All things Burgundian took centre stage at a special wine dinner hosted by Domaine Chanson, one of Burgundy’s most respected wine producers.

VOLTAIRE, Lamartine and the Bonapartes were listed as some of Chanson Père & Fils’ most distinguished clientele. Hailed as one of Burgundy’s most respected wine producers, Chanson was founded in 1750 by négociant (fine wine merchant) Simon Very and still takes great pride in translating the area’s distinct terroir through its precise winemaking expertise.

Maison Chanson’s managing director Gilles de Courcel hosted a group of wine and food enthusiasts to an evening of all things Burgundian at a recent Chanson showcase at La Vie En Rose restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. The domaine’s top tipples were aptly complemented by Chef Mickael Conutrait’s sumptuous Burgundy-style dishes but as de Courcel rightly pointed out, the wines would taste as good with other exquisite specialities of one’s choice.

According to de Courcel, “Our Chablis Premier Cru Montmains 2008 makes an unbeatable match with Burgundy’s famous escargot à la Bourguignonne – baked snails with fresh herbs and garlic. Aged partially in oak and subsequently in steel casks, this pale gold, subtly emerald Chardonnay wine seduces the palate with its floral, citrusy notes. Its crisp acidity balances the escargots’ richly aromatic herbed and garlicky sauce nicely. Rich-tasting patés, scallops or goat cheeses also go well with this vintage.”

To emphasis his point, de Courcel urged us to sample the Quenelle de Brochet Sauce Nantua (pike quenelle with crayfish sauce) with the Chablis. The delicate creaminess of pike quenelle – a French Nantua speciality of egg-shaped dumplings of creamed and poached fish mixed with breadcrumbs and egg – tasted discernibly better, accentuated by the wine’s toasty, tropical fruit and mildly steely accents.

From the heart of Mâconnais in south Burgundy comes one of the region’s more renowned whites – Pouilly Fuissé 2008. Creamy on the palate, the pale yellow wine’s delicate pineapple and melon notes with hints of honey and vanilla enhanced the pristine oceanic sweetness of the Truite Petuna Confite Sauce à L’oseille (slow-cooked Petuna trout with sorrel sauce). Well-structured with a long-lasting finish, it reflects the clay and limestone terroir where the wine’s Chardonnay grapes are grown.

“You can also pair this Pouilly Fuissé with pork, charcuterie (sausages and cold cuts) and any white meat of your choice,” said de Courcel.

Named after the Latin Dominus, Vineyard of the Lord, a north-eastern vineyard formerly owned by the Lord of Savigny, the ruby red Savigny-Dominode Premier Cru 2007’s concentrated cherry and raspberry nuances readily embraced the rich custard-smoothness of the Oeuf en Meurette aux Truffes et Foie Gras (poached eggs in red wine sauce with truffle and foie gras).

“Well-integrated, subtly oaky tannins with a lingering, elegant finish make this vibrant Pinot Noir suitable for cellaring between five and 10 years,” de Courcel explained. “I suggest serving roasted red or white meat, game or cheese to derive maximum enjoyment out of this red wine.”

Produced from the famed Côte de Beaune’s Pinot Noir harvest, the Pommard 2008 boasted a beguilingly dark ruby hue and an intense profile of red berry and liquorice aromas with soft, leathery spiciness. The wine’s supple structure and long, generous finish made it a delicious heavenly match with the deeply flavourful Joue de Boeuf Angus Façon Bourguignon et petits Légumes Glacés (Burgundy-style Angus beef cheek with glazed spring vegetables). Another possible pairing for this wine is grilled or marinated red, white or game meat.

“We only use hand-picked grapes from a selected Côte de Nuits plot for the making of the Gevrey Chambertin 2007,” noted de Courcel. This particular red wine was brimming with refreshing berry and chocolate overtones. Its 16-month ageing in French oak resulted in well-crafted tannins with a subtle lingering oaky note, making this full-bodied wine the preferred choice to complement Planche de fromage de Bourguignon, a Burgundy cheese board that included Epoisses – a pungent, unpasteurised cow’s milk cheese native to the region and Nougat Glacé Au Cassis et Marc de Bourguignon (blackcurrant frozen nougat).

He also recommended pairing the wine with pheasant, poultry and classic French cheeses. For more information on Chanson wines, contact Sunrise Wines Sdn Bhd, tel: 03-6276 3993.

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