The 2010 vintage for St Hugo, one of Australia’s iconic wines, has finally reached Malaysian shores and we were invited by Pernod Ricard Malaysia to try out their selection of fine wines, paired with some delectable Spanish cuisine, prepared by Cava.
Being a huge fan of Cava, I knew we were in for a treat.
First up, some Spanish Tapas, paired with Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV. A platter was served, comprising 4 different tapas.
A Tomato Shooter, that had a lovely, light flavour and was refreshingly cool, paired well with the dry and zesty sparkling wine. Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir is an excellent choice, when you feel like a bit of bubbly, but you don’t want to fork out for champagne. The wine is remarkably dry. It has a nice, fresh citrus aroma with a suggestion of berries and a slight toasted aroma in the background. The bubbles are delicate and the finish is really clean and crisp.
The bubbly also paired well with the Pulpo a la gallega – Spanish octopus with potato, lightly dusted with paprika.The octopus had been boiled and then garnished with paprika, rock salt and olive oil. The flavor was subtle, with an interesting texture. The inner muscle was slightly chewy, while the exterior (where the suckers are) was slippery. Loved the contrast and how it was served on a slice of potato.
The Grilled Asparagus with Romesco Sauce was a winner too. The secret is in the sauce. And with the Romesco, you need to roast everything before you pulverize it and mix at all together. Roasted red peppers combine with roasted ground almonds, olive oil, paprika and vinegar to make a smooth, rich sauce that tastes great on crunchy greens. Finally the Olives Villeroy with Creamy Pesto – a simple but effective tapas - if you love olives, you will love the villeroy, a thick creamy paste encasing the olive, that is crumbed and deep-fried. The creamy pesto sauce is smooth and luscious. All these parts went terrific with the fresh, citrusy sparkling wine, I must say.. off to a good start.
The next dish was Cava’s specialty piquillo peppers stuffed with seafood , served with creamy piquillo sauce and asparagus paired with the Brancott Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012.
A superb dish from the North of Spain, these peppers were to die for. Sweet and tasty roasted piquillo peppers stuffed with a mixture of seafood, white wine, onions and garlic served with a creamy sauce and asparagus were paired perfectly with this delicious white. We noticed that the Piquillos were small, triangular-shaped peppers with a rich flavor. They had a deep red skin and flesh and were rather striking in color. Their unique shape seemed tailor-made for tapas, and for stuffing
And this was actually my favourite wine-food pair of the night. Dollar for dollar, this was really one of the world’s best sauvignon. The Brancott (pre-2010, labelled Montana) was rich with tropical notes and delivered a zesty, exuberant glass that is quintessentially Marlborough, New Zealand. It enhanced the sweet juiciness of this tapas dish perfectly. Hard to top, this one.
Next up, it was time for the George Wyndham Cabernet Merlot 2005 to make an appearance. This was paired with a succulent cut of honey and spice glazed New Zealand lamb rack. The wine had a subtle blackcurrant bouquet, was complex and high in acidity. It had also going in its favour, length and structure, which complemented the gaminess of the lamb. Not a bad pair.
The next and final course before dessert was a nice juicy steak, Australian Rib eye to be exact, paired with either the St Hugo Barossa Shiraz 2010 or the St Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon 2010. We were told to pick our favourite wine-food pair. Of the two, I felt the Cabernet Sauvignon, complemented the wild ceps and mushrooms sauce that the steak was served with, better. That’s probably just because I am not a big fan of the full-on aroma, of a big Shiraz. Anyway, the St Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 is definitely an exceptional vintage – the bouquet and palate gave you a powerful jolt of cassis and red currant fruits, while the oak and tannin in the wine nicely parceled the juicy mouthfeel of flavours. What could be a better marriage with an unctuous steak? The St Hugo Barossa Shiraz 2010 was definitely hearty, oaky and full-bodied. Like i said, perhaps a little too full-on for me.
Finally dinner was concluded with a cheese platter, although to be honest, I was too full by now, to eat another bite.
A memorable night of food-wine pairing indeed. It’s good that the wines of St Hugo are back with a vengeance. Can’t wait to see more of them.Instagram : @agentcikay
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