The non-stop rain in Chennai on December 6, did not deter The Madras Wine Club TERROIR in hosting a wine tasting session for its members along with Thompson Estates Vineyard from Western Australia and Risan Foods, the importer of the wines, reports Sabu Balagopal, Secretary of Terroir. Left: Arjun Nair, Peter Thompson and Sabu Balagopal
Peter Thompson is a well known cardiologist based in Perth, Western Australia. Thommo, as he is called by his friends, while training in Cardiology in Boston USA, used to attend teaching seminars every Saturday morning that would lead to lunch followed by a masked tasting of fine wines supplied by some of his cardiology mentor’s patients. Some of these fine wines included Mouton Rothschild and Chateau d’Yquem.
Fortunate enough to begin at the top with these fine wines that were mostly gifted to him, Peter never looked back. On leaving the USA along with his wife Jane, he camped within some of Europe’s leading vineyards including properties in Bordeaux. The couple returned with an insatiable passion for wine and interest in the art of winemaking. Peter now continues Margaret River’s strong medical lineage along with winemaking in the Wilyabrup Valley area.
The tasting for TERROIR members commenced with a Chardonnay 2007 an elegant medium straw coloured wine that had a rich citrus note along with strong oak notes as the wine was matured mostly in new oak barrels for over a year, that left the palate lingering with its rich flavours.
The next wine we tasted was one of Thompson estate’s most popular wines a Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007 a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It was a deep crimson coloured wine with exuberant fruit, rich dark berry nose with hints of cassis and mint, mildly spiced with a rich mouth-filling flavour of black currants and berry fruit.
This was followed by a Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, which was from one of the best growing seasons with adequate rainfall and excellent flowering conditions that led to a rich harvest of juicy grapes. The wine had a youthful crimson colour with generous red berry and black currant flavours with notes of black olives. A well finished wine with ample tannins and excellent persistence.
The wine tasting continued over dinner with specially paired food with the wines, prepared for the occasion by the chef of Le Royal Meridien Hotel, Chennai at their signature restaurant Kayal.