Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

Let my Bobal go!

with 3 comments

Delighted with Calabuig’s authentic and refreshing Bobal (the closest I’ve come to a house red in a long time), I’ve had my eye on other wines made entirely or partly from this obscure grape variety. Mustiguillo’s blend is the most expensive Bobal-based wine I’ve seen. Does that mean it’s the best?

Vino de la tierra El Terrerazo 2009, Mestis, Bodega Mustiguillo ($19.05, 11412596)
50% Bobal, 30% Tempranillo and 20% Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Aged several months in French oak barrels. 14.5% ABV.
Cassis, plum and black cherry; hints of leather, slate, something green (leaves? bell pepper?) and, like a warning flag, chocolate. Oddly bipolar in the mouth. On one hand, there’s the sprightly native, the Bobal, with its juicy fruit and tart acidity yearning to be free. On the other, there’s the international straightjacket, a layer of cloying oak and a tannic structure that seems imposed, not integrated. Improves some as it breathes (so carafe it already), is better with food than on its own and shows a certain affinity for lamb (recipe after the jump). But this shotgun marriage is still a case of irreconcilable differences, as the milk chocolate and black pepper finish makes only too clear. Unfortunately, the label is the best thing about the wine.

Charcoal-Grilled Lamb and Vegetables

This marinade works especially well with a boned and butterflied leg of lamb or thick-cut lamb leg steaks. The quantities here are for 2 servings (2 steaks); triple them for a butterflied leg.

In a non-reactive dish just large enough to hold the meat, combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add dried rosemary and thyme (or herbes de Provence) and, optionally, a crushed garlic clove or two. Add the meat, turn once to coat and marinate at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes, turning from time to time.

Prepare a fire. While the charcoal is igniting, cut but don’t peel 1 large Spanish onion in half crosswise; crosshatch the cut surface into 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) squares cutting about 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) deep. Slice 1 medium eggplant in half; using the tip of the knife and being careful not to pierce the skin, crosshatch the cut surface into 2.5 cm (1 inch) squares, cutting 2.5 cm (1 inch) deep in the fleshiest part. Rinse and destem 2 large portobello mushrooms. Rinse 1 red and 1 green bell pepper.

When the charcoal is burning strongly, place the bell peppers over the hottest part of the fire, turning them as each side and the bottom blisters and blackens. When the peppers are charred all over, transfer them to a cutting board to cool.

Meanwhile, brush the cut surface of the onion with olive oil and place each half on the grill cut side down. After 5 minutes, turn them over, move them to a cooler part of the grill and brush liberally with olive oil. When the onion halves are crunchy but tender, transfer them to a cutting board to cool.

While waiting to turn the onion, brush the cut surface of the eggplant with olive oil and place each half on the grill cut side down. When the surface turns a rich, mahogany brown, turn them over and brush liberally with olive oil. Grill, brushing occasionally with olive oil, until the juices bubble and the flesh is tender and silky. Season with salt.

Once the flames have died down and you have a good bed of hot coals, place the lamb on the grill. Cook until the meat’s internal temperature reaches 52-55ºC (125-130ºF) for rare to medium rare – on my grill about 4 minutes a side for 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick steaks, about triple that for a butterflied leg – turning once or twice and basting toward the end with the remaining marinade.

About 8 minutes before the lamb is done, place the mushroom caps on the grill gill side down. Brush the tops with olive oil. After 2-3 minutes, turn them over and brush the gills with olive oil.

While the meat is cooking, peel and seed the peppers, cut them into 2.5 cm (1 inch) squares and place them in a bowl. Pull away the skin and outer layer or two of the onion halves, scrape the worst charring from the surface and cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch squares). Add to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar.

Season the meat with salt and pepper and let rest for a few minutes before serving with the vegetables on the side.

Written by carswell

June 10, 2012 at 22:41

Posted in Recipes, Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. […] the high glycerin levels notwithstanding. Flaring finish. (Buy again? Maybe a bottle to go with grilled lamb next […]

  2. […] by mineral and lingering grilled red pepper notes. Did the trick with the season’s first charcoal-grilled leg of lamb and vegetables. Food-friendly and drinkable in the extreme though not quite as beautiful or deep as the 2012. (Buy […]

  3. […] balanced and at peak. Fairly priced for a seven-year-old wine of this quality. Fairly cries out for grilled lamb. (Buy again? […]

    Mountain red | Brett happens

    August 13, 2017 at 13:12

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