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MC@Abode rolls out new 'biodynamic' wines

Simon Binns is impressed by a rejuvenated kitchen and wine list

Written by . Published on May 13th 2011.

MC@Abode rolls out new 'biodynamic' wines

THE kitchen at MC@Abode has undergone a bit of a reshuffle in the last few months. Ian Matfin left and Mark Rossi arrived, and after three or four months of bedding in, he’s created a frankly outstanding menu.

I know this because I went along earlier in the week, mostly to sample the new ‘biodynamic’ wines the restaurant has to offer – organic varieties you may not have seen before.

Well worth it too – sommelier Michael Sokolovs, back at Abode for a second stint, has unearthed some absolute corkers.

The main courses were special. The sirloin of beef with boulanger potatoes was absolutely stunning and the Goosenargh chicken breast with morels and braised leg raviolo wasn’t too shabby either. Both were elevated further by a bottle of Avondale “Camissa” Syrah 2006."

First up was a glass of sparkling to accompany an appetiser of wonderfully delicate parmesan risotto ball. The floral and fresh Catherine et Pierre Breton Vouvray La Dilettante from Touraine has plenty of apple and honey on the nose, giving way to spicy green fruit and lime with a crisp but not too dry finish.

IMG_2716.JPGThe starters arrived; almond-crusted veal sweetbreads and a poached quail’s egg (£15.50) for me, an assiette of spring vegetables (£12.50) for my companion. A dish of vegetables sounds pretty bland. It isn’t. Perfectly cooked carrot, cauliflower, pea and asparagus with herbs, edible flowers and an outrageously bold truffle cream made this a vegetarian dish for all others to be compared to.

The sweetbreads were sublime, and even better paired with a South African Lekanyane Painted Wolf 2009, a blend of Chenin Blanc, Viognier and Verdelho with a splash of Sauvignon, which was beautifully creamy and gently spiced. ‘Restrained and structured,’ according to the tasting notes. Indeed.

IMG_2717.JPGThe main courses were special. The sirloin of beef with boulanger potatoes was absolutely stunning and the Goosenargh chicken breast with morels and braised leg raviolo (£22.50) wasn’t too shabby either. Both were elevated further by a bottle of Avondale “Camissa” Syrah 2006, another South African import, this time from Paarl.

The deep dark red gave off ripe blackberries and spices on the nose with hints of chocolate and liquorice. The long and powerful finish was an absolutely perfect match for both dishes.

IMG_2723.JPGThe kitchen hadn’t stopped impressing, however. A caramel and cardamom parfait with milk chocolate mousse, nougatine and cardamom foam and a passion fruit soufflé with lime ice cream (both £9) were both utterly outstanding.

They got even better when Michael cracked out two French desert wines, a 2006 Cypres De Clime from Barsac, which was full of honey notes and went down like medicine, and a lighter, sharper Domaine Casteza 2008 from Jurancon. They were both show stoppers.

Under the stewardship of restaurant manager James Cockcroft, Abode’s fine dining offering has gone back up a notch, after a bit of a lull.

The decision to freshen up the wine list with some inventive choices is also a smart move. If you’ve not been down to Abode’s basement for a while, now’s a good time to go back.

Another tip? Do what I did and go with someone who couldn’t drink. You get to have even more for yourself.


Also on MC@Abode’s list of new ‘biodynamic’ wines:

Vedicchio dei Castelli dei Jesi Classico “Gino” 2010, Fattoria San Lorenzo, Marche, Italy
Pale yellow colour; brioche, peach and herbal flavours on the nose ; Green apple and pear on the palate with a touch of fennel. Medium finish.      

Sauvignon de Touraine  2010,Thierry Puzelat, Loire, France 
Lemongrass and green apples on the nose. Pear drops, elderflower and apples on the palate. Well balanced with good acidity. Medium finish.

Dolcetto D’Alba 2009, Roagna di Paglieri, Piedmont, Italy
Dark cherries and forest berries on the nose. Powerful red fruit and juicy cherry flavours on the palate with a hint of spice and great acidity. Long finish.

Clos du Tue-Boeuf Rouge “La Guerrerie” 2008 Touraine, Loire, France
Strawberry and raspberry notes on the nose. Red fruits and ripe strawberry flavours on the palate, great acidity, medium to light  bodied with medium finish.

Château Cambon 2009, Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
Fresh red cherries and bubblegum on the nose. Red berries and juicy cherries on the palate, light bodied wine with crispy  medium finish and high acidity.

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paulMay 16th 2011.

Looks like he has rejuvenated the portions too they look a little larger to say the least than what I got on my last visit .

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