The Malaysian Wine Fiesta, Jalan Bangkung Bangsar

The Straits Wine Company recently brought to us, the rather professionally executed Malaysian Wine Fiesta 2012. Featuring more than 40 international winemakers and nearly 200 labels, this year’s Fiesta was anchored at Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar, covering famous eateries such as Cava, Opus, Leonardo’s, Madisons and ‘U’.


A wine fair like no other, the Fiesta was a rare chance to speak and sip with international winemakers. From casual wine drinkers to aficionados, the fiesta really did a fine job of catering to wine lovers of all levels. This year, there was a fabulous line up of labels showcasing new collections of wines from India, Japan, Croatia, Lebanon and not forgetting the regulars, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa, USA, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Germany, and more than I can even remember!


The idea was to take out time, form outlet to outlet, tasting the wines, breaking for finger food, and chatting with the winemakers, then going back to tasting once more. Since there were over 200 labels, we really needed to pace ourselves to enjoy as many different country’s bests wines. From sparklings to Champagne, Sauvignon Blancs to Shiraz, even Armagnacs and Cognacs, it was a lively, dizzying experience of mingling and wine appreciation of the highest order.


I had a great time that night, and an event such as this, with quiet a fair bit of traffic going through each room, that could well have been a chaotic mess, was so well organized, you didn’t feel the crowd.

Hats off to the organizers,The Straits Wine Company .. we hope that there will be another such event, in the not too distant future!


More photos from the night of the Malaysian Wine Fiesta, Jalan Bangkung Bangsar..


Napa Valley Wines – loves these but they are so expensive in the states. They were cheaper at the wine fiesta, but the Cab Sauv was still a whopping RM225 per bottle


Top range Californian Honig Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Honig Napa Valley Sauvignon blanc has been king at Honig Vineyard and Winery since the late Louis Honig planted grapes on his Napa Valley property in 1964. The firm has been run since 1984 by his grandson, Michael, who has expanded the family business in Rutherford. In addition to sauvignon blanc, Honig produces several bottlings of cabernet sauvignon and a dessert wine, late-harvest sauvignon blanc. Honig Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2011 is a blend of 96 percent sauvignon blanc, 3 percent semillon and 1 percent muscat.


Check out the crowd.. !


Croatian wines were a pleasure to try

Wine in Croatia has a long, long history. It was the Greek settlers who first introduced vineyards to the Croatian coast in the 5th century BC and wine production has flourished ever since. During the Homeland War, many wineries and vineyards were destroyed but the winemaking industry has rushed back.Croatia now produces up to 700 wines, some of excellent quality.


The distinguished German Winemaker..


Loved the German Riesling Spatlese RM175 per bottle

Well, no wine is more versatile than German riesling. It doesn’t just excel as a sweet wine and a dry wine, it excels at many different degrees of sweetness and dryness. The term spätlese (pronounced SHPATE-lay-zuh) refers to the degree of ripeness at which the grapes are harvested.


Some interesting wines from Portugal as well..


A fascinating beauty from Portugal’s Douro, the 2010 Quinta do Crasto reserve comes from old vines and different grapes.


I loved the medium bodied palate which is rich in wild berry characters. The wine finishes with great length, balance and texture.


And of course the Lebanese wines…


The Bekaa Valley is the home of modern Lebanese wine. Almost 90% of Lebanon’s wine is made here, as is a respectable proportion of its Arak, the anise-flavored spirit that remains the nation’s favorite alcoholic drink.


I actually started my tasting journey, at 6pm, at the Cava Station!

The Cava Blend is used to describe the composition of the iconic sparkling wines of Spain. The blend is principally made up of three grape varieties: Macabeo (often written as Macabeu or Viura), Xarel-lo and Parellada.


3 types of Cava that night.. all equally good..

My favorite was the Raventos i Blanc ‘de Nit’ Rosé Cava. It had a really pretty faded rose pink colour! Gently boozed strawberries, dusty rose aromatics, gentle and perfumed ..ah, truly a lady’s drink.




