Do you love fine Bordeaux wine from Saint Julien like Chateau Talbot? Do you crave the excellent cuisine and luxurious service of the Central Park Ritz Carlton?
Chateau Talbot Owner Jean-Paul Bignon was the guest of honor in this special wine and food pairing dinner.
This dinner is part of the “Phenomenal Femmes’ program created by vivacious Marika Vida, which features female winemakers and winery owners from around the globe. Wines are discussed with each course, and the evenings are fun, very social, and a way to enjoy luxury, great cuisine, wine, and culture.
Now you may realize that Jean-Paul Bignon is a man, and a very handsome and charming one at that. And true to the Phenomenal Femmes mandate, his daughter was supposed to be the guest of honor, however she is in Bordeaux waiting the “next generation” of the family so could not attend.
The wines were fabulous. We started the evening with the Caillou Blanc 2009, the only white wine made in Saint Julien. Georges Cordier, the grandfather of the current owners, loved white wines. He was one of the first to replant white wine in the Médoc. With a majority of Sauvignon, and a hint of Sémillon, Caillou blanc is raised in the manner of a Burgundy. The wine is very aromatic, with a lively personality and responsiveness one finds again and again through all the vintages. It had an interesting texture and clear evidence of oak maturation. This wine worked well on its own and with the excellent scallops prepared by the talented Executive Chef Mark Arnao.
The first set of red Bordeaux, the 2011 and the 2006, was serviced with the swordfish. The 2011 was still fresh and maturing well, and the 2006 was perfect at the moment and the 2000 served with the next course was simply a rare treat.
The crowd were all Chateau Talbot fans, with one collector bringing a 1949 for his table to enjoy, while another collector stood up and announced that his family has a tradition of serving older vintages of Chateau Talbot at their family dinners.
The estate has a rich history. Its name originates with Connétable Talbot, a famous English warrior, governor of Guyenne, defeated at the battle of Castillon in 1453. And as Jean-Paul pointed out, the chateau’s name is pronounced in the English fashion with the word finishing with a “t.”
Wine Director Marika Vida and is the most amazing hostess, knowing virtually all of her guests and making friends with new ones. As the evening started, she was able to project her voice when introducing the Chateau Talbot estate, but by the end of the evening she had to resort to a microphone because of the lively chattering of the well-fed guests. Lately, I’ve been reading about the new trends in fine dining restaurants, where the maître d’ or wine director develops a personal relationship with the guests and really sets the tone for their experience and Marika really has it.
Marika has instructed for the American Sommelier Association in New York and the French Wine Society and holds titles of Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and the American Sommelier Association. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators and holds the Advanced Certificate for the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.
You can find a list of future dinners with this link.