Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tasting of Pichon Comtesse de Lalande@ Hilton

Happy Chris Low with Gildas d'Ollone
Director General of
Vintage 2004 Ch Pichon Comtesse De Lalande,
in line or better than the 1986 and 1996 Vinatge?
I am thinking of Teppanyaki Wagyu while savouring the fine tannin of this wine...

Reserve de la Comtesse 2003-lots of cassis, warm, up front and already enjoyable at this stage.
and Chateau Bernadotte 2002-Supprisingly backward and green, lots of green pepper linger with some cassis and black olives.

Under ground cellar of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
(Spring 2008)

Vineyards of Ch. Pichon Comtess de Lalande that oversee Ch. Latour and the Garonne river.
Do you see the tower(La Tour)?
(Spring, 2008)

Happy Chris Low posting infront at the Garden of Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande during the 2007 En Primuer Campaign.
(Spring, 2008)

Chris Low: The Cork Brothers was invited to the Trade tasting of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande organised by Milawa. We had the oppercunity of sampling 3 wines from the esteem Chateau and presented by Mr Gildas d' Ollone-Director General of the Chateau.
Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is a 2nd Cru Classe of Pauillac.
History of Pichon.
This prestigious viticultural estate was created by Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan in the 17th c. Château Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse-de-Lalande has carefully kept important archives including a great many records relating to the purchase of lands the estate is composed of between 1686 and 1689. Pierre de Mazure de Rauzan gave the vineyard to his daughter Thérèse as her dowry when she married Jacques de Pichon, baron de Longueville, the first president of the Bordeaux parliament.
In the 18th c., baron Joseph de Pichon, born 1755, died 1850, through his intelligence and strong personality, left his stamp on this estate by his great qualities as viticultor. The poet Biarnez celebrated baron Joseph’s 90-year long life linked to the quality of his wines. In 1850, in execution of his will, kept in the château’s archives, baron Joseph’s estate was shared between his five children, 2/5 to his two sons and 3/5 to his three daughters who entrusted their shares to countess Henri de Lalande. From then on there were two châteaux Pichon-Longueville, one belonging to the baron and the other to the countess.
Precious documents reveal rigorous management by the countesses de Lalande and Lacroix who looked after the estate in succession: day-books, books of accounts and despatch are an inexhaustible supply of information covering the period 1860-1910. In 1925, Louis and Edouard Miailhe bought the estate from the descendants of the Pichon-Longuevilles.
Since 1978, Madame de Lencquesaing, daughter of Mr. Edouard F. Miailhe administers Pichon-Longueville-Lalande with the help of a young professional and dynamic team. To this day all the furniture as it was arranged by the countess de Lalande plus several pictures painted by Sophie de Pichon Longueville remain as faithful witnesses of this illustrious family’s daily life.
Today Pichon is extremely up-to-date with its equipment - cellars and fermentation-room - allied to a profound respect for family tradition. Overlooking the estuary and the vineyards of Pauillac and Saint-Julien, an enormous panoramic terrace has two majestic wine stores. Similarly a precious collection of ancient glasses includes very lovely articles from Roman to modern times.
Thanks to the regularity of their quality, their elegance and their complexity, the wines of Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse-de-Lalande have won the esteem of wine-lovers the world over...I mean, for those who loves the finess, and feminine touch of the countess.

PS. This estate has been sold to the Louis Roederer/Deutz champagne firm .

An afternoon with 'Baron of Barossa'

Nigel Dolan-Chief Winemaker of Wyndham Estate
with 2 Jimmy Watson trophy under his belt.
Wild Mushroom Consomme with Oxtail ravioli
paired with:-
Wyndham Estate Bin555 Sparkling Shiraz- Work interstingly well, the oxtail ravioli provide just enough punch to the consomme that lingers with the soft tannin of this rare red bubbly.
Foie Gras bon bon,caramalized apple
paired with:-
Wyndham Estate Show Reserve Cabernet Merlot-we let the acidity of the Merlot to cut through the fatty liver and it work ok, but the tannin of the cabernet give a dry after taste in the end.
I left a small sips of this wine for the beef main course and it becomes my favourite pairing of the day!Nigel makes this Cab Merlot Bordeaux style and he is please that some of us actually picked up the France Oak that he used during the making of this wine.
Confit of Salmon trout with poached oyster, dill & cucumber veloute
paired with:-
Wyndham Estate Show Reserve Chardonnay-The Chardonnay gives intense, ripe tropical fruits with light creamy yeast which compliment the flavoursome salmon and the tangy dill and cucumber veloute. It's a good marriage!
Oven roasted beef fillet, caramelized shallots,roasting jus
paired with:-
Wyndham Estate Show Reserve Shiraz-Opaque Red/Purple color with spicy, peppery nose. Ripe red and black fruits and careful balance of oak. I would love a lamb cutlet with this? I actually prefer the Reserve Cabernet Merlot with this juicy and perfectly done steak.
Happy Chris Low with Nigel Dolan.

