Thursday, December 11, 2014

Banfi Wine Dinner At Senja, Saujana

The last AsiaEuro Wines event left me with a buzz that lasted for days!!!

I looked forward to a similar buzz when I got the invitation to the Banfi Wine Dinner at Senja, and when I discovered that they had flown in the resident chef from Castello Banfi itself, Chef Domenico Francone, I knew it was going to be a good night.

An excerpt from their brochure states that "Castello Banfi, known in the 13th century as Poggio alle Mura, is located on the gentle western slopes facing the Mediterranean of their 7,100 acres estate,
grow grapes in maritime soils that produce wines of elegant and subtle character, unique to southern Tuscany.

Their terra, rich in clay and calcium, regulates growth and adds complexity. Stones, rounded, by the Orcia and Ombrone Rivers, impart distinctive minerals to our white wines. Amid their vineyards, paleontologists recently unearthed one of the greatest discoveries of its kind, a 5 million year old whale fossil completely intact (WOW, THIS PARTICULAR FACT CERTAINLY CAUGHT MY ATTENTION). It is the influence of the prehistoric ocean bed that once covered the hills of Tuscany that today makes the grapes of Castello Banfi so expressive in character. Decades of clonal and enological research, especially focused on the native Sangiovese vine, have been registered with the European Community and shared with all. These endeavors gave rise to the renaissance of Brunello and the creation of “Super Tuscan” wines."

Banfi's wine expert, Guillaume Blanchard (who I reckon is a spitting image of Jeff Goldblum) very animatedly and entertainingly brought us on a vicarious journey of Castello Banfi, and the various wines we were to drink that night.

100% Sangiovese, estate selection, produced only in excellent vintages based on a meticulous selection of the harvested grapes, aged in barriques for 30 months, plus at least 12-18 months bottle aging before release.

Intense ruby red with garnet reflections, which show after long aging, with  intense bouquet, enveloping, fruity and spicy with tobacco and chocolate notes.  The taste is full, austere, velvety and appropriately tannic.

ROSA REGALE, Brachetto 100%. A soft red sparkling wine, extremely aromatic.The cold maceration of the grapes, followed, by a soft pressing, allows the extraction of the typical intense aromasfrom the skins and gives to the wine its characteristic light ruby red colour.

Cortese 100%, following a rigorous selection of Cortese grapes and vinified using the latest
winemaking techniques, the clean must is gently pressed and fermented at a
controlled temperature of 18° C for 20 days. A pale straw colour, with  intense bouquet, fruit forward, with typical hints of pineapple and apple.

TOSCANA IGT Pinot Grigio, 100% Pinot Grigio. light straw yellow, Bouquet, very fresh and fruity with pear, banana, peach, anise and honey notes.

This 100% Pinot Grigio belongs to Castello Banfi estate-bottled single-varietals range.
Thanks to the Montalcino microclimate our Tuscan Pinot Grigio adds to the typical
aromas of this variety an unusual body, flavour and balance.

Sea Bass Canolo With Celery and Rock Melon, paired with the Gavia. Very interesting, and somewhat foreigh, that Canolo thing, which is like a spring roll, made of fried bread.  The filling was substantial, and the seafood paired fabulously with the Principessa Gavia.

Next was the Potato and Lobster Agnolotti and tarragon pesto.  I loved this dish, because it was rather unique.  It was like a gnocchi on steroids.  That lovely potatoey texture with hints of lobster within, paired with the Pinot Grigio made for happy eaters.

Homemade Taglietelle with Winter Vegetables and Pecorino Cheese.  At first glance, I thought, hmmm, this looks rather unspectacular, but one bit into it, OH MY, seriously, genius is in making simplicity extraordinary.  The textures, the tastes...The best dish of the night, in my book.  Paired with the Chianti Reservo, I swear I could easily have another serving of this.

Black Angus Tenderloin With Sauteed Spinach, Porcini Mushrooms and Brunello Montalcino Sauce.  Of late, my luck with loins and meat haven't been that great, so I braced myself for a session of jaw exercise, but ooooh, this tenderloin was what a loin should be, TENDER, and melt in the mouth, despite the absence of marbling and fat.  Actually, why IS tenderloin so popular? Give me a marbled rib eye anyday.  Paired with the piece de resistance, the Magnum of Brunello Di Montalcino 2006, and the Poggio All Oro Brunello Di Montalcino 4004 DOCG Riserva.  The tingling of that triumvirate of flavours... the gaminess of the meat, the full bodyness of the wines.

CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG RISERVA, Almost exclusively Sangiovese. mauve red bouquet intense with notes of vanilla, liquorice and chocolate.

Celebrating the best Tuscan tradition Banfi offers a family of Chianti wines varied and  complementary, unique in its style. Chianti Riserva is produced from selected grapes grown in the "Classico" region of Chianti between Siena and Firenze. It is elegant, well-balanced, full-bodied with a very long aging potential.

The black rooster, the Gallo Nero, has been used as a symbol in the Chianti region from as early as the founding of the Lega Chianti. In 1924, it became the symbol of the Chianti Classico Consortium, and a mere 81 years later, in 2005, it became the official symbol for bottles of Chianti Classico DOCG wine.

100% Sangiovese ,intense ruby red with garnet reflections, Bouquet: ethereal, wide, light vanilla.
Taste: full, soft, velvety and intense, with sensations of liquorice, spices and light
goudron note.

Kudos to Chef Domenico Francone for a wonderful culinary experience.

Unfortunately, the wine pairing dinner was only available from 1-3 December. Do contact Asia Euro Wines for more information on the fabulous Banfi wines.

Su Ling Lee
Senior Marketing Executive
Asiaeuro Wines & Spirits Sdn Bhd
DID : +603-78832855 | FAX : +603-78832928 | Mobile : +6012-9464393
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Ciki said...

see.. contrary to popular belief we don't get invited to EVERY single wine dinner. hah! :P Great shots.. now I feel like a Flying Bansh.. Banfi.

GB said...

Thanks for the great blog CY! All the best - Jeff Goldblum