Hamilton Russell Vineyards wine promotion at Constance Hotels

At Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice tonight and tomorrow, 16 and 17 May, we are promoting the highly sought after wines from Hamilton Russell Vineyards, one of the most southerly wine estates in Africa and one of the closest to the sea.

L'Archipel restaurant, Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

L'Archipel restaurant, Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

The Hamilton Russell Estate specialises in producing individual, terroir driven Pinot noir and Chardonnay – widely regarded as the best in South Africa and among the best in theNew World.

The history of Hamilton Russell Vineyards

In 1975 founder, Tim Hamilton Russell purchased the undeveloped 170 hectare property located in the beautiful, cool, maritime Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation, just behind the old fishing village of Hermanus. He found the property after an exhaustive search for the most southerly site on which to make South Africa’s top cool climate wines from a selection of noble varieties.

His son Anthony Hamilton Russell, who took over in 1991 (finally buying the property in 1994), narrowed the range to Pinot noir and Chardonnay only, and registered Hamilton Russell Vineyards as an Estate, committing to work only with grapes from their terroir.

Extensive soil research initiated in 1994 identified 52 hectares of stony, clay-rich, shale-derived soil as optimal for the individual, origin expressive style they aim for and all plantings have now been limited to this soil type.

La Spiaggia, Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

La Spiaggia, Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Anthony, winemaker Hannes Storm and viticulturist Johan Montgomery are completely dedicated to expressing the personality of the Hamilton Russell Vineyards terroir in their wines.

Tiny yields and intense worldwide demand keep the elegant, highly individual, Estate grown Pinot noir and Chardonnay in very short supply.

 

Special promotional dinner at L’Archipel

Wednesday 16 May – L’Archipel, Le Prince Maurice

Urchin with Granny Smith apple

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Unilateral jobfish filet cooked on the skin, clams chowder with shells from our lagoon

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Beef flank, caramelised onion compote with Jamaican pepper, sweet potato dauphine, mirror sauce

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Cinnamon ango with manjari choclate,coconut sherbet with lime

The Wines

  • Asbourne Sandstone (white) 2007
  • HamiltonRussell Vineyards Chardonnay 2011
  • Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot noir 2010
  • Asbourne (red) 2007

 

Special promotional dinner at La Spiaggia

Thursday 17 May, La Spiaggia, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Tuna tartar, wasabi-salmon gravlax-vegetables ‘Croqque sel’ tartlet

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Ballotine of duck foie gras and smoked eel, ‘Surf’ beetroot and dandelion salad, ’Turf’ green asparagus with Harenka caviar

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Roasted cod fish with salted butter crusted with fruits nuts and lemon pulp, glazed carrot with vanilla, passion fruit sabayon

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Pigeon breast, grilled potato, roasted abatis with Colonnata lard, raspberries and raw cherries, “Lapsang Souchong” tea juice

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‘Kumabo’ chocolate tartlet, blackcurrant and violet juice

The Wines

  • Southern Right Sauvignon blanc 2011
  • HamiltonRussell Vineyards Chardonnay 2011
  • HamiltonRussell Vineyards Chardonnay 2009
  • HamiltonRussell Vineyards Pinot Noir 2010 & Ashbourne 2007
  • Southern Right Pinotage 2009

Recipe: Salmon sashimi, crabmeat and green papaya salad with ginger

Try this deliciously tasty sashimi recipe made with fresh ginger and papaya, brought to you from the kitchens of Constance Le Prince Maurice.

L'Archipel at Constance Le Prince Maurice

The elegant L'Archipel

Serves 4
Preparation 
time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • 300g boneless, skinless salmon fillet
  • 1 green papaya
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 40g ginger
  • 4 sprigs coriander
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli (or more to taste)
  • 40g cashew nuts
  • 100g crabmeat
  • 8 capers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

Finishing touch

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 cl soy sauce
  • 1 pinch fleur de sel
  • freshly ground pepper

1. Finely slice the salmon, set aside.
2. Peel the papaya, remove the seeds, cut the flesh into thin julienne strips. Add the coarse salt and let rest for 20 minutes.
3. Rinse the papaya well, squeeze out the moisture and refrigerate.
4. Peel the ginger, cut it into thin julienne strips and blanch it in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain, repeat twice.
5. Chop the coriander leaves. Remove the seeds from the red chilli, then chop the flesh finely. Chop the cashews with a knife.
6. Shred the crabmeat and put it in a salad bowl. Add the capers, ginger, green papaya, cashews, coriander, red chilli, olive oil and lemon juice. Correct seasoning.
7. Lay the salmon slices on the plates, adding a little crabmeat and papaya salad in the centre. Add a streak of olive oil, a pinch of fleur de sel and grind some black pepper on top. Serve with the soy sauce on the side.

