Words: Chris Moore Photos: Monica Tindall
There is a lot to be said about a glass of good wine. I’m not talking about the RM80 bottles you might have splurged on at the bottle shop to wash down the beef ragu you’ve slaved on for hours over the stove though. I’m talking about a wine that leaves you worshipping the vessel from which it was poured and secretly wishing that you were dining with someone that doesn’t happen to drink. The intense bouquet on your nose. The immensity of the flavours on your tongue. The uncontrollable glee created with the first sip. It is wines like this that leave you grateful for your very existence on Earth.
Yalumba Wine Kuala Lumpur
Having sampled some of the many wines produced by Yalumba before, when I was asked if I would be interested in a wine dinner hosted at Stoked KL and paired with some of the fine reserve wines of Yalumba, I knew I would be treated to that feeling of gratitude for being alive. Add to that the fact that Stoked is no slouch itself in the culinary scene around Kuala Lumpur, and this was bound to be something very special.
Yalumba Y-Series Viognier 2016
The evening commenced with a Y-Series Viognier 2016 from the Barossa Valley in South Australia served with a quartet of small starter dishes – Marinated Pear with Lavender, Potato and Roe, Cured Honeycomb Lardo, and Rye Bread and Chicken Liver. Though marketed as an entry-level wine, the Viognier is anything but. The flavour is crisp and bursting with the delicate nuances of apricots, stone fruits and lemongrass, while the fermentation with natural yeast adds silkiness to the mouthfeel that makes this wine pair brilliantly with the different flavours and textures found in the first course. The crispiness of the pear and aromas of fresh flowers uniting with the ginger and citrus of the wine is a perfect start, and the roasted baby potato, with its creamy lime interior and perfectly roasted skin, served with a dollop of roe was totally unexpected yet absolutely incredible when paired with the Viognier. Biting into the lardo was a trip down memory lane, as the dish is eerily reminiscent of the Honeycombs cereal I became accustomed to as a kid – except with the inclusion of fried pork; and the crunch of the rye bread with the salty chicken liver pate, though pungent, works really well with the flavours of the white. All in all, the night was off to a very good start.
Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2015
In keeping with the Barossa Viognier theme, next up on the menu was the Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier 2015 served alongside a beautifully presented Cured Mackerel, Watermelon and Pesto antipasti. Though another viognier from South Australia, these two whites are far from the same. The Eden Valley is elegant and silky smooth, possessing a complexity developed from the oak barrel fermentation. With aromas of peach and ginger, this luscious white balances well with the peppery and herbal flavours of the pesto and briny mackerel.
Yalumba Hand Picked Shiraz Viognier 2014
Remember how I mentioned that really good glass of wine and the joy that it imparts as the flavours engulf your palate – that wine that makes you glad to be alive? Well, that’s what you get with the Yalumba Hand Picked Shiraz Viognier 2014. If I had one word to describe it, I would say ‘magical’. Small amounts of Viognier are co-fermented with Shiraz grapes from the cooler climate of the Eden Valley, producing a wine that is polished and smooth and brings forth huge notes of cherry jam and liquorice. Making it even more vibrant and delicious is the pairing with Aged Duck Breast, Grilled Plum and Cherry Jus. The duck is rich and decadent while the sweet and fruity accompaniments on the plate bring the entire course together.
A Duo from Yalumba Wine – “The Cigar” Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 &Yalumba FDR1A Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2012
Now, you might be asking yourself what is better than a glass of really good wine – the answer, in fact, is pretty obvious, how about two glasses? The final main course of the evening presented a unique yet rewarding experience, a side-by-side comparison of two different South Australian cabernet sauvignons. In one hand, literally, we have Yalumba’s “The Cigar” Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, and in the other, the Yalumba FDR1A Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2012. Both wines are incredible in their own rights, with The Cigar packing heaps of raspberry and cherry flavours woven together into a smooth and deep full-bodied wine, and the FDR1A having the structure and backbone of a great cab sav while packing the highly expected spicy punch of a Shiraz. Perhaps the worst part of the course was having to actually put one of the glasses down in order to eat, but thankfully that feeling of emptiness and despair was quickly consoled by what was the best dish of the night. The Grilled Iberico Abanico Chop, Peach and Tomato Sofrito was immensely satisfying and complimented brilliantly by both of the red wines. The grilled Spanish pork was buttery and full of flavour and the sweetness of the peach and tomato elevated the smoky flavours that were imparted from the charcoal-fuelled oven, so eloquently named Bertha.
Ending the Yalumba Wine Dinner
To round out the evening of food and drink, a pair of dessert offerings were served to complement and support the robust flavours that had already been consumed. First up was a refreshing Blueberries Compote, Lime Zest and Oil, Yoghurt Ice Cream, which was equally as unique as it was delicious. The combination of citrus zest and olive oil elevated the sweetness of the blueberries and the tangy yoghurt based ice cream, while the Bailey’s Bon Bon was the perfect after dinner treat. The bite-sized morsels of chocolate truffle infused with Bailey’s Irish Cream, after a meal of such big and bold flavours like this, might just be the best thing since sliced bread. Wait, on second thought, make it the 2nd best thing since sliced bread. The Hand Picked Shiraz Viognier is the 1st!!!
Reasons to drink Yalumba wine: Hand Picked Shiraz Viognier!