June 16, 2013

Cape Mentelle, Margaret River Wine Dinner Pairing @Neo Tamarind

Cape Mentelle Wine Dinner Pairing

The evening started off with a flight of stairs leading up to Neo Tamarind at the heart of the metropolitan city. As the evening sets the mood, the thoughts of a wine pairing dinner with Cape Mentelle from Margaret River, Australia flows like a dream about to be turn to reality. A recent invitation to seek out a sensory experience with Cape Mentelle was a beautiful affair from the moment one steps into the restaurant.

Exceptionally beautiful that evening, the courtyard of the restaurant was filled with a blissful evening glow, glasses of Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012 and delectable canapés. Dinner was to be served inside the restaurant and everything was elegantly set from pearl white and green tinged blooms to candle lights and rows of polished wine glasses with table settings. Elegance shouted from every corner of the room.

Holding center stage is the evening’s wine selection from Cape Mentelle. Established in 1970, Cape Mentelle is Margaret River’s ‘founding five’ wineries. With a few accolades under the winery’s belt, Cape Mentelle has over 150 acres of vineyard dedicated to growing and producing sauvignon blanc, semillon, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, zinfandel and shiraz. Coupled with Margaret River’s rich nature’s environment and 40 years of viticultural history, Cape Mentelle is set to create a legacy of sustainability and longevity that captures a unique sense of the place in every bottle!

Mr. Chong, Brand Ambassador (MHD) kicking off the evening with a welcome speech.

We were honored to have Ashley Wood, a viticulturist, host us for the evening. Born and bred in Western Australia, Ashley is passionate about the region and in particular the Margaret river terroir. Having travelled extensively overseas, Ashley’s interest for grape growing was fuelled by his visits to Bordeaux and Alsace. He completed his Bachelor of Viticulture at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales and spent the next 12 years working in Margaret River before joining the team at Cape Mentelle.

Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012 paired with canapés

A combination of Margaret River sauvignon and Semillon blend, Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, 2012 is a perfect way to start the evening! In theme with the evening, this white really packs a beautiful and powerful citrus note to ignite our senses. It’s refreshing and clean on the palate with a fine long finish, pairing well with the assorted seafood canapés for a tease of what is to come.

Chardonnay 2011 paired with Steamed White Cod with Coconut Herbs Reduction

Renowned internationally to produce high quality chardonnay, Cape Mentelle’s version is inspired from Burgundy as told by Ashley. The chilled white has a fairly complex note with vibrant flavours of citrus and pears. It has a bit of a chalky tannin and quite tart with a long clean finish.

Paired with cod, the crisp white certainly lifted up the flavours of the delicate cod. Though the sweet meaty cod was prepared very well, the flavours of the sauce was too delicate to be remembered. It would seems that the Chardonnay was the one to jazzed up the flavours of the dish overall rather than the thin coconut reduction.

Cabernet Merlot 2010 paired with Roasted Chicken served with Garlic Bulb, Whipped Potato, Apple Sauce & Chicken Jus

The deep ruby red Cabernet Merlot is a blend of many, creating a depth of vibrant and fruity notes. Inspired by Bordeaux, Ashley recommends that this red be paired with grill or roast dishes for full appreciation. It’s not too heavy for me and I like the hints of currants in this red. There is also an element of natural acidity in the wine, just enough to compliment the dish we had.

Since roasts were the recommended, we were served roasted chicken roulade, slow roasted garlic, whipped potato, sweet apple sauce and savory chicken jus for the second course. Using thigh was a great one as the dark meat is tender and flavorful with much moistness. Though white meats are usually paired with white wines, I must say that this one worked great with the cabernet merlot, simply because of the roasting technique, lending it a richer and bolder note. The creamy sweet and soft garlic goes so well with the chicken and red white, lifted every flavor on a gentle note. Sweet creamy apple sauce had just the right amount of sweetness, balancing beautifully with the savory jus.

Shiraz 2011 paired with Roasted Duck Breast served with Red Cabbage Puree & Mustard Sauce

Matured in both large oak vats and small barriques, we were educated by Ashley that this is to retain the refined fruit, floral and spice characters of the fruit. On the nose, this red has a deep berry aroma. The palate shows off berries and hints of spice notes while the structure is tight and fairly sharp.

Duck is a favorite meat to be paired with reds. As such, it was no surprise that a duck course is almost always present in wine pairings. Here, the fat plump duck breast has a well-seared skin and medium meat. It is smothered in a creamy tangy mustard sauce, cutting through the richness of the duck. A beautiful accompaniment of creamy and tangy red cabbage puree shook up with spices is marvelous with the duck. This dish is really good, so much so I wanted more of this as everything worked so well with the Shiraz.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 paired with Grilled Beef Tenderloin served with Eryngii Mushroom, Scallion Oil & Beef Jus

Made with old vines, this ruby red is more concentrated with a complex density. It is a favorite among Australians, hence this particular red is 70% sold in the local markets with the rest exported. With such a rich and full-bodied palate, this red needs a bold dish to balance up its palate of rich and slatey fine tannins. This red has a long great length, making the senses feel its complexity and boldness of the fruit.

Another all-time favorite in wine pairings, beef is simply a must with red wines. The grilled aged beef is a sight to behold. Great smoky notes, tender juicy medium beef and served with drizzled rich sweet caramelized tangy balsamic vinegar is a match made in heaven. Served with meaty grilled eryngii mushrooms and crispy garlic chips, the dish is simply made for the rich Cabernet Sauvignon!

Green Tea Crème Brulee

On a sweet note to end the evening, green tea crème brulee and a passion fruit coulis with cream is served.

It was a wine pairing to be remembered with the finest selection from Cape Mentelle, plates of scrumptious dishes by Neo Tamarind, coupled with a magnificent ambience of the restaurant and glittering city lights! It’s quite rare for me to find brand that has both great whites and reds and Cape Mentelle seems to be one of those who own both.

For more details on Cape Mentelle, head over to their website: http://www.capementelle.com.au/


  1. oh, never seen this brand before, i had edgecomb brothers during my previous visit to WA... all the dishes look wonderful :)

  2. Ooooo...lovely place, love the table setting. Such nice flowers.

  3. The table setting was really pretty.

  4. Love the way they presented the beef dish.