Malaysia Airlines’ revamped business and first class wine and champagne list has proven a winner, collecting an impressive five gongs, including Best First Class Cellar, in the prestigious Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky 2016 Awards presented at Trinity House Tower Hill in London yesterday by Charles Metcalf, co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge.
Competing against 33 airlines, Malaysia Airlines also scored:
- Gold for Best First Class White Wine (Chateau La Louvière Blanc 2013 Pessac-Léognan, France)
- Bronze for First Class Red (Schubert Wairarapa Syrah 2013, Martinborough, New Zealand)
- Bronze for First Class Sparkling Wine (Champagne Joseph Perrier Cuvée Josephine 2004, France)
- And a special mention for Business Class White (Wairau River Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Wairau River, Marlborough, New Zealand)
The sought-after awards recognise the best wine served by airlines worldwide in business and first class and were judged by four wine aficionados from the International Wine Challenge who independently blind-tasted and scored each entry.
Malaysia Airlines Regional Manager for Australia, New Zealand and South West Pacific, Bennet Stephens, said, “At a time where many airlines are reducing the level of food and beverages on-board flights, Malaysia Airlines deliberately chose to invest in quality products for our customers, so we are thrilled to have this recognised.”
In October Malaysia Airlines unveiled its new range of first and business class wine and champagne which was especially selected for serving at 40,000ft since taste buds are reduced in the pressurised cabin, meaning wine doesn’t breathe in quite the same way as it would on the ground.
Malaysia Airlines’ First Class Cellar includes:
(Champagne) Champagne Joseph Perrier Cuvee Josephine 2004: A fine fruity yet vinous element, lively yet perfectly balanced. Flavours of spice, dried fruits and ripe fresh fruits over caramel abound tied together by the firm mineral back-bone.
(Red) Chateau Frombrauge 2012, AOC St-Emilion Grand Cru Classes, Bordeaux: A concentrated and layered texture is filled with scents of dark currants and black cherries. Finishing with ripe tannin and roundness, the wine is approachable and with grilled steak is a classic combo.
(Red) Schubert Wairarapa Syrah 2013, Martinborough: Stylistically French and lively on the palate, red cherries and black currants, pure spice – cassia and cinnamon bark with seductive aromatics that extend to elegance with subtle layers of minerality, with a central core of savoury earthy notes that offer balance and structure.
(Red) Domaine Chandon de Briailles Pernand Vergelesse 1er cru “les Vergelesses” 2011, Burgundy: A wine that is rich, full and not very tannic. It rapidly develops aromas of fresh fruit with undertone of mineral before revealing a lightly spicy character coupled with seductive red berries and dried flowers.
(Red) Bodega Piedra Negra Malbec Reserve 2014, Mendoza, Argentina: An intense ruby red. Complex, with a mix of red berries and spicy aromas of clove and black pepper enhanced further with delicate notes of chocolate and coffee that come from its time in oak. A structured and complex wine, with pleasant tannins which bring sweetness and a long finish.
(White) Stonier Lyncroft Vineyards Chardonnay 2013, Victoria: An impeccably pure and clean varietal character with attractive nectarine, fig and melon fruit with an overriding citrus fruit spectrum and a mineral acid backbone.
(White) Chateau La Louviere Blanc 2013, AOC Pessac Leognan, Bordeaux: Floral and fruity (Granny Smith apple) nuances come through in the taste, as well as some grapefruit notes. The wine is very fresh and well-structured, with a beautiful long finish featuring citrus flavours. It is tremendously enjoyable with risotto, shrimp, scallops, etc.
(White) Pikes “Traditionale” Clare Valley Riesling 2015, South Australia: Fresh, crisp and dry; the palate is brimming with the lemon, lime and slate characters all nicely balanced by bright acidity that provides much of the drive to the finish.
(Dessert) Chateau Monteau Raba 2010, AOC Sauternes, Bordeaux: Offering dried mango, almond and a touch of quince, all with fine delineation and intensity, the palate is medium-bodied with good acidity and tension, the minerality really coming through towards the beautifully composed finish.
For Business Class customers: (Golden Club Class)
(Champagne) Champagne Duval Leroy “Fleur du Champagne” Premier Cru NV: A lofty, fragrant source with a hint of minerals. Blended with Pinot Noir to enhance the complexity and backbone, this distinguished cuvee has the perfect balance between elegance and power.
(Red) Chateau Doyac 2011, AOC Haut Medoc, Bordeaux: A dark, dense colour, lots of cherry and sweet berry fruit and spicy wood notes in its medium-bodied, nicely concentrated, round, generous personality.
(Red) D’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2013, McLaren Vale: Laden with dark cherries, rhubarb, plums and aniseed, complemented by a lick of fine, subtle oak and lifted with a sprinkling of pepper and spice. Generosity of fruit weight, combined with balanced, chewy tannins.
(Red) Bodega Piedra Negra Malbec Reserve 2014, Mendoza, Argentina: An intense ruby red. Complex, with a mix of red berries and spicy aromas of clove and black pepper enhanced further with delicate notes of chocolate and coffee that come from its time in oak.
(White) Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Marlborough: Intensely scented of passionfruit, gooseberry with touches of fresh limes and lemon zest, mown grass and green peppers.
(White) Maison Trenel Bourgogne Chardonnay 2014, Burgundy: A brilliant light gold colour coupled with good fruit intensity on the nose with touches of yellow flowers infusing the citrus fruit.
(White) Pikes “Traditionale” Clare Valley Riesling 2015, South Australia: A fresh, crisp and dry; the palate is brimming with the lemon, lime and slate characters all nicely balanced by bright acidity that provides much of the drive to the finish.
(White) Chateau Monteau Raba 2010, AOC Sauternes: A medium-bodied wine with good acidity and tension. The minerality really coming through towards the beautifully composed finish.