Monday, January 4, 2010

My Favorite/Go-To Locally Available Wines for 2009.

I posted a similar list last year, so I figured I'd make this an annual thing for whatever it may be worth to others. This list includes my locally available favorites, those I consider particularly good value-for-money, and/or those I bought often over the year past. I have had each and every one of these wines at least once (mostly many times).

While I am friends with some local wine distributors, I have no personal interest of any sort in the wine or wine-related business other than being a customer and occasionally contributing wine and food related articles to local magazines. Rest assured that, despite my friendships, I am more than capable of independent thought/assessment (such independence of mind and assessment having resulted in my becoming "dis-invited" to certain wine diners/events, and that's absolutely fine with me).

White Wine:

Under P1000/bottle:

2008 Laxas Albariño - Rías Baixas, Galicia, Spain; from Terry Selection, inexpensive (P750/bottle), excellent with fresh seafood (I love it with boquerónes, escalivadas, almejas, etc.), a regional/traditional Galician pairing. Currently out of stock, but I understand that they've re-ordered. It will, most likely, be a new vintage though.

2007 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Blanco - Rioja, Spain; from Terry Selection, inexpensive, great as an apéritif (try it with toasted almonds, gambas al ajillo, spicy gulas, almejas, etc.) and seafood.


2005 Domaine Plante d'Or Cour Cheverny Cuvée Salamandre - Cour Cheverny, the Loire, France; from Sommelier Selection, inexpensive (appx. P1110/bottle). This is an aficionado's wine. It's different, particular and may not be for everybody, but I and J-Lab find this really, really good. Excellent value for money as well.

2007 Dr. Loosen Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Kabinett - Bernkastel, Mosel, Germany; from Wine Depot, appx. P1400/bottle. Recommendable light, off-dry, minerally German riesling. Great as an apéritif.

2006/2007 Laurent Tribut Chablis - Chablis, Burgundy, France; from Sommelier Selection, P1585/bottle. Excellent, old-school, traditional maker of pure, minerally, steely, flinty, oyster shell Chablis. Those who appreciate traditional Chablis (like I do) will surely like this.

2006 Bott-Geyl Riesling Les Éléments - Beblenheim, Alsace, France; from Sommelier Selection, moderately priced (appx. P1700/bottle). Drinking very, very well.

2007 Bott-Geyl Gewürztraminer Les Éléments - Beblenheim, Alsace, France; from Sommelier Selection, moderately priced (appx. p1700/bottle). Excellent, crowd-pleaser gewürz. Pair with foie gras terrine, apple tart, tart Tatin.

2007 Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese - Wehlen, Mosel, Germany; from Wine Depot, appx. P1900/bottle. Good stuff, very nice with foie gras.

2001 Léon Beyer Gewürztraminer Reserve - Eguisheim, Alsace, France; from Bacchus, moderately priced (P2000/bottle). Another notable good locally available gewürz I buy repeatedly.

Over P2000/bottle:

2007 Laurent Tribut Chablis Premier Cru Côte de Léchet - Chablis, France; from Sommelier Selection, P2110/bottle. A premier cru Chablis from an excellent/traditional maker. This is a steal at this price.

2006 Saintsbury Brown Ranch Estate Bottled Carneros Chardonnay - Napa Valley, California, USA; from Premium Wine Exchange, P2400/bottle. My wife favors good Napa chardonnay, so I make sure to keep a stock of this at home.

2005 Bott-Geyl Pinot Gris Sonnenglanz (Grand Cru) - Beblenheim, Alsace, France; from Sommelier Selection, P2865/bottle. Beautiful stuff, excellent paired with Peking duck.


2007/2008 Bodegas Marco Real Homenaje Rosado - Navarra, Spain; from Terry Selection, now back in stock for appx. P450/bottle. It's a steal of a rosado. You can back up the truck on this one.

2007 Bodegas Protos Rosado - Ribera del Duero, Spain; from Terry Selection. I can't remember the price, but, in my experience, there is no such thing as an expensive Spanish rosado. It is probably around P600-P700/bottle, or less - in any event, it is a song for this more serious rosado.

2008 Tempier Bandol Rosé - Bandol, Provençe, France; from Sommelier Selection, at P2160/bottle it is expensive for a rosé, but, in the big picture, a very small price to pay for the best rosé in the world. Extremely versatile, it can be an apéritif, superb with escargots à la Bourguignonne and couscous, and can easily pair with certain pasta dishes, roast chicken, veal, roast lamb loin, etc.

Red Wine:

Below P2000/bottle:

1999 René Barbier Gran Reserva - Penedès, Spain; from ADP Industries, P1200/bottle. One will have to look very far and wide for an equally good and mature tinto gran reserva at this low a local price. I, personally, don't know any.

