Spoiled by the river side
Spoiled by the river side

Envy and disappointment reigned among wine lovers who missed the recent Twin Sensation French Wine Dinners. Both Anantara Siam Bangkok, as well as the AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel, organized wine pairing events with Château Cos d’Estournel as the star of the show on 22 and 23 July. Fortunately, Wine And About got its foot in the door of the AVANI.

The AVANI, right by the Chao Praya River, hosted the French winery’s bottles and director, Charles Thomas, at Attitude, their upscale restaurant. Along with a stunning view of the bustling Chao Praya River and Bangkok’s skyline behind it, a number of exquisite dishes were served; each one accompanied by a different wine from the renowned château.

The Château overlooks around 91 hectares. The vineyard consists of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon vines and 40% Merlot vines. The percentage of Cabernet and Merlot varies from one vintage to another according to weather conditions, benefitting successively to the one or the other. The vineyard is more than mature with an average age of 35 years. Only wines coming from over 20 years old vines carry the name of Château Cos d’Estournel. Harvesting and selection procedures are all done manually and with the greatest care, resulting, of course, in great wine.

SSome of that amazing wine came to Bangkok under the supervision of the vineyard’s director. Guided by his expertise, the guests enjoyed wine and food, both at its best.

The dinner started with Champagne Michel Reybier NV and canapés. This wine doesn’t come directly from the Vineyards of Cos yet was produced for its owner, Michel Reybier. It is wood-aged before undergoing its second fermentation resulting in deliciously complex and intense champagne. This was paired with a trio of appetizers: olive sphere, a tribute to El Bulli, mimetic peanut with curry and Parmesan stick roll.

Cos d’Estournel Blanc 2013, 76% Sauvignon Blanc and 24% Sémillon, came next. Deemed one of the best whites of the estate, it made for a strong second and went extremely well with the lobster tartare.

The ice cream arrived rather early at Attitude’s dinner tables. Yet because it was made out of Parmesan, this was perfectly justified. It was paired with Goulee 2013. A wine, consisting of  60% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc, from a different vineyard owned by Cos d’Estournel. The particular climate the vines reside in results in a fruity character, reminiscent of the style of certain New World wines.

Les Pagodes de Cos 2009 is a more tannic wine with a rich nose and a ripe, fruity palate. It is made from 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot. A delightful plate of boletus mushrooms, foie gras, corn, and greens accompanied it.

The main course consisted of sous vide lamb rack, mango chutney, pines and rosemary air. The wines served with it were no less impressive: a 2003 and 2008 vintage of Château Cos d’Estournel. Both wines are similar in style and blend (mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and small percentages of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot). Their vintages set them apart.

The 2003 vintage is rich, well balanced and voluptuous on the palate. In contrast, the 2008 vintage is more elegant and velvety, offering both power and finesse.

Things started to wind down with a plate of creamy sheep cheese with macadamia nut and truffle honey. This was served along with the oldest wine present that evening: a Château Cos d’Estournel 1986. A wine made from 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot. It has a complex and little revealing bouquet. The structure of delicate tannins is enormous, and the body is full and rich. It’s a wine that can age or be drunk today.

Desert arrived in the form of raspberry and yogurt in textures and a glass of Hetszolo Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos. This dessert wine comes from a vineyard located in Hungary’s well-known Tokaji region. It’s a perfectly balanced dessert wine with a complex nose and a rich full-bodied palate.

Good news is that these wines will be available at Anantara Siam Bangkok and AVANI Riverside Bangkok starting from November 2016.