Wine Appreciation Dinner at threesixty°, The Oberoi

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DSC06754.jpgOn 3 June, Sommelier India and Brindco organized an exclusive dinner at threesixty° in the Oberoi to coincide with the first visit of Henri Lurton of Château Brane-Cantenac, to India, reports IP Singh. Henri is the fourth generation owner of the Château Brane-Cantenac, Second Growth, Cru Classé, Margaux, in the Bordeaux region of France. Mr. Henri Lurton at the Wine Appreciation dinner with invited guests on either side of him.


Henri has a Masters in biology and a DEA in œnology/ampelology. To perfect his wine growing skills he worked in South Africa, Australia and Chile before returning home to devote his entire time to the family estate.
brane_india.jpgThe evening started with Louis Roederer Champagne and hors d’oeuvres at the Enoteca adjoining threesixty° where the guests met Henri and mingled with each other. Pictured are Ambassador Romesh Bhandari, former Governor of Uttar Pradesh, with Gautam Philip at the Brane-Cantenac Wine Appreciation dinner.

Later on, dinner was a sit-down affair in the exclusive glass enclosed, private dining room at the farther end of the restaurant.
Château Brane-Cantenac wines poured from decanters were paired with the different courses. Henri introduced each wine as well as answered questions.
Henri mentioned that they are very strict about quality. Barely one third of the total production (plus or minus 150,000 bottles) will boast the world famous gold and black label! The rest will be split between two levels, Baron de Brane, the second wine of the château and Château Notton, the third wine.
DSC06745.jpgChâteau Brane-Cantenac 2000 was served with the first course of chilled melon with rucola salad and feta cheese for the vegetarians and smoked turkey salad with orange and stewed nuts for the meat eaters. The wine had a hint of oak, having been aged in oak casks.Pictured are Brindco importer Aman Dhall, Sonya Philip and lawyer Uday Walia.

The next course was snapper filled with candied tomato and chardonnay with buttered asparagus done to perfection by the chef. Château Brane-Cantenac 1995 was paired with the snapper and had the diners in raptures. In its taste and aromas, the wine displayed a perfect balance between fruit and flowers. Henri said this wine was a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. “This was my first good vintage after I took over the estate from my father in 1992-93,” he said.
The main course of lamb shanks braised with juniper berries and articokes was accompanied by Château-Brane Cantenac 1985. The lamb was literally of the “melt in the mouth” quality. Even though it was good old Indian lamb, it could hold its own with any imported variety. Maybe it was the chef who imparted that something extra to it.
DSC06752.jpgThe meal was rounded off with Chocolate and Hazelnut Tart with an unusual white coffee ice cream. This sinfully rich dessert was served with Baron de Brane 2005.
The Oberoi chefs were called in to receive our thanks for an excellent meal paired with superb wines, meticulously served.
A delightful evening came to an end on a very satisfying note.

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  1. My experience of the vertical tasting of Brane-Cantenac was very good. Led by Henri Lurton, the proprietor and winemaker, it was instructive and enlightening. But I must admit that the pleasure derived from drinking the wines that night at dinner (as opposed to tasting them) was unique, with the wines showing wonderful fruit and depth as well as structure. The chefs at 360 did the wines proud. The food was excellent and so was the wine and food service under the expert supervision of restaurant manager, Amit Kaul.

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