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Cotes de Provence, Domaine Houchart
Fried Bantry Bay Scallops, Tomato and lime salsa, Beetroot Jelly, Caper and
Sultana Dressing served with a Chateauneuf du Pape white, Domaine du Vieux Lazaret
2009. Famille Quiot.
Home Smoked Breast of Duck, Duck liver and Foie Gras Parfait, Fruit
Bread, Orange Dressing served with a Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet, Chateau du Trignon 2007,
Loin of Venison, Confit Yam, parsnip, Parsley..... served with a Chateauneuf du
Pape, Cuvee Exceptionnelle, Domaine du Vieux Lazaret 2006, Famille Quiot.
Cheeses (Cooleeney Farmhouse, French Brie, Bandon Vale Vintage Cheddar,
Cahill’s Farm Irish Porter Cheese) served with Chateau du Trignon Vacqueyras 2007,
Cheese Cake with Warm Tropical Fruits...served with a Muscat de Beaumes de Venise
Chateau du Trignon 2008.
This was the
promising menu ahead of last night’s first Wine Dinner of the Hayfield Manor
Wine Society . The promise was indeed delivered, thanks to the superb
wines, introduced with wit and inside knowledge by Jean-Louis Smyl of the
and thanks to the superb food prepared by Executive Chef Graeme Campbell and his
team. And a big merci also to Sandra Biret-Crowley, the sommelier at the hotel, who worked so hard to bring the whole event together.
Yours truly with sommelier Sandra
Started in the bar with
a big welcome from Joe and Marcus of KarwigWinesand soon an introduction to Jean-Louis who told me the
family has five vineyards in the general area. It was from the most southerly
of these, Domaine Houchart, that the aperitif came from, a lively and fresh 2010
More introductions followed
as we moved from the bar to the Vine Wine Cellar and our tables and here
Jean-Louis told us about their white Chateauneuf, made from Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc,
Clairette and Roussanne. Very supple and with quite a decent finish and a
pleasing match with the excellent scallops.
Now we were on to
the Smoked Breast of Duck, embellished by well chosen accompaniments and
further enhanced by a splendid Cotes du Rhone Village from the highly regarded
village of Sablet, set in the hills, and a big favourite of Jean-Louis.
And then came a high
point of the evening. The Venison was superb and the wine match was made in
heaven, well made in Domaine du Vieux Lazaret actually. This was a Cuvee
Exceptionnelle, not made every year. They decided to make one in 2006 and we benefitted
from the choice last evening. Inviting aromas, soft and round on the palate, no
shortage of spice as you might expect with Grenache and Syrah to the fore, and
a long finish.
The village of Vacqueyras
is one of the eight crus of the southern Rhone and it was the family’s Chateau
du Trignon that the 2007 came from and it proved a terrific match for the
line-up of cheeses.
Beaumes de Venise,
another small village, is just down the road and here our wine journey for the evening
would finish. Quite a decent red is produced
here but we were treated to the well known AOC Muscat Beaumes de Venise, a
sweet end to a sweet evening as it went down very well indeed with the Baked