How to: Pairing Dominique Portet wines

Updated: 2 Oct 2013

Harmonising Australian grown grapes and French winemaking technique, these are wines that are elegant and supple. Kitty Kaye sips and writes.

He may have moved to Australia more than three decades ago but Dominique Portet has one foot very much still in France, where he was born. Terribly curious by nature, Dominique speaks with a discernible French accent with an Australian lilt that curves his ‘O’. And therein lies hints of his wines’ characters born of vineyards from Australia’s Yarra Valley but French in style.

The Dominique Portet wines today is made by the 10th generation Portet man – with the help and experience of the 9th generation man, Dominique himself. The result of which is a range of wines with soft but resilient tannins, medium to long finish and gentle on the palate, always.

The brut rose

Very French in character, the elegant brut or sparkling rosè is made out of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. It has fine bubbles, strawberries on the palate and is pleasantly crisp and dry – a definite promise of a clear head afterwards! We recommend this for hot afternoons and another is the Dominique Portet 2012 sauvignon blanc that’s delicate in both colour and flavour despite its 13 per cent alcohol content. Floral on the nose and palate, it releases sweetness after a few sips. What may be good with these two are cheesy quiche, salads and sashimi with only a dab of wasabi.

A little more substance can be had in their Fontaine 2008 sauvignon blanc that exudes a light green tint, fruity on the palate and ripe fruits on the nose. After a few sips, this one is lightly caramel on the palate and especially so when paired with lightly marinated seafood or chicken and stir-fried vegetables (just go easy on the garlic).

Now, we move on to Fontaine 2007 that melds cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and merlot grapes. Fruity and syrup on the nose, chocolate on the palate and very soft tannins to give it a semblance of complexity, this one’s good to drink now.

Dominique Portet wines available here

Meanwhile both Fontaine 2008 of cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes, and Heathcote 2009 shiraz, are good to age for another five years or so. Both of these are jam on the nose, hold persistent tannins, ripe berries and dry on the palate. Another thing that will dazzle you about these two are the purple hue amid their ruby red colour.

Dominique Portet reds are elegant and a trifle oaky when paired with meats, red sauces such as bolognaise, pungent runny cheese and on a more adventurous note, buttery fried curry puffs.

What’s worth noting is that these are wines that are quite contemporary, fruity and aren’t heavy in complexity or texture and is suitable for our tropical weather. Around Penang, the wines above are available at Golden Sands Resort’s restaurants, El Faro, Vino Vino Bistro and ChinaHouse. Santè!

Tags: Features