Showing posts with label Zamora. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zamora. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

High-end Burgundy Wines at Zamora Evening. Excellent Matching Food As Well

High-end Burgundy Wines at Zamora Evening

Excellent Food As Well

Edouard Leach (left) and Billy Forrester.
Zamora got its wine events off to a great start with a superb Burgundy tasting event at the new Academy Street venue last Monday.

The top end wines, three white and three red, came via Bubble Brothers and Maison Francoise Chauvenet who were ably represented by Edouard Leach. And Edouard’s task of showcasing the marvellous Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of the region was made all the easier by the matching food served up by the Zamora kitchen under the direction of Pat Browne of Ballymaloe Cookery School.

Burgundy, unlike Bordeaux, is a land of small plots. There are some 3,500 growers with an average 6 hectares. Once it was the the negociants who dominated but now 1000 growers bottle themselves. As the growers go for more control at the end of the operation, so the negociants seek more control towards the start.
In the meantime, Maison Francoise Chauvenet brings together grapes from various parcels and makes some brilliant wines and those on show at Zamora were made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

First up was the Marguerite de Bourgogne Chardonnay (2013). This is the signature house blend of wine from four Cotes de Beaune vineyards. Edouard said it sets the style and is drinking perfectly now. This was matched with A salad of Jerusalem Artichokes with smoked almonds and preserved lemon dressing. Simple, but an excellent match. We were off to a very good  start indeed.

And it got better. The kitchen delivered their Carrigcleena Duck Liver Paté with crostini to pair with the Pouilly-Fuisse 2013. Edouard: “This is considerable step-up. The fruit is more concentrated and it goes well with the paté.” Chauvenet themselves say this is the undoubted king of the Maconnais region and Edouard emphasised that the quality here is down to a very deliberate low yield policy.
Our next visit was to the small village of Puligny-Montrachet, one of the places in the famous triangle near Beaune. “There is a huge demand for the triangle wines”,  Edouard said. “This 2012 is slowly opening up and, in two or three years time, it will be even better, will have attained full complexity.” Not bad as it was though and a serious partner with the House smoked Salmon and Hake, served with seasonal greens, roasted red and yellow peppers and a black garlic aioli.

Now we were on to the reds. Would they match up? Would they what? Billy Forrester of Bubble Brothers introduced the first, the entry level Marguerite de Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2013. He was very proud of it: “A wonderful old world Pinot Noir. Delicious.” He must have been proud too of the matching dish: Boeuf Bourguignon with Kale and scallion champ potato. We could have been in Lyon!
Boeuf Bourguignon
Edouard was somewhat puzzled by the fact that the next wine, the Mercurey 1er Cru (2013), was not so popular in Ireland. Mercurey is the best red wine village in the Cote Chalonnaise, between Beaune and Macon and “this is a huge seller in France, Belgium and Holland. It is quite soft, nice and generous.” And went well with the soft and mild Buche de Chevre.

Both the kitchen and the wine company came up with a terrific finalé. Zamora’s final contribution was an Organic Rhubarb Bread and Butter Pudding, with compote and softly whipped cream. A dessert delight.
And the final wine was a very serious one: Nuits-Saint-Georges 2011. Edouard advised: “This needs time. It is still relatively closed, needs more age”. And speaking of age, he had some advice if you are thinking of keeping a few bottles of this. “Pinot Noir is very fragile, can lose everything if kept too long. If you have a case, use one bottle every year!”.

Though, nowadays, quite a few areas around the world are making excellent Chardonnay and  far fewer areas Pinot Noir, you will still hear that Burgundy is the spiritual home of both. Don't think there were too many arguing with that after this particular evening.

The partnership between Bubble Bros and Maison Chauvet is a relatively recent one but is has started well with the promise of other excellent wines to come. Currently, there is ten per cent off the Chauvenet wines. So do keep an eye on their website for all the latest news from Burgundy. And also for news of further wine evenings at Zamora.

  • By the way, I always thought that Cotes d’Or meant golden slope or golden hillside. But I just read in The Finest Wines of Burgundy by Bill Nanson that it is actually  a contraction of Cote d’Orient - East-facing Hillside. I could have asked Edouard had I read that before the evening!


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Zamora. Belts and Braces. And Bubbles Bros Wines.

Zamora. Belts and Braces.
And Bottles from Bubbles Bros.
Duck, confit (left) and salad.
Zamora is a bright new restaurant on Academy Street (Cork) just a few yards from Patrick Street. You may have breakfast, lunch and dinner here and coffee and cake in between.

We called in for an early dinner on Tuesday and the place was almost full by seven o’clock. The first  thing I noticed was the braces (and belts) on the servers. It is an all male front of house here or at least it was both times I visited.

The second thing that strikes you is the floor to ceiling shelves of wine, all from Bubble Brothers. This is a wine shop as well as a cafe. As it turns out, we settled for the selection available by the glass, quite extensive, and were very happy with Majoli Valpolicella (€5.80) and a Gadenne Montagne St Emilion (5.20).

Happy too with the meal and the friendly service. There are about nine starters listed, plus the one on the board. Everything from a small dish of marinated olives (€3.00) to the top of the range Prawns in a Cajun Cream with Sourdough Toast (9.50). I had the Prawns and was delighted with them and CL was equally satisfied with her Pork, Spinach and Herb Terrine that came with cucumber pickle and a tasty chutney (7.00).

There is a good selection of mains here too. Just remember you won't be getting big plates piled high with mashed potato and there won't be side plates of veg and chips and so on. If you want a “good feed”, this is not the place. But if you want to be fed well, then try it out.
Desserts (left); starters.

CL went for one of the regular dishes: Duck Leg confit on Lentil salad with pomegranate molasses and walnuts (13.95). Lots of lentils but the duck, so well cooked, was delicious. I picked the special from the board; Duck breast salad with ricotta cheese, pancetta, poached egg and mixed leaf salad (11.95). This was really well put together, an very agreeable mix of flavours and textures, the ricotta and pancetta also contributing to quite a substantial salad indeed.

We listened carefully as the desserts were called out to us - always prefer to have them written. But it worked out very well. I had a great Valencian Orange Cake, smothered in yogurt, while the Apple and Blackberry Crumble went down very well at the other side of the table, CL mightily impressed with the unusual crumble (something of  a scone texture about it but they weren't giving away any kitchen secrets!). Desserts were €4.95 each.
So there you have it. Good food and a good location. And the wine’s not bad either. And maybe the start of a braces revival!