1999 Bodegas Olarra Cerro Añon Rioja Gran Reserva - Rioja, Spain; from Terry Selection, appx. P1880/bottle. I simply love this complex, graceful, traditional Riojan tinto and purchased the last remaining case a while back. Terry's now has the 2001 (a more well-renowned vintage for Spain) available at the same price.

2001 Mayor de Ondarre Rioja Reserva - Rioja, Spain; from Terry Selection, just under P1900/bottle if memory serves. Another good Rioja and from a heralded Spanish vintage, all at a great price. More of a masculine style compared to the Cerro Añon Gran Reserva. I'd serve it with roast meats and game. I recall Keiichi favors this wine.

P2000/bottle and up:

2001 Michel Chiarlo Barbera d'Asti Nizze La Court & 2001 Michel Chiarlo Barbaresco - Piedmonte, Italy/; both from Bacchus, appx. P2300/bottle and P2000/bottle, respectively. Together, the 2 best deals on good, moderately-priced Piedmontese wines in Manila (in my humble opinion).

2005 Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel - Paso Robles, California, USA; from Premium Wine Exchange, P2375/bottle. An admirable and faithful rendition of the famed Château de Beaucastel's Châteauneuf du Pape (there is a relation between the wineries) at a very reasonable price. I've been to Paso Robles and tasted many wines there, and this is surely the best one I've had from that area.

2006 Domaine des Sénéchaux Châteauneuf-du-Pape - Châteauneuf du Pape, Southern Rhône, France; from Bacchus, P2600/bottle. From the stable of wineries of Château Lynch Bages' J-M Cazes. Probably my favorite locally available CdP, and it is very well-priced to boot.

1996 Château de Fieuzal - Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, France; from Säntis, appx. P3400/bottle. I have yet to encounter a better, mature, locally-available Bordeaux rouge in Manila under P3500/bottle.

1999 Louis Jadot Corton-Pougets Grand Cru - Aloxe-Corton, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, France; from Bacchus, appx. P4750/bottle. I really like this one, and it is a good price for what one gets (nb: Corton-Pougets yields probably the most graceful wines from the grand cru Corton - the only rouge grand cru vineyards of the Côte de Beaune).

2003/2006 Alvaro Palacios Moncerbal - Bierzo, Spain; from Terry Selection, over P6000/bottle. Expensive, but it is an absolutely stunning rendition of the mencia grape. Graceful and complex, this is an aficionado's wine.


Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut NV - Champagne, France; from Forth & Tay, appx. P1800/bottle. At its price, probably the best deal for non-vintage Champagne in the country.

Billecart Salmon Champagne Brut Réserve NV - Champagne, France; from Bacchus, appx. P3400/bottle. My favorite locally available non-vintage Champagne.

Freixenet Reserva Real Cava - Cava D.O., Spain; from ADP Industries, P4000/bottle full retail. May seem pricey for a cava, but this includes a special blend of vintage cavas, and the difference from ordinary cavas is very apparent. I and some friends consider this the best cava we have ever had.

Billecart Salmon Champagne Rosé NV - Champagne France; from Bacchus, appx. P4200/bottle more-or-less. My favorite for locally available non-vintage rosé Champagne.

2000 Champagne Jacquesson Avize Grand Cru - Champagne, France; from Premium Wine Exchange, P4700/bottle full retail. At its price and quality, this, to my mind, is the best deal for locally available vintage Blanc de Blancs (100% chardonnay) Champagne.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! Great list! Now, off to Sommelier, Terry's buy some of your interesting...opened my world to so many more wines than what I was used to drinking...fantastic!

Miguel said...

Many of thosde are my favorites too!! Specially the Domaine tempier, Homenaje and Laxas!

Noel said...

Thanks, Anonymous. I'm glad you find my post somewhat helpful. Please identify yourself, though. I find it strange replying to anonymous comments.

Mig, with good reason!

Anonymous said...

Hi Noel,

Sorry about name is Noey Lopez...James de Jesus introduced your blog to me...he's my brother in law...



Noel said...

Hi, Noey.

O, you see, not only do we have common friends, we even have a common nickname - well, of sorts. My sisters, my wife and her female relatives call me "Noey", though my nickname is really "Noel".

Hope you enjoy the wines. Check out that Tempier Bandol rosé with some escargots or couscous, you won't regret it.


Anonymous said...


My original nickname was Noel...I changed it to Noey when I was about 4....

I tried the Tempier Bandol rose but unfortunately, I'm not much of a rose guy...or maybe I was drinking it with the wrong food...

Can't wait to try your other recommendations, though...



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