the prolific houses of Olivier, La Dominique, Ferrière, Phélan Ségur, and Grand-Puy-Lacoste, the master class held at Raffles Makati was in partnership with distributor Werdenberg International Corp, Manila.
Every Bordeaux-related topic under the sun was discussed from the producers, to the familial history behind each house, to the best vintages from each of the Châteaux, to the specificities (micro climates, soil types) of the region, and even the rare white hailing from the Château Olivier Pessac-Leognan. “But,” said Laurent Lebrun, General Manager of Château Olivier, “Cabernet Sauvignon is the king of grapes in Bordeaux.”
The very animated General Manager, Gwendeline Lucas of Château La Dominique’s had plenty to say but what was rather unique about La Dominique’s method was that the wine was kept in thermo regulated stainless steel vats rendering a distinct profile across their different offerings. From this house came Relais de la Dominique 2013, La Dominique 2013 and La Dominique 2011. “There’s a huge potential for our wines to age well due to the stainless steel,” shared Lucas.
For Château Phélan Ségur, Gaëtan de Corbier, Area Manager for Veyret Latour and a member of the l’Academie du Vin de Bordeaux represented in place of General Manager Véronique Dausse. Here, he highlighted the Phelan Segur 2011 through 2013 though, “The best vintages are 2009 and 2016, thanks to the perfect weather,” said de Corbier.
Presenting the Lacoste Borie 2013, Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2013 and Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2011 from the Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac was Sales Director, Emeline Borie, whose father bought the lush 90-hectare estate in 1978.
The lovely Brand Ambassador, Caroline Gossart of Château Ferrière spoke about the house’s more traditional approach to vinification. Two very special bottles, the Ferrière 2011 and 2013 were to be sampled and both were light and fresh and dangerously easy to imbibe – particularly the 2011.
The last of the five, Château Olivier Pessac-Leognan was represented by General Manager, Laurent Lebrun. Interestingly, Lebrun had with him a white wild card – the Dauphin d’Olivier Blanc 2013 as well as three reds: the Dauphin d’Olivier 2014; and Olivier 2011 and 2013. The impressive 60-hectare estate is home to some stellar bottles, all enjoyable in vastly different ways. Shared Lebrun, “Those vintages that aren’t in the limelight now can surprise you in a year’s time.”
After a fascinating two-hour long master class on Bordeaux, dinner was held in one of Mirèio’s private rooms – but not before Taittinger made its bubbly rounds at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant’s stunning alfresco Terrace Bar at Mirèio.
Diners sat down to a splendid five-course dinner prepared by Mirèio’s Chef de Cuisine, Nicolas Cegretin, which was paired with the best wines from the five star Châteaux of the evening.
To start, the Blue fin tuna tartar with shallots, capers and gherkins was paired with the Château Olivier Blanc Pessac-Leognan, Cru Classé de Graves 2014. As seafood tartars go, this was the right consistency and texture and beautifully complemented by the citrusy and acidic notes of this exquisite white.
The homemade chicken liver terrine was encrusted with herbs and aniseed, adding an acute zing to the already rich flavour profile. Peppery and rather dense, the fruity profile of the Château Olivier Rouge Pessac-Leognan, Cru Classé de Graves 2012 was a fanatastic partner to the terrine through and through.
Next up was the Château La Dominique Saint-Émilion, Grand Cru Classé 2012. Full-bodied and complex, thanks to it being a young wine, this sweet and silky hedonistic red amplified the stunning flavours and gamey texture of the pan-seared duck breast ‘Apicius’ with black truffle orzo pasta and medjool date chutney.
The heavier red meats of the fourth and main course, such as the pan-seared tenderloin and five-spice braised beef cheek with fennel (hands down the most memorable dish of the evening) did well to be paired with the Château Ferrière Margaux 3ème Grand Cru Classé 2012. Organically certified, this was a full-bodied blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc and its profile hinted boldly at blackcurrant, a bit of vanilla and even a tinge of wood. With its voluptuous and noticeable thick particles-in-the-mouth feel, the structured fruity finish, the second pairing came by way of the Château Phélan Ségur Saint-Estephe 2012 – another coup of the night.
For a savoury dessert, the generous wedge of the earthy Tomme d’Agour complemented by the apple compote and mesclun salad went down a treat with the somewhat spicy and dense black fruity note Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac, Grand Cru Classé 2012. A fantastic finish that was true to the Bordeaux experience.
All wines are distributed via the Werdenberg International Corp, Manila