BY CK Lam
I recently attended the Jean-Michel Cazes’ wine dinner at Macalister Mansion in Penang, and it had me experiencing some interesting whites and reds paired with culinary delicacies.
The evening organized by Asiaeuro saw the serving of five wines – Michel Lynch Bordeaux AC Blanc 2014, Chateau Villa Bel-Air J.M. Cazes Blanc 2013, Chateau Villa Bel-Air J.M. Cazes Rouge 2011, Domaine L’Ostal Cazes – Estibals (Minervois) 2013 and Roquette & Cazes Red Portugal 2013.
On hand to share the differences between each wine with the guests was Jean-Michel Cazes’ Managing Director, Jean-Baptiste Cheylac. Each wine was thoughtfully paired with each course, prepared by Executive Chef Johnson Wong.
Nothing is more refreshing than starting with a glass of Michel Lynch Bordeaux AC Blanc 2014 (a sauvignon blanc with tropical fruit aromas). The wine with freshness and strong acidity was paired with duck rillettes, amuse bouche, and dish of alaska crab served in gorgeous green matcha emulsion, with cauliflower and girolles.
Jean-Baptiste Cheylac attests to the appreciation for this wine: “30 years of making this wine has resulted with this wine distributed in 77 countries, served in top hotels and restaurants and also in many events, including the Malaysia Formula 1.”
The second white for the evening was from Chateau Villa Bel-Air, a vineyard which produces both white and red wines from the Graves appellation. The white Chateau Villa Bel-Air J.M. Cazes Blanc 2013 is a blended wine of sauvignon blanc and semillon, and has complex flavors and nice aroma due to its fermentation in oak barrel.
The wine was paired with the tuna carpaccio, highlighted by citrus, chili and hand-rolled cucumber.
The Chateau Villa Bel-Air J.M. Cazes Rouge 2011 is a full bodied red wine with a blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. It was a fine pairing with the Carbonara, a dish incorporating beef bacon, buckwheat and accented by charred onion.
The meaty course of wagyu beef with barley, soy reduction and crispy leek was paired with the Domaine L’Ostal Cazes – Estibals (Minervois) 2013. This red with a bronze disc on the label has a blend of grape varieties – 42% Syrah, 36% Carignan, 12% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre. Aged in French oak barrel for a year, the wine is smooth, with well-marked tannins and a touch of oakiness.
Being first timer to this red wine from the Minervois appellation, the approach is easy as the wine expresses lovely balance of roundness and sweetness.
A highlight for the evening was the Roquette & Cazes Red, Portugal 2013. It was lovely to see the pouring of this Portugal wine from the Quinta do Crasto, Douro Winery. Aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, it is a full bodied red wine with aroma of fresh wild fruits and silky round tannins. It was billed as a pairing with the dessert – black and white truffle but I found it taste better on its own as it has less capacity to pair with the rich chocolate dessert.
Overall, it was a wonderful wine dining experience, with everyone toasting and wishing each other – “A Votre Santé”. The Chateau Villa Bel-Air J.M. Cazes Rouge 2011 and the Domaine L’Ostal Cazes – Estibals (Minervois) 2013 really appealed to me and I will definitely keep an eye out for them in the future.
228 Macalister Road
Tel: 04-228 3888
* Many thanks to Asiaeuro for extending this invitation.