Chris Low: With the 1992 and 2003 Jimmy Watson trophy wins, worked in Seppelt, Saltram and later the Group Red Winemaking at Fosters...surprisingly Nigel is extremely humble but you will quickly influnce by his overriding sense of fun and adventure in his character. An ordinary Australian who is serious of his barbie and i must say he loves his food too.
I was at Chinoz, KLCC over the famed Friday lunch last Friday of November, featuring Wyndham Estate and their newest Chief Winemaker-Nigel Dolan. Nigel winemaking skill is in his blood? or inherited from his father Brian Dolan-a legendary, respected winemaker who was the Senior winemaker of Saltram. When i asked what is his famous wine in Wyndham, he replied spontaneously Show Reserve Shiraz.
When the great lunch was closer to the end, i ask a very private question to Nigel and it's suppose to be of the record..."If tomorrow is the last day of your life, what is "the" wine that you will drink?" He wonder carefully:"I don't mine a 1962 DRC"

PS. Bravo Chef Haffiz and Wee Jey Teng!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Prestige Wines 2008

Lionel: One of the projects Chris and I worked on this year was the Prestige Magazine Wine Extravaganza. This was a project that had three parts, starting with a wine judging, a wine gala dinner and prize presentation and followed by a wine fair complete with masterclasses which was to be held in December but due to our unique culture at city hall, it has been deferred to January next year at the Pavilion. 

We started the judging by separating the entries by pricing and varietal as much as possible. The format for awarding the wines was based on a medal system of bronze, silver and gold for each category and then best red of the show, best white, best sparkling etc.

We had a total of close to 200 different wines and judging was held over just one day with 6 judges and yours truly as the chairman. Below are some of the pictures from the event including the winning wines at the end.

Wines all wrapped up and tagged, ready for the tasting.
The panel of judges receiving their briefing from moi! The judges were a good mix of wine professionals and informed consumers including a chef and we had 4 men and 2 women.
More wines being prepared
No, he didn't get his black eye from drinking too much wine buthere we can see him hard at work!
some of the whites being chilled
some of the winning wines!
Best white - Anura Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa.( Casa Vino)
Best red  - Chateau Cosse Coutelin 2005.( Casa Vino )
Best sparkling - Duval Lerol Brut N/V. ( Milawa )
Best sweet wine - Konrad Late Harvest Riesling. ( Milawa )

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Extreme Chinese Cuisine

Lionel: I know this post is so late but like they say, late better than never. I was in Hong Kong in December and one of the restaurants that I made a point to visit was a one that was featured in one episode of "No Reservations" with Anthony Bourdain.

The restaurant is called Bo Innovation( x-treme chines cuisine). First of all tracking down this restaurant was no easy feat as the address listed on most websites as well as restaurant guides was apparently outdated( we found out later). So we were sent on a wild goose chase but finally 3 different taxi rides later we arrived( at the very first location that the taxicab dropped us, sigh!).

Anyway, it was a relatively quite evening and the chef/owner was away in Spain but nonetheless the food was excellent and interesting. Deconstructed chinese cuisine presented in a modern western style. No, its not fusion but actually chinese cuisine.

Wine list was pretty good with a small but nice selection of wines by the glass as well.

Finally, just last week the Michelin Guide printed its first ever list of Hong Kong Restaurants and Bo Innovation received its first ever 2 stars! Bravo!

I can't remember all the dishes but these were part of the starter selections; I know they look completely western but trust me once you take a bite, you know your eating chinese, just not quite sure sometimes what the ingredients are.

Okay, this was foies gras but the sauce was definitely chinese
Rice with peas, shirmps 
That red piece leaning on the fish is actually preserved ginger

Yabbies on rice
A nice littel Pinot Noir from California to go with the duck
Ngau Lam soup
rice with crab roe