Emirates has launched the Emirates Vintage Collection, a selection of fine wines from its cellar in Burgundy, which have been stored for up to 15 years. The four wines to be included onboard this year are the Château Cheval Blanc 2004, Château Haut Brion 2004, Château Mouton Rothschild 2001 and Château Margaux 1998. Due to limited availability, these exclusive wines will be served in First Class on select routes for a limited period.
Since 2006, Emirates has been buying wines for long-term storage, many of which were purchased ‘en Primeur’ or when they were still in barrel. The Emirates Vintage Collection represents the most prestigious of these wines, a rare selection that is difficult to source. The airline has managed to procure large parcels, thanks to its unique approach to buying wines. It has built direct relationships with some of the world’s most prestigious vineyards to handpick and secure the most exclusive and rare wines for its customers.
“We went direct to the winemakers, handpicked these vintages and then cellared them for up to 15 years in Burgundy before we decided they were ready to be served,” said Joost Heymeijer, Senior Vice President, Inflight Catering. “It has taken a great deal of patience, investment and long-term planning. Our aim has always been to surprise and delight our customers and they are in for a treat with this selection.
“Every effort was taken to present the wines from the Emirates Vintage Collection in the best possible way. We spent time training our cabin crew, redesigning our glassware and creating a food pairing menu to ensure that when you savour these great wines onboard, it is no different than the best restaurant in the world’s top cities.”
Special dishes have also been created to be paired with each wine from the Emirates Vintage Collection. The airline’s culinary team worked with its in-house sommeliers to develop dishes that would best complement the wines and offer a fine dining experience onboard. In keeping with its regionally inspired menus, a unique dish was chosen for each route and wine.
On flights to and from Dublin, for example, the Château Cheval Blanc 2004 will be paired with Irish grass-fed beef fillet served with a potato dauphinoise, creamed leek and spinach, baby carrots and a shallot jus. The same wine will be paired with a seared venison served with a thyme jus, blanched kohlrabi, baby carrots and broccolini on flights to Geneva.
The four wines will be staggered throughout the year on various routes in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australasia. Over the next few years, more wines will be added to the Emirates Vintage Collection once they have reached optimal maturity. The Emirates cellar currently holds 4.7 million bottles of wine – some of which will only be served in 2027.
Château Cheval Blanc 2004
Cheval Blanc is the leading estate in Saint-Émilion and the most famous Cabernet Franc-based wine in the world. Some vintages from this unique terroir are legendary, such as the 1947 that Robert Parker describes as “the crown jewel in any millionaire collector’s cellar”.
The 2004 has a perfumed nose of cherry, raspberry and rose petals. Medium to full-bodied, the palate shows candied strawberry and redcurrant laced with exotic spice. Firm tannins and succulent acidity provide perfect balance.