University House Professors Walk, The University of Melbourne, Australia 10th October 2014

7th November 2014

Hi Folks,

Once again, my apologies for being tardy again - so much has happened and is happening at work and on the personal front, but here it is, at last. 

I was very happy to be able to reciprocate by organising this dinner at University House (UH), after Martin's highly successful and thoroughly enjoyable CG dinner at the Athenaeum Club. I was relieved that despite some "hiccups" in the planning phase, UH basically gave me the exact menu that I wanted (after initially saying it couldn't be done), so my thanks to John and the UH kitchen/wait/event staff for making the evening work so well, and for putting a good event for the guests.

Here is a list of wines that we had:

0.   Pommery "Cuvee Louise" 1999 (DC)
1.   Tarrawarra Reserve Chardonnay 2008 (PT)
2.   Michelot Puligny-Montrachet 2008 (EL) - corked
2a. Zind-Humbrecht Alsace Riesling Turckheim 2005 (EL) 
3.   Robert Arnoux Vosne Romanee 1985 (DM)
4.   Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny "Les Gruenchers" PC Vielle Vigne 2008 (MJ)
5.   Clarendon Hills Piggott Range Syrah 2004 (Deli Chen)
6.   Gilles Barge Cote Rotie 2006 (ST)
7.   Warres Vintage Port 1977 (DC)
8.   Gosset Brut Excellence NV

Food that we had:

A)   Shared platters of white fish & nori terrine with puffed rice, shiso pearls & wakame and sprout salad and crisp fried Flinders calamari szechuan spices, pawpaw nam-jim salad with lime. Matched to 0.

B)   Fish of the Day in anchovy dressing on squid ink risotto, saffron lemon glaze. Matched to 1, 2 & 2a.

C)   Crispy skin smoked duck salad with picked daikon & salted grapes. Matched to 3 & 4.

D)   Wagyu beef in smoked paprika and black pepper with hand cut chips, racquet, pan jus & béarnaise. Matched to 5 & 6.
Side dish 1 - Bean & zucchini ribbon salad with black olives
Side dish 2 - Baked root vegetable medley with spinach

E)   Assorted local and international cheese platter with dried fruits & crackers. Matched to 7.

Coffee/tea & petit fours and wine 8 as a digestif.

Thanks, everyone, for partaking in another interesting CG dinner where we compared wines from the same region or wines from the same grape variety but from different countries. It was a pity the Michelot was corked, it would have provided a point of contrast with the Tarrawarra Reserve Chardonnay which, I felt, was terrific and stood up to a lot good white burgundy. 

It has been awhile since I've enjoyed an aged Alsace Riesling. I thought that the Zind-Humbrecht Turckheim matched the fish course very well, the acidity plus the off-dry marmalade flavours really matched well with the richness of the squid ink risotto and tempered the saltiness of the anchovy dressing.

It was a delight to also compare an old and an relatively young red burgundy. 1985 was a top-shelf red burgundy year and it shows that a good one can age over 20 years (the Robert Arnoux Vosne Romannee is 29 years old when we drank it).  The Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny has many years ahead of it with long length, fine tannin and prominent acid structure. Both wines matched very well to the duck dish.

With the wagyu course, again it was a delight to compare the same varietal made in two different countries. The Clarendon Hills Piggott Range Syrah, one of Australia's top syrah, really stacked up well against a classic Cote-Rotie from Gilles Barge. Two very different styles of Syrah, showing regional and perhaps wine-making differences yet both pleasurable in their own way.

Thanks again for making it a great evening, indulging in our favourite pastime. Let's do it all again soon :)