By MANTA KLANGBOONKRONG
THE NOBLE WINES of Bordeaux were given a rare airing last Saturday as renowned French wine maker Cos d’Estournel hosted an exclusive 20-seat wine-pairing dinner at Attitude, the newly opened rooftop bar and restaurant at the Avani Riverside Bangkok on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
Chateau Cos d’Estournel is a winery in the Saint-Estephe appellation of the Bordeaux region. The wine produced here was classified as one of 15 Deuxiemes Crus (Second Growths) in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. The estate has changed hands several times since 1811, and since 2000 has belonged to Michel Reybier. Reybier’s objective has been to uphold the chateau’s high standards and constant quest for excellence while at the same time continuing the avant-garde style initiated by Louis Gaspard d’Estournel, the first owner.
The wines selected to pair with guest chef Jacobo Astray’s dinner included a range of long-established varietals as well as celebrated new reds and whites. Lobster tartar with ajo blanco and bisque shot was paired with Cos d'Estournel’s latest achievement, Cos d’Estournel Blanc 2013, a 76-per-cent sauvignon blanc and 24-per-cent semillon blend that was first produced in 2000.
The grapefruit note in this dry and refreshingly fruity white complemented the sweet lobster and the creamy avocado, while the citrus peels aroma appealed to the tang and saltiness of the caviar and the bisque, making it a well-rounded and successful pair.
Ice cream made from Parmesan cheese and served with strawberries found a decent match in Goulee 2013, another new wine of 80-per-cent cabernet sauvignon and 20-per-cent merlot.
The fresh, smoky, dark berry notes toned down the spiced Parmesan, while the perfumed strawberries in the dish brightened and accented red fruit notes in the wine,
The floral and full-bodied Les Pagodes de Cos 2009 was poured next to be enjoyed with pre-main course, boletus mushrooms with foie gras. Juicy, succulent and remarkably fresh and well constructed, the wine softened the strong mouthfeel of the mushroom and complemented the creaminess of the foie gras without making it too oily.
The main course, sous vide lamb rack with mango chutney and rosemary air, was paired with two reds; Chateau Cos d’Estournel 2003 and 2008 Magnum. The heavily seasoned and meaty dish found a marvellous match in Chateau Cos d’Estournel 2003’s rich spice and black fruit nose as well as its fruity, smooth aftertaste. With 2008 Magnum, the delicate tobacco palate subtly enhanced the herbaceous, earthy aroma of the rosemary and the faint gamy aroma.
Both wines had a velvety, long finish palate that was pleasantly heightened by the savoury-and-sweet mango chutney.
Next up was creamy sheep cheese with truffle honey paired with Chateau Cos d’Estournel 1986, whose prominent notes of fig, plum and red berries went along with the slightly peppery and creamy cheese and the earthy truffle.
The liquorice note and long finish played well with the honey, which also helped soften the sharpness of the cheese.
The cleansing and brightly sweet Hetszolo Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos was served next with a dessert of raspberry and yoghurt. The nice balance of minerality and acidity opened up the palate to subtle flavours of the dish which would otherwise be pretty neutral without the wine.
The light sensations of freshly sliced lemons and pineapple complimented the tangy raspberry and added more mouthfeel to the plain yoghurt.