VanWineFest 2022: Icons of South America at Alouette Bistro

Alouette Bistro

Alouette Bistro

My first and only dinner during the Vancouver Wine Festival 2022 was the “Icons of South America” held at Alouette Bistro. Classic French cuisine with a West Coast twist meets powerhouse wines from Chile. Wines from Viñedo Chadwick, Seña, and Arboleda wines, from the vineyards in the Aconcagua Valley and Maipo Valley, were paired with the following dishes prepared by Executive Chef Albert Tran and his team.  The wine tasting was led by Mr. Michel Couttolenc, Fine Wines Director for Viñedo Chadwick and Seña.

The Paired Menu

Prawn & Fennel Salad
with endive, grapefruit, hazelnuts, Banyuls
Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc 2020


Tuna Tartare
with frisée, radish, shallot, quail egg, aioli, herbs
Arboleda Chardonnay 2019


Ricotta Gnudi
with piperade, pine nuts, smoked lardon, herbs
Arboleda Carmenere 2019


Wild Mushroom Tartlet
with spinach, leek, squash, pumpkin seeds, raclette
Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon 2019


Roasted Venison Loin
with pomme fondant, caponata, tomato, armagnac jus
Seña 2019

“Lark” Bar
with dark chocolate, raspberry, chiffon
Viñedo Chadwick 2019

Mr. Michel Couttolenc, Fine Wines Director for Viñedo Chadwick and Seña

Mr. Michel Couttolenc, Fine Wines Director for Viñedo Chadwick and Seña.

The Chadwick family in Chile has a long history of producing quality wines.  On this evening we were able to try wines from three of their labels: Viñedo Arboleda, Seña, and Viñedo Chadwick.  Arboleda, in Spanish means, a grove of trees, is a tribute to the grove of native forest that surrounds its sustainably managed vineyards.  Viña Arboleda was founded in 1999 by vintner Eduardo Chadwick. Seña is a joint venture winery started in 1995 between Napa Valley’s Robert Mondavi and Eduardo Chadwick.  Their goal was to reach the full potential of Chile’s wine country and to create a world-class iconic wine like no other from Chile.  The first vintage of Sena was in 1995 and lead the way to make other ultra-premium wines in Chile.  Viñedo Chadwick represents their family’s desire to honour the memory of the late Don Alfonso Chadwick Errazuriz with an ultra-premium red wine showcasing the ancestry, tradition, and expertise of the Chadwick-Errazuriz family for producing wine wines. 

My Wine Tasting Notes

As the dinner progressed and the wines were poured, wine conversation ensued, and our dishes arrived, my tasting notes are not as detailed as usual.  But still should give you a good impression of the wines’ aromas and flavours.  No ratings, but all the wines were of terrific quality.

Viñedo Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Chardonnay, 2019, and Carmenere 2019 wines at Icons of South America dinner

Viñedo Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Chardonnay, 2019, and Carmenere 2019 wines at Icons of South America dinner

Viñedo Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc 2020 (BC $21.99) – A mix of melon, stonefruit and flint aromas, but as the wine warms you can add guava and honey scents. Restrained flavours with medium-intensity green fruits and green chilies.  Dry and round with medium-minus acidity. 

Viñedo Arboleda Chardonnay 2019 (BC $22.99) – Has a deep lemon colour.  Very light aromas of pears, vanilla and toast.  Dry, soft and round mouthfeel, with light acidity.  Pears and vanilla with a touch of oak.  Elegant. 

Viñedo Arboleda Carmenere 2019 (BC $21.99) – Opaque ruby.  Aromatic, showing bell pepper and deep ripe red fruits.  Off-dry, medium-plus body and semi-round mouthfeel.  Black coffee, black fruits, plus a touch of floral and plums.  Soft, light tannins and acidity.  A wine with a light touch. 

Viñedo Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Seña 2019, and Viñedo Chadwick 2019 wines at Icons of South America dinner

Viñedo Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Seña 2019, and Viñedo Chadwick 2019 wines at Icons of South America dinner

Viñedo Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 (BC $21.99) –  Deep garnet colour in the glass.  Light intensity aromas of leather and dark fruit, plus a touch of bacon.  Medium-plus body, medium acidity and fine tannins.  Candied plums, sweet black fruit and a touch of coffee on the palate.  Medium length. 

Seña 2019 (BC $199.99) –  A biodynamic wine.  This vintage is sold out around the world.  Only 5000 cases were made. Deep violet colour.  Medium-aroma intensity showing ripe cassis, black fruit, and a touch of leather.  Dry, lighter body with medium-minus intensity flavour.  Juicy berries with touches of coffee and pepperiness.  Light fine tannins.  More acidity driven. 

Viñedo Chadwick 2019 (BC $449.99) – Deep ruby colour.  Medium-minus intensity aromas of dark fruit and berries.  Dry, medium-minus body, lean with a light mouthfeel.  Juicy berries and some pepperiness  Drying tannins on the finish.  Shorter length.

Food and Wine Pairing

Prawn & Fennel Salad with endive, grapefruit, hazelnuts, Banyuls paired with the Arboleda Sauvignon Blanc 2020 – this Sauvignon Blanc was a terrific pairing for this dish, plus the tuna tartare.  The prawns were nicely firm.  I enjoyed the crunchy fennel and hazelnuts.  The salad brought out citrus and stone fruit in the wine.  The acidity in the wine also complimented the salad.

Tuna Tartare with frisée, radish, shallot, quail egg, aioli, herbs paired with Arboleda Chardonnay 2019 – The tuna was quite aromatic.  Lightly salted.  I enjoyed the buttery softness of the tuna with this wine.  Plus the creaminess of the quail’s egg was nice with the roundness of the wine.  The Sauvignon Blanc added acidity excitement to the dish.

Ricotta Gnudi with piperade, pine nuts, smoked lardon, herbs paired with Arboleda Carmenere 2019 – The gnudi were soft and the green peas creamy. The tomato in the piperade was very tasty with the Carmenere.  An overall complementary pairing.

Prawn & Fennel Salad, Tuna Tartare, and Ricotta Gnudi dishes at Icons of South America dinner

Prawn & Fennel Salad, Tuna Tartare, and Ricotta Gnudi dishes at Icons of South America dinner

Wild Mushroom Tartlet with spinach, leek, squash, pumpkin seeds, raclette paired with Arboleda Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 – I enjoyed the creaminess from the raclette plus the texture from the wild mushroom and earthiness from the green pea sprouts.  The creaminess of the tartlet worked well with the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Roasted Venison Loin with pomme fondant, caponata, tomato, Armagnac jus paired with Seña 2019 –  The venison melted in your mouth, it was so tender.  The ripe fruit flavours of the wine complimented this dish, plus the wine had the right amount of tannins as well to show the strength of the wine alongside the venison and Armagnac jus flavours.

“Lark” Bar with dark chocolate, raspberry, chiffon paired with Viñedo Chadwick 2019 – A decadent way to end the evening.  The layering of this Lark bar, reminded me of layers in pork belly and was imagining a chocolate pig.  I enjoyed the raspberry and dark chocolate flavours of this bar with the wine.  Amazingly the wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the tannins were just fine enough to make a tasty complementary pairing.  Many Cabs have such strong tannins that they do not work well with sweet or chocolate dessert dishes.

Wild Mushroom Tartlet, Roasted Venison Lion, and Lark Bar dishes at Icons of South America dinner

Wild Mushroom Tartlet, Roasted Venison Lion, and Lark Bar dishes at Icons of South America dinner

My compliments to Executive Chef Albert Tran for making these excellent dishes and to Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits for providing their lineup of Arboleda, Viñedo Arboleda, and Seña wines.

Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.

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