The other day, I had the privilege of attending the industry and press launch here in the Philippines of Mollydooker wines, held at Massetto.
The owners and winemakers, Spanky and Sarah Marquis themselves, came to the Philippines to introduce Mollydooker to the Philippine market. I was really glad to meet them and have the chance to sit down and talk about their wines in depth.
They were both really animated and excited to talk about their wines and got to ask a lot of questions about their winemaking philosophies and views.
Mollydooker means “left handed” in Australian slang terms, as both of them were left handed. All the labels have characters on them that were left handed or had stories about being left handed. The labels are so cute. They hired some artists to to do their labels for them.
We started off the meal with The Violinist Verdelho paired with chorizo puffs and calamari with onion marmalade.
The Verdelho was really different from the Portuguese Verdelhos I’ve had, as this one was high in alcohol and more weighty than the Verdelhos I’ve had. It also had some oak though the high acidity and minerality was there.
This is a modern interpretation of the Verdelho, and though one might not be able to pick this out at a blind tasting as Verdelho, was still quite good in itself.
Sarah and Sparky spoke about the Mollydooker shake and its purpose of releasing nitrogen and minimizing sulfites, making it ready-to-drink, especially for those allergic to sulfites. This is good information for me as a lot of my clients are allergic to the sulfites in wine. It’s quite difficult for me to track down sulfite-free wine in the tropical islands. After all, I doubt it’s going to make it this far from wine making regions without sulfites.
I then found out that Sparky Marquis was a professional photographer before he became a winemaker. I got a little insecure sitting beside him with my too awesome camera (Olympus OMD-EM5) which I’m sure he could tell I could barely use. He didn’t say a word though so I just kept using it.
I then asked him about fruit weight so both he and Sarah explained to us that fruit weight was the measure of quality in wines of the velvety, silky sensation of fruit in wines. In layman’s terms, I’m guessing this was equivalent to fruit concentration. This is a measure from the tip of your tongue for the velvet glove to the prickly structure (acid, tannin).
To further elaborate on fruit weight, we went on to the next wine, the Two Left Feet 2011 which is a shiraz/merlot/cabernet sauvignon blend. This wine was at 70% fruit weight and had ripe cherries, plums, oak and cedar as well as some wet basement aromas. The tannins were soft, and not too acidic but high in alcohol and had both a fruity and earthy finish. It was quite syrupy already and had quite a decent finish with mild oak on the palate.
This was paired with Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Tortellini.
I didn’t get to take a photo of the soup but it was a decent pairing with the pumpkin’s earthy but mildly sweet flavors.
We moved on to the Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz 2009, which I quite enjoyed, despite the high alcohol content. I could feel it running through my veins and this was lunch time, and I had to get back to work.
The wine was quite fragrant and had a lot of candy, licorice aromas combined with ripe red and black fruit and spices (all-spice, clove and cinnamon. I kept smelling it and smelling it in my glass. The tannins were soft and rounded.
This was paired with my most favorite thing in the world, a cheese souffle.
The Blue Eyed Boy combined with the cheese souffle actually gave off raspberry flavors. I actually thought I could taste a raspberry pie. I even texted my friend who sat across from me about it to double check if she got the same impression and she did.
On a sidenote, I probably like this wine because I have an affinity for blue eyed boys. HAHA!
The wine for the main course was the Carnival of Love Shiraz 2010 which obtained 99+ from Robert Parker. This wine had a heavy concentration and amazing depth and compared to the BLue Eyed Boy would appear to be a “more serious” wine versus the playful Blue Eyed Boy. This was much earthier and had less ripe fruit aromas and more secondary aromas. This was more black fruit like blackberry and black currant versus a combination of black and red fruit as in the Blue Eyed Boy. This wine, according to them, was at 90% fruit weight.
Together with the Enchanted Path Shiraz Cab blend, the labels combined formed a complete picture/told a story.
The wine was paired with Crispy Chicken, Jamon Serrano, Potato Puree and Mushroom Sauce. I loved this dish because the chicken was really crispy on the outside but really tender on the inside.
As you can see, I pretty much wiped out the contents of my glasses.
I actually wanted more (chicken) but I’m glad they didn’t give us a large portion or else I wouldn’t have walked out. The mushroom sauce completed the serious earthy flavors in the Carnival of Love. I think I asked for a refill, twice. Plus, refills of the Blue Eyed Boy. I’m glad I asked for refill for the Blue Eyed Boy because it went REALLY WELL with the dessert, a course I normally skip.
They served a chocolate hazelnut tart, which had the magic word hazelnut in it, so I ate it versus normally chucking it or giving it to my seatmate.
It went great with the Blue Eyed Boy shiraz so I told Sparky and he tried it and agreed with me.
I’m pretty sad I didn’t get to try the Velvet Glove as they didn’t serve it for that meal. They served it the night before at the wine dinner at Shangri-La but nobody wanted to go with me so I skipped it. It’s pretty sad attending a wine dinner by yourself.
Hopefully, I get to try it next time.
And finally, a slightly blurry, parting photo with Sarah Marquis!
Thank you Erin and Premium Wine Exchange for the invite!