Thursday, June 11. 2015
Philippe Dandurand’s Prestigious Portfolio Wines Shine at Wine Dinner.
I had the opportunity recently, to attend the dinner hosted by prominent wine agency, Phillipe Dandurand, at CUT Steakhouse in Halifax. The selection of locally available fine wines was appropriately matched with CUT’s cuisine and, as good pairings should, skilfully highlighted the qualities of each wine. Here are my notes on some favourites from the evening.
The reception wine was an impressive Traditional Method sparkling wine from northeastern Italy, Ferrari Perlé 2007, Trento DOC $39.99 NSLC Port of Wines Selection (To be released in October when the new Port of Wines store opens). This is a rich, well-structured vintage fizz showing developed vinosity, elegant fruit, biscuit and lightly buttery character, balanced with good acidity and firm dry minerality. It has the elegance and finesse to compete with Champagne costing a good bit more. I will certainly be buying a few bottles when it hits the shelves.
Next up was the Riesling Schieferkof, par Michel Chapoutier 2013, DOC Alsace I do not have the exact price on this one but I believe it will be in the low $20 + range. It too, will be released in October. Coming from distinctive blue schist soil, this is an excellent example of the Alsatian approach to Riesling. It offers ethereal floral and citrus aromatics with good citrus fruit and some weight on the palate together with distinctive mineral character imparted by the schist soil, finishing moderately dry.
The rarest and certainly most expensive wine of the evening was the Michel Chapoutier 2010, Ermitage de L’Orée AC $325.79 NSLC (Exclusive to Port of Wines Store, Doyle Street, Halifax) Made from 100% Marsanne, this extraordinarily concentrated wine from the northern Rhone is yellow gold in colour with great depth of bouquet and flavours showing apricot, floral notes, some tropical fruit, spicy vanilla, buttery, almost butterscotch character and rounded glycerol texture. All this exotic richness is countered by stony, gravelly mineral, finishing with slight bitterness and distinctive saltiness. This is a wine that can age from 30-50 years and even longer in top vintages. The 2010 should be cellared for another few years in order to show its best.
Chapoutier la Bernardine 2011, Chateauneuf-du Pape AOC 14% $54.99 NSLC (Limited Quantities) Reveals elegant dark fleshy fruit backed by subtle cinnamon and dry earthy notes. Black currant, plum, a pinch of white pepper and a splash of dark chocolate roll out on the palate, with notes of roasted coffee and black cherry on the dry tannic finish. A complex and still evolving wine that can be drunk now but will benefit from several years further ageing. Decant an hour or two before serving.
Chapoutier 2007, Hermitage, Monier de la Sizeranne AC $83.49 NSLC (Port of Wines Selection) ’07 was a strong vintage for Hermitage, producing well-structured wines for long term keeping. This example shows scents of violets, developed dark fruit with a subtle cinnamon overtone. Blackberry and black currant flavours come with a splash of vanilla encased in firmly structured tannins and stony mineral grip. It will have a lot more to show with further ageing. I would recommend holding it for at least another 2-5 years. If serving now, decant several hours beforehand.
Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo 2008, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG $47.99 NSLC (Port of Wines Selection) Shows classic Brunello character with scents of flowers, refined red fruits, rich, red cherry flavours in the mouth with attractive spiciness, good weight and balance. 2008 is not necessarily a vintage for long ageing and this one is very approachable at the moment. There are only a few bottles left in the system, mostly at larger NSLC stores around Metro.
My thanks to Philippe Dandurand for the invitation to attend this splendid event and kudos to CUT Steakhouse and their professional staff for a job well done.