132 Jalan Kasah,
Medan Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2095 0122
Business hours: Monday -Saturdays (noon to midnight)
IT IS comforting to learn that a brand like Chateau Pontet-Canet sees potential in smaller markets like Malaysia, even though its wines are highly sought after by consumers in the United States, Europe and Hong Kong.
For the Tesseron family, every market is important as long as there are clients in the locality and Melanie Tesseron attested to this by visiting a small but popular restaurant in Medan Damansara.
Speaking in crisp English with a slight French accent, Melanie who is of French and English parentage is the face of Chateau Pontet-Canet in Asia.
The French chateau is run by Alfred Tesseron with his nieces Melanie and Philippine, the descendants of Guy Tesseron, who are the third family to own the property.
“The chateau is over 300 years old and we have owned it since 1925.
“We have reinvested in it, replanted and have even gone into organic farming with our grapes,” said Melanie as we were gradually introduced to Chateau Pontet-Canet at the six course reverse vertical wine and food pairing affair at Mezze, recently.
Melanie said it was important for the grapes to be very ripe on the vines, to derive complexity in flavour and reveal softer and more subtle tannins.
Having received certification as an organic vineyard, the grapes are harvested manually and natural processes of working the vines including use of animal manure, are observed here.
With 81ha of vines spread over the fertile soils of Bordeaux, the vineyard grows 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
“We currently have three horses to plough 24ha of the land and we work with tractors for the rest of the areas.
“We also use a treatment of teas and plants as part of the organic treatment method in our vineyards,” Melanie elaborated further.
The wines of the chateau were in good hands that night as resident sommelier Sebastien Le Francois and executive chef Yves Renou are Frenchmen, both familiar with the flavours identified for the night.
An old fashioned vintage, the Chateau Pontet-Canet 1990 was paired with the Tuna Tartare, Roasted Aubergine and Cumin Harissa Mayonnaise.
Le Francois described this as a good vintage, a warm and aged flavour, with soft notes of tobacco and leather.
He decided to place the aged vintages first, then gradually introduced the younger flavours so guests could appreciate its full and robust aging potential before savouring the delicate younger wines.
The French Muscovy Duck L’Orange Pommes Puree and caramelised Baby Carrot complemented the Chateau Pontet-Canet 1996 as the game and orange flavours brought out the richness of the wine.
The 1996 is yet another warm vintage that is more concentrated and evolved.
“Wines that are more evolved showcase a feel of licorice and leather with integrated tannins coming through the berries,” said Le Francois.
At the turn of the century, the 2000 label with its coffee and red fruity accents is a ready to drink wine, a little more evolved and a collector’s item, recognised for its elegance and taste.
This drink was well matched with chef Yves’ delicious serving of Australian Grass-fed Lamb Roulade, Diced Mangoes and Beetroot Puree.
We also tasted the 2001 vintage, a charming wine of high concentration due to the low yields that year.
This drink was served with the Wagyu Ribeye Marbling 8, Stilton Gelato and Jus.
With the Comte Cheese Platter, sat the Chateau Pontet-Canet 2003, a full-bodied wine derived from a hot vintage, making it quite a difficult time for the vines.
“We had been ploughing the earth since 2002 so the vines were able to benefit from the roots that had dug deep into the earth to deliver this wine of elegance and finesse,” said Melanie describing it further as a full bodied wine in an old world wine jacket.
The 2004 like the 2001 felt the brunt of the heatwave, giving off a full bodied elegance but it had to fight off the attention guests’ were paying to the unforgettable Bitter Chocolate Tart and Parsnip Ice Cream, our dessert for the night.
“We started working organically by 30% in our vineyards in 2004 but we went 100% in 2005.
“We were able to see the difference as the 2005 vintage is noted as the best Pontet-Canet vintage and we have been on the map since we went organic,” said Melanie.
Le Francois said, “Tonight, the wine was a priority. The food did not overtake the wine but neither did it diminish the quality of the wine.”
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro