Margaux at Mireio: Chateau Giscours & Chateau Du Tertre for the Commanderie de Bordeaux

I had the pleasure last Friday of attending a gathering of the Commanderie de Bordeaux entitled ‘Margaux at Mireio’, a beautiful dinner prepared by Mireio Chef Nicolas Gretin paired with Margaux Grand Cru Classe wines Chateau Giscours and Chateau du Tertre.

The Commanderie de Bordeaux is an international organization of wine lovers founded in Bordeaux, France with chapters in major cities of the world, now including Manila, Philippines.

Chef Cyrille Soenen, Mireio Chef Nicolas Gretin, Chateau Giscours and Chateau Du Tertre Alex van Beek, Commanderie De Bordeaux President Aurelio Gigi Montinola

Margaux at Mireio. Right to left: Commanderie de Bordeaux’s Le Maitre or The Master and founding commandeur Gigi Montinola, guest of honor Alexander van Beek, director general of Chateau Giscours and Chateau Du Tertre, Mireio Chef Nicolas Gretin, Maîtres Cuisiniers de France Chef Cyrille Soenen

I attended as guest of current Commanderie Le Maitre (The Master) and one of the original commandeurs, Mr Aurelio ‘Gigi’ Montinola (former President of BPI). “I thought of you because the dinner tonight is all about Margaux,” he said very generously to this Commanderie first timer.

I

Left side, L-R: Jimmy Panganiban, Margaux Salcedo, Gigi Montinola. Right side, seated (R-L): Ernest Cu, Arlene Cu, Alexander van Beek of Chateau Giscours and Chateau Du Tertre, Chef Cyrille Soenen ... Chateau Giscours, Chateau Du Tertre, Grand Cru Classe Margaux at Mireio, Raffles Makati

Commandeurs and guests. Left side, L-R: Jimmy Panganiban, Margaux Salcedo, Gigi Montinola. Right side, seated (R-L): Ernest Cu, Arlene Cu, Alexander van Beek of Chateau Giscours and Chateau Du Tertre, and French Master Chef Cyrille Soenen. (Sorry did not meet the guests at other end of the table!)

The guest of honor was Alexander van Beek, Director-General of Chateau Giscours and Chateau Du Tertre, who flew in all the way from Bordeaux.

Mr Alexander van Beek, Directeur Général, Chateau Giscours and Chateau Du Tertre with Commanderie de Bordeaux president and one of the original commandeurs Mr Aurelio 'Gigi' Montinola

Mr Alexander van Beek, Directeur Général, Chateau Giscours and Chateau Du Tertre with Mr Aurelio ‘Gigi’ Montinola, Le Maitre de la Commanderie de Bordeaux aux Philippines

MIREIO AT THE RAFFLES

The evening began with cocktails at the romantic Mireio terrace. Even past sunset, the terrace is beautiful – that view! And we were lucky the weather was just perfect. Guests “warmed up” for a night of wine appreciation in the unusually chilly Manila weather with Ayala champagne and salmon hors d’oeuvres.

Then it was time for the real thing: check out this menu.

Note that the first two bottles are 2009 vintage and the last two bottles are from ten years earlier.

2009 has a reputation of being an excellent year for Bordeaux wines – evidence that the commandeurs really know their wines! And while 1999 was a shadow vintage (I will explain later), 2000 was likewise an excellent year.

Margaux at Mireio. Chateau Giscours, Chateau Du Tertre wines for the Commanderie de Bordeaux.

THE Menu for Margaux at Mireio. Gigi Montinola had to approve this menu by Mireio Chef Nicolas Gratin paired with vintages of Chateau Giscours and Chateau Du Tertre chosen by Director General Alexander van Beek. But how can one disagree?

CHATEAU DU TERTRE

Du Tertre, Alex explained, means “little hill” or “hillock” (Google translates it to “the mound”; Wikipedia says “tertre” means a hilllock or rising ground). As such, it is an ideal location to make wine because the elevated parts allow for better drainage but also better exposure, resulting in wine with texture that is soft without sacrificing depth.

Alex, who is Dutch, on the mic shared an inside joke that the owners personally like this location not just because of the resulting excellent wine but because atop the hills is where the Dutch can “look down” on the French (that was a joke made in loving jest, of course – the Dutch loved the wine so much they purchased the chateau!).

