Champagne, Jamon, Txanton

It wasn’t exactly the best time to schedule an event. With Manila hosting the APRC summit, traffic disruption would be the norm for most of the week. Despite the inconvenience, I made sure to leave early enough to make it to Txanton, a new jamon and wine shop along Pasong Tamo Extension, where Hubert de Billy, great great grandson of Pol Roger would present his family’s champagne at a special lunch for a select few.

The trip to Txanton went smoothly until just about a kilometer from the shop. It was impossible to get through the knot of traffic at the Nichols intersection so after 40 minutes of waiting I decided to get down from the car and go on foot. Not pleasant in a formal barong under the noonday sun. Fortunately, a few minutes after I started walking, the traffic untangled and the car was able to get through and take me to the lunch just about 30 minutes late. It turns out several other guests were similarly affected and showed up even later than I did.

In any case, a most welcoming sight greeted me when I got to Txanton. To keep us occupied while waiting for the rest to show up, jamon was being sliced and flutes of Pol Roger were being passed around.

Pre-lunch snack

Pre-lunch snack

I also got a chance to look around the shop. There’s a chiller with all the jamon (sliced) you could possibly want and shelves upon shelves of some very fine vintages.

Jamon heaven!

Jamon heaven!

Txanton carries a wide selection of wines

Txanton carries a wide selection of wines

There’s also a display near the entrance which shows the various hams and how they relate to each other.

What is Iberico de Bellota?

What is Iberico de Bellota?

Lunch finally got going close to 2 PM. We started with a sampler of jamon. My favorites were the Huelva and Extremadura.

Jamon Iberico Bellota from four regions - Huelva, Guijeulo, Extremadura, and Pedroches

Jamon Iberico Bellota from four regions – Huelva, Guijeulo, Extremadura, and Pedroches

This was followed by excellent plump scallops in Bellota fat.

Scallops in bellota fat.

Scallops in bellota fat.

The next dish was lapu-lapu with honey and rosemary.

Lapu lapu with honey and rosemary

Lapu lapu with honey and rosemary

And finally a dessert of fresh cream cheese with raisins in pedro Ximenez.

Fresh Creme Cheese with Raisins in Pedro Ximenez

Fresh Creme Cheese with Raisins in Pedro Ximenez

We were able to taste 4 wines from Pol Roger with the affable Hubert de Billy doing the annotations. Pol Roger’s Brut Reserve with over 4 years of age before release is outstanding. But, of course, I found myself drinking mostly the Winston Churchill 2006. The Rose is interesting as it is made by mixing red wine, not by saignee. The Blanc de blancs was quite lean and steely. I thought the Brut Reserve one of the best basic NV champagnes I’ve tried.

Blanc de Blancs 2008, Rosé 2006, Sir Winston Churchill 2004, Brut Reserve NV

Blanc de Blancs 2008, Rosé 2006, Sir Winston Churchill 2004, Brut Reserve NV

Some of us purchased a couple of bottles and asked Mr. de Billy to autograph them.

Hubert de Billy, great-great grandson of Pol Roger autographs a magnum

Hubert de Billy, great-great grandson of Pol Roger autographs a magnum

Congratulations to Txanton for a great opening event and looking forward to more wine and jamon!

Txanton is located at 2294 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City. Tel +6328122040 loc. 128