Wines for giving

Ever been stuck with what to bring to a BBQ, get together or dinner party? Bit strapped for cash but you’d rather die than turn up on a friend’s doorstep empty-handed, or perhaps you’d like to surprise a special someone with a really nice bottle or two? The Journal has teamed up with Jacques Scott to bring you a selection of great wines for giving, from the very reasonably priced through to some higher end but still well priced wines, all of which are great value and delicious to boot. The Brasserie was the perfect location in which to sample this wine selection, alongside some exquisitely presented, wonderfully flavoured dishes. Business Editor, Lindsey Turnbull reports.

The selection of wines now available for consumers on island is staggering, and even though knowledgeable staff are on hand to guide you through the maze, sometimes it’s great to be so familiar with a wine that you just know it will perfectly suit a particular occasion. This month we start with an incredibly well-priced and familiar Sauvignon Blanc, move through the ranks tasting a selection of varietals at a range of prices, all the way up to a splendid Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Wines

Matua Sauvignon Blanc, 2007
CI$17.95

Matua Valley Wines began as a small, family-run winery in West Auckland, New Zealand, in 1973. Over the years the wine makers have produced some award-winning wines, including New Zealand’s first ever Sauvignon Blanc.

Devon Larking, with wine exporters, Banks Channel, notes the vibrancy and freshness of the Matua Sauvignon Blanc, along with its classic gooseberry and lime nose. An ever popular Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is perfectly designed for seafood, so The Brasserie’s snapper ceviche trio (the coconut and lime flavouring was a winner for me) was a great choice. The restaurant’s tuna tartare was also a lovely pairing, with its creamy yet fresh tasting avocado puree and breadfruit chips adding colour, texture and extra flavour. Buy this wine to go with a nice little romantic seafood platter à deux, sitting out on your porch or overlooking the ocean.

Stag’s Leap Chardonnay, 2006
CI$32.95

The Stags Leap Manor, as it was called in the 1920s, was known as one of the prominent country retreats in California’s Napa Valley and has gone through a succession of owners. Even though wine grapes had been growing on the lands of Stags’ Leap Estate since the 1880s it was not until the 1970s, when a revitalisation of the winery took place, that they began to seriously focus on the business of wine making.

Ross Philips, Wine Marketing Manager for Jacques Scott says of this wine: “With the hot Napa Valley climate, this Chardonnay is bursting forth with clean fruit flavours, while the aging in French oak for eight months extends a hint of vanilla on the palate.”

Perfect with The Brassierie’s slab of Hudson Valley Foie Gras served with rum-soaked pineapple slices and a brioche, this combination would make any dinner party go with a swing.

Silver unoaked Chardonnay, 2006
CI$38.95

Charlie Wagner II, Silver’s winemaker describes this second vintage of their Chardonnay, which follows last year’s successful debut of Silver: “This has been an effort to unite the crisp mineral essence of classic Chablis style with the tropical elements found in Chardonnay of the Pacific coastline.”

Using Chardonnay grown in special blocks of the Mer Soleil Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands of California’s Monterey County, grapes were harvested when just fully ripe, their gold colour hued with green, expressing clean aromas of Chardonnay fruit and firm acidity. Ross furthers, “This unoaked Chardonnay is a light gold colour with a pale green tint. It’s clean on the palate, displaying lively aromas of honeydew melon and green apple, along with delicate tropical fruit flavours of pineapple, banana and papaya.” Devon adds that the Silver Chardonnay grapes are grown next to Meyer lemon orchards and some wonder, therefore, if the lemons exerted any influence over this clean and lively wine.

This elegant wine was a winner with the seafood dishes. Devon says, “This wine works well with any type of seafood, broiled, grilled sautéed. It’s just made for fish.” A show stopper of a wine if you are attending a barbecue with seafood on the menu.

Matua Pinot Noir, 2007
CI$18.95

New Zealand’s Marlborough region is renown for the production of some of the world’s finest sauvignon blancs and is now receiving similar accolades for pinot noir red wine styles.
Lee Royle, Jacques Scott’s Retail Wine Professional describes this Pinot Noir: “This richly coloured pinot noir offers aromas of violets and cherry with some mineral notes. The palate is truly pinot noir with smoky toasted oak, ripe cherry and red berry fruit nuances with a hint of sweetness on the nose. It’s a light to medium bodied wine with rich tannins and a good finish.”
Duck is an obvious choice for a good pinot noir, so The Brasserie’s pan roasted duck with ginger soy noodles, baby bok choy in an orange pepper sauce was an excellent choice. Another beautiful pairing was pan seared wild salmon with coconut black rice and a cauliflower puree.
An affordable winner with elegant dinner party cuisine.

Penfolds St Henri Shiraz, 2004
CI$49.95

Established in 1844, the name Penfolds is synonymous with great wines from Australia. Hailing from South Australia, Penfolds is located at Magill in the city of Adelaide as well as at Nuriootpa in the heart of the Barossa Valley.
Devon says of this wine: “The St Henri Shiraz is made from grapes from the Barossa Valley, Langhorne Creek in the Adelaide Hills which have produced a wine full of elegance and intensity. This is a dense dark wine with a juicy plums and a hint of licorice on the nose. Round ripe tannins and a vibrant acidity make this a fantastic wine with meat dishes such as lamb.”

Thus tasters enjoyed The Brasserie’s port braised lamb shank with zucchini planks, garlic mash, grilled red peppers and a port jus and were not disappointed.
Your dinner party hosts would definitely ask you back if you brought a bottle of this to the table.

Penfolds St Henri Shiraz, 2004
CI$49.95

Established in 1844, the name Penfolds is synonymous with great wines from Australia. Hailing from South Australia, Penfolds is located at Magill in the city of Adelaide as well as at Nuriootpa in the heart of the Barossa Valley.

Devon says of this wine: “The St Henri Shiraz is made from grapes from the Barossa Valley, Langhorne Creek in the Adelaide Hills which have produced a wine full of elegance and intensity. This is a dense dark wine with a juicy plums and a hint of licorice on the nose. Round ripe tannins and a vibrant acidity make this a fantastic wine with meat dishes such as lamb.”

Thus tasters enjoyed The Brasserie’s port braised lamb shank with zucchini planks, garlic mash, grilled red peppers and a port jus and were not disappointed.

Your dinner party hosts would definitely ask you back if you brought a bottle of this to the table.

 

JSBras230

Shiraz was tried with the duck but was perfect with lamb

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