Archive for February, 2012

Cos and Lamb

My good friend Marty Freitas has long carried a love of Bordeaux’s magic nectar, and on a blustery weekend in February, there really is no better time to crack a bottle or two, pop some lamb in the oven and enjoy the pleasures the two together can deliver.

Marty had stood bottles of Cos d’Estournel from the vintages of 86, 88, 89 and 93. I had a couple of fresh Ontario lamb racks to complete the mix. Click images to enlarge.

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’99 Orion, ’07 Beaucastel and More

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The occasion was a dinner date with our good friends Anne Keller and Brian Klumpp, here at Gang Central. The menu consisted of grilled lamb chops, fingerling potatoes and broccolini. Entertainment was provided by yours truly, in the form of three new original songs that will receive greater exposure in the near future. Champagne is always a good vehicle with which to begin such festivities, and indeed, that’s where we started.

Champagne Barnaut Brut Rosé Authentique Grand Cru NV, 12.5% alc.: Raspberry pink color; the initial fine, active bead and ample mousse peters out some in the glass. The pungent, yeasty nose leads into bone dry raspberry, strawberry and mineral flavors. Medium-full-to-full bodied, with good acids and length. While it’s a good Champagne, we all felt it’s a little tired and probably a bit past its prime. Find this wine

Imported by Vintage ’59 Imports LLC, Washington, DC

From there, we moved on to three pedigreed reds.

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We give him 80 points! He left out “this wine is corked!”

Two from Verasol

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I first tried the 2008 versions of these two Spanish reds from Verasol about a year ago. I liked those then, but when I tried to find out more about the producer, there was precious little information available on the Interweb. Not much has changed during the ensuing months, as this is still the only brief blurb I can find:

“Verasol searches up-and-coming regions around Spain to find old vines with native grapes. The wines are vinified by the well-known and highly respected winemaker Pedro Sarrion. All the wines are raised and aged in tank so the native varietals and the soil from the region can speak loudly. They represent great values.”

The wines are imported by the excellent José Pastor Selections, whose mission is an admirable one:

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Chateauneufs, Geezers and More

In the spirit of the early days of Gang of Pour, we offer this report on yet another episode of wretched excess with our longtime partner-in-crime, Alan Kerr, aka Canadian Zinfan. Do we really go back to 1997 with this renegade Brit?! We do, and we have the reports to prove it! The occasion was the renewal of our seasonal Holiday Hijinx, and we were not without ample ammunition to enliven the festivities. Dinner consisted of lamb chops, fava beans and rapini, and the wines included two Rhone Rangers, a pair from Chateauneuf du Pape, and, in the finest Gang tradition, two Ridge Geezers. We got things started with an Ontario sparkler that Alan had gifted to us the previous year. Click images to enlarge.

2006 Hillebrand Estates Showcase Sparkling Riesling Niagara Peninsula VQA, 12% alc., $35.00 Can.: Clean, medium color, with a fine, very active bead and ample mousse; bone dry, showing excellent varietal typicity, all Granny Smith green apple, with chalky mineral undertones. Medium body plus, with good acidity and good length. A fine little sparkler from Niagara wine country. Find this wine
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