Good Grape Group Shiraz Evening

So I was invited to this wine tasting event that was co-sponsored by Zest, ASC Fine Wines and Culture Magazine. There were about 20-30 guests, all (or most) of whom are wine lovers, of course. The group is called “Good Grape” and apparently, they used to have this once a month and then it stopped for a year (for reasons I am not aware of) and this particular event was the first in 2009. The hosts will continue to organize these events once a month from now on.

The theme for the night was Shiraz. And for those of who (like me) who are still learning about wine, this varietal is more lending towards “spicy” flavours with descriptions (thanks JC) such as pepper, spice, cinnamon, thyme, liquorice and/or cedar. And if you can taste the fruits within, they usually are cherry, blackberry, blackcurrant, raspberry and/or strawberry.

Here’s the tasting menu.

Wine and Canapes

1. Two Oceans Shiraz 2008
Wild mushroom risotto spoon with smoked porcini, perorino and rocket

Two Oceans Shiraz 2008 paired with Wild Mushroom Risotto with Smoked Porcini, Pecorino, and Rocket

Two Oceans Shiraz 2008 paired with Wild Mushroom Risotto with Smoked Porcini, Pecorino, and Rocket

This was my favorite pairing. The risotto had really strong mushroom and truffle flavours and it goes really well with Shiraz, which as I’ve just mentioned, is very spicy. The parmesan shavings on the risotto definitely helped too!

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2. Maison Bouachon Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2006
Poached chicken and onion tartlet

Maison Bouachon Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2006 paired with poached chicken and onion tartlet

Maison Bouachon Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2006 paired with poached chicken and onion tartlet

This pair, I wasn’t too fond of. For one, the Maison Bouachon is considered an “Old World” and as I’ve learned from JC from Grande Passione, rather than to make a Shiraz, old world wines tend to reflect the wine itself for what it is (i.e. all the hundreds of factors that made it a Maison Bouachon). The fact that it was 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre also made it not-so-Shirazy. But hey, what do I know. Since this wine wasn’t as strong as the other 3, the chef paired it with a chicken pie, which wasn’t as strong as the other dishes, so I guess it was a good complement.

***
3. Bridgewater Mill Shiraz 2005
Grilled beef fillet slice, red onion compete, salsa verde

(There’s no photo here because I was busy talking to JC, and when the food came, it looked so good I just shoved it in my mouth)

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4. Leeuwin Estate Siblings Shiraz 2006
Black fig with gorgonzola

Leeuwin Estate Siblings Shiraz 2006 paired with black fig with gorgonzola

Leeuwin Estate Siblings Shiraz 2006 paired with black fig with gorgonzola

The Leeuwin is known to be a very solid wine and so it neither exceeded or fell short of our expectations. What was interested about this pair was the fig and the gorgonzola. The fig is, of course, very fruity and refreshing, but it was topped with a really powerful, buttery gorgonzola. Almost reminded me of my foie gras-raddish experience in Japan not too long ago; an unfamiliar taste mixed with an unfamiliar texture. Totally messing with my head.

Of the 4 Shiraz, I like them in the following order:

1. Two Oceans Shiraz 2008

Origin: Western Cape, South Africa
Varietal: 100% Shiraz
With aromas of strawberries, spices and black pepper. A medium-bodied wine with slight tannin, an abundance of berries with spicy and peppery nuances.
Pairing: Serve with red meat, game and pasta

4. Leeuwin Siblings Shiraz 2005

Origin: Margaret River, Western Australia
Varietal: 100% Shiraz
The wine is strongly fruit driven by lifted ripe mulberry, blackberry, and blood red plums, floral violets, mocha with balanced dusty vanillin pod also showing is hints of white pepper and spice. The palate is of full to medium weight with intense sweet black cherry, blackberry and plums, earthy spiciness, and long finish, fine grain tannins.
Pairing: Meat, grilled meat, game, pasta

2. Bridgewater Mill Shiraz 2005

Origin: Adeleide Hills, South Australia
Varietal: 100% Shiraz
The palate shows a natural dark berry spectrum with smooth tannin. This is a wine to savour now or shall thrive under careful cellaring conditions given the chance.
Pairing: Meat, grilled meat, game, pasta

3. Maison Bouachon Cotes du Rhone 2006

Origin: Rhone Valley, France
Varietal: 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre
Little red underwood fruits smashed (strawberry, blackcurrant, raspberry) with notes of peppermint. A supple attach, it reminds the over ripe fruits associated to sweet spices like vanilla with toasted notes.
Pairing: Chicken, lamb tajine, pot roast, game

And if you had stayed behind for dinner, here’s the menu at HK$ 178 per person:

Braised lamb ravioli, tomato, truffle butter
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Slow-cooked duck, cous-cous, Morrocan spice-infused red wine sauce
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Goats cheese souffle with beetroot puree
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Pear and almond tart with mulled red wine reduction

If you’d like to join, feel free to leave a note and I’ll put you in touch with the organizers!

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One Response

  1. I want a bottle… or 12 bottles please!! 😉

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