Friday, November 6, 2009

Report from ... Bb33 Errazuriz Winemaker’s Dinner – November 3, 2009

It was another fantastic winemaker’s dinner at Bb33, the restaurant within the Delta Chelsea hotel in downtown Toronto, and executive chef Gino Guercio outdid himself once again (click here to see my previous Bb33 dinner I attended for Bodegas Norton).

The winery this time was the Chilean self described “boutique” Errazuriz, with guest speaker Michel Coutonlenc, regional director, who was brief and to the point with his comments, wanting instead for the wines, and the food pairings, to speak for themselves. So, as per his wish, let’s get right to it.

The Wines …
Errazuriz 2008 Pinot Noir Wild Ferment ($19.95 – Private Order) – an amazing wine that went with everything and got better and better over the course of the evening. It started off soft and fruity with beautiful raspberry and slightly earthy notes, I also found some currants and red fruit. There’s a delicacy and elegance here that continued to improve throughout the two hours we lingered over dinner, by the end there was a delightfully inviting perfumed aroma emanating from the glass – and over this time it had become my favourite wine on the table. (****½)
Paired with the Salmon

Errazuriz 2007 Max Reserva Shiraz ($17.95 – General List LCBO) – this is a big lusciouosly fruited wine made from 100% Shiraz. Michel told us that Errazuriz was the first winery to produce Shiraz in Chile (1986). Aged 12 months in 2nd use, mainly French oak, and fruit sourced from 22-23 year old vines. This wine is dark fruit driven and juicy with hints of vanilla and white pepper … good value at under eighteen bucks a bottle. (****)
Paired with the Rack of Venison

Errazuriz 2005 Don Maximiano ($79.00) – named after the founder of the winery Don Maximiano (1870), this wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon which is harvested by hand at night, to preserve the freshness of the fruit, aged 18 months in new French oak, and only 1500 cases are made each year. It started off leathery with blackberry and other black fruits with plenty of spiciness; it went well with the cheese, but with all those tannins and spice it probably would have gone better with that hunk of venison; a delicious wine now but plenty of time to lie it down and improve. (****½)
Paired with the Cheese

The Food …

Applewood smoked Chilean salmon & Muskoka forged mushroom timbale salad

Pistachio and cranberry crusted northern Ontario rack of venison

Quebec artisan cheese board

Warm cinnamon and maple syrup poached Bartlett pear tarte tatin

My thanks to the folks at Bb33 for having me and hosting such a delicious dinner.

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