Against the backdrop of torrential rains Sunday last, specially invited guests gathered on the Terrace of the Terra Nova All-Suite hotel to experience the Baron Philippe De Rothschild Maipo Chile Bodega Wine pairing dinner hosted by J Wray & Nephew.
This winery was established in 1995 when French parent company Baron Philippe De Rothschild SA took the decision to produce and market its own range of Chilean wines. Currently the winery produces four brands or family of wines: Mapu, Mapu reserve; Reserva and the flagship Escudo Rojo. If I were to attempt to categorise them it would be: Everyday Varietal, Popular Premium, Mid-Premium and Super-premium.
The welcome wine comprised a choice of the fresh, elegant Sauvignon Blanc and juicy red berry filled Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010. Both were delightful wines, well-suited for the occasion and a perfect choice to prepare our appetites for Chef Kenard Swaby's six-course dinner.
For starters we enjoyed a tasty, delicately spiced red Thai curry soup with grilled shrimp. This soup was paired with the 2008 Escudo Chardonnay - think freshness, density and elegance with notes of peach, mango, pineapple, mocha, hazelnut (toasted) and vanilla. I enjoyed both the soup and the wine individually, but the pairing for my palate was a miss. Others, however, found favour with it. The salad course, a delightful grilled Caribbean lobster on a bed of Blue Mountain greens with cucumber and citrus vinaigrette, was paired with a Baron Philippe De Rothschild Sauvignon Blanc. The seafood course, grilled snapper on a bed of julienne vegetables topped with sautéed shrimp, was paired with Mapu Reserva Chardonnay.
The main dish was a mixed grill with petit fillet mignon, rib of lamb and barbecue short ribs, with scalloped potatoes and sautéed mushrooms, paired with the 2009 Escudo Rojo. Raspberry, blackberry, spicy and toasted notes of elegance, roundness, power are what came to mind as I sipped this wine. Resulting in a great dish, an enjoyable wine, an excellent pairing!
The cheese course, a rare inclusion nowadays, provided an assortment of cheese: goat, Brie, Gorgonzola and Stilton, was paired with the pleasing 2012 Reserva Carmenere - think notes of black cherry, blackberry and spice.
With rains still in torrentail mode, dinner came to a close with dessert, a selection of assorted miniatures tarts, chocolate cakes and shots paired with good ole Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
Bringing their Bordeaux experience to the lush Chilean soils, Baron Philippe De Rothschild Maipo Chile Bodega has managed to produce really great wines. Do try them and form your own opinion.
Christopher Reckord is an entrepreneur and wine enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to email@example.com. Follow us on twitter: @DeVineWines @Reckord