The estate of Sette Ponti lies in the heart of the Chianti zone, fifteen miles northwest of the city of Arezzo just past the village of San Giustino Valdarno. The Via del Monte, known locally as the Via dei Sette Ponti, leads into a beautiful hidden valley and to the estate. The name Sette Ponti, or “seven bridges,” refers to the seven bridges crossing the Arno River on the road from Arezzo to Florence. Tuscany to be exact.
When we were invited by Mr. Peter Yew, manager of the Opus, Cava, Moxie & Leonardo chain, to be part of the Cava-Milawa wine & dine dinner, featuring these great wines from Sette Ponti, we were pretty psyched. I mean the average Malaysian knows a lot about Australian wines.. but Italian? Well now that’s a mystery.. at least to me anyway. As such we felt it was high time we got acquainted with some of the finer wines of Tuscany.
About the Wines
Tenuta Sette Ponti’s first release was the 1998 vintage Crognolo, named after a wild bush, Cornus, which grows on the estate. The blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot was the start of finer things to come. The estate’s second release, Oreno, named after a small river running through the estate, is a more international blend incorporating Cabernet Sauvignon for structure and fragrance. This is the estate’s flagship wine.
We were told that the Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno and the Feudo Maccari Saia were suppose to be the highlights of the evening. Tonight at Cava, the Saia would be paired with the Crayfish and the Oreno with the Rack of Lamb.
The Wine Food Pairing
From the outset, we felt that there was something amiss about the first two wines. Later, when Stefano Maggini, the vineyard’s export manager checked, he found that some of the bottles of wine had indeed been compromised. Once we changed this for another bottle, everything was fine.
Here we have the Mushroom starter being paired with the Feudo Maccari Renoto. This wine was a deep red-violet color and was supposed to taste fruity with light tannins. Because my initial glasses of the Renoto was corky, I could not tell how well it paired with the Baked Mushroom parcel. All I can say is that the Portobello and Enoki mushroom combo baked in that parcel with white wine was heavenly! Off to a good start already.
Next up, the Oxtail Cocido which was essentially braised Oxtail served with Caramelised Onion and a side of mash potato and asparagus. The wine that paired this dish was the Poggio Al Lupo Morellino Di Scansano.
To tell you the truth, any full-bodied, oaky red would have gone well with this superb tasting oxtail dish. It was therefore rather strange that this wine that was chosen to be paired with the Oxtail was actually rather un-oaky! A blend of 75% Sangiovese and 25% Alicante this wine was medium bodied and wrapped around a remarkably soft tannic structure. As the night progressed, I really felt that the next “bigger” wine (that would soon be paired with the crayfish below and again, possibly wrongly so..) would have gone better with this oxtail.
This was my favourite dish of the night. The Crayfish served cold was oh, so precious because, out of that entire platter, you only get to fork a small morsel of tender sweet flesh into your mouth! Exquisite!
And this wine, the Fuedo Maccari Saia, was my favourite red for the night. This wine possesses amazing depth, richness, beautiful length and is priced extremely well for its exceptional quality, i.e. if you cannot afford the high ended wines but would still like to spend on a relatively outstanding wine, this is it!
This wine originates from the Mazzei Family, one of the five noble family’s of Tuscany. It is made with 100 percent Nero d’Avola grapes, well known for producing intense, full bodied wines. Sigh.. I tell you this wine is worth its weight in gold. The Saia is deep violet in color and will knock your socks off with its spice and oak aroma! Man, I love this wine..
Too bad this lovely wine, crushed the delicate flavours of the Crayfish. Like I said, this wine would have paired beautifully with the earlier dish, and vice versa.
I felt that the entire dinner climaxed with the Crayfish course, but that’s just me.
Enter the grilled hillside rack of Lamb – faultless as a dish and beautifully paired with the final wine of the night, the Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno. The Oreno is a blend of Merlot, Carbenet Sauvignon and Sangiovese.
Let’s cut the the chase. There are wines, and then there are wines. Ranked 15th top wine from the Wine Spectator’s 2008 Top 100, the Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno is a magnificent wine indeed and you can see why they picked it for last.
A brilliant composition of licorice, blackberry and toasty oak is what this wine is all about. Full-bodied, with super silky tannins and a long, long finish.. the lingering taste will stay with you for the rest of the night for sure. The Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno – highly recommended!
What happens when non-professional photographers need to photograph food in dark surroundings..
Chocolate Dream by Caving-Light..
They get creative! Munkey boy using Cumi’s Caving equipment to illuminate our desserts.
(Yes, yes.. I can hear the cog-wheels of your brain turning and asking the question.. well what about a camera flash… and the monkeys reply.. ” Where’s the Fun in That?! ” )
THE BANGKUNG ROW, August 5, 2010- Head Chef Sting of Cava Restaurant and Bar @ The Bangkung Row created a 5 course menu paired with award winning wines from Tenuta Sette Ponti, Tuscany, Italy.
Cava @ Bangkung, and Milawa Wines hosted this dinner party to perfection. The appetizer and wine reception began at 6 p.m, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. All five courses were paired with great Tenuta Sette Ponti wines. Stefano Maggini, the vineyard’s export manager, hosted and gave the opening remarks, discussing the wines and the pairing of the menu. He actually sat with us (the food bloggers) during the entire dinner and that is probably why we managed to get our corky wines changed so fast! The cost of the dinner RM150 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
The menu that Chef Sting has created for the Cava @ Bangkung, The Bangkung Row showcased his culinary talents as well as the versatility and depth of the wines. We felt his food was excellent! Compliments to the Chef!Add: Cava Restaurant, 71 Jalan Bangkung, Bukit Bandaraya, 59100 Bangsar Tel: 03 2093 6637 Google Maps