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Pinot noir, from Burgundy to Oregon

Muthi Achadiat Kautsar
Muthi Achadiat Kautsar

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, March 14, 2018  /  06:12 pm
Pinot noir, from Burgundy to Oregon

Full-blood sirloin with mashed potatoes and onion marmalade red wine sauce to be paired with Joseph Drouhin Chambertin Clos de Beze 2011 at VIN+ Plaza Senayan Arcadia (JP/Muthi)

Burgundy is the home of Pinot Noir, a red-wine grape variety. Although only one-fifth of the size of Bordeaux -which is dubbed the world’s major wine industry capital- Burgundy has more than 700 appellations, while Bordeaux has 50.

Chambertin, a Grand Cru vineyard for red wine in the Cote de Nuits subregion of Burgundy, produces wine that was a favorite of Napoleon Bonaparte. This story has been heard among the wine enthusiasts, and was recalled by Christophe Thomas, the export director of Maison Joseph Drouhin from Burgundy.

“Burgundy has been producing wines for more than 2,000 years, [while] Bordeaux only started in the 12th century… so we [in Burgundy] have lots more experience. Burgundy was the drink of kings and emperors. Napoleon’s favorite wine is from Chambertin,” said Thomas to The Jakarta Post during the Joseph Drouhin wine dinner at VIN+, Plaza Senayan Arcadia.

Hailing from the home of pinot noir, Maison Joseph Drouhin presented three pinot noir wines that evening, along with one chardonnay.

The wines were paired with the culinary creations of chef Djoko Sarwono of VIN+ Arcadia and chef Deni Sugiarto from VIN+ Kemang.

“Us French people always think about the types of food that match with the wine, and we don’t really drink wine without food. Like it’s more about food matching than just sipping wine,” said Thomas.

Christophe Thomas, export director of Joseph DrouhinChristophe Thomas, export director of Joseph Drouhin (VIN+/File)

He went on to say that Burgundy had strong gastronomy and viticulture. Unsurprisingly, a lot of traditional dishes from the region are cooked with wine. Thomas cooks beef bourguignon with pinot noir and shares a few other names of traditional dishes cooked with wine such as oeuf en meurette (eggs poached in red wine sauce) and pochouse (river fish poached in wine).

Meanwhile, the foods presented by VIN+ to match Joseph Drouhin wines that evening were just as enticing. Amuse bouche was poached foie gras with red wine apple comfort and edible flower, and paired with champagne.

Thomas commented that Maison Joseph Drouhin do not do sparkling, although Cremants de Bourgogne -sparkling wines from Burgundy- has been a very good business for the past 10-13 years.

“Really fantastic business to go to, but this is just not us. We have the luxury to be strong enough with the wine and not go for that,” said Thomas.

Read also: French crémants are a delicious, sparkling champagne alternative

The dinner menu continued with tomato crab salad that was exquisitely paired with Joseph Drouhin Meursault 1er Cru Charmes 2011. The freshness of heirloom tomato and crab meat was enhanced by the chardonnay that evokes aromas of almond, warm bread just out of the oven, fine spices and grilled dried fruit.

The following three courses were paired with three different pinot noir wines. Mushroom risotto with Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru, roasted pigeon with Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Proces, and smoked grilled full blood sirloin with Chambertin Clos de Beze. All wines are 2011 vintage.

Wine connoisseurs enjoying Joseph Drouhin dinner at VIN+ Plaza Senayan ArcadiaWine connoisseurs enjoying Joseph Drouhin dinner at VIN+ Plaza Senayan Arcadia (VIN+/File)

Founded in 1880 by the 22-year-old Joseph Drouhin, Maison Joseph Drouhin has expanded to Oregon, United States, with the establishment of Domaine Drouhin Oregon (DDO) in the late 1980s and Roserock Drouhin Oregon in 2013.

Oregon has a similar altitude to Burgundy, yet a completely different type of soil that gives the wine a different character. Thomas noted that if the wine was tasted, similar characters could be found to the wines produced in Burgundy.

Drouhin is proud to be pioneer of the Burgundian winemaker in Oregon, with 10-15 winemakers from Burgundy having visited Oregon in the past five to 10 years. “They come because Oregon grabbed recognition worldwide for producing some of the nicest pinot noir in the world,” said Thomas.

The estate labeled their wines ‘American soil, French soul’ and claimed that they have this kind of extra touch of elegance, like they do in Burgundy.

“When you are interested in wine, you want to taste different things. [Wine connoisseurs] want to find themselves probably some good surprises. And that’s the case for Oregon, great surprise when you never taste Oregon before,” Thomas concluded.