Restaurants in Jakarta: Champa – Wine and Spirits Circle Dinner

Saturday night marked a rare occasion, because the Jakarta Wine and Spirits Circle had not organised a function for a while. Therefore, the invitation for a dinner cum wine tasting came just at the right time. We are members of the Circle since many years and cultivate some very fond memories of past wine tastings.

The event took place at the Champa restaurant, which provides Vietnamese and Indochinese food. The Champa opened its doors to the public in 2002 and possesses a warm and cosy atmosphere. I had already been to this restaurant with friends and business associates a couple of times and always liked the food.

The tables were a bit crowded by the glasses

The menue showed exciting features

‘Four temptations’, the entree ‘Goi Cuon Ca hoi, Goi Cuon Malay, kai Hoer Bai teay, Tom Ham Pho Mat’, freele translated, it reads as follows:

– Champa fresh spring rolls made of salmon
– Crispy minced chicken and crab meat martabak style
– Thai famous deep fried herb chicken in Pandean leaves
– Roasted Tiger Prawn and herb crust with cheese on salad

The main dish named ‘Bo Nuong Hed Hom ca Hoi Mojo’ consisted of grilled tender loin with mushroom cheese and stir fried Norwegian salmon with Mojo.

The dessert, called ‘Da Vanni’, was a crepes filed with Banana and cream, vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with nuts and chocolate.

How about the wine you might ask. Well, Alsatian and Austrian wines were on the agenda. we started with an aperitif, a ‘2004 Domaines Schlumberger Sylvaner’. Woh, an Alsation Sylvaner, Sylvaner being the grape of Franconia and its famous Bocksbeutel wines. It felt fresh and fizzy, a nice aperitif, I must say.

We faced seven glasses on our table, it felt a bit crowded in the limited space available. Three were for whites and four for red wines.

White wines

– 2004 Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Gris
– 2004 Domaines Schlumberger Gewuerztraminer
– 2005 Leth Gruener Veltliner Kabinett

Red wines

– 2004 Leth St. Laurent Reserve
– 2004 Leth Linot Noir Classic
– 2006 Pfaffl Blauer Zweigelt
– 2003 Sepp Moser Blauburgunder Gebling

Let me say it from the outset: this was not an evening for scribbling down tasting notes. I was in a much too good a mood for that. I also do not know much about Alsatian and Austrian wines. But the evening confirmed one thing: one has to drink and taste a lot in oder to understand the intricacy of the various grape varieties and the wines. I promised myself to drink more wine from the two regions.

Domaines Schlumberger is a wine estate in Alsace. It was established in 1810 (these Europeans have awfully long traditions in wine making) and has 140 ha under vines, half of this area classified as “grand crus”. Schlumberger only vinifies his own grapes. Today, the sixth and the seventh generation of Schlumbergers run the estate. Much of the vineyards is organically farmed (60 ha organic and 30 ha biodynamic).

The Domaines Schlumberger Gewuerztraminer was semi-dry I would say but showed some very fine aromas and great balance. Also the Pinot Gris must have had some high residual sugar because I perceived it as almost sweet. Both wines went well with the Asian food. However, I liked the Sylvaner best. Unfortunately, I did not check the bottles to identify from which “terroir” the Schlumberger wines came from (there are 4 grand crus: Kitterle, Kessler, Saering and Spiegel) and the wine list is silent about their provenience. Maybe we drank only the “normal” wines (Les Princes Abbes) and not the ‘grand crus’.

The Sepp Moser Estate (www.sepp-moser.at) in Rohrendorf in the wine region of the Kremstal produces mainly white wines. The location Gebling has been used for vine cultivation since 1284 and is a steep south facing terraced vineyard. The Pinot Noir displayed the typical characteristics of the variety and the ‘terroir’ (hot days, coll nights during vintage time).

From the Pfaffl Wine Estate, located near Vienna in a region called “Weinviertel”, a Blauer Zweigelt was included in the tasting. Zweigelt is a red grape variety developed in Austria in 1922 and, of course, it bears the name of the developer (Fritz Zweigelt who should later became director of the Institute for Viticulture and Pomology at Klosterburg). Zweigelt is today the most widely grown red grape variety in Austria. Interesting is that the grape is also cultivated in the Niagara wine region of Ontario/Canada. The Pfaffl family cultivates about 30 ha of vineyards and goes back generations.

The Leth Estate is located in the village of Fels at the river of Wagram, Lower Austria and has about 40 ha under vines. The wine-plus website (www.wein-plus.com) awarded the winery three stars. The estate has practiced organic viticulture for decades and produces mainly white wines (70%). We were lucky to taste two reds from Franz Leth’s cellar.

In fact after all the tasting I settled in the end for the ‘2004 Leth St. Laurent Reserve’, which I liked best. It is a full bodied red with a fruity flavour and a mellow finish. The grape variety originates from France and belongs to the same family as Pinot Noir. St. Laurent (also called Pinot St. Laurent) is an aromatic dark red grape with aromas of forest berries and black cherries. Today it is mainly planted in Austria and the Czech Republic (and a small area in Palatinate and Rheinhessen in Germany).

When we left, and we were among the last guests, there was nothing left of this wine and many others. My resolution for the evening was to try more wines from these two wine regions.

Address:
The Champa
Jl. Wuaya 1/50
Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta 12170
Te.:+61-(021)-727-88668

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2 Responses to Restaurants in Jakarta: Champa – Wine and Spirits Circle Dinner

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