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Bill Spohn

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WTN: 9th Annual Terrine Event

by Bill Spohn » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:26 pm

The 9th International Terrine Event kicked off in our garden at 1:00 on the Saturday of the long weekend in Canada, Aug. 4. Each participant created a terrine, galantine, ballotine etc., of their choice and paired wines they thought would complement the food. This year, it divided equally between white and red wine courses.

First up was a salmon and scallop mousse, simple elegant and tasty, served with sea asparagus.

Image

2003 Hochar Rosé – made at Ch. Musar, this wine had a light garnet colour, that is a light red/orange, not pink. Slight spice in a rather pinot-like nose that later began to show raspberry. Clean, pleasant.

1999 Ch. Musar Blanc – made from two native varietals, Obaideh and Merwah, the owner really fancies this wine, even above his reds. Fair bit of amber, a nice lemon custard nose, lacking the oxidized notes one often sees in these wines, still bright on palate and generally successful, although I wouldn’t wait any more on this one.

Next terrine was a crab terrine ‘Antillaise – a delicate crab, white fish and grapefruit terrine that went very well with the wines, served with a rosette of cucumber and a nice spot of red pepper:

Image

2010 Clotilde Davenne St. Bris – the first of two sauvignon blanc based wines, obvious in this case as there was a typical grassiness to the nose, with a slight sweetness, the wine soft and spicy yet with decent terminal acidity.

2010 Calibourdin Le Cris Pouilly Fume – less grass here, and more elegant, this had a richer mouth feel and was a classier wine with a soft finish, with very slight sweetness.

The third terrine was created by yours truly. It was a chicken terrine, given added textural and visual attraction with pistachios and four ham strips, and a fair bit of herbal content – fresh tarragon, thyme, marjoram and basil from the garden as well as a good hit of quatre epices (in this case, allspice, pepper, nutmeg, cloves and ginger), and down the centre was a generous core of foie gras – about 350 grams worth, reshaped into a long cylinder, the whole wrapped in bacon and cooked in a bain marie. Accompaniments were a herb salad collected from my garden, with chives, lemon verbena, parsley, dill, tarragon, marjoram, savoury and mint, dressed simply with a good spicy EVOO with sherry wine vinegar, a grape and gherkin faux grape bunch, and a trio – two tomatos stuffed with horseradish/sour cream topped with basil and a cube of seedless watermelon dotted with balsamic vinegar.

Image

2001 Willm Gewurztraminer Kirchberg de Barr Clos Gaensbronnel – this won the prize for longest wine name, but it was also very, very good. A floral spicy nose, correct for Gewurz, but not really crying out Gewurz the way some do, and excellent concentration in the mouth, rich and slightly off dry, with very good length. Oddly, it seemed to be slightly low in terminal acidity, yet it somehow managed to achieve very good balance despite that.

2001 Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese – I chose this because I wanted to compare a wine with significant RS to one with less. Typical varietal petrol nose with peach hints, lush and with excellent weight and length. I went back and forth on these two and had a hard time deciding which I preferred. Both delighted me.

Wild boar terrine was up next and I have to compliment the chef on his cooking acumen. Precisely the correct amount of barding with fat of precisely the right size, gave an impeccable texture, something that often escapes terrine cooks. The thyme/Serrano peach compote was killer and the currant biscuit a nice touch.

Image

2003 Feudi San Gregorio Serpico Aglianico – I was in no doubt about which wine presented with this course was a clear winner – it was the next wine after this! This wine was dark and had a concentrated dark fruit nose, slightly ripe, ample soft tannin and lots of acidity. It would satisfy many people, but the consensus here was that it was a tad simple and unrefined. Maybe it was in the context of the next wine poured with it.

2001 Brolio Chianti Classico Riserva – also fairly dark in colour with an excellent varietal nose with herbs and berries, and a cherry overlay. The fruit on palate was juicy and the tannins and acids were perfectly balanced, giving an absolutely delightful wine, a Chianti at peak with years to go yet, offering the elegance and complexity that was lacking in the Serpico.

Moose terrine with huckleberry and pomegranate--this was a bit solid after the previous offerings, but tasty with the wine.

