May 20, 2011

l’Ordre Mondial – Post Hotel, Friday, May 20

Our second l’Ordre Mondial event of 2011 was held at the Post Hotel in Lake Louise.  This is the third time that I have had the privilege to attend an OM event at this wonderful establishment.  However, this is the first time that I have been in their magnificent wine cellar.  The entrance is eye candy personified!  A glass door and then one passes by walls of perfectly arranged wine stretching from floor to ceiling.  We wound down the staircase to the tasting area.  There, the tasting table was laid out with our challenge for the evening – eight different samples of “Chardonnays from Around the World”.  Of course, surrounding us were walls filled with the Post’s enviable wine inventory.

We were greeted by Christina Long, the Post’s Sommelier and Jean Simon our server for the evening.  But first, before the tasting began, we had a bit of a palate cleanser – Pommery Brut Royal.

On display were bottles of the Chardonnays that we would be tasting that evening.  As we progressed, there was considerable conversation among the participants and many questions to Ms Long, which she answered quite nicely.  Our tasting consisted of:

            Joie Farm “Un-Oaked” from the BC Okanagan Valley, 2009
Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis, 1er Cru, “Montmains”, Burgundy, 2008
Shaw & Smith, “M3 Vinyard”, Adelaide Hills, 2008
Argyle, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2005
Pouilly-Fuissé, Château Fuissé, “Tête de Cru”, Burgundy, 2008
Mersault, Yves Boyer-Martenot, 1er Cru, “Les Tillets”, Burgundy, 2008
Mer Soleil Vineyards, “Mer Soleil”, Santa Lucia Highlands, California, 2008
Lewis Cellars, Napa Valley, California, 2009

I would share my tasting notes with you, but – you need to go and find these gems and taste them yourselves, as we found a great variety of opinions regarding which was “better” or “best” or “not sure where to rank it”.  Christina set out to give us a range of tastes and she certainly accomplished it.  Within the range, there are wines for every occasion and every palate.  Such is the beauty of wine.  And, let us face it, all of these are available for consumption at the Post and so meet the Post’s high standards.

Following our tasting experience, we were treated with three gems to whet our appetite for the dinner to follow:
Smoked Tenderlion of Veal with Coulis of Wasibi
Grilled Gravlax with Coulis of Mustard Dill
Takoyaki – Lobster Balls with Bonito flakes and Tonkatsu

We adjourned to the main dining room for dinner.  The tables were graced with a centrepiece of beautiful Peonies.  To start, we were served a Tartare of Ahi Tuna on Avocado in Ginger Marinade accompanied by a refreshing Gruener Veltliner, “Langenloiser Berg-Vogelsang”, 2006 from  Bruendlmayer, Kamptal, Austria.  The birds certainly did sing with this course.

The main course was Alberta “Olson Ranch” Bison Filet topped with Herb Butter and Red Wine Foie Gras Sauce, Pommes Pont Neuf.  I have raved about many dishes served before me at the Chaîne dinners that I have attended over the short lifespan of my membership – but this was certainly among the top of my “hit list”.  It was served with a Ramey Wine Cellars Claret, 2007 from Napa Valley.

The dessert was a piping hot Vanilla Soufflê with Raspberry Compote and a vanilla bean draped gracefully through the dish.

To top off the evening, several of the members adjourned to the lounge for various evening beverages and conversation.

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