The Manila Peninsula's Old Manila was transformed into Chateau Palmer for the Commanderie's Gala dinner last November 24. A bower of grapevines framed the restaurant entrance while the side walls were each decorated with a large picture of the Chateau's salon and dining dining room while the wall at the end of the restaurant had a photo of the Chateau and the surrounding lanscape. The main dining hall itself had two chandeliers in place of the normal recessed lights. On the tables were candelabra with long tapers and low flower arrangements. The rather elegant arrangements, however, did not detract from the wines of Chateau Palmer, which generously provided the wines for the dinner.
Alter Ego de Palmer 2007 - Sweet spice on the nose. Quite dry and a touch austere. Metallic note on the firm finish but showing good length. Not a bad showing for this difficult vintage.
Alter Ego de Palmer 2005 - Beautiful nose. Very expressive. Rich, plush wine showing mocha and plum. Very approachable. Excellent.
Chateau Palmer 2003 - Sweet, firm, slightly singed high roast coffee flavors but manages to avoid the overripe flavors associated with the vintage. Very good.
Chateau Palmer 2001 - Youthful. Classic pencil shavings and cedar nose. Soft yet meaty. Sweet black berries and black cherry. Well rounded and nicely integrated. Already showing very well after 2 hours in the decanter. Excellent.
Chateau Palmer 1999 - Full and firm. Plenty of cassis and some earthiness as well. Perhaps not quite ready yet but showing a lot of complexity. Another excellent wine. Difficult to choose between this and the 2001 as my favorite.
Chateau Palmer 1995 - Leather, sulfur, rubber and prune. Something not quite right here. After a few minutes our glasses of the 1995 were taken away with the explanation that the wine was corked. I didn't detect any cork taint and I would have expected that the wine would have been tasted before serving so clearly there was some problem with this in the back room. In any case it was definitely from a less than perfect bottle. We were told a new bottle would be poured for us but it never came.
Chateau Palmer 1983 - A legendary wine with Parker rating it in the high 90s although Broadbent has a more modest appraisal. The nose was great with violets and ripe berries. On the palate, however, the fruit had clearly faded and it was mushrooms that dominated. Very dry but still elegant. This wine has passed it's peak and it would be best to drink up now.
A word on the food. I thought it was outstanding and managed to be flavorful and yet not upstage the wine. Clearly Chef Samuel Linder is doing excellent work at Old Manila.
All in all, a great night showcasing one of Bordeaux's top wines.
Last edited by Jay Labrador
on Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.