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Talbot Dinner

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Jean-Paul Bignon waxes lyrical about his wife's vineyard
By ESTHER CHANDRAN


HOLDING a quarter filled wine glass of an elegant red, Jean-Paul Bignon regaled in the company of diners at the Chateau Talbot wine dinner one rainy Friday evening.

A merry sort, Bignon is more than just a spokesperson for his wife's vineyard, he is also a mayor and a lawyer.

Recognisable from his full head of white hair, Bignon eased along tables as he talked about the wines, his demanding schedule and ability to juggle each portfolio with ease.

It was Bignon's first visit to Malaysia and the warm welcome of his guests got him promising to return with his family to enjoy more sunny days.

The mayor of Bermesnil, France is also a partner in a law firm that employs some 85 lawyers.

So, the world of wines is in fact an escape route for Bignon from the serious and demanding world of his professional jobs.

Bignon was re-elected as Bermesnil's mayor, a town of 248 people, in 2008.

"As the mayor, I am privileged to solemnise marriages but with such a small town, I conduct about three weddings a year.

"I am also a police officer and the town's lawyer,"he said as he enjoyed the contents of his glass.

To the people of Bermesnil, the Bignon family lineage is well known as the family has been in the mayor's seat since 1896.

So, while the mayor of Bermesnil talked in length about his love for wines, he also shared how he divides days to commute from Paris where he lives to Bermesnil in the North West and Chateau Talbot in Bordeaux, France.

"When I am carrying out my duties as the mayor, I am solely concentrated on doing that and when I have to attend to the law firm or matters relating to the vineyard, my focus is on the job at hand," he said.

The wine dinner at Chalet in collaboration with
Prestigious Wines Sdn Bhd was a pairing of delightful old world wines by Hotel Equatorial sommelier Sulaiman Ali and marvellous food by chef de cuisine Val Murugan.

A serving of cold canapes and Kir Royale marked the beginning of a lovely evening followed by Carpaccio of Black Cod Drizzled with Lobster Oil and Caviar speckles Kangaroo Island Marron Poached in Truffle-Herb Stock.

The artful presentation of pale thin slices of fresh black cod offered contrast to the poached marron (large freshwater crayfish), enjoyed with a serving of Caillou Blanc du Chateau Talbot 2006.

The wine, with a bouquet of peach and white flowers is considered one of the oldest dry white wines - a composition of 80% sauvignon and 20% semillon.

This white is also rare since only five ha out of the vineyard's 102ha is dedicated for its production.

Aromatic and outstanding was the espresso cup of Soup Porccini and Smoked Goose with Mushroom Pakora that laced the taste buds with a heady presence of cream and mushroom.

The Connetable de Talbot 2005 was a well-balanced red with delightful aroma and harmonious blend.

The dish picked to go with this intensive flavour of red berried fruits was the Pan Fried Medallion of Foie Gras Onion Marmalade.

The slightly caramelised foie gras was soft and creamy, made even more tasty with the inclusion of tangy sweet orange marmalade.

Then it was time for a refreshing cold Soursop Sherbet dotted with coffee specks that caressed the palate with its milky, sour presence.

Our final indulgence was a sumptuous Wagyu Beef Tenderloin on Morel Cream with Green Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes, Cheese Gnocchi and Ragout of Sweet Bread, paired with two reds - Chateau Talbot 1996 and Chateau Talbot 2000.

The latter showed off wonderful aromas of blackcurrants and spices in this full bodied wine considered the best Talbot in years while Chateau Talbot 1996's classic style was lovely on the palate, showing some savoury tannic structure and the ability to evolve further.

After the heavyweights of the night, it was time to enjoy the Lemon Flavoured Chocolate Wafer with Almond Crisp, coffee and tea and ice pralines before calling it a night with a glass of Armagnac Delord XO.

For details on the wines, please call
03-2161 0316, Prestigious Wines (m) Sdn. Bhd.

This is the writer's personal observation and is not an endorsement by Star Metro.

Article From The Star.




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