And the world renown Spanish wines.. my favourite being the Rioja


Rioja produces Spain’s flagship red wines, mainly from Tempranillo and Garnacha. Younger styles are soft and fruity while aged Crianzas, Reservas and Gran Reservas have increasing levels of concentration, elegance and smooth oak influence. You can totally understand why I camped out here for many minutes.. I am a HUGE fan.


The Rioja table was fascinating.. and I was introduced to the Lealtanza Crianza Rioja


Crianzas are actually in the least-oaked category – you’ll need to look for “Reserva” or “Gran Reserva” if you want more oak.


But they also had a fantastic olive oil on display. Limited bottles so we quickly grabbed ours. Only RM60 per bottle

We stood at this table, soaking up the olive oil with bread, just because it was that irresistibly pungent and tasty. Choosing olive oil is a bit like choosing wine. There are different grades, and some are more flavourful and offer more health benefits Virgin and extra-virgin olive oils tend to be higher in polyphenols.


More delicious Spanish wines, Cune, Imperial, Contino and Vina Real to name a few..


The 2005 Imperial Reserva is a classically styled Rioja, from the terrific, long lived vintage – terrific acidity and super delicious – 85% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo, 10% Graciano.


While the Contino Reserva is an excellent wine, the Imperial Reserva 2005 really suits my personality better. I’d walk away with a couple of crates of these, easy;)


Then along we go.. to the New Zealand wines..


Made with grapes from one place, Ara single estate wines aim to fuse the time-honoured art of winemaking with fresh ideas, and the natural qualities of the Wairau Valley location.


The Ara Select Blocks Pinot Noir exhibits succulent boysenberry and cherry aromas lightly seasoned with toasted oak and framed by long fine grained tannins.


Plenty of finger food for the guests..


Then on to the gorgeous Italian wines..


The Marco Felluga Pinot Grigio was my favourite – fruity and full bodied, well-structured and has a remarkably long finish. This wine went well with chicken and white meat.


Then my favourite Brancaia wines.. the Il Blu!

We have a pretty thorough account of the Brancaia Wines, if you want to read about them here.


Lively, animated discussions with the wine experts.. they were energetic and knowledgeable .. such a great time talking with them!


More handsome Italian wines..


Cin Cin!


Bottle after bottle we tried..


And what do you expect.. with 200 labels to get through that night, the event went on from 6-10pm, and I only managed 70% of the labels!


Then Upstairs to Leonardos – best tapas in town.. loads of great pork canapes were served here!


Then it was time to meet the BOGAN! Delicious Kaesler wines from Australia

Read our previous account of the Kaesler Wines, here.


I am NOT a Bogan.. says the Kaesler representative! 🙂


Peccavi Sauvignon Blanc Semillon – Lovers of classic Bordeaux blanc will be impressed with this wine.. A lovely combination of white peach and lemon, finishing with a touch of sweetness. I want more!


Australian – Ferngrove, Frankland River Shiraz

Located in Western Australia’s Great Southern, approximately 360 kilometres south-east of Perth, Frankland River is one of Australia’s fastest growing wine regions. Although viticulture began in the Frankland River region in 1969, it has only more recently become known as a significant producer of premium quality Western Australian wines.


The fabulous Yarra Valley Wines..




Captain Duncan Lloyd from Logan Wines


Group photo – the fabulous winemakers of Australia


The last hurrah Sparkling – Adelaide Hill

From Winemaker, Michael Sykes – An elegant style of Adelaide Hills sparkling with lifted aromas of strawberry and citrus fruit. The Last Hurrah Sparkling would be a great match to all of the usual suspects.. Smoked Salmon, Crab, Scallops and generally most seafood.


Murray McHenry representing Margaret River


And then, all good things had to come to an end… But not before one last drink to say Goodnight! 🙂

Goodnight folks!


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