PWX partner and long-time wine enthusiast Jojo Madrid waxes poetic about the pour that sparked his love affair with Syrah
They say you never forget your first love, much less when it’s an indulgence as delectable as fine wine. Naturally, this rings especially true among wine aficionados who spend much of their time reminiscing about their favourite pours—at least, when they’re not too busy hunting down the next one.
Here, we speak to Jojo Madrid, one of four partners behind Premium Wine Exchange Inc. (PWX). Boasting an impeccable portfolio of wines and skilled service from WSET-certified personnel, PWX is among the country’s most trusted importers and distributors, catering to the crème de la crème of the Philippine dining and hospitality scene (as well as a healthy group of discerning drinkers). Needless to say, Madrid is certainly passionate about his wines.
What is your favourite wine type—and more specifically, what grape or blend?
I like wines that are driven by acidity which means I am partial to wines from cooler regions. Wines that are acid-driven show more freshness and energy and taste great when paired with food. Moreover, they are lighter in body and have less alcohol which stylistically suits my palate nicely.
Depending on the region and producer, these wines can age well. The age-worthy ones develop layers and complexity and become more harmonious and integrated with years of cellaring. I love youthful wines, say between seven to ten years, because they display freshness and energy. But I love even more mature wines that are 20 to 25 years and older because they express tertiary notes that emerge after two to three decades in the cellar.
What is your favourite wine region?
My favourite wines are Burgundy and Champagne. Wines from both regions show the purity of fruit, transparency, typicity, and finesse. They can be enjoyed young and, depending on quality levels, can be aged many years. In Burgundy, I enjoy whites equally as much as reds. What I choose depends on my mood and the food. The Burgundy reds are Pinot Noir and the whites are Chardonnay. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are also the dominant varieties in Champagne and are typically blended.
One other wine I would like to add to my list of favourites is Cote Rotie. Cote Rotie is an appellation in the northern Rhone in France. The grape here is Syrah. The appellation allows the addition of some Viognier, an aromatic white grape, that gives a Cote Rotie its haunting perfume.
What was the bottle of wine that first made you consider going into the wine industry?
Speaking of which, one of my wine epiphanies was a bottle of 1988 Jamet Cote Rotie which I drank 20 years ago. I can still describe that ’88 Jamet to this day…deep, intense bouquet of blackberries, tapenade, cracked pepper, smoked meat, and horse-saddle. The aromatics were incredibly perfumed and complex. It made such a deep impression that it started my love affair with the Syrah grape. The best expressions of Syrah come from Cote Rotie, Cornas, and Hermitage, all located in the northern Rhone.