Coutet lover’s food and wine pairing
From Australia, wine lover Ian Vallance first visited Château Coutet in 2012. Since then, we have had the pleasure of staying in touch.
A couple months ago Ian mentioned his desire to organize a wine tasting dinner and asked for our advice in terms of food pairing ideas with gold wines. Ian shared with us the result -- a dinner that included Château Coutet's 1985, 1989 and 2003 vintages. The highlight of the dinner was the pairing of the 1985 vintage with a delicious flourless orange cake. Ian described the combination of the older vintage with his dessert's dark chocolate with orange segments and the dollop of crème as "Sensational!"
Thrilled to hear of this wonderful evening, we asked Ian a few questions about his love of Château Coutet, gold wines and wine in general...
1. How did you first discover Sauternes and Barsac wines, and Château Coutet more specifically?
Perhaps 30 years ago, a good friend introduced me to French Sauternes/Barsac and from that day on, I have been hooked. There is simply nothing like it in the world and they seem to keep forever.
2. What is your favourite moment to drink gold wines?
My favourite time to drink Sauternes/Barsac wines is when I am on my own -- and don't have to share! No, not true -- but to share a bottle of this type, it has to be with someone who enjoys it.
3. How do you enjoy your gold wine?
I tend to drink to pair these beautiful wines with a dessert on special occasions. However, I successfully have served it at the start of a dinner-- with turkey quenelles and a cranberry dressing for example.
4. How often do you organize tasting meals? Do you have a specific group of friends with who you organize tasting and food and wine pairings? How do you usually set up this type of event?
There are a couple of groups we socialize with -- one group is very serious about the wines we drink. We get together four to six times a year as a group, and whatever couple is hosting the event is responsible for the main course. The other three couples determine between themselves what they will bring and what wines will best match their course.
5. An all Sauternes meal is thrown by surprise at your place, what would you prepare?
• On small toasts, portions of a duck terrine and bacon jam
• Goats cheese (8cm in diameter x 1cm thick), fresh bread crumbs and shallow
• Salmon fillets, marinated in a balsamic / maple syrup. Half and half of the marinade, reduced by approximately 50%, marinated for approximately 30
• Roquefort served on plain baked toasts (fresh multigrain bread, rolled with a
• Flourless orange and chocolate cake.
Ian was nice enough to share his Orange Chocolate cake recipe for us to publish in our online cookbook. Enjoy! :
Flourless Orange Chocolate Cake
Ingredients for 6 people
2. Beat the eggs, add the sugar, almonds and baking powder and mix well while adding the
3. Pour into the cake tin and bake for about 1 hour at 160°C / 320°F in the middle of the oven.
4. Cover cake with foil after about 40 minutes to stop browning and then back into the oven.
5. Remove from the oven and poor over the shaved or grated chocolate while the cake is still in
6. Serve with orange segments and "dollop" really thickened crème and a magnum of Château
Discovering Sauternes’ Great Trilogies of the 80s and 00s in Sydney
Australian purveyor of fines wines, Langton's recently explored two of Sauternes and Barsac's historical trilogies via an intimate team tasting in Sydney with the wines of Chateau Coutet. The eighties and the first decade of the new century are very special to the gold wines of Bordeaux. It is during each of these two decades that a series of three great wines were produced back-to-back: 1988, 1989 and 1990, followed by 2009, 2010 and, finally, 2011.
The tasting took place in a professional setting and the wines were served in two brackets with the most recent trilogy kicking off the event.
Praised for its complex, powerful and dense character, as well as its perfect balance, the 1989 was the clear favorite of the first trilogy. The second series of wine was slightly more difficult to discern due to the wines' youth and density. However, the 2010 vintage stood out for its opulence, excellent length and perfect balance.
This tasting experience proves showcased Château Coutet's reputation with the wines' great consistency in both quality and style (freshness and vividness).
Andrea Pritzker, a member of the Langton's team shared her notes:
Chateau Coutet 2009
Chateau Coutet 2010
Chateau Coutet 2011
Chateau Coutet 1988
Chateau Coutet 1989
Chateau Coutet 1990