Image

2004 Alonso del Yerro Ribera del Duero – dark wine with a nicely spiced vanilla and cassis nose, mellow in the mouth with very good fruit levels soft tannin and a long smooth finish. No rush on this one.

The final food offering of the main stream terrines was a spicy lamb galantine (we had some discussion as to whether galantine of ballotine was the correct term, as it wasn’t poached in the skin of an animal, but that’s a pretty fine point). Served with Madeira aspic, a carrot and saffron terrine beside it that for me was a star of this course, and a mint and scallion vinaigrette.

Image

2000 Ch. Cantemerle – this wine was surprisingly mature, showing a classic herbal claret nose, a soft low acid middle, and mild tannins. Drink soon.

1997 Ch. Musar – fun to have this wine after the starting two. Cab sauv, carignan and cinsault, this had an understandably Rhonish bent to the nose, was slightly warm with some nice spice in the finish. Almost Burgundian in over all weight and impression.

We finished off with a dessert terrine of raspberry, white chocolate and blackberry that was visually attractive as well as a gustatory triumph.

Image

After all the rest left, the couple that were staying with us shared some other wines into the evening, still in the garden, and I’ll append those notes even though they weren’t wines shared by all. By the time I took the last note, I couldn’t really see the paper and was writing by feel!

1995 Ch. Lanessan – I pulled this Medoc in anticipation of the next wine, which had been the unneeded back up for the Cantemerle. Warm nose with cocoa, and more cocoa at the end, tasty, ready and pretty well balanced, but lacking the intensity and complexity one might wish.

1995 Malescot St. Exupery – this Medoc showed excellent smooth aromas on the nose with cedar and vanilla, a good balance and length, and better fruit intensity in midpalate and at the end. No rush.

I decided that we still needed another bottle (this was over several hours while appreciating the dusk) but was in the end indecisive and brought not one but two, served blind.

1995 Ch. d’Angludet – lacking the same level of concentration of fruit as the Malescot, but nonetheless pretty satisfying, with a slightly funky nose that quickly switched to pure dark fruit with some spice, good up front fruit in the mouth, soft tannin, medium length with a nice sweetness, perhaps a slight hollow spot in the middle but that seemed to improve as the wine aired.

1995 Ch. Haut Marbuzet - a nice pleasant custardy vanilla and cassis nose, sweet and smooth on palate with a nice sweet fruit impression in the finish, which was medium long. Good concentration. This and the Malescot were the nicest wines we had after the food event.
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: WTN: 9th Annual Terrine Event

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:32 pm

Lovely Bill, which one was turned out by Jenise?
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Re: WTN: 9th Annual Terrine Event

by Bill Spohn » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Lovely Bill, which one was turned out by Jenise?


The lamb and lovely carrot terrines!
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Re: WTN: 9th Annual Terrine Event

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:25 pm

Bill, I am curious about one thing: Do you think that wild boar and moose meat are good choices for a terrine? Do they show distinctive flavors and textures?

(Note: I have become quite cynical about wild boar meat. Most of the time, it's just pig. I am not familiar with moose meat, though one of my upstairs neighbors did share some elk meat at his last party and that was distinctive.)
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Re: WTN: 9th Annual Terrine Event

by Bill Spohn » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:45 am

Wild boar - much of what is called wild tastes just like domestic pork. true wild boar is gamier - I rather like the taste.

Moose - like venison, this is very lean and needs a mix with fat to be other than dry. The person that did this terrine did a good job with that. As it happens, I had moose sausage tonight for dinner ( a client that is a professional butcher had prepared it). Excellent!
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Re: WTN: 9th Annual Terrine Event

by Jenise » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:53 am

Considering that it turned out to be the hottest day of th last two years, I was sure glad about th even divide between whites and reds and very grateful that yours and David/Nadine's came out ice cold. Boy, was that needed.

First up was a salmon and scallop mousse, simple elegant and tasty, served with sea asparagus. The sea asparagus was a brilliant touch, but the salmon portion of this terrine was a bit fishy. Not my favorite.

2003 Hochar Rosé – made at Ch. Musar, this wine had a light garnet colour, that is a light red/orange, not pink. Slight spice in a rather pinot-like nose that later began to show raspberry. Clean, pleasant. Agree with you here, and I preferred it with the food. Great example of an aged rose, but if I owned these I wouldn't hold remaining bottles much longer.

