Vue De Monde, wine tutorial with SIA – a selection from Shannon Bennett’s empire (part 2)
[Vue de Monde]
Where: lvl55, Rialto Towers, Melbourne CBD.
Contact: 03 9691 3888
When: Dinner from 6pm daily. Lunch 12pm-4pm (Thu-Sun)
This first part follows on from my first contact with the team behind Singapore Airlines – behind the scenes of SIA’s first class menu. This second instalment (almost one year in the making – See MsIhua’s timely coverage) brings spotlight on the world-class wine experience on board SIA, with an exclusive wine tutorial with wine consultant Michael Hill. The venue and food would be by Vue de Monde naturally. (P.S. all wines tasted would have been available on board SIA at the time.)
Our slothful lunch began with a tipple of 2004 Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon and Krug Grande Cuvée NV. These iconic numbers are routinely served on board first class. I personally preferred the rounded savoury noted of the former. After a little chit-chat we promptly (eagerly) turned the page to begin our indulgence first with the white wine selection.
White #1 New Zealand’s 2013 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc being quite a young wine brought with it a nose of intense zing and freshness, lingering with a beautiful creaminess and herbaceous acidity – a great summer time tipple. White #2 2010 Weinhause Ress Riesling would be my favourite of the three whites, with just the perfect balance of fruity acid and sugar, and a distinct lime and green apple aroma. White #3 2007 William Fèvre Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons – sampling a chardonnay from one of the most esteemed vineyards from northern Burgandy was pure pleasure with its well-developed character of fruit, oak and mineral. There are on average only 500 cases made a year.
|White wines [Tasting notes, courtesy of SIA]2013 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand)
Cloudy Bay is arguably New Zealand’s most famous winery. Since its first vintage in 1986, Cloudy Bay has excited wine drinkers over with its racy freshness and zingy flavours.
2010 Weinhause Ress Riesling (Rheingau, Germany)
Weinhause Ress of the famous Balthasar Ress estate has produced this wine to the expectations of international connoisseurs, balancing fresh flavours, low acidity and making it a light style Riesling. The 2010 is an exquisite wine displaying green apple aromas, lively fruit and a touch of distinct minerality.
2007 William Fèvre Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons (Burgundy, France)
The most prestigious vineyards in this famous appellation are all clustered around the historic town of Chablis in northern Burgundy, where only Chardonnay vines may be planted on the chalky clay and limestone soil. These wines are of pronounced floral fruit, with hints of apple on the palate and a refreshing mineral finish. 2007 was an excellent vintage for Chablis.
There was only a brief break before we turned the page to dissect through the red selection.
Red #1 2005 Louis Latour Château Carton Grancey Grand Cru – one of the crème de la crème of French pinot wines, offering a deep complex berry fruit expression, leaving a smooth but lingering finish. Absolutely gorgeous. Red #2 2009 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Tenuta di Castiglioni Toscana IGT – call me a foolish, but I am far less of a fan of Italian reds for their tannins tend to carry an aggressive intensity, which I find needs to be toned down alongside the grease of food. Red#3 2007 Château Cos d’Estournel Saint-Estèphe – is a fairly young vintage of Bordeaux with ample rawness of tannin, but an incredible nose of intoxicating floral and oak notes – a perfect pair alongside the heavier meats of beef and lamb. Red #4 2010 St Hallett Blackwell Shiraz – we finish our line of reds with a Shiraz from our own backyard in the Barossa Valley, that comes full bodied with classic plum-cherry nose and soft tannins.
|Red wines [Tasting notes, courtesy of SIA]2005 Louis Latour Château Carton Grancey Grand Cru (Burgundy, France)
Louis Latour, possessing 16 of 120 hectares of Corton, is the largest vineyard owner of this Grand Cru in the Côte de Beaune, and Château Corton Grancey is their flagship wine. Youthful deep red in colour with beautifully-expressed red berry fruits on the nose that show both freshness and depth; both rich and smooth on the palate, the firm vigour of Corton is matched by the class from a great year, with a long, lingering finish.
2009 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Tenuta di Castiglioni Toscana IGT (Tuscany Italy)
This ancient 150-hectare estate in the Colli Fiorentini southwest of Florence has been in the Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi family for 900 years. 2009 was an excellent year in Tuscany, producing deeply-coloured wines with a fine intensity of red and black berry fruits on the nose, a mouth-filling smoothness of flavour and a long finish.
2007 Château Cos d’Estournel Saint-Estèphe (Bordeaux, France)
The 2007 vintage was a vintage where the estates with the best “terroirs” and the best vineyard management came out very well. A mild winter was followed by an early bud burst during a warm April, then heavy rain on and off from May to July caused mildew development and reduced the crop. August was very dry and a little rain in early September refreshed the vines and permitted a good natural progress to ripeness. The Cabernet Sauvignon showed better ripeness than the Merlot and is thus a very high proportion of the blend.
2010 St Hallett Blackwell Shiraz (Barossa Valley, Australia)
Barossa is famous the world over for its Shiraz. These wines are typically rich and fuller bodied with characteristic plummy flavours and soft finish. This wine is named in honour of St Hallett’s winemaker Stuart Blackwell who has played a major role in the promotion and appreciation of the Barossa’s highly valued old vines. It is a fine example of modern Barossa Shiraz.
Ok, now that the wine dissection is out of the way. Onto the food…
But wait, did I not mention this was meant to be food-wine pairing? Yes. After having 2 champagnes, half pours of 3 whites and 4 reds, we will now select several favourites to pair with the dishes to follow. With varying degrees of inebriation, we each selected a number of wines (that number open to individual interpretation). I picked four of my favourites: Weinhause Ress Riesling, Louis Latour, Château Cos d’Estournel Saint-Estèphe, St Hallett Blackwell Shiraz.
The opening number – Spanner Crab, Pear and Broccoli – was a delectably light and fresh dish. The spanner crab is layered with a subtle vanilla cream, slithers of strawberry and cubes of pear. A little square of sesame encrusted prawn sandwich on the side anchored a little weight on the dish.
This was followed by David Blackmore Wagyu beef that was the perfect pair alongside the 2007 Bordeaux and the 2010 Shiraz. A large dollop of potato puree, onion and peas, with a slice of pulled beef terrine helped round off the dish. The alternate dish was: Flinders Island Lamb.
Petit fours to finish: lamingtons, one penny gold coated gin jellies.
No doubt, we only had a small glimpse to Vue de Monde’s kitchen, but the incredible flight of wines – the intended protagonist of the event – was to die for! At the end of the day mixing-and-matching these amazing wines was an incredible albeit indulgent sensory experience. Despite an arguable degree of inebriation, I would have no doubts in recommending the wine at Vue de Monde and on board Singapore International Airlines.