The SOMM Journal

December 2017 / January 2018

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Page 83 of 124

{ }  83 { }  83 THE PROGRAM As guests arrived, the Domaine du Moulin Méthode Ancestrale, a 100% Mauzac spar- kling wine, was served as an apéritif. Something to note: Mauzac is the only white grape used for sparkling wine production in Gaillac, and while there are approximately 80 pro- ducers who make it, only 500,000 bottles per year are produced overall). At lunch, wines were served in flights of three, with one flight per course. First, paired beautifully with a kohlrabi and hazelnut salad were three whites from the 2016 vintage: Les Gourmands 2016 L'Enclos des Braves, a blend of the indigenous variety Loin de L'oeil and Sauvignon; Domaine des Terrisses Blanc, a blend of Mauzac, Loin de L'oeil, and Sauvignon; and the Chateau de Mayragues, Classique Loin de l'Oeil. Next, paired with a wild mushroom sauté over spinach and leek purée, were three red wines: the Domaine Plageoles 2016 Braucol, made from 100% Braucol, the region's most planted red grape; Domaine Philemon 2015 Croix d'Azal, also 100% Braucol, though this producer calls the grape by the name Fer Servadou (both are acceptable); and the Domaine du Moulin 2015 Cuvée Florentin, a blend of Syrah and the local grape Duras. The main course consisted of seared Long Island duck breast with quinoa, turnips, and grapes, paired with three diverse reds from the 2014 vintage: The Chateau Lastours Tradition, a blend of Braucol, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah; the Domaine des Terrisses Terre Originelle, a blend of Braucol and the rare Prunelart, a grape that went extinct during the phyloxera epidemic and was revived by Domaine Plageoles in the 1990s; and Domaine du Moulin Cuvée Florentin, made from 100% Braucol. The dessert, a chocolate rye cake, was, inter - estingly, paired by Compeyre with two dry red wines, the Domaine des Terrisses, L'Oree des Terrisses 2016, made from 100% Braucol; and Domaine de la Croix des Marchands Tradition 2014, a blend of Braucol, Duras, and Syrah. The guests, many of whom had not tried the wines of the region, were thrilled at the quality and approachability of the wines. "For me, the wines of Gaillac are a combination of French varieties that are recognizable and indigenous varieties that are unknown to most," says sommelier and educator Maria Scillieri, one of the attendees. "Standouts for me included the Domaine Des Terrisses, Terre Originelle, with its black currant notes and fine tannins, and the Domain du Moulin Méthode Ancestrale NV Sparkling, which was crisp and clean with green fruit notes. Simply put, Gaillac's sparkling wines need more public attention." Sommelier Henrique Castillo of NYC's Hakkasan also liked the Domaine du Moulin Méthode Ancestrale for its green apple and pear notes. "The slight sweetness worked very well with the brininess of the oyster canapes served upon arrival," he said. Other wines Castillo liked included the Domaine des Terrisses Blanc 2016, "lovely texture and hints of floral and peachy notes but not overly ripe, and showing good acidity and min - erality"; the Domaine du Moulin Cuvée Florentin, "reminiscent of a high-altitude Malbec and a revelation for its potential to age"; and the Domaine de la Croix des Marchands Tradition 2014, "juicy and approachable with peppery spice notes that paired well with the chocolate cake." Domaine du Moulin 2015 Cuvée Florentin paired with the seared Long Island duck breast. Les Gourmands 2016 L'enclos des Braves served with kohlrabi and hazelnut salad. Domaine Philémon 2015 Croix d'Azal, a 100% Braucol from Gaillac served with a wild mushroom sauté over spinach and leek puree.

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