Recipe: Pressed terrine of pumpkin and peppermint-roasted squash

Looking for something different to cook for your guests? Try this delicious terrine from the kitchens of Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Fresh chillies

Fresh chillies at Constance

Serves 10 (1 terrine)

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Resting time: 24 hours

  • 750g pumpkin
  • 750g squash
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 5 sprigs peppermint
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized leeks
  • 200g coconut chatini
  • salt and pepper

Finishing touch

  • 10 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 mint blossoms
  • olive oil
  • coarse sea salt, freshly ground black pepper

1. One day in advance, peel and seed the pumpkin and squash, then cut them into large cubes. Finely slice the red chilli.
2. In a large piece of aluminium foil, wrap the pumpkin and squash with the olive oil, thyme, chilli, salt and pepper. Bake in a 180ºC oven for 30 minutes. Let cool, setting aside any cooking juices.
3. Halve the leeks lengthwise and blanch them for 1 minute in boiling salted water. Cool them in iced water, then drain.
4. Rub the inside of the terrine with a little oil. Line the bottom and sides with the blanched leeks. Alternate layers of pumpkin, squash and mint leaves. Sprinkle with the reserved cooking juices. Cover the contents of the terrine directly with clingfilm and put a weight on them. Keep refrigerated for 24 hours.
5. Unmould the terrine and cut into slices. Put a slice on each plate, add a spoonful of coconut chatini on the side. Add a small pinch of coarse sea salt, some freshly ground pepper and a streak of olive oil. Decorate with cinnamon sticks and mint blossoms.

Recipe: Iced tea

Enjoy this thirst-quenching iced tea from Constance Moofushi – best enjoyed on a beach in the Indian Ocean but wonderfully refreshing at home too.

Iced tea

Tropical style iced tea

  • 2 tea bags of black tea
  • ¼ fresh passion fruit
  • 3 slices of lemon
  • muscovado sugar

Add hot water to the tea and brew to your liking, then add sugar, passion fruit and lemon slices. Refrigerate until cool or pour over ice.

Art de Vignes celebrates fine dining and wine in Mauritius

The talented wine growers of Art de Vignes will be celebrating a week of gastronomy at Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage from 20-26 May 2012.

Blue Penny Cafe

Fine dining at Blue Penny Cafe, Belle Mare Plage

Art de Vignes is a club of passionate, dedicated wine growers from French wine-producing regions: Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Corsica, the Jura, the Loire and Rhone.

Organised in collaboration with Jerome Faure, our Head Sommelier, the event is now in its third year. Throughout the week we celebrate fine dining and exceptional wines from the six French winemakers, who also attend the dinner.

Guests at our 2 hotels in Mauritius can enjoy this wonderful opportunity to taste rare wines from the Art de Vignes club, and to meet and discuss their passion for wine with the winegrowers. Add to this the famous culinary delights of our talented Constance chefs and you can see why this is an unmissable foodie event.

Highlights of the week

Sunday 20 May

  • Alphonse Mellot – Sancerre Domain La Moussiere
    Special lobster dinner at Indigo Restaurant, Belle Mare Plage
Monday 21 May
  • Olivier Decelle – Maury Mas Amiel/St Emilion GC Jean Faure
    Mauritian cuisine at Deer Hunter Restaurant, Belle Mare Plage
Tuesday 22 May
  • Thierry Germain – Saumur – Domaine des Roches Neuves
    When Val de Loire meets the Sega – at L’Archipel, Le Prince Maurice
Wednesday 23 May
  • Jean-Marc Boillot – Pommard/Puligny-Montrachet
    Recipes from Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau at La Spiaggia, Belle Mare Plage
Thursday 24 May
  • Marc Perrin – Chateauneuf du Pape – Beaucastel
    4 hands menu at L’Archipel, Le Prince Maurice
Friday 25 May
  • Christine Vernay – Condrieu – Cote Rotie – Georges Vernay
    Summer scents and spices of Syrah and Viognier at La Spiaggia, Belle Mare Plage

Find out more on our Constance Hotels Experience website.

