I was invited last Tuesday to a wine dinner featuring the wines of Chateau Beychevelle at Raging Bull in Shangri-La at the Fort. It’s been years since I’ve had Beychevelle so it was a good chance for me to get reacquainted with the wine.
The evening started with some cocktails featuring the Chateau’s generic Bordeaux blanc called Grand Bateau. We were served the 2014 which was a charming, refreshing white with hints of ripe yellow tropical fruit. Just the thing for cocktail parties. There was a trivia question about the grapes in the wine and it was answered by Shangri-La Makati Sommelier Patrick Tabhan, who recently won the first Philippine Sommelier competition. For answering correctly, he won a magnum of Grand Bateau Blanc.
With dinner proper starting, we were served the red of Grand Bateau which presented a classic Bordeaux nose on a lean frame, with the dominant flavor of sour cherries. This was paired with the homemade chicken liver pate. I thought the pairing was a bit forced and that the blanc would have been a better choice.
This was followed by an excellent duck confit paired with the Chateau’s second wine, Amiral de Beychevelle 2013. The quality took several steps up with this wine. This was fragrant, with a bit of oak coming through (perhaps that might have been slightly exaggerated as the wine was served a bit warmer than ideal. Soft tannins make this a wine for current drinking, and the good length and ripe red fruit certainly confirm its quality.
We finally got to try two vintages of the Grand Vin, the 2008 and the 2014, with the steaks, which are the signature dish of the restaurant. The 2008 was ripe and rich, with soft tannins and flavors of black fruit and cocoa. While it was certainly a good wine, the 2014 definitely outshone it. It started out quite similar to the 2008 but it showed more complexity and stuffing as it sat in the glass. Aside from the fruit, there were elements of meat, leather, and chocolate as well. This was the wine of the night. The steaks were quite good, although served towards medium, rather than medium rare, which is what I prefer. Of the side dishes, the mushrooms are highly recommended.
Two more wines were served after the Grand Vin. These were called Secret de Grand Bateau, the secret being that while still labeled as generic Bordeaux, the grapes are supposedly sourced from Classed Growth vineyards. The 2012 Secret de Grand Bateau Blanc was quite musky and later on gave off some nutty and smoky nuances. Slightly overripe stone fruit seemed to be the general flavor profile of this wine. It’s not a wine for everybody, but if you like rich, dry whites, you could hardly go wrong with this. The 2012 Rouge of Secret de Grand Bateau was quite good. Some firm tannins, sweet spices, chocolate, leather, and pepper notes coming through on the palate.
No dessert wines from this Chateau, but in any case, we did have a fine dessert from the restaurant.
Thank you you to Premier Wine and Spirits, Inc. for inviting me to get reacquainted with Chateau Beychevelle!
Raging Bull Chophouse is located at Shangri-La at the Fort, 30th St., cor 4th Ave., BGC. Tel 8200888