In line with some recent cool experiences including the opening gala of the Italian Cuisine World Summit, cooking with Michelin 2 Star Italian Chefs Marco Sacco and Claudio Sadler, and wine tasting with Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee, I recently had the fortune of attending a Chateau Angelus tasting at restaurant Petrus with Chateau Angelus owner Hubert de Bouard de Laforest.
Petrus has been a haunt of mine over the years and serves up decent, classic Michelin-starred French food in an old-school, slightly stuffy atmosphere at Island Shangri-La in Hong Kong. But this Chateau Angelus wine tasting could have been held at McDonalds or Tsui Wah and I still would have been there. In this particular case, I don’t remember too much about the Petrus meal itself. A bunch of decent dishes, but nothing really memorable except a sangria risotto with red fruit caviar, which tastes a lot better than it sounds, though somewhat out of place for an otherwise standard French menu of the usual truffe noir, champignons des bois, volaille de Bresse, fois gras and veau. Michelin gives it 2 stars, though I personally think it’s one star too many, especially if you compare it to say Michelin 2 starred Amber at Mandarin Oriental.
But in terms of the wines supplied by Hubert de Bouard de Laforest of Chateau Angelus that night, wow, just spectacular. Chateau Angelus for those of you who don’t know, is a Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Gru Classe. Hubert de Bouard de Laforest also acquired La Fleur de Bouard, now the second wine of Chateau Angelus in Pomerol, and Chateau Bellevue, a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru estate. I’ve been doing a lot of wine tastings over the past ten years, but all these were a first for me…and man, what a first.
We started with a Champagne Marguet Pere et Fils Brut Reserve Grand Cru NV (approx. US$50) with our canapes, and then moved onto bottles of Chateau La Fleur de Bouard 2006 & 2005 (approx. US$40 & US$50 per bottle, respectively), Grand Cru Classe 2003, 1995 & 1990 (approx. US$220, US$270 & US$470 per bottle, respectively), and finally a bottle of Chateau Bellevue Grand Cru 2001 (approx. US$60 per bottle), all while being paired with various Petrus dishes. I don’t want to bore you with descriptions of the wines and try to pretend I’m a wine connoisseur by saying the wines were smooth and elegant and that I detected an earthiness with flavours of cassis, anise, tobacco, cocoa, blah, blah, blah…. Let’s just say the wines were awesome and I’d drink them all again, though for my own palate (as well as my wallet), I think the Chateau La Fleur de Bouard and the Chateau Bellevue Grand Cru are an amazing value for money.
While I’m generally not a fan of wines with Asian food (see my previous posting with Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee), I think the pairings in this case worked well. The food was helped tremendously by the pairings of Chateaux La Fleur de Bouard, Angelus and Bellevue. And while I honestly don’t remember the food from that night, I still remember the wines, and I’ll definitely be having another round, though probably only of the Chateau La Fleur de Bouard and the Chateau Bellevue until my wallet recovers from my most recent trip out to Scandinavia and the Baltics (who knew Scandinavia is one of the most expensive places on earth?).