The first weekend in August is the date I hold my annual terrine and wine event in the garden. We just completed the 11th annual event in bright sunshine (IIRC, only one event was rained out so that we had to hold it inside). Each couple creates an interesting terrine, which has the advantage of being able to cook a day or more ahead of time, and they select wines that they feel may complement the food. Somehow, everyone manages to keep coming up with something interesting year after year!
First up was a very creative starter, a Mexican seafood parfait with a layer of asparagus-tomatillo mousse and a layer of scallop-habanero mousse topped with a prawn and radish salad and ancho chile vinaigrette. Paired with that were:2008 Stony Hill Chardonnay
– a lovely caramel and lemon nose, some colour now to the wine, smooth unctuous mouth feel and long finish. Excellent match.2012 Rotie Cellars Southern White
– this Washington state blend of 70% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, and 15% Marsanne, and it was very interesting. A ripe tropical nose followed by some light honey notes on palate and medium long finish. Bit less acidity than the Stony Hill.
The next course was a sweetbread and prawn terrine with a light salad.2003 Jeanne Claude Boisset Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Lavaux St. Jacques
– fair bit of ripeness in the nose, typical of the vintage, and some nice strawberry. More elegant than many from this vintage – good showing.
Next up was a Terrine Provençal which easily won the best appearance prize (if we gave prizes) with bright Mediterranean colours and flavours. Served with a very tasty home made aioli and:2012 Dom. Lafond Roc Epine Tavel Rosé
– great salmon colour, warm spicy nose with strawberry and some heat, and strawberry flavours in the mouth. Clean finish.2007 Coudoulet de Beaucastel
– good medium dark colour, peppery nose, a tad ripe and the ripeness carried over in the mouth, but not over done, meaty thick feel, a wine of substance and length.
Next up was my terrine, an entire duck, deboned, spiced, ground twice and with a central core of prunes marinated in black tea and Armagnac (the marinating liquid is quite good on its own). Served with sides of celeriac remoulade, shallot marmalade and pickled grapes with a notable anise component.2005 Dom. de Garrou Bergerac Richesse
– this red was one I picked up on a trip to the Dordogne in the late 2000s. Made by a South African couple who established a small winery near Sausignac. The total work force is two, Bruce Kingwill and his wife Fiona, and Cape winemaker Etienne Le Riche as winemaking consultant. It showed a good claret nose, had excellent colour and was surprisingly weighty with more time to go. Very nice with the food.2005 Ch. Pineraie L’Authentique
Cahors – also picked up on the same trip when I popped down to Cahors to visit this very traditional winery (100% Malbec wine, treated in the old manner). Predictably darker colour, but to my surprise not too hard and quite drinkable now, with rich cocoa notes and good length. Not as apt a pairing with the duck as the Bergerac but still enjoyable.
Finally a slice of toasted brioche topped with a slice of duck and foie gras terrine served with a blueberry compote.2005 Dom. de la Mordoree Reine des Bois Lirac
– these are serious wines and often take quite a while to mature, so it was nice to take a look at this pair. Dark wine, darkly fruity nose, soft tannin and good fruit levels, with good length. Drinking well now.2006 Dom. de la Mordoree Reine des Bois Lirac
– similarly dark, the nose more reticent but it had meaty minty cocoa elements, and the wine bigger and more tannic. This hasn’t snapped into focus yet and I think I’ll leave my stash for another few years before trying one – it should be very good.
Then, without vinous accompaniment, an orchard fruit terrine.
Another good day on the garden! The participants are probably already thinking about T-12 in 2015!