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My Remírez de Ganuza with Roberto Duran

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In a series of interviews with key sommeliers and wine buyers, we get behind the scenes to discover more about their work and their favourite Remírez de Ganuza wine.

Roberto Duran

Head Sommelier
67 Pall Mall, Singapore

In the second feature of ‘My Remírez de Ganuza’ we talk to Roberto Duran, the Spanish-born sommelier who, after honing his craft at 67 Pall Mall’s London mothership, is now at the helm of the exclusive club’s Singapore venue. Duran is also working towards his Master Sommelier qualification.

Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do. 

I started working as a sommelier in Palma de Mallorca. I moved to London in 2015 and joined the opening team at 67 Pall Mall. That same year I also won the Best Sommelier in Spain competition. In 2017 I moved to Singapore to work with chef ​​Joël Robuchon. Unfortunately he passed away in 2018, and the following year I returned to London and to 67 Pall Mall. In 2021 the opportunity came to lead the opening of 67 Pall Mall Singapore as Head Sommelier.

How do you showcase Rioja at 67 Pall Mall Singapore? 

When I built our wine list I tried to bring a wider range of wines from Rioja, from classic to more modern styles. I tried to include more producers and really show the diversity of Rioja. Different weights, different tannic structures, different mineralities.

Which Remírez de Ganuza wines do you currently list? 

I believe I have all of them. And of course Reserva, Gran Reserva and Trasnocho, which for me are the three top wines produced by Remírez de Ganuza.

If you had to pick one bottle of Remírez de Ganuza as a personal favourite, which wine would you choose? 

Remírez de Ganuza was one the first Riojas I tasted when I started studying sommelierie in Spain. I was working in Mallorca and winery’s founder visited us and I tasted my first Trasnocho. So that wine has an important meaning. But I truly fell in love with the Gran Reserva – I think the potential of that wine is outstanding.

Is there a particular vintage that you would single out? 

2007 is, in my opinion, a flagship vintage. It was one of the coldest years in Spain and it is such an underestimated vintage. It’s easy to make good wines in easy years – but in harsher conditions you really see the potential of the vines, the estate and the winemaking team. I first tasted it in 2012 and was flabbergasted. Definitely one of the best vintages at Remírez de Ganuza.

What is the ideal serving temperature? 

That’s something we really need to be careful about here in Singapore because it’s so hot and humid. We have all the bottles in the cellar at 10℃ so that by the time we get to the restaurant the wines will be at perfect serving temperature – 13 to 14℃. In a couple of minutes they reach 16℃…

What are your preferred food pairings?

Food with high fat content. The wines have the savouriness, acidity, texture and tannin to clean the palate. And those from Rioja Alavesa have a particular saltiness, very different from other areas in Rioja, which pairs brilliantly with Iberian pork and Beef Wellington for example.

Did you find different, perhaps surprising, pairings while working in Asia?

It was really interesting to see how Tempranillo really works with some classical Asian dishes such as wok fried noodles, beef, shiitake mushrooms – all those umami flavours and textures. Or even the strongly spiced Indonesian recipes. The juiciness of a Rioja can be a great match. The only thing to keep in mind is the alcohol level but, again, the wines from Remírez de Ganuza are perfect because they tend to be quite restrained and have a great acidity.

Read the first feature of ‘My Remírez de Ganuza’ with Madeline Maldonado

Discover more about Remirez de Ganuza here

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