Chryseia 2015 and the cuisine of Vítor Matos

In a time when the launch of the 2016 edition of Chryseia is for sure being prepared, it’s impossible not to say a few words about one of Douro’s greatest wines, even more about such a peculiar year as 2015.

The presentation started very well, in a sunny day, at the elegant terrace of Antiqvvm, the refined Pol Roger champagne and the fresh snacks of Vítor Matos, with shrimp ceviche, cheese&prosciutto and fresh cheese&tomato “sandwiches”.

Cheese&prosciutto sandwiches

At the table, and without the usual presence of Bruno Prats (the renowned oenologist who associated with Symington to embrace the Quinta de Roriz project), we had the chance to taste some of his wines, starting with a peculiar Chilean ChardonnaySol de Sol 2012.

A very well tailored white, with citric notes, some dry fruit, good greasiness and great acidity.

Atlantic Turbot, peas, potato, spinach and truffle 

To kick off the menu, Vítor Matos chose a very well accomplished dish, around the Atlantic Turbot. Perfectly cooked fish, nice balance of flavors and textures, with body and weight, without any other element outshining the fish. Worked very well with the wine!

 Charles Symington

Followed the so desired 2015 edition of the classic Chryseia. A wine that follows the line of the 2012 edition, that while not being as powerful and recognized as the 2011 (3rd place in the Top 100 of Wine Spectator), showed much more elegant, sophisticated and harmonious. Wines that give pleasure to drink and discover, because they don’t show everything at first sight.

The nose brings us Touriga Nacional notes, with floral aromas and some rockrose harmonizing with lots of fruit, spices and joyfulness, a nose that transports us through Douro. On its turn, the mouth brings us a great structure, marked tannins, but molded, and a rare freshness that gives it the elegance and lightness that many times lack in the great Douro wines.

Time will take care of making this 2015 one of the best editions of Chryseia, the secret is to manage to keep the bottles hidden a few more years!

 Royal pigeon, foie, maronesa veal tail, parsnip and beetroot 

Accompanying was a fat and rich dish, with a great balance of sweetness, in a combination of royal pigeon, foie and veal tail. Great contrast of textures and meat flavors, missing just a bit of freshness to elevate the dish to another level.

Followed one of the highlights of the afternoon, the tasting of one of the greatest wines created by Bruno Prats, in his former property in Bordeaux, the Grand Cru Classé Cos D’ Estournel 1986. A Bordeaux classic, in great shape, with the Cabernet Sauvignon making us travel through aromas of tobacco, spices, mushrooms and some smoky notes. A great wine!

Azeitão and Serra da Estrela cheeses 

Vítor Matos’ double interpretation of two classic national cheeses that share their origin. Very good pairing and imagination, especially with the onion and Port wine jam and the red fruits, making of this a very interesting moment concerning working with cheese without disrespecting it.

As any good Douro house worthy of its name, the lunch could not end without the Port wine, in this case, a Vintage 2000 from Quinta de Roriz. Still with great color and full of dark fruit, starting to get some harmony with tertiary aromas. Very pleasant in the mouth and went really well with the dessert of Resende Cherry and Chocolate.

 Resende Cherry and Chocolate, aged balsamic and coffee

A very well accomplished dessert, with notes of coffee and chocolate working harmoniously. Elevating the dish was the final kick from the balsamic, in a combination where the pistachio cream did not add much.

It was a great lunch, that not only comes to prove the creativity and quality of Vítor Matos cuisine, but also a new path, more elegant and subtle, with fewer elements on the dish, and centered on produce and flavor of the main element.

Concerning the wines, there’s no doubt this partnership between Symington and Bruno Prats, creates, year after year, one of the great wines of Douro. If the following years are in the line of this 2015 profile, I’ll always be a very happy man while tasting a glass of Chryseia!

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

We were at the presentation of Chryseia by invitation from Prats & Symington, whereas this does not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.

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