Heard it through the grapevine…

Head Sommelier Cedric Jacob is extremely passionate about all wines and is eager to share his knowledge with our guests.

Cedric Jacob

Cedric Jacob

When speaking to Cedric his enthusiasm and love for wine is evident and he always welcomes guests to come visit the cellars at Constance Halaveli.

Below he shares a bit about his background and where his passion for wine began.

Where in France are you from?
I was born inParis. My dad got the opportunity to move to Aix-En-Provence, South of France for his job and we all followed him. My little village where we moved to, Ventabren, is in the middle of the appellation Cotes d’Aix-En-Provence famous for its Rosé. As you can guess, you can find more Rosé wine on every table than simple still water. My dad used to say ‘water is for flowers’ but my mum does drink a lot of water!

When did your interest in wine begin?
My interest in wine began when I started in the hospitality industry at the age of 15 where I discovered there was a soul to every different wine, each a different product, something sometimes that is hard to put into words.

I have always been interested in the mysterious things of life and wine was part of this. My lecturer, a passionate man who could speak for hours and hours about this topic, helped me to develop my knowledge and I started to learn about it seriously aged 18.

Some people might say that 15 years is very young but I think that we need to start early to understand the idea of taste and sensation when tasting a product. This goes for food, music, art etc… My dad understood this concept of life and used to give us, my 2 brothers and myself, a tiny glass of wine every Sunday to smell and try to recognise aromas. Then we’d add water in to taste it. That was the beginning of what I call a ‘love story’.

Sommelier team at Constance Halaveli

Sathir, Sampath and Cedric

Why did you become a sommelier?
First of all, I became sommelier for the simple reason that wine was a passion. I love reading about it, finding out what is happening in the world of wine, watching documentaries. Also wine was becoming a huge trend at the time that I started, and people were willing to understand more and more about what they were drinking. It’s not only about drinking nowadays – people want to discover new horizons, understand the importance of Terroir, grape variety, human touch on the final wine that they are drinking and so on. Being a sommelier is all about experiencing and sharing. This idea of conviviality and becoming a sommelier was the best choice I ever made.

What challenges do you face currently being a sommelier in the Maldives?
The main challenge is the difference of climate that definitely changes your perception while tasting. Your smell as well as your taste is affected by the humidity and heat. The same wine tastes totally difference in Europe compared with the Maldives. Our goal is to find a new way of serving wine so our guests fully enjoy the wine that they order, for example, serving slightly chilled red wine.

Another challenge is offering the best price for our customers, considering the heavy import duty on alcohol as the Maldives is a Muslim country.

Cedric Jacob and guests

Cedric and guests at Jahaz

With these challenges how do you foresee them affecting the wine industry in the Maldives?
The main impact regarding government restriction is that wine is getting more and more expensive in this country, especially since the government plans to further increase the duty. However, as a sommelier, we always believe that the price doesn’t always rhyme with quality. Our goal as professionals is to find more small producers from different countries who are driven by their passion to produce great wines. Many young wine makers inFranceand elsewhere are becoming more and more famous for this, and those are the wines we are trying to import. Once again our aim is to satisfy the needs and wants of our guests. 

What is your favourite wine and why?
That is the trickiest question for a sommelier and one that people often ask me because I like everything as long as it is good – white, red, rosé, dessert, Champagne…However since I arrived in the Maldives I have to say that I have a preference for white Sauvignon Blanc for their freshness and their minerality and red Pinot Noir for the easiness and fruit…New Zealand is a region that I particularly appreciate for that even though we do produce amazing Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir in France.

What would be your perfect evening?
A perfect evening is a couple of friends, each bringing a good bottle that they want to make others discover, me in the kitchen (I love to cook, in fact I wanted to be chef before sommelier) and spending the evening enjoying, sharing and having fun with friends… that’s my idea of conviviality.

Do you have any special tips that you would like to share?

Just like a magician, I would say I can’t.

Next time you’re at Halaveli don’t forget to ask our Sommelier team to take you on a tour of our superb wine cellars.