I usually have a rule of not drinking before the sunset. But that rule was well and truly broken couple of weeks ago at a very special wine pairing degustation lunch hosted by Cape Mentelle. I’ve always been fond of wines of Margaret River, so this wasn’t something I would want to miss. So despite being slightly sleep deprived from the late gig night before, I dragged myself to the beautiful Tanzini and G Tower.
Cameron Murphy, Cape Mentelle Estate Director made sure he introduced himself to everyone and took his time to get to know us. As an Estate Director, he is naturally knowledgeable with wines in general and you can see his passion when he speaks of his products. Truly, with the strings of awards Cape Mentelle has under its belt, it’s not hard to see why.
We were to sample a range of Cape Mentelle’s latest award winning premium red and white wines comprising its Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013, Cabernet Merlot 2012, Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, and Chardonnay 2012, paired with the distinct neo-cuisines created by celebrity Chef Johnny Fua.
Our first course was Hokkaido Scallops paired with the Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013, the latest edition to Cape Mentelle’s range. I am definitely a Sauvinon Blanc girls, and this Sav-semillon blend is slightly more full-bodied, with complex fruity notes. It is a great wine to pair with Seafood and here the pairing with singular large scallop is just perfect.
Moving right along. The waiter started pouring the second glass which is a Cabernet Merlot 2012, to pair with a poultry dish.
I was pleasantly surprised by the exquisitely tender Chicken and the smoked duck lends depth to the flavours. Excellent dish!
Now I normally don’t drink red wine at all because a lot of them can be too overwhelming for my palate. Part of the reason is that I don’t really eat red meat either so there isn’t a lot of opportunity for me to pair with red wine. So this Cabernet Merlot did take a little getting used to. So let’s take is from the tasting notes provided to me: On the palate, it’s medium to full bodied with sweet ripe fruits of currants and plums with wild herbs and violets. The structure is firm yet velvety providing great length and intensity of flavour. Personally, I feel that it’s punchy enough without overpowering the dish.
For the main course, I went for the Atlantic Black Cod (of course), while the other option was a Aged striploin. While I didn’t try the steak, I did have a sip of the Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, which is the flagship wine of Cape Mentelle – Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from Margaret River’s first grape vines. It’s an intense, rich red which I imagine would pair perfectly with the steak. But anyway back to my fish.
The Atlantic Black Cod is everything I look for in the fish dish. Simply glazed with soy and flavoured with garlic, the natural sweetness shone through. It’s also melting-ly tender, a joy to eat. The pairing with Chardonnay 2012 is absolutely perfect, as it’s bright, fruity with citrusy note. My favourite of the day, definitely.
Our meal ended with a high with this pretty dessert in the form of a Praline Chocolate Mousse with Crunchy Croquantine, Hazelnut Daquoise, Cherry Gel and Light Lemongrass Gelato, matched with the same Chardonnay. The mousse was perfectly airy, with bittersweet cocoa. I loved the lemongrass gelato, an unusual pairing with chocolate but nonetheless refreshing.
From 6th October till 5th December 2014, Cape Mentelle in collaboration with Tanzini will feature a pairing promotion comprising of a 4-course degustation menu for RM400++ for two persons; where each course will be paired with a bottle of Cape Mentelle Chardonnay, comprehensively showcasing the range of wines that lead the portfolio.