Head sommelier at Constance Lémuria explores the Syrah grape

With his passion for grapes and wine head sommelier at Constance Lémuria, Cédric Jacob shares his knowledge of the Syrah grape and gives his tips for how to enjoy the wine in the heat of the tropics.

Enjoying wine in the Seychelles

Enjoying wine in the Seychelles

The Syrah grape

With its creation of dark full-bodied red wines, the Syrah grape charms with its dark fruit flavours ranging from sweet blueberry to savoury black olive. Tasting a Syrah wine is like receiving a punch of flavour that tapers off to leave a subtle, spicy, peppery aftertaste.

Syrah tends to give its distinctive kick on the front palate and so it’s often blended with grapes that offer more to the mid-palate. In France, Syrah is traditionally blended with Grenache or Mourvèdre to create the classic Côte du Rhône blend. Some producers also blend it with Cabernet Sauvignon to create a more complete, rounded taste.

My Old World Syrah recommendation

Côte Rôtie, ‘Blonde du Seigneur’, Domaine Georges Vernay, 2011 – France, Rhône Valley

In what has traditionally been a very male dominated industry, Christine Vernay (daughter of Georges) has put her stamp on the French winegrowing industry with this wine. She and her husband Paul Ansellem run this tiny 12ha winery (mostly focusing on Condrieu but with 2.5ha of Côte Rôtie) with fantastic flare.

The cuvee ‘Blonde du Seigneur’ is a Syrah-based wine blended with a small amount of Viognier. The wine presents a fine acidity on the palate as well as lots of blackberries and raspberry flavours, forest fruit and liquorice. It is like a Provencal Garrigue with its subtle peppery notes. Deep in colour this medium to full-bodied wine shows a richness and terrific personality.

Constance Lémuria

Constance Lémuria

Drinking this wine in the Seychelles

Due to the high temperature and humidity I recommend drinking this at 14-16ºC and letting it reach that temperature slowly. It is better to serve this wine directly from the bottle to avoid losing the fresh acidity that contributes to its elegance.

My New World Syrah recommendation

Mullineux, Syrah, 2011 – South Africa, Swartland

I discovered this fantastic wine about 2 years ago on a trip to South Africa. Chris and Andrea Mullineux are at the forefront of the ‘Swartland Revolution’, adopting a minimalist approach to their wines with a particular focus on expressing the terroir, translating the granite and schist soils of Swartland.

This superb Syrah presents notes of black pepper, dark juicy cherries and a hint of smoke. This full-bodied wine offers a silky texture with delicate melted tannins. I am impressed by its long fresh finish with a kick of black pepper.

How to drink this wine in the Seychelles

Again, I suggest drinking this Syrah at around 14-16ºC and letting it reach that temperature slowly. A soft decanting is necessary but done very slowly to avoid losing the freshness of the wine.

Find out more

 

Journey into South African wine country Part 1

At a time when South African wines are soaring to new heights of sophistication, Constance head sommelier Jerome Faure toured the country to seek out the best of this new breed of exciting wines.

Wine country: Enjoying a glass or two with Anthony Hamilton Russell.

Wine country: Enjoying a glass or two with Anthony Hamilton Russell.

Here is Jerome’s diary of discovery around the wine regions of South Africa.

Day 1

I arrived in South Africa with Jerome Carlier, head sommelier at Constance Le Prince Maurice, and Gaetan of Constance Moofushi. Together we visited the Raats Family winery in Stellenbosch for a tasting with Gavin. Raats wines are very famous for their Chenin and Cabernet Franc. We really liked the quality of the Cabernet, it was lively and fruity with soft tannins – I would say one of the top Cabernet Francs in South Africa. The Chenin was beautiful as well.

Later that day we visited the Marianne Estate also in Stellenbosch which has a nice range of wine, especially since the arrival of François, the new winemaker. He has added a fresh touch to the wine with more elegance and less extraction. This is definitely an estate to watch.

