Saturday, July 13, 2013

Three Red Burgs Over Dinner @ Sala Restaurant.

Though there have been a few pretty memorable dinners since I last posted, I've been too preoccupied the past many weeks, hence my blog's unfortunate neglect. Having pretty much rested up the whole day today (skipped golf due to the rain, had just a quick meeting at the country club), here we go again.

Tuesday night, the 9th July 2013, Alex & I decided to have a go at a few red Burgs with a few friends (we were only 5 in all). Alex suggested Colin Mackay's Sala Restaurant, and, I naturally and immediately agreed. JC & Mari de Terry got held up in traffic, so we started ahead with the apéritif.

After a tuna-based amuse bouche, my first course was a delicious and "para healthy" Squash Flowers Salad (a night's special a few weeks before, but they accommodated my request for the same though it is not on the regular menu).

With our respective first courses, we enjoyed some Champagne Delamotte Brut NV which was ordered off the restaurant's wine list. This is a relatively smaller champagne producer (vis-á-vis the likes of Pommery, Taittinger, Moët & Chandon, etc.) which, together with the iconic Champagne Salon, forms part of the Laurent-Perrier group.

Remarkably fresh, open, welcoming, with notable purity and breadth in its clean lines of white minerally, nicely bready apple, bit of pear, and discreet citrus. Just the right touch of lively enthusiasm and openness. Nice balance. What it may lack in complexity is more than compensated for by its sheer charm. Very amiable and dangerously drinkable*. At P4000 on the wine list (which is a reasonable restaurant mark-up from retail), I can easily and do readily recommend it.

* This subject bottle was from the last shipment of Premium Wine Exchange, which is the official distributor thereof. They have a new shipment just arrived and released, the bottles from which should be given a little time to rest from their journey. More on that in my next post.

My main course was the Grilled Kurobuta Pork Chop, which was one of the best pork chops I've ever had - certainly the best one I've had so far in Manila. The portion is quite huge, so I shared a bit of it with JC.

The evening's reds.
1993 Marquis d'Angerville 1er Cru Volnay Champans - Alex's bottle. Typical Volnay grace and finesse, JC noted it is comparatively less feminine - thus, more masculine - than most other Volnays. I mentioned that the 1er Cru Champans climat is known to produce Volnays with such characteristics. Beautifully layered and complex, with alluring nuances of violets and ceps in the ripe yet light footed dark fruit. Precise ripeness and acid balance. Lovely wine; as nice as when I had it a couple of months ago in La Tour d'Argent.

1990 Daniel Rion Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Chaumes - My bottle. Seductively truffled bouquet of darkly ripe pinot fruit, Vosne spice, hoisin, a whispered suggestion of dark soy sauce, good touch of Burgundy decay, complexed by a meaty-sanguine theme, with a notable loaminess underneath. Typically more masculine and bigger-boned than the previously discussed wine. Good heft, middle, long finish. Slightly lowish on acid, but carries it off well. Excellent wine if I do say so myself.

1996 Louis Jadot 1er Cru Beaune Clos des Ursules - My bottle. Still a little tight and quite primary, with the vintage's typical traits of slightly hard/high-toned acidity, and pronounced tannins. I'd let these rest around 3-5 more years and see from there. Decent enough now though, but paled in comparison to the other two reds of the night.

I chose for dessert my old Sala favorite: Mango & Passion Fruit Pavlova - which I never tire of, though I've been having it for many years. Lovely dinner with good wines and company. I've been missing my wine dinners greatly. Hopefully, they re-regularize soon. In any event, until the next!


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