BY CK Lam
Food and wine connoisseurs attending the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Wine Dinner at the Feringgi Grill at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa Penang had an enjoyable evening of fine indulgence.
The event co-organised by The Wine Shop Penang showcased some red and white wines from the prestigious label. Specially selected wines included the Haut de Smith Blanc 2012, Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2011, Petit Haut Lafitte 2010, Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge 2007 and Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge 1990.
It was a pleasure meeting David Ornon, the Commercial Director of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte. He did a general presentation of the chateau which is one of the leading estates in the Graves region.
“The red Bordeaux wine of Smith Haut Lafitte from the Pessac-Léognan appellation is aged in an average of 60% to 70% new, French oak barrels for between 16 to 18 months. On the other hand, the whites fermented in barrels are aged in 50% new French oak barrels for close to 12 months,” said Ornon.
David Ornon checking on the wines
The food pairings for the nine–course Continental menu was put together by Chef De Cuisine, Matthias Tretbar and his team.
The Brik Pastry Cigar made a nice start with simplicity of presentation – tomatoes, wafer-thin brik pastry cigar filled with whipped goat curd, vinegars and a dusting of olive. This dish packed an appetite with irresistible rich taste of goat’s milk and wonderful acidity of tomatoes.
The accompaniment of Haut de Smith Blanc 2012, an aromatic white wine with a long and fresh citrus finish brought out the best in both the food and the wine.
Haut de Smith Blanc 2012
Brik Pastry Cigar filled with whipped goat curd, vinegars and olive
The second pairing for the evening was the Quail with Truffle infused Cep Risotto with the Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2011. The Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2011 not only measured up to the pungently flavored dish but also elevated it to interesting heights.
Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2011
Chef Matthias is passionate about using produce in season and with the white asparagus in season, I was not surprised to see the serving of Caramelized White Asparagus Soup.
The creamy soup with the presence of dice salmon and caviar was paired with the Petit Haut Lafitte 2010. This red wine made with a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot was admired for its freshness and roundness.
I enjoyed a glass of Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge 2007 with the Lamb Chop, prepared with Dijon herb crust ratatouille and rosemary reduction. The lamb with a thin layer of fat was succulent and tender and pops with flavor with the nice distinct texture of the rosemary reduction.
This dish was surprisingly a good combination for the Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge 2007, a red wine with maturity, elegant balance and full of freshness in berries.
Lamb Chop was paired with Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge 2007
In between the meaty courses came the Raspberry Sorbet. Presented in a lovely ice bowl, the dish was a feast for the eyes.
Raspberry Sorbet in a lovely ice bowl
And finally, it was the bottle of Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge 1990, a lovely dark red wine with great character. Paired with the Beef Tenderloin, the meaty flavors of this pairing really won over the guests.
Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge 1990
Beef tenderloin done medium rare
For this dinner, Chef Matthias’s Chocolate Panna Cotta made for a lovely finish, not too sweet and perfect with a strong cup of coffee.
The seamless event ended with the wine lovers toasting to the good food and wine pairing experience.
Group photos credit: RSRS
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa
Batu Feringgi Beach
Tel: 04 888 8788
* Many thanks to Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa for extending this invitation.