1999 Ch. Musar Blanc – lacking the oxidized notes one often sees in these wines, still bright on palate and generally successful, although I wouldn’t wait any more on this one. Here we go again. I've had a lot of old white Musars that didn't show any oxidation at all, but this wasn't one of them. It was, in fact, a bit too much for me, probably emphasized somewhat by the room temperature service on a hot day.

Next terrine was a crab terrine ‘Antillaise – a delicate crab, white fish and grapefruit terrine that went very well with the wines, served with a rosette of cucumber and a nice spot of red pepper: Loved this terrine! The bitter citrus of the grapefruit was a classy and brilliant complement to the crab, and David's preparation was perfect. I agree with your assessment of the wines and thought them both great matches. Though I preferred the Calibourdin on its own, for the food match I gave the nod tothe St. Bris.

2010 Clotilde Davenne St. Bris – the first of two sauvignon blanc based wines, obvious in this case as there was a typical grassiness to the nose, with a slight sweetness, the wine soft and spicy yet with decent terminal acidity.

2010 Calibourdin Le Cris Pouilly Fume – less grass here, and more elegant, this had a richer mouth feel and was a classier wine with a soft finish, with very slight sweetness.

The third terrine was created by yours truly. It was a chicken terrine, given added textural and visual attraction with pistachios and four ham strips, and a fair bit of herbal content – fresh tarragon, thyme, marjoram and basil from the garden as well as a good hit of quatre epices (in this case, allspice, pepper, nutmeg, cloves and ginger), and down the centre was a generous core of foie gras – about 350 grams worth, reshaped into a long cylinder, the whole wrapped in bacon and cooked in a bain marie. Accompaniments were a herb salad collected from my garden, with chives, lemon verbena, parsley, dill, tarragon, marjoram, savoury and mint, dressed simply with a good spicy EVOO with sherry wine vinegar, a grape and gherkin faux grape bunch, and a trio – two tomatos stuffed with horseradish/sour cream topped with basil and a cube of seedless watermelon dotted with balsamic vinegar. Your terrine was excellent, Bill, and I especially loved the herb salad accompaniament with it. The two wines were excellent choices too. I think the general feeling of the table was that the gewurz was the better wine match, though I slightly preferred the reisling.

2001 Willm Gewurztraminer Kirchberg de Barr Clos Gaensbronnel – this won the prize for longest wine name, but it was also very, very good. A floral spicy nose, correct for Gewurz, but not really crying out Gewurz the way some do, and excellent concentration in the mouth, rich and slightly off dry, with very good length. Oddly, it seemed to be slightly low in terminal acidity, yet it somehow managed to achieve very good balance despite that.

2001 Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese – I chose this because I wanted to compare a wine with significant RS to one with less. Typical varietal petrol nose with peach hints, lush and with excellent weight and length. I went back and forth on these two and had a hard time deciding which I preferred. Both delighted me.

Wild boar terrine was up next and I have to compliment the chef on his cooking acumen. Precisely the correct amount of barding with fat of precisely the right size, gave an impeccable texture, something that often escapes terrine cooks. The thyme/Serrano peach compote was killer and the currant biscuit a nice touch. Again, in complete agreement. It's hard sometimes to let yourself go with the fat, but the larger pieces of fatback Coop generously allowed gave this terrine a wonderfully creamy mouthfeel, and his garnishes were spot-on. I found myself careful in an unusually miserly way to make sure I didn't run out of the peach compote before I ran out of terrine. Of the wines, the Brolio was out in front as you ay. I didn't care for the Feudi--I like this producer's whites but have never warmed to the international style of his reds.

2003 Feudi San Gregorio Serpico Aglianico – I was in no doubt about which wine presented with this course was a clear winner – it was the next wine after this! This wine was dark and had a concentrated dark fruit nose, slightly ripe, ample soft tannin and lots of acidity. It would satisfy many people, but the consensus here was that it was a tad simple and unrefined. Maybe it was in the context of the next wine poured with it.

2001 Brolio Chianti Classico Riserva – also fairly dark in colour with an excellent varietal nose with herbs and berries, and a cherry overlay. The fruit on palate was juicy and the tannins and acids were perfectly balanced, giving an absolutely delightful wine, a Chianti at peak with years to go yet, offering the elegance and complexity that was lacking in the Serpico.

