Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

Unorthodox Greek

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I originally intended to pair this wine with a roasted prime rib of beef but, after scoring a taste in an SAQ outlet, opted instead for pan-roasted lamb shoulder, a near perfect match. The recipe came from Marcella Hazan and, to mark her passing earlier today, I’ve included it after the jump.

Nemea 2005, Réserve, Parparoussis ($34.50, 11900493)
100% Agiorgitiko. Manually harvested. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks typically lasts 20 days with up to two weeks’ maceration. Matured in 70% new French oak barrels for 12 months. 13% ABV.
Fascinating, multifaceted bouquet of pomegranate, dried cherry, turned earth, herbs (tarragon?), blood and nut skins. The fruit – sour cherry, above all – is ripe and present but, contrary to expectations, far from dominant. In fact the wine is medium-bodied, supple and quite dry, not to mention savoury, bright with acidity, structured by fine resolved tannins and nuanced by overtones of underbrush and a coppery tang. A caramel thread runs throughout and is joined by faint cocoa husks on the long finish. Surprising in its exoticism but also in its restraint and elegance. Parparoussis studied wine-making in Dijon and, while you wouldn’t mistake this wine for a Burgundy, you can definitely see the influence. (Buy again? Yes.)

It is increasingly clear that the Greek wine scene is one of the most dynamic and exciting on the planet.

Agnello tegame all pugliese
Pan-roasted lamb Apulian-Style

(Adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Marcella Cucina, my favourite of her books)

In a large Dutch oven or sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over a medium-high flame. When the oil is hot, add 1.5 kg (3 lbs) bone-in lamb shoulder cut into large pieces and brown well on all sides. (If you can’t fit all the meat in the pan, brown it in batches.) Remove the meat to a platter, turn the heat to medium-low and add 3 medium onions, peeled, halved and cut into 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and turn golden brown.

Return the meat to the pan, season with salt and add 1 red chile, seeded and chopped or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (adjust to taste) and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Turn the heat to medium and pour in 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low, cover the pan and cook at a slow simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel 4 or 5 medium potatoes and cut them into 3 cm (1 1/4 inch) pieces. Add them to the lamb, set the lid on the pan slightly ajar and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes, adding a little water if necessary to keep things from sticking. (The dish can be set aside at this point and reheated later.) Adjust the seasoning and serve immediately.

Four servings

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Written by carswell

September 29, 2013 at 13:05

Posted in Recipes, Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. […] finish. A pleasure to drink now but even better in six to nine months. A perfect match for a lamb stew, of course. Food-friendly enough to work with savoury grilled, roasted or pan-roasted white meat […]


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