Tasting wine alone is good, tasting together is even better!

Hatten Wines Building - Sanur

Bali is a paradise island for many, with a growing number of tourist, and “expat”, every year. The restaurant industry expands daily, with new concept flourishing here and there. If the food choice is broader, for wine lovers, Bali is not the best place to quench a wine thirst. Between government taxes and venues' margins, it’s quite a challenge to find the right flacon at the right price. If you’ve been visiting or live in Bali, no doubt you’ve been drinking local wines on numerous occasions, either by choice or nothing else was available at the party.

As a newcomer, more than a decade ago, when asking about local wines, the name on everyone lips was Hatten. At that time the range was limited, as was the quality. If the rosé was fairly drinkable, the others were not. OK, let’s stick to imported wines…

5 still wines to taste

Recently, we have been invited for a Wine Appreciation Class at the Hatten Cellardoor in Sanur. Beside the Wine Lifestyle Boutique offering free wine tasting 7 days a week (Yes, FREE!) the building offers a 14 seats private dining room where you can pre-order a lunch or dinner wine pairing menus, a classroom, a meeting room for training theatre or classroom style with a capacity of 30 seats and, a beautiful atrium that can cater for up to 60 people. But let’s talk about the wines.

Hatten's Sommelier Ms Wydia sharing her passion

Since I have not tasted any Hatten products for years, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. 6 wines to taste, orchestrated by Hatten own Balinese sommelier, Ibu Widya, who shared, with passion and simplicity, the characteristics of each wine, teaching the assembly the right way to taste a wine, starting with holding a glass, swirling to open it up, to breathe, and taste it, to the disparity occurring with diverse pairing. Besides being educational, she involved a great deal of audience participation with sympathy and a great sense of humour.

Serving Tunjung Brut Sparkling

Tasting Tunjung Brut Sparkling, a traditional méthode Champenoise

We started with the Tunjung Brut Sparkling, using traditional méthode Champenoise, which requires a secondary fermentation in the bottle, accomplished by adding a mixture of sugar and yeast, called the liqueur de tirage, to still wine. Light, refreshing with notes of citrus peel, green apples, beautiful floral complexities, a lively and textural dry palate and a crisp citrus finish. Nicely chilled, it will trick many Champagne connoisseurs. The Two Islands Chardonnay, made out of grapes from Hatten’s vineyard located in South Australia, is fermented and matured at the Hatten winery in Bali. Same applies to the whole Two Islands range. Medium body, aromas of peachy tropical fruit, it shows toasty melon flavour with some minerals notes and a subtle hint of oak. Perfect for an afternoon around the pool! The Asian Wine Review 2017 Silver Medals Alexandria is a medium-sweet white wine, very aromatic with grapey characters and lovely floral perfumes. The fruity palate is well balanced between sweetness and acidity, leaving a refreshing aftertaste. Very popular among Indonesian who still like their wine on a sweet side.

Two Islands Pinot Noir and Shiraz

As for the reds we have been introduced to the Two Islands Pinot Noir and the Two Islands Shiraz. As a Burgundy lover, I could not wait to try the Pinot Noir. This medium-light bodied dry red wine is soft, silky, fruity and satisfying. It offers complex aromas of toast and raspberry jam and oregano leaves, with flavours of plum, truffles and warming sweet spices. A beautiful blend between old world style and fresh fruity new world style. The medium to full bodied Shiraz with its toasty plum aromas compliment the spicy peppery flavours and soft tannins with a hint of vanilla and nutmeg. The French oak maturation gives the wine an intense depth in colour and flavour.

Pino de Bali aged in French Oak

To finish on a sweet note (and I’m not talking about dessert) we have been invited to taste, and served ourselves directly from the barrel using a wine thief, the Pino de Bali, a sweet fortified wine, using Pineau des Charente’s method. Matured 5 years in French oak using the solera system – a process of ageing wine by blending small fractions of the contents from different aged barrels - resulting in a unique balance of complex aromas and flavours. Christmas pudding, spice, vanilla and dried fruits nose, while dried pear, apricot, walnut and a hint of mocha aromas encircle the palate. A smooth finish yet not overly sweet. Outstanding!

Wine and food pairing

Another astonishing exploit is the Two Islands Reserve collection. A range of Premium vintage wines. All grapes are from Australia’s best regions and from single vineyards, vinified in Bali. Shiraz from Barossa, Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills, Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra and the Sparkling Pinot Noir-Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills/Limestone Coast. The three still wines are fully matured in French oak, barrel selected and aged long. Thus, only the best barrels are selected for the Reserve blends while the others are going into the Two Islands range. If you see any of it listed at your favourite restaurants, don’t hesitate, satisfaction guaranteed!

Two Islands Reserve collection

I have to admit the quality improved drastically over the years. We can thank the vision of Hatten winery and its winemaker, James Kalleske, who joined the company in 2012, after being trained and mentored by some of the best of Australian winemakers, including at the famous Leeuwin Estate winery, as well as in France, in the Sancerre region, by one of the greatest. Beside breaking the rules of traditional viticulture and winemaking, improving yearly the quality and collecting accolades on many labels in several International competitions, their most glorious accomplishment to date is, perhaps, to have placed the Bali based winery at international level by winning the Winery of the Year 2017 Award of the Asian Wine Review in Hong Kong.

Wine obviously has a sense of place, and is a product of both the natural milieu and human know-how in which it is produced. To get a deeper understanding of Bali’s wines and more particularly about Hatten, there is no better way than to plan your holidays or a weekend escape, with a visit at their vineyards in north Bali, or simply a tasting at the Hatten Wines Building in Sanur.

Fun time while learning... and drinking!

The Hatten Wine Appreciation Class is well designed, giving enthusiast and novice the opportunity to sample a range of wine in a friendly atmosphere, helping identify basic characteristics of a wine, and will provide you with helpful references when it comes to buying a bottle, or showing off your wine expertize at your next dinner. Honestly, it’s with better knowledge, pure delight, and tipsy, I left the Cellardoor! While tasting alone is good, tasting together is even better. Think of it like a study group, but better: There's booze!

by wlw - 2018.09.10

Hatten’s Wine Appreciation Class:

IDR350.000++/person - Inclusive 6 Wines & Food Pairing

Minimum 10 persons | Maximum 30 persons

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required