By Franz Scheurer
Last night I attended a wine dinner at Rockpool in Sydney with Neil Perry matching his wonderful food to Rick Kinzbrunner’s inimitable Giaconda wines.
This was the menu:
2002 Nantua les deux
“Warm Jelly” with Mud Crab, Lime and Chilli Dressing
1998 Giaconda Chardonnay
Bruny Island Scallops with Sweet Corn Crepe, Lemongrass and Mussel Butter
1993 Giaconda Chardonnay
Stir Fried Lobster and Kangaroo Island Chicken with Shitake Mushroom, Hand Cut Noodles and Red Curry Sauce
1997 Giaconda Pinot Noir
Herb Crusted Bar Cod with Crab, Leek and Celery Sauce
1997 Giaconda Cabernet Sauvignon
Slow Roasted Lamb Loin with Middle Eastern Flavours
1992 Giaconda Cabernet Sauvignon
2002 Giaconda Warner Vineyard Shiraz
Coffee and Petit Fours
Various excellent spoon-morsel canapés were served on arrival with the Nantua les deux. Personally I found the wine a little too fat to really work as an aperitif.
Once seated, however, we had the pleasure of experiencing perfect service, stunning food and excellent wines. ‘Died and gone to heaven’ comes to mind!
The 1998 Chardonnay, tight and structured, with a faint bouquet of roses, almonds and beef consommé was perfectly matched by the ‘Warm Jelly’, which turned out to be a very delicate and texturally stunning cube of tofu. The hazelnut flavour of the wine on the palate augmented the savoury undertones and as a first act this seemed hard to beat.
The freshness of the scallops of the second course will stay in my taste memory for a long time. Sweet, salty, dry and gorgeous, they were at the opposite spectrum of the deeply flavoursome, quite dark mussel butter, which had a clean, fresh lemongrass finish. The 1993 Chardonnay was still so youthful it had only just started to open up and will easily need another 5 years to its peak. Tight with a citrus lift of grapefruit it worked beautifully with the flavours of the dish. What a fabulous wine!
Now I have always been fond of Kinzbrunner’s Pinot Noir and the 1997 is no exception. Feral, full of banyardy aromas, it is deceptively light in colour considering the concentration of flavours and amazing complexity. To live up to a serious red curry sauce you need good length and, yet again, a terrific match. This was probably my favourite dish of the night and, in my opinion, the best food/wine match.
An extremely elegant, varietally true 1997 Cabernet presented another great companion to Neil’s food. The saltiness of the bar cod echoing the earthy flavours of the wine, but, as good as it was, it paled in comparison to the 1992 Cabernet paired with the lamb. The Middle Eastern flavours were quite pronounced and would have presented a serious challenge to most wines; however this wine just lived up to everything the dish could throw at it. Remarkable!
I must admit I have never before tasted the Warner Vineyard Shiraz and I would like to taste it again… and again… and again. This is a fabulous, approachable and satisfying wine.
Congratulations to the team at Rockpool, to Neil Perry for putting together an incredible meal and to Rick Kinzbrunner for letting us taste his wonderful wines. This was a very enjoyable night and the hospitality offered was second to none!
Have a look at Giaconda’s website: http://www.giaconda.com.au/giaconda.htm
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