Senja Italian Restaurant, Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur Brings You Ohau Wines from New Zealand

Ohau Wines from New Zealand’s newest wine region recently chose The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur to showcase their exciting and elegant wines produced from sustainable winegrowing techniques in the north of the Kapiti Coast in the lower North Island. The dinner took place at Senja, the hotel’s award-winning Italian restaurant at 7.00pm on the 18th of July 2012.

The climate, soil and also the earth axis were having the similar zone compared to Burgundy at France that are perfect for vineyards.

Made by Jane Cooper who has established a reputation for herself as one of the leading female winemakers in New Zealand at a state-of-the-art winery at Matahiwi Estate in Wairarapa, Ohau Wines is committed to quality at every level of the business, from planting through to wine making to marketing.

Forged over time by the force of the Ohau River, Magenta and Woven Stone, this new label of fresh, zesty wines were paired with a four-course dinner specially concocted by Senja’s new Head.

Chef Filippo Giunta

Built on stilts above a man-made lake overlooking lush greeneries and the lake, Senja exudes elegance with its pristine glass doors and expansive veranda fitting for a sophisticated dining experience such as wine pairing dinners. Hailing from Sicily, Senja’s new Head Chef Filippo Giunta is passionate about redefining and reinventing Italian cuisine which will melt discerning diners’ hearts.


The pre-dinner session showcased Ohau Vineyards Magenta Rose 2011 complemented with assorted canapés.


Magenta Rose 2011

Magenta Rose 2011.  A soft palate with gentle acidity with flavors of strawberry and melon. Aromas of light raspberry notes with a touch of rose petal and ripe red apple. Simply a marvelous wine that goes along with any canapes or cheese. I personally prefer to take cheese as it brings out the whole character of the wine.

Goat Cheese Canapes on Zuchini. That’s what I need for my Magenta Rose.

The dinner began with an appetizing Salmon Carpaccio with Rocket and Fennel Salad served with Garlic Crostini Bread coupled with Woven Stone Sauvignon Blanc 2011.

Salmon Carpaccio with Rocket and Fennel Salad served with Garlic Crostini Bread

Just look at how crisp is the wine.

The Sauvignon Blanc aroma of gooseberry, limes and citrus skins with a slight honeysuckle note.  The palate is soft with good depth of flavour, slightly leafy, limey fruit with a juicy gooseberry finish.  Some ripe green apples and good persistence. To my surprise such a young vine can produce such taste. I am a big fan of Sancere Sauvignon Blanc. This is pretty close to that with a more affordable price. Enjoy with antipasti, grilled seasonal vegetables or fresh seafood. However I took a sip down before putting the salmon carpaccio, it taste quite bland and flat. Next I try it with salmons and walla! The citrussy lime feeling gushed in. Definitely fit for a seafood table wine.

This was followed by Wild Mushrooms Soup with White Truffle Oil served with Woven Stone Pinot Gris 2011.

 Wild Mushrooms Soup with White Truffle Oil

Woven Stone Pinot Gris 2011 on the left and Sauvignon Blanc on the right.

Having already won a trophy and gold medal at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards 2009 for its first vintage – Ohau Gravels Pinot Gris 2009, this winemaker has future plans to develop new export markets with a focus on Australia, Europe and Asia.

Silver Medal – Korean International Wine Challenge award winning wine.From Ohau, north of the Kapiti Coast, in the Horowhenua, the 2011 vintage (4*) is a rare beast, because it was grown on the west coast, avoided by most growers due to relatively high rainfall. Hand-picked, it was mostly handled in tanks, with a small percentage of barrel fermentation. Mouthfilling, with the subtle seasoning of oak adding complexity, it is a finely balanced, medium-dry style with good harmony and rich, peachy, spicy flavours.” note by the Michael CooperThis one also is suitable to go along with foods. Don’t spoil it with casual drink.

The main course featured Beef Tenderloin with Sicilian Caponata, Roast Baby Potato and Rosemary Sauce.

Beef Tenderloin with Sicilian Caponata, Roast Baby Potato and Rosemary Sauce

Paired with two wines, the Woven Stone Pinot Noir 2011 and the Ohau River Merlot 2009.

I saw some juice leaking out from that tenderloin. Let’s checkout the inner.

Oh la la! Perfecto! Too bad I prefer it more rare. But still it taste really good.

The dinner ended with Opera Cake with Mixed Berried and Orange Compote as dessert.


Richard N Tankersley – Chairman of Malaysia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce

Chef Filippo Giunta looking at Richard

Ian Hurst – General Manager of Saujana Resort giving his speech for the event.

Yours truly and Ian Hurst

The night was great with the wine flowing on our table. The fun part here is the companion on your dining table plus the great food and ambiance. Senja Italian Restaurant still listed on my Top 5 Italian Restaurant in Klang Valley. With their constant surprise new dishes and wines intro, I would personally recommend friends and fans to check them out. It is truly worth it.

Diners had the privilege to experience and savour top quality wines at the Ohau Wines Wine
Dinner at RM160++ per person.

For future dining reservations, call 03 7843 1234 (ext 6122/4717) or email or visit