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Philippines Wine Classics Dinner

Manila, July 30, 2014

Bailliage of Manila

Continuing with our series of ‘Wine Classics Dinners’, this time we decided to focus on the wines of South America, specifically Chile and Argentina. Hosting us for the evening was Chef Markus Gfeller of Gaucho, the Argentinean-themed restaurant at the Robinsons Magnolia Mall.
To welcome the guests, our bubbly was the Finca Flichman Extra Brut, a very pale rosado sparkler made with the unusual combination of Chardonnay and Malbec to provide the colour and some heft - perfect with the tapas! Especially appreciated were the sea urchin with lardo on toast and the fried eggs with caviar.

For the dinner proper, the first wine was the Andeluna Torrontes 2011 to showcase this signature white grape of Argentina. Strong floral aromatics typical of this grape were highlighted in this wine complementing the salad of grilled octopus and blood sausage.
Our first red was the famous Clos Apalta 2010 from Casa Lapostolle. This wine is mostly Carmenere, Chile’s famous grape, with some Cabernet Sauvignon and other varietals mixed in. Consistently highly rated by critics, this vintage was given a rating of 94 points by Wine Spectator. Although paired with a seafood dish of grilled lobster with squid ink and chorizo risotto, it did not overpower the dish and, in fact, paired well with it.

Second red up was from one of Chile’s most famous winery, Montes. Although perhaps not really a 'classic', the Montes Folly 2009 shows Syrah’s expression in South America and what can be achieved with determination. Folly was named for the stubbornness of Montes in insisting on planting a Syrah vineyard where it should not have worked. The gamble paid off and the Folly is one of the finest Syrahs of South America. An excellent pork shoulder was paired with this wine which was given 94 points by Wine Spectator.

The last wine of the night was from one of Argentina’s iconic wineries, Bodega Catena Zapata. Showing off Argentina’s Malbec grape, the Catena Zapata Argentino Malbec 2008 needed nearly 3 hours of decanting beforehand in order to tame the tannins and bring out the fruit. This wine, rated 97 points by Wine Advocate, paired perfectly with the salt cloth roasted beef tenderloin.

Jay Labrador, Vice-Chargé de Missions