Grand Cru Bordeaux wines were deVine at the Royal Cliff

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The Royal Cliff deVine Wine Club held another of its special wine dinners, this one being called “Experience the Odyssey of Grand Cru Bordeaux Wines” introduced by Berenger Le Boursicot, a Bordeaux ambassador who received his Wine & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET) certificate from École du Vin in Paris, Who better than a Frenchman to lead the wine club members through some interesting French wines?

The oenologist Berenger Le Boursicot.
The oenologist Berenger Le Boursicot.

A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France, with a total vineyard area of over 120,000 hectares making it the largest wine growing area in France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world. The vast majority of wine produced in Bordeaux is red (called “claret” in Britain), with sweet white wines (most notably Sauternes), dry whites, and (in much smaller quantities) rosé and sparkling wines (Crémant de Bordeaux) collectively making up the remainder. Bordeaux wine is made by more than 8,500 producers or châteaux.

A confit of salmon with an amazing mango sauce.
A confit of salmon with an amazing mango sauce.

The red grapes in the Bordeaux vineyard are Merlot (62 percent by area), Cabernet Sauvignon (25 percent), Cabernet Franc (12 percent) and a small amount of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère (1 percent in total). The white grapes are Sémillon (54 percent by area), Sauvignon blanc (36 percent), Muscadelle (7 percent) and a small amount of Ugni blanc.

Berenger Le Boursicot returned as the guest wine speaker for the evening. He is a fervent wine enthusiast with a passion for winemaking, travelling, arts and culture. He worked for 7 years as the marketing and sales manager of Exclusive Imports, an importer and wholesaler of fine wines in Beverly Hills, California. In 2013, he joined the historical Bordeaux wine merchant company Borie – Manoux, the owner of eight classified growth estates, as its export manager for South East Asia & the Middle East.

The wines which were experienced were:

Montaudon Reserve Premier Brut NV

Beau Rivage Bordeaux Blanc 2012

Turpin Muscadet 2013

Les Hautes de Lynch Moussas 2010

Chateau Batally 2006

Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes 1996

The dessert was in an edible scroll.
The dessert was in an edible scroll.

After the welcome cocktails and canapés which included a crabmeat on rye from new chef Andreas, the members of the deVine Wine Club and guests made their way to the Royal Grill Room and Wine Cellar, one of the many restaurants within the Royal Cliff’s ambit with its wooden ceiling a masterpiece.

One of the factors towards the enjoyment of a wine dinner is the matching of wines and food, and executive chef at the Royal Cliff, Walter Thenisch is a past master of the art form.

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The first course featured a Pacific scallop with Spanish prawn, broccoli cream, hazelnut crumble, tapioca pearls and Pernod foam. What a combination, washed down with the Beau Rivage Bordeaux Blanc 2012.

This wine was a favorite for many of the diners, but for me, the next wine which was the Turpin Muscadet 2013 which was taken with a salmon confit with a mango, radish and chilli salsa was simply superb. The Turpin Muscadet was one of the least expensive wines partaken that evening, showing that wine appreciation is personal and often not related to price.

A rare treat of venison.
A rare treat of venison.

A break in the proceedings was the occasion of a rather wild red pepper sorbet, which guests either loved or hated as it certainly was spicy!

The main course was another ‘different’ offering with a juniper and thyme flavored venison loin, which took five hours of slow cooking to make it very tender. This was taken with the Les Hautes de Lynch Moussas 2010 a very popular wine with 70 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 30 percent Merlot aged for 10 months in oak according to the wine expert Berenger.

French cheeses were next with the Chateau Batailly 2006, followed by dessert with Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes 1996. A very sweet ending to a different wine dinner.

If you would like to know more about the deVine Wine Club you may contact the GM Prem Calais, [email protected].