WTN: Boozy lunch at Old Manila

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WTN: Boozy lunch at Old Manila

Postby Jay Labrador » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:49 pm

Keiichi was in town last week for a short visit. But before arriving, he gave us plenty of notice to organize one of our now too infrequent boozy lunches. After some consultation, we settled on Old Manila at the Peninsula as we have always been impressed by the wonderful food of Chef Samuel Linder who helms the kitchen there.
No theme for the wines but a champagne was requested and I was happy to oblige as I wanted to try a recent purchase to see if I should get more. We started with the Louis Roederer Brut 2004. Obviously young but rich, and medium to full-bodied. Nicely rounded. Lemon and brioche. A fairly forward style that can be enjoyed now but will undoubtedly continue to develop. Definitely worthy of a future purchase. I was happy to note that most of us are now certified champagne aficionados whereas just a year or two ago champagne was just thought of as something to trifle with while waiting for the everyone to show up. Now, there is talk that we should definitely have more than one bottle available whenever we meet and that we might even do a champagne dinner.
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Champagne Louis Roederer Brut 2004 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
Done with the champagne, we moved on to Keiichi’s white, Guigal Ex Voto Hermitage Blanc 2009. I’ve had mixed experiences with Ex Voto Blanc but I’m happy to report that this bottle was quite good. A rich wine showing obvious vanilla oak influence but thankfully not overdone. Creamy texture with a little honey and maybe a touch of peach as well. Very dry, slightly bitter finish. A very good wine, if a little heavy.
I had a very good shrimp and avocado salad as a starter which I thought went better with the champagne as the acidity in the dressing was a bit sharp for the Hermitage although the creaminess of the avocado would have been a better match weight-wise for the Ex Voto.
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Shrimp and avocado salad by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
I also had an Apple and oyster soup. I thought this was a rather strange mix of ingredients to put together but it worked out very nicely. The apple flavor was nearly invisible with the oyster taking center stage but still quite subtle. It was also foamed nicely to give it more volume and a better appearance. A good match for the Ex Voto.
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Apple and oyster soup by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
We then moved on to the reds and Richard’s most intriguing bottle. Richard has a very deep and varied cellar in his native Switzerland and so he always manages to bring something interesting back to Manila whenever he comes from Europe. This time it was a Charmes Chambertin from 1970 from a house none of us had ever heard of called Daniel Sanders. Oddly enough, a further examination of the label shows that Sanders is based in Barsac, Gironde. The wine was very pale and translucent in the bottle. In the glass, obvious browning showing its age. Surprisingly the palate was not bad. A little meaty, some prune and tamarind extract. The finish is dried out but this showed far better than anyone expected.
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Sanders Charmes Chambertin 1970 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
More reds came in quick succession. Next up was Keiichi’s Gruaud Larose 1982. This was decanted for about an hour. Leather, tobacco and cedar. Very soft and dry. Past its prime to my taste.
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Guigal Ex Voto Hermitage Blanc 2009 and Gruaud Larose 1982 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
Greg’s Pichon Baron 1999 was also opened. Very dark and medium-bodied. Bittersweet chocolate and loam. Soft tannins. Still some dried berry fruit evident. This is put together very nicely and seems to be just at peak now. My favorite red at this lunch.
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Pichon Baron 1999 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
Not content with the three reds, one more wine was called for and so Arnie’s E. Pira e Figli Barolo Cannubi Chiara Boschis 1996 was called into service. Old-style Barolo. Dry, leafy, some tea notes but also coffee. The acidity seems elevated. There’s also a bit of spice. The tannins have softened so that it’s the acidity providing structure. Unfortunately a bit of a letdown after the Pichon Baron.
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Barolo E. Pira e Figli Chiara Boschis by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
With all these reds I had a fine ribeye steak.
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Ribeye steak by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
I also brought a De Bortoli Noble One 2007 after Keiichi expressed admiration for this wine at a dinner we both attended earlier in the week. Apparently he had the wine just before coming to Manila and enjoyed it thoroughly. This bottle did not disappoint. Deep copper/gold. Lovely nose. Very rich with classic apricot and marmalade flavors. The sweetness and weight are nicely balanced by the fine acidity. Very long finish. Probably the most impressive and Sauternes-like Noble One I’ve had.
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De Bortoli Noble One 2007 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
The dessert wine wasn’t exactly a match for the dessert so we drank it on its own. The dessert was a strawberry macaroon with a chocolate center paired with a strawberry lassi. The flavors were very good but the macaroon was a bit tough.
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Macaroon, strawberry lassi by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
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Mignardises by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
We lingered until nearly 4 PM making plans for a possible visit to Keiichi in Tokyo and more plans for other places to try on Keiichi’s next visit.
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Chef Samuel and the guys by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
Till the next boozy lunch or dinner…
Jay Labrador
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Re: WTN: Boozy lunch at Old Manila

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:39 am

Thanks Jay.

What are your thoughts on the dosage/sweetness level of the Roederer? Lately my tastes have moved to lower (not necessarily zero) dosage, and I am finding the Roederer cuvees rather sweet.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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David M. Bueker
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Re: WTN: Boozy lunch at Old Manila

Postby Jay Labrador » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:04 am

David M. Bueker wrote:Thanks Jay.

What are your thoughts on the dosage/sweetness level of the Roederer? Lately my tastes have moved to lower (not necessarily zero) dosage, and I am finding the Roederer cuvees rather sweet.


Hi David,

I suppose the dosage contributed to it being rather rich but I didn't find it particularly sweet. I also don't recall anyone remarking that they found it on the sweet side. That said, I have very little experience with Roederer. A check on the Roederer site says the dosage is 8 to 10 g/l.
Jay Labrador
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Posts: 1030
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Location: Manila, Philippines


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