An Unforgettable Wine Maker Dinner with Mr. Didier Richer and “The Rolland Collection”!
A dinner so unforgettable had me almost skipping back to my car happily in the night glistened with a light mist and a serene setting! Who could blame me when I had just savored a collection of international wines featuring a range of Bordeaux wines originated from Pomerol, Argentina, South Africa and Spain?
“The Rolland Collection” was born from the passion of world-renowed oenologists, Dany Rolland and Michel Rolland, who devoted their passion and experience to the science of wine and winemaking. Their passion was named after they had collected a special range through their years of knowledge in the wine industry.
The Restaurant at The Club Saujana Resort Kuala Lumpur organized a wine-pairing dinner presented by the Asia Pacific Brand Ambassador for “The Rolland Collection”, Mr. Didier Richer. The six-course dinner was specially complemented by some of the finest Rolland Collection wines and Mr. Richer personally took diners through a taste of some of the finest Rolland Collection wines namely Ayala Zero Dosage NV, Chateau La Grande Clotte Blanc (France 2007), Mariflor Pinot Noir (Argentina 2007), Campo Alegre (Toro, Spain 2008), Chateau Fontenil (Fronsac, France 2006), and Domaine Cazes Muscat de Rivesaltes 2005.
I had the honors of meeting Mr. Didier Richer and I was certainly charmed by his warm personality that night! Mr. Richer is born in Cognac in a family of wine grower. A personal friend of Michel and Dany Rolland, it is only sensible that he was appointed as the Brand Ambassador for “The Rolland Collection” in Asia Pacific in addition to his belt of more than 30 years in the wine industry. This man surprised me by claiming to be a fan of our Malaysian food, Bak Kut Teh!! J
The Restaurant’s Head Chef, Austrian born Chef Alexander Waschl is the maestro responsible for earning 116 Gault Milau points (equivalent to one Michelin star) previously in Switzerland. No longer a stranger to me as I have savored his outstanding creations in the recent MIGF 2011 menu, I was looking forward to be inspired again by his eclectic menu of modern European cuisine.
We were greeted by a unique champagne of Ayala Zero Dosage NV upon arrival where I thoroughly enjoyed this very much. Zero Dosage imparted that there is no sugar added to the champagne which is usually carried out at the last stage of most champagne. Instead, the natural delicate aroma of fruity notes shined with a soft and fresh palate. Pale gold in color, the champagne is fairly dry but showed a nice complexity.
We started off with a modern amuse bouche in the form of Home Dried Rock Melon where Chef Alexander managed to show off another intricate and almost delicate masterpiece of dried rock melon to be paired with smoked mozzarella and a 24 year aged balsamic vinegar. The melon’s sweetness was intensified while the texture had a slight crunch to be matched with the smoky cheese. Sweet and luxurious aged balsamic added the lavish flavors to the melon and cheese combination.
From Ayala champagne, we switched to Chateau La Grande Clotte Blanc, France 2007, a pale green yellow white with an intense aroma of crisp and subtle toasted notes. Originated from Lussac, France, the wine, aged in French oak barrels, was fairly smooth and round on the palate with a sense of freshness and a long finish. The white paired brilliantly against the salty flavors of the salmon course.
Expression of Salmon featured salmon prepared in several expressions. Salmon carpaccio, salmon tartare and salmon in pastry were articulated in a very artistic impression. Pairing up with cube sweet and sour beets and a horseradish cream, the salmon was surprisingly refreshing on the palate!
Our poultry course was paired with a red wine of Mariflor Pinot Noir, Argentina 2007. Color of maroon, the wine featured an aroma of spice with a hint of caramel and berries in the undertone. A bit too strong for my liking as it had a tannic dry bite at the end.
Although I did not favor the Pinot Noir, I simply adored the Pan Seared Duck Breast served with Pot Roasted White Cabbage and Confit Duck Leg! Duck breast cooked till pink with a gorgeous crispy skin was superb while the confit of duck leg was stuffed into a pastry and fried to golden perfection. Every piece complimented each other very well together with the simple cabbage and the luscious sauce. One ravioli of confit duck leg is certainly NOT enough!! J
A simple but intense Blueberry Granita to cleanse our palate! Love this a lot for its refreshing feel …
Campo Alegre, Toro, Spain 2008, is a full-bodied and robust deep red with a berries and spicy palate. When paired with red meat, the wine showed off the lamb very well, probably due to its accompaniment of the red wine sauce.
Olive and Herb Poached Saddle of Lamb served with Creamy Polenta and Sautéed Peppers was a dish true to its origin where the slow poached lamb rack was superbly tender and pink! I happen to be a polenta lover so I was very happy to see this paired with lamb. Rich and creamy, the polenta was deliciously luscious while a piece of meatball added a touch of comfort to the dish.
Our last meat course was paired with Chateau Fontenil, Fronsac, France 2006. A deep ruby hue with a tint of purple, the wine had an aroma of deep berries with a full-bodied palate. Fairly smooth with a plump finish, I prefer this red over the other two red wines.
The meal proceeded with our final meat course of Strip of Milk-Fed Beef paired with Red Wine Braised Beef Cheek with Truffle Potato Blini and Moussline. A mouthful in its title, the flavors were quite intricate as its ingredients. I especially liked the tender braised beef cheeks for the melt-in-the-mouth texture while the red wine sauce was silky and satisfyingly lush on the palate.
The dessert course was partnered with a white dessert wine of Domaine Cazes Muscat de Rivesaltes 2005 from Languedoc Roussillon, France. As all dessert wines, this is quite sweet with hints of tropical fruits and honey. Decently paired with a decadent course of heavenly chocolate!
Dessert showed up in the form of Extension of Chocolate which featured Chocolate Passion Fruit Cake and Dark Chocolate Mousse served with White Chocolate Ice Cream. The passion fruit cake was dense, chocolaty and nutty in texture while the silky mousse and almond coated ganache was sinfully addictive. What completed the whole dessert was a very fabulous white chocolate ice cream made by Chef Alexander that I just could not get enough off… I had two scoops of ice cream and still wanted more!
The event may ended a few weeks ago but with memories of gastronomic cuisine partnered with a collection of amazing wines coupled with new found friends, my memories of that night is still etched clearly in my mind as I wrote this post.
Salute to Mr. Didier Richer for his amazing selection of “The Rolland Collection” paired with the genius Chef Alexander Waschl’s eclectic creations!
For more information about “The Rolland Collection”, check out their website: http://rollandcollection.com/
The Club Saujana Resort Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS
40150 Shah Alam,
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Phone Number: +603 7843 1234
Fax Number: +603 7846 2789
*Thanks to Pat and Anusha for the invite!