Tuesday, February 02, 2016

The Pinot Palate - A Celebration of Pinot Noir. Pinot & Food pairing at Creation, Hemel en Aarde

The Hemel and Aarde Valley holds a weekend celebration of Pinot Noir each year and we were invited to attend Creation's part of it. They booked John to take photographs for them and we had a marvellous morning tasting some older Creation Pinot Noirs, matched with some same age Burgundies. Each matched pair had its own food pairing. It was delightful and Creation really showed how good their Pinots are; they held up their heads so well when matched with the Burgundies
Guests arriving at Creation
Lynne in deep discussion with Eben Bezuidenhoud, sommelier at Grootbos and Dieter Odendaal, Marketing Manager at Creation
Slices of fresh strawberry to pair with the MCC
JC Martin degorging his first MCC bubble especially for this celebration. It was the welcome drink. It is made from 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. He still wants to add a dosage, but both Carolyn Martin and Lynne think it is perfect as it is. It has a brioche nose, nice depth and fullness, elegance and good clean flavours
Lots of fizz in each bottle
Getting ready to degorge another bottle
Carolyn Martin welcoming guests
Lots of familiar faces having a great time
We agree ...
.. and yes
Time to move into the tasting room/restaurant
Waiting for the tasting to start
All the glasses lined up. Creation only use the correct Riedel glass for each wine
Sue and Neil Proudfoot of Wine Concepts, Kloof Street
Michele Guttler, Xenia and Deon Oliver and Professor Peter Roos examining the first wine
Carolyn Martin begins the tasting
JC Martin explains the wines we will taste. Four pairings of Pinot Noir, each paired with a matched dish created by chef Warwick Taylor. Lynne spoke to Warwick later and he said that he specifically did not want to present conventional pairings and did something different using the nuances he found in the wines
The Menu
It was a large audience, and getting feedback later, it appears it was one of the best tastings on offer to the Pinot Noir enthusiasts that weekend. They pay R1 800 per person to come for the weekend (Friday and Saturday) and then book for the tastings which attract them. It is organised by the Hemel and Aarde Winegrowers Association. Each winery involved holds one event over the weekend. There is also a group dinner with a speaker and good wines on Friday night. Accommodation and transport is for your own expense. Only 60 tickets are available each year
JC Martin runs us through the procedure
The first dish begins to arrive and the tasting begins
On the table were bread spirals and fresh butter to cleanse the palate
2012 Creation Reserve Pinot Noir and the 2011 Creation Reserve Pinot Noir. These wines had both aged extremely well and both show potential. Lynne liked the 2010 just one point more than the herbal, savoury 2011, with notes of buchu on the nose. The 2010 has perfume and raspberries, is smooth soft and elegant and still shows a nice balance of alcohol and fruit
The pairing of pork fillet in a masala, caramel and sage sauce was both savoury and sweet, with richness from the mushrooms, but we found the spinach a little metallic for the Pinot
The pairing for the next course was sumac spiced lamb with an oyster foam on a shiitake risotto, topped with cranberries. The rich creamy risotto and the foam went so well with Pinot Noir and the cranberries were inspired, as we also picked up their flavour on the wines. This was paired with the 2012 Creation Reserve Pinot Noir - Lynne found perfume, pure red fruit, a long aftertaste; it is very good. In fact, she scored it one point more than the Burgundy, which was the 2012 Hudelot-Noellat Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaumonts which, in Burgundy context, is still very young, which showed in its forward acidity and tannins but it is very elegant, perfumed and will last a long time
Burgundy authority Remington Norman, a retired wine merchant and Master of Wine, who co-authored The Great Domaines of Burgundy: A Guide to the Finest Wine Producers of the Cote D'or with Charles Taylor MW, (Kyle Cathie 2010) talked us through the wines, with special emphasis on the French ones, as many people are not that experienced tasting good Burgundies due to their high costs and limited availability in South Africa. He cautioned us that the Burgundies we were tasting can age for many, many years and may not show well this young. This gave us great hope for the South African Pinots’ future
The next food pairing had both dishes on the same plate. On the left is the beetroot cured salmon, on the right the barrel smoked duck breast. We found the pairing of beetroot cured gravadlax salmon with black cherries quite inspired. The sweet earthiness of the salmon complimented the wine so well and vice versa. The cherries added that extra fillip. The wines were 2013 Creation Reserve Pinot Noir, at first restrained then, with a swirl, full on with herbal notes, perfumed raspberries and strawberries; you get a full mouth of fruit with long flavours. The 2013 Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin was full of intense fruit with hints of oak on the nose and dry chalky tannins, which is what one would expect from one so young, then ripening cranberries and raspberries. One to buy (supposing you can afford it) and put in a cellar for years; such potential
The final pairing of wines was the 2013 Creation Art of Pinot Noir, full of violets, fruit and wood on the nose, lovely young fruit with a kick of potential for the future. This will be an excellent wine. The 2013 Henri Boillot Volnay 1er Cru Les Caillerets really excited the crowd. What a nose, full of spicy fruit which keeps on giving. Ripe young fruit, crisp chalky tannins, it sang its future. It is from 78 year old vines. The barrel smoked duck breast echoed the wood in the wines and matched in richness
Creation's Art of Creation presentation box of six premium wines
One last treat, from a decanter as it is still in barrel, poured by Daniela. We tasted the 2015 Art of Pinot Noir. Notes of smoky bacon and lots of very young fruit, it needs maturation in barrel and bottle for a few years more
JC is very proud of this new vintage
With his fans, Michele Guttler and Xenia Oliver
Chef Warwick Taylor
He brought Lynne something off their normal menu to sample. A warm, crisp deep fried ball of goats cheese covered in beetroot powder on a sweet raspberry gel - another good match with Pinot Noir
Geraldine and Remington Norman with Carolyn Martin
On the lawn at midday with scents of the heady fynbos garden all around
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus

No comments: