We recently had the pleasure of meeting Baron Francesco Ricasoli, who was hosting a Brolio wine dinner at Senja, Italian restaurant at Saujana Hotel here in KL.
Francesco (top left) a lovely man, with a keen eye for photography.. he has the most amazing instagram account!
The Barone Ricasoli Wine Estate is the oldest winery in Italy, I am told, and for many centuries, this wine label was a favorite of northern Italian royalty. More recently, it has been called the Italian Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. Well, well.. a tall order, and we would soon find out if it fit the bill.
Owned by Baron Francesco Ricasoli, the 32nd-generation baron of his family, the Barone Ricasoli Winery is based in Gaiole, northeast of Siena. The Barone Ricasoli Wine Estate has 240 hectares of vineyards planted around the magnificent Castello Brolio, the castle at the heart of both the winery and property.
The flagship brand, Barone Ricasoli Castello di Brolio Chianti Classico DOCG, was first produced in 1997. Its 2006 vintage received Gambero Rosso’s tre bicchieri (three glasses), the highest award by this Italian wine magazine, and was ranked #5 on the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines for 2009.
Senja at Suajana.. first time visiting this restaurant.. and the place looked really posh yet cozy
The french dinner started with A Spasso Per I mercati di Palermo – Smoked Swordfish Carpaccio with Watermelon Jelly and Candied Orange paired with the Torricella Chardonnay di Toscana IGT 2013
If this first opening number was supposed to wow the guests, then it most certainly did, and rather succinctly too. A tad on the salty side, this smoked swordfish carpaccio was nonetheless succulent and sweet with flavour – the watermelon jelly and candied orange added a nice tart fruitiness to the trifecta.
A lovely Tuscan Chardonnay, relatively pale in colour, despite the time spent in oak, this Torricella was the outcome. With 80% Chardonnay and 20% Sauvignon Blanc, it was definitely a fresher and more balanced white than some of the other Tuscans on the market.
Medium bodied and smooth, the Torricella was a nice oak influenced Chardonnay. It was subtle on the nose, with gentle peach, apple notes, vanilla, and a medium acidity that really complemented the smoked swordfish perfectly. Loved it.
The second course, Giro in Barca Lontano delle Coste di Trapani – Sicilian Red Prawn Raviolo with Saffron Sauce and Pesto “Trapanese” paired with the Brolio Chianti Classico DOCG 2012
Delicious aromas of Saffron assailed our nostrils as we bit into these gorgeous pockets of al dente cooked ravioli – nice and chewy.. just the way we like them. The sweetness of the prawn hit our taste buds and finally a lovely lingering pesto flavour stayed with us, long after the sweetness of each mouthful had passed. What a fabulous dish. And this course turned out to be my favourite wine-food pair for the night.
The Brolio Chianti Classico DOCG 2012 had a gorgeous plush mouth feel, of ripe red fruit and spices. It also possessed silky tannins and a well-balanced palate that accentuated the heady aroma of the saffron broth and brought to light the sweetness of the seafood ravioli. A match made in heaven!
Next up was the Giornata nelle Campagne Siciliane – Pistacchio And Mint Crusted Lamb Loin with Sicilian Caponata And Rosemary Sauce paired with the Castello di Brolio Chianti Classico DOCG 2008
This dish was all about the contrasting textures of crunchy pistacchio, giving way to a softer, succulent, center of medium rare lamb loin. The play on textures was remarkably clever.
The Castello di Brolio Chianti Classico DOCG 2008.. One of the best Chianti’s I have ever tried, this one was a perfect example of a Chianti with cherry notes, dusty tannins, earthy flavors and a hint of floral notes. However, it also possessed a comfortable minerality and spice about it, that was the perfect harmonious pair to the gamy lamb. Definitely long on the finish, it had me hankering for more of the same. Exquisite!
Finally dessert of Dolci Sapori di Sicilia – Ricotta Cheese Cannolo , Chocolate Tortino and Sicilian Pistacchio Ice Cream paired with the Castello di Brolio Vin Santo DOC 2004
I was inexplicably drawn to the deep amber colour of the Castello di Brolio Vin Santo DOC 2004.. inhaling deeply I encountered a lovely honeysuckle, liquorice and tobacco nose. This wine had a nice, complex palate with traces of coffee that paired perfectly well with a beautifully plated dessert of Ricotta Cheese Cannolo , Chocolate Tortino and Sicilian Pistacchio Ice Cream. Too good for words!
We have to say that Chef Giunta’s exquisite Italian dishes really surpassed expectations. The food was fine and subtle, but with flavors and herbs that popped, and it really complimented the fine wines of Brolio amazingly well. Artistic, with a complex display of textures, colours and layers of ingredients to create a harmonious union of flavours.. if we weren’t fans before, we surely were now.
But unfortunately guests were only give one night to discover the brilliant range of award-winning Barone Ricasoli wines this time at Senja, and it was priced at RM320 nett per person. We hope that next time, great events like these would span a longer time frame so that more folks might enjoy it!Follow me on Instagram : @agentcikay
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Saujana Resort, Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS,
40150 Shah Alam Phone: +603 7806 7000
Fax: +603 7846 3100