Day 2

We visited the Colmant Estate in the Franschhoek Valley. Run by Jean Philippe Colmant, it is a very young winery dedicated to cap classique with a small production of about 45,000 bottles a year. This is definitely one of the best cap classique producers, its sparklings are crisp and balanced with a nice acidity and could certainly be mistaken for champagne in a blind tasting.

Also in the Franschhoek Valley is the famous winery Chamonix where we ventured next. Its range of products are presided over by winemaker Gottfried Mocke. Most people associate Pinotage with South Africa and Chamonix makes one of the best in the region with a nice body and structure, a long finish and beautiful tannins.

Later that day we travelled south to Hamilton Russell Vineyards, one of the most southerly wine estates in Africa, where we had a fantastic night with owners Olive and Anthony tasting 3 top wines. The first was the Chardonnay 89 which slightly oxidises on the nose but overall is very charming with a surprising amount of freshness.

The second wine we tasted was the Pinot Noir 85, the third vintage from Hamilton Russell and an amazing bottle, elegant and silky with a mid-mouth with hints of blackcurrant, black wild fruits and undergrowth aromas balanced by a perfect acidity and smooth tannins. It is a wine ready to drink now but still has ageing potential. The third wine was a Pinot 01, still a young wine despite its 12 years, it has a dark colour with richness, elegance and body. The balance and harmony of the wine could be compared to a Vosne Romanée.

Find out more

 

Gala dinner to celebrate the best New Zealand wines

Join us at Constance Belle Mare Plage for the climax of our New Zealand wines week, a unique gala dinner celebrating the best New Zealand wines.

Blue Penny Café, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Blue Penny Café, Constance Belle Mare Plage

The dinner is to be held at the stylish Blue Penny Café, famous for its sumptuous fine-dining menu and wine cellar, and will feature the wines of all the visiting New Zealand winemakers.

Wine makers from New Zealand

Winemakers visiting Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice for the celebration of New Zealand wine week include:

  • Felton Road
  • Millton Vineyards and Winery
  • Ata Rengi
  • Escarpment
  • Pegasus Bay

What’s on the menu?

Guests at the resort will have the opportunity to sample an exquisite menu of culinary delights paired with the very best wines from each of the vineyards.

Wine dinners at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Wine dinners at Constance Belle Mare Plage

The menu for the gala dinner will include:

  • Red tuna tartar with kafir lime, carpaccio of scallop with ‘harenka’, goat nougat with apricot paired with Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2010
  • Crispy ‘Black Tiger’ prawn tails in kadaïf, fades carrot and green granny Smith balls, acidulated coulis paired with Millton Clos St Anne Chardonnay 2009
  • Pan-seared cod fish fillet, heirloom vegetables and mushroom, chicken gravy scented with Barolo vinegar paired with Felton Road Pinot Noir Calvert 2006
  • ‘Barbaire’ duck fillet, confit turnip and samoussas with giblets, wild Bourbon pepper and cherry paired with Escarpment Pinot Noir 2010
  • Roasted Victoria pineapple style ‘Pina Colada’ paired with Pegasus Bay Aria Lat Picked Riesling 2008

Find out more

Female sommeliers in Mauritius are aiming high

Our female sommeliers at Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage are both striving to become leaders in the predominantly male world of fine wines.

Malin De Lores, assistant sommelier at Belle Mare Plage

Malin De Lores, assistant sommelier at Belle Mare Plage

Constance Belle Mare Plage

Malin De Lores, assistant sommelier at Belle Mare Plage, who attained her wine training at the Constance Hospitality Academy in Mauritius, claims her personal ambition is to become a chief sommelier.

She took a step nearer to her goal last year when she was selected as a finalist in the Best Sommelier of Mauritius 2012 and again this year as the winner of the sommelier competition at the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau. In July Malin was promoted to Assistant Sommelier at Belle Mare Plage.

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Cheryline Coulon, sommelier at Le Prince Maurice, began her career in France before joining Constance. Her ambition is to win the award for Best Sommelier of Mauritius 2014.

Cheryline Coulon, sommelier at Le Prince Maurice

Cheryline Coulon, sommelier at Le Prince Maurice

Cheryline was selected to represent Le Prince Maurice this year in the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

We are very proud of both women whose passion for wine and their ability to share that passion with our guests has made them an important part of our team of sommeliers in Mauritius.