Here is a quick Wiki on how Chateau du Tertre was acquired by a Dutch family:

“Le Tertre (or Du Tertre) passed through the ownership of the Arrérac family and Marquis de Ségur until the 1855 classification. When the estate was owned by Charles Henri, Le Tertre hold a good reputation and was in demand on the Dutch market.[1] It was sold to Henri de Koenigswarter in 1870 under whose ownership Le Tertre’s reputation increased further … in 1961 Château du Tertre was acquired by Philippe Gasqueton, who restored the vineyards and château with the backing of Belgian business partners. Following Gasqueton’s death in 1995 his widow sold the property to Eric and Louise Albada Jelgersma, owners of the neighbouring estate Château Giscours.

And from the Chateau Du Tertre website:

In 1997, a Dutch businessman, Eric Albada Jelgersma bought the estate and invested in the large-scale overall restructuring, thus returning its noble personality to the Chateau du Tertre.

Chateau Du Tertre at the Margaux at Mireio dinner of the Commanderie de Bordeaux hosted by Gigi Montinola

Chateau Du Tertre. Spelling looks like “Duterte” but it’s pronounced like ‘daughter’ in French-Bisaya accent: “Du-ter”, as in “my du-ter Sara” – hehe! Plus a very soft T in the end.

As I mentioned earlier, we started with a 2009, comparing this to the Chateau Giscours of the same vintage.

The 2009 Du Terte was easy to appreciate with its soft texture, good nose and a spiciness in the end attributed to the higher content (vs other labels) of Cabernet Franc which, in Alex’s words, “adds freshness and energy to the wine”.

For the main course of pan seared duck, a 2000 Du Tertre was served, which had the same definitive bouquet and spice notes that hit the roof of your mouth though this vintage is more creamy and tannined. I would buy a case of this for a holiday family dinner.

CHATEAU GISCOURS

This 2009 Du Tertre was compared to the 2009 Chateau Giscours, whose estate is located just beside Chatea Du Tertre.

My two seatmates – Gigi Montinola and Jimmy Panganiban – and I were all more drawn to the Giscours. (Nothing to do with the label sounding like the name of the incumbent president.) After Alex described the Giscours, I understood why: it is because the ’09 Giscours – in Alex’s words – is “INTELLECTUAL”! Hmmm!

What does that mean?! I asked. It meets our IQ requirements?  Alex explained: It means that while it is not as easygoing and immediately enjoyable as the Du Tertre, its complexity makes it more appealing. In other (Alex’s) words, the Du Tertre is the girl who is immediately likeable while the Giscours is the one you appreciate more as you get to know her better – like moi! a real Margaux! CHAROT! Haha!

Beef carpaccio consomme by Chef Nicolas Gretin for Margaux at Mireio

Beef carpaccio consomme by Chef Nicolas Gretin. Guests were impressed by the unique combination of consomme with a carpaccio while Alex van Beek, Dir. Gen of Chateau Giscours, expressed how he appreciated the soup with 2009 Giscours.

But the most appealing drink of the night for me (and my most esteemed seatmates) was the 1999 Giscours. It was just so beautifully balanced, so refined and elegant. Alex says the wine “dances on the palate”. – I’m not quite sure what that meant but I am guessing the wine comes alive in your mouth. What he said that I did understand is that this vintage of Giscours – although 1999 was not as exceptional a year as 2000 for Bordeaux in general and therefore called a ‘shadow vintage’ – has “perfect harmony”. That was easy to understand; it was immediately evident 🙂

“With this wine,” Alex said, “You will understand what Margaux is about.”

I definitely went home with a better understanding of Margaux, and an eagerness – a thirst – to learn even more! I’ve heard this said about me I didn’t realize it also applies to the wines – you really can’t get enough of Margaux!  😉 😉 😉

***

Margaux at Mireio. Gigi Montinola welcomes the Commanderie de Bordeaux for an evening with Chateau Giscours and Chateau Du Tertre, Margaux

Commanderie de Bordeaux Le Maitre Gigi Montinola welcomes the commandeurs (and their ‘commanders’ aka wives – it is a predominantly male association) and guests for an evening of Chateau Giscours and Chateau Du Tertre

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