Moose terrine with huckleberry and pomegranate--this was a bit solid after the previous offerings, but tasty with the wine. Have to admit, this one was a clunker. The opposite of its predecessor, it was dry and underseasoned, which made it a bit hard to eat at a point in the meal where we were no longer eating because of hunger. I enjoyed the Alonso a great deal and thought it a great match, though can I say out loud that while I appreciate that the wife half of this couple is a non-drinker, I think it's a bit tight to only bring one wine to show with the course? Not that we needed more wine, it's just that part of the point of this meal is the contest between the pairings and a terrine with but one always feels a bit criplled to me. Kudo's to George (he who brought the first course), newly widowed, for bringing two.

2004 Alonso del Yerro Ribera del Duero – dark wine with a nicely spiced vanilla and cassis nose, mellow in the mouth with very good fruit levels soft tannin and a long smooth finish. No rush on this one.

The final food offering of the main stream terrines was a spicy lamb galantine (we had some discussion as to whether galantine of ballotine was the correct term, as it wasn’t poached in the skin of an animal, but that’s a pretty fine point). Served with Madeira aspic, a carrot and saffron terrine beside it that for me was a star of this course, and a mint/lemon/scallion vinaigrette. I used my magic powers to amend your description to include my mint sauce, because the whole middle eastern flavor profile here (cumin and allspice in the lamb stuffing, cardamom in the carrot terrine) was very instrumental in my choice of wines. I wanted not just a Bordeaux, but one that would carry the spicy exotic qualities of the dish. My first thought, as I stood in the cellar and surveyed my options, was Montrose, but none of the vintages I own are showing well right now. So I went with the young Cantemerle thinking it would show a lot like the spicy 99's, just bigger. It didn't, and though it was good and my favorite wine match for the food, it was surprisingly black and aggressively herbal in a rather odd way for both a warm vintage and Cantemerles as I've known them otherwise.

2000 Ch. Cantemerle – this wine was surprisingly mature, showing a classic herbal claret nose, a soft low acid middle, and mild tannins. Drink soon. This was decanted for three hours.

1997 Ch. Musar – fun to have this wine after the starting two. Cab sauv, carignan and cinsault, this had an understandably Rhonish bent to the nose, was slightly warm with some nice spice in the finish. Almost Burgundian in over all weight and impression.Not decanted.

We finished off with a dessert terrine of raspberry, white chocolate and blackberry ice cream that was visually attractive as well as a gustatory triumph. On such a hot day, what could have been more welcome? Fantastic!

After all the rest left, the couple that were staying with us shared some other wines into the evening, still in the garden, and I’ll append those notes even though they weren’t wines shared by all. By the time I took the last note, I couldn’t really see the paper and was writing by feel!

1995 Ch. Lanessan – I pulled this Medoc in anticipation of the next wine, which had been the unneeded back up for the Cantemerle. Warm nose with cocoa, and more cocoa at the end, tasty, ready and pretty well balanced, but lacking the intensity and complexity one might wish.

1995 Malescot St. Exupery – this Medoc showed excellent smooth aromas on the nose with cedar and vanilla, a good balance and length, and better fruit intensity in midpalate and at the end. No rush.

I decided that we still needed another bottle (this was over several hours while appreciating the dusk) but was in the end indecisive and brought not one but two, served blind.

1995 Ch. d’Angludet – lacking the same level of concentration of fruit as the Malescot, but nonetheless pretty satisfying, with a slightly funky nose that quickly switched to pure dark fruit with some spice, good up front fruit in the mouth, soft tannin, medium length with a nice sweetness, perhaps a slight hollow spot in the middle but that seemed to improve as the wine aired.

1995 Ch. Haut Marbuzet - a nice pleasant custardy vanilla and cassis nose, sweet and smooth on palate with a nice sweet fruit impression in the finish, which was medium long. Good concentration. This and the Malescot were the nicest wines we had after the food event.

In complete agreement, and thank youfor your generosity. It was a fun little impromptu horizontal! I was pretty proud of myself for picking the Marbuzet as a Ste. Estephe, though I couldn't get any further than that, considering all the wines consumed earlier. :)
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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