Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chateau Bauduc at the Cornstore

Chateau Bauduc at the Cornstore

Thursday turned out to be quite a night at The Cornstore with Bordeaux’s Chateau Bauduc providing the wines for an excellent five course meal. Gavin Quinney (and family) took over this chateau in 1999 and led it from strength to strength. It is quite a story and may be read here.

From Gavin’s earliest vintages, the critics have been
singing his praises and he has some very loyal big time customers, Gordon Ramsey and Rick Stein among them. Bauduc definitely picked up a few more fans on Thursday as he brought a strong hand to the Cornstore table.

The Cornstore team also played a blinder and our starter was Lamb and coriander kebab, mint couscous and harrissa dressing. This was served with the Château Bauduc Bordeaux Rosé. Gavin said they harvest blocks of Merlot (70%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%) at night and press the grapes straight away for a lighter, Provençal style, quite a popular one.

Next on the plate was Pan fired queen scallop, spaghetti of vegetable and piquante sauce, really tasty stuff and well matched with Chateau Bauduc Blanc Sec Sauvignon Blanc, a crisp, dry white wine, made from the 25 acres of Sauvignon Blanc vines that surround the Château. This has been the house white at Gordon Ramsay’s three Michelin star restaurant for twelve vintages on the trot, a ‘special selection’ of Rick Stein’s for a decade and, more recently, the prestige house white at the Hotel du Vin. A star wine and, like all Thursday night’s wines, available at Curious Wines, the other partner in the event.

More fish now as we sampled the Deconstructed Atlantic Bouillabaisse, this delicious mix served with a terrific  Les Trois Hectares blanc. This is an 80/20 blend from a 7 acre vineyard of gnarled, 64 year-old Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc vines. This  dry white wine had lots of  depth and complexity and seemed more popular around me than the previous one. 

Must admit I’m quite a fan of wines from old vines but Gavin pointed out that quality isn’t a given.  A well cared for plot of new vines can is more likely to produce the goods than an ill tended plot of ancient ones.

Now for the reds, two big champs of the Chateau. First up was the Clos des Quinze 2009, a lovely Merlot and Cabernet blend which was aged in French oak barrels, classic Bordeaux. On the plate, we had Slow Roast Rump of Beef, gratin dauphinois, pan friend baby spinach and a creamy wild mushroom sauce. Quite a match.

Yours truly with Mike of Curious Wines (right) and Gavin (centre)

Now for the sweet: Chocolate fondant with cherry heart and a cherry coulis, sweet and warm. This was served with a  Les Trois Hectares rouge, their top red, sourced from three hectares of Merlot vines near the Château. 

Actually, it is worth looking this up at Curious Wines. You’ll pay €26.00 at Curious but a more or less identical wine will cost fifty pounds at Gordon Ramsay’s.

Perhaps this last wasn't the best of matches but I solved it easily enough by dispatching the chocolate before concentrating on the full flavoured and elegant Merlot.

Overall, it was a terrific evening with top food and wine. Great too to meet some old friends and also make some new ones. Cheers to Gavin and Angela. Keep up the good work!

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