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The finest from Faugeres

The Pullman King Power hotel presents a sumptuous wine dinner



Bangkok's gourmets showed their love for French wines, especially from Bordeaux, at the recent Chateau Faugeres wine dinner at the Pullman King Power. Chateau owner Silvio Denz and wine master Alain Dourthe were on hand to introduce the gems of the estate.

Denz was a perfume designer and wine merchant who in 2005 decided to devote his life to winemaking. He took over two properties - Chateaux Faugeres and Peby Faugeres - that had begun nurturing grapes in the 19th century. Denz's aim was to become a premier supplier of the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru appellation and he did so within a short time with the help of renowned Bordeaux-based oenologist Michel Rolland.

Robert Parker has described Chateau Faugeres 2000 as one of the great revelations of this vintage. Denz's portfolio includes Chateau de Chambrun in AOC Lalande de Pomerol, whose wines were also featured for the night in Bangkok.

Organised by Wine Gallery Bangkok in conjunction with the Pullman, the six-course dinner began with rock-lobster martini and mango salsa paired with Faugeres Blanc 2010. You got the crunchy seafood, green vegetables and sour mango salsa, which felt like a very healthy dish.

With its soft character, petrol-like aroma and low alcohol, the wine exhibited a refreshing and cleansing fruitiness to complement the dish.

The second course was veal sweetbread morel fricassee with wild leaves. To counter the creaminess and the thick sauce we had Chambrun 2009, which has powerful tannins. In the glass the legs are thick, long and slow moving. You need that richness to counter the heavy dish. But we were told something even stronger was on the way.

The third course was grilled red mullet and vegetables matignon matched with Faugeres 2009, billed as the estate's most successful wine. The fish was wonderfully firm and tender, with a strong smell, delightfully seasoned with colourful ingredients.

The legs of the accompanying ruby wine looked shorter than the last one. Blessed with good acidity and slight spiciness, it felt lighter than the last, but could tame the smell of the fish in the mouth.

Next was wagyu beef tenderloin Rossini in Bordelaise sauce, married with Peby Faugeres 2009. The wine is 100 per cent Merlot and more powerful than the last because of its exceptional concentration and great balance. It has spicy aromas, thanks to its ripe tannins. The finish is quite long.

The fifth course was a cheese platter - Conte, Mimolette and Parmesan - with homemade fruit jelly plus honey, partnered with Peby Faugeres 2005, also 100 per cent Merlot. The wine felt more powerful still than last one, with far greater tannins and strong aromas of blackberries.

We ended with lemon "tarte fine" in Gianduja sauce and yoghurt sherbet. The dessert wine was Jos Prume Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese 2004, which is off-dry.

It's hard to pin down which wine was the main crowd-pleaser. The wine columnist from Thailand's Restaurant News magazine loved Peby Faugeres 2009, and his editor enjoyed Faugeres 2009. The GQ editor was impressed with Chambrun 2009 while the editor of King Power magazine was also fascinated with Faugeres 2009. I loved Faugeres Blanc 2010, great for a hot day.

Overall, wine lovers seemed to enjoy tasting so many wines of different vintages and varietals in a single evening.




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