Chateau Haut Brion has always been close to the food world, most notably with their Paris restaurant Le Clarence which holds two Michelin stars. However, their gastronomic associations date back somewhat further – to the seventeenth century, to be precise. Indeed, they opened the Tavern de Pontac in London shortly after the Great Fire in order to promote their wines to the merchants of London.
Words: Mark DeWesselow
So it was something of a home-coming when they took over Shoreditch-defining The Clove Club on a sunny spring day, in order to show off their 2017 vintage alongside other vintages of Chateau Quintus, and a roster of wines from the broader estate, including an impressive flight of Le Dragon de Quintus (the second wine) and a flight of St-Emilion de Quintus.
A selection of Chateau Quintus wines were served
The Quintus estate was purchased by Chateau Haut-Brion in 2011, and has since been the subject of both investment and considerable ambition, and the results are starting to be seen.
“The 28-hectare estate wraps itself around a 62-metre-high hillock and commands one of the best settings in St-Emilion, with a variety of exposures, terroirs and soils, including limestone and clay-limestone", explained estate manager Jean-Philippe Delmas.
Guests were entertained with stories of the wines' origin
The 2017 vintage, the 7th vintage under Domaine Clarence Dillon’s control, demonstrated an intense nose of rich ripe fruit, spicy complex aromatics and oak nuances. The palate was round, rich and generous, showing red fruit with ripe, dark plums and blueberries and tightly-knit tannins. There’s a delicious aromatic freshness and good length on the finish. A serious wine.
Afterwards, various wines were showcased with food at lunch. Pairings included Le Dragon de Quintus 2011 served with morels stuffed with wood pigeon sausage, snails and wild garlic, Château Quintus 2012 served with Welsh speckled face lamb, chickpea, bagna cauda and Swiss chard, and Château Quintus 2015 served with a selection of artisanal cheeses.
Head chef Isaac McHale wowed guests with exceptional dishes
Speaking about the collaboration, McHale said: "As a big fan of Bordeaux, this is a chance to let the wines lead the food and create a menu specially designed to complement the various wines and their vintages. We have looked to serve The Clove Club dishes with a nod to the season, and to the foods of Bordeaux.”
This was certainly achieved, with wine and food both scaling supreme heights.
Want to know more about the restaurant? Read our review of The Clove Club.