The stunning view from the brasserie at Fonab
Entrance to Fonab Castle
The glass fronted bar and brasserie with the castle behind
A glass of Don Fino Sherry from Sandeman in
the Fonab Bar to start the evening
We spent a great weekend at Fonab Castle on the outskirts of Pitlochry as my pre-birthday treat. Saturday night we were in Sandeman Room where we were expertly looked at after by James Payne, the maître d’hôtel at Fonab and responsible for the wine. I first met James back in the 1990s when he was at Pont de la Tour. From time to time sommeliers get a bad press for being arrogant. This certainly does not apply to James: he is a very good one – very relaxed, very professional and knowledgeable and not at all intimidating.
Dinner in the Sandeman Room is a set menu – we also decided to go for the flight of recommended wines. We learned during dinner that we had the same table as the Scottish legend Tom Cannavan (Wine Pages).
The amuse bouche which included
some foie gras and roasted apricot
Consommé – chicken, truffle and tarragon – being poured over the raivoli
Character Amontillado Sherry, Sandeman
James’ choice with the consommé
Scottish Salmon –
Confit of pink citrus – fennel – cucumber
There is almost always a dish that we forget to
photograph before we are halfway through the dish
The 2014 Astolabe Chenin Blanc, Wrekin Vineyard, Marlborough (NZ)
was matched with the salmon. When tasted on its own the Chenin has a delicately
attractive character with interesting floral notes.
Unfortunately the sweetness in the salmon as well as the cucumber overpowered
this Chenin – hiding the fruit while accentuating the acidity
2009 Ampodium, Côte Rotie, Domaine Rostaing. James kindly added this into our flight
Lovely, sensuous and complex Côte Rotie. Kept under Coravin and first broached
some five weeks ago and still very good. Was a great match with the rare filet of lamb
Panna Cotta – lavender – textures of strawberry
The Panna Cotta needed something richer and
more powerful than the Vouvray, which the
2015 Kika Noble late harvest Chenin Blanc
from Miles Mossop Wines in Stellenbosch
All in all this was an excellent and very enjoyable meal – the high point of a great weekend stay at Fonab Castle, a wonderful place for a pampered few days away.