Read more

New and Old World wines at Halaveli wine dinner

Constance Halaveli is inviting guests interested in wine to indulge in an exciting wine menu designed to compare and contrast wines from the New and Old World.

Wine dinner at Constance Halaveli

Wine dinner at Constance Halaveli

Held at Halaveli’s signature restaurant Jing on 18 September, wines will be paired with sumptuous fine-dining dishes to bring out the very best in both.

Working together with fine wine suppliers Gavin Davis and Bastien Gautheron of MMI Dubai, Jing has selected French and New Zealand wines which best express current trends in winemaking from both regions so that guests are able to make a direct comparison.

The wine menu for guests at Halaveli will include:

  • Saffron Macaroons with smoked salmon, black summer truffle and wild Iranian Caviar
  • Quail and foie gras sausage with horseradish, Madras curry and brioche
  • Caramelised king scallop, soba noodles, beetroot, enoki and dashi
  • Mango sorbet
  • Liberty duck ‘sous vide’, baby pack choy, carrot miso crème and koppert cress
  • Kaffir lime and ivory ganache, passion fruit panacotta and Valrhonna cacao pearls

Visit our website to read more about Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Visit Mauritius and discover the treasure of New Zealand wines

Time is running out to join Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice in a celebration of New Zealand wines including the opportunity to meet some of the country’s most famous winemakers.

Enjoy New Zealand wines at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Enjoy New Zealand wines at Constance Belle Mare Plage

The weeklong wine event from 15-21 September will include a series of unique wine menus in the restaurants of both resorts in which the New World wines will be paired with exquisite dishes specially prepared by our chefs.

New Zealand winemakers visiting Mauritius for this special event will include:

  • Felton Road
  • Millton Vineyards and Winery
  • Ata Rengi
  • Escarpment
  • Pegasus Bay

Escarpment wine dinner at La Spiaggia, Belle Mare Plage – Monday 16 September

  • Smoked marlin carpaccio, green apple salpicon, honey lemon and herbs dressing paired with Escarpment Riesling 2011
  • Black tiger prawn salad, Japanese pearl, watermelon marinated with basil and pink pepper paired with Escarpment Chardonnay 2011
  • Beef fillet cooked in the pan, celeriac puree, confit shallots, red wine jus paired with Escarpment Kiwa Pinot Noir 2011
  • Lemon meringue tart mille-feuille style, strawberry sherbet paired with Escarpment Hinemoa Riesling 2011
La Kaze, Constance Belle Mare Plage

La Kaze, Constance Belle Mare Plage

Pegasus Bay wine dinner at La Kaze, Belle Mare Plage – Tuesday 17 September

  • Crab meat and condiments, pumpkin mousse with curry leaves paired with Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Sémillon 2011
  • Grilled jobfish fillet with fennel seeds, glazed baby vegetables and mussels with citrus salsa, saffroned matelote jus paired with Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Dry Riesling 2011
  • Spit-roasted sucking pig, grilled vegetables tian with thyme-confit potato with roasted garlic rice paired with Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2010
  • Roasted banana with muscovado sugar, coconut ‘dacquoise’, rum ice-cream paired with Main Divide Pokiri Late Picked Pinot Gris 2009

Ata Rengi wine dinner at Deer Hunter, Belle Mare Plage – Wednesday 18 September

  • Mauritian canapés served with Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2013
  • Red tuna cannelloni with ‘Dandarangan’, olive oil, citrus salpicon with pink pepper, ‘Victoria’ pineapple jelly, crispy faratha paired with Ata Rangi Petrie Chardonnay 2011
  • Braised beef cheek with Tasmanian pepper, potato purée with truffle oil, glazed turnip and carrot, blackcurrant jus paired with Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2008
  • Cheesecake with confit orange, passion fruit sherbet paired with Ata Rangi Kahu Botrytis Riesling 2013

Read more

Read more about this exciting wine event: Constance celebrates New Zealand Wines in Mauritius

Tempted to join the festivities?

Check late booking availability for both Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice.