We are nearing harvest for the Richards Vineyard Syrah. This vineyard produces one of the more unique Syrah in California. A limited wine that Steve Heimoff of the Wine Enthusiast called “easily the greatest Syrah ever produced from Sonoma Valley (97 points).” Enjoy this description:
Lamb and Syrah are nearly as epic of a combination as Lamb and Easter. So if you plan on the latter this Easter weekend, why not combine it with the former. I asked Chris Donelan, of Cuvee Christine Syrah fame, to provide me a family recipe for lamb that I could try with my folks who were in town recently. I went to Chris because I have experienced her hospitality and cooking on numerous occasions and have a fondness for the simplicity with which she creates high quality meals.
The following recipe is no exception though it does require – as always I suppose – high quality ingredients. This roast lamb can be done in the broiler, though we grilled ours with a touch of mesquite charcoal added to our normal briquettes. As for side, go with what you like. We are on the tail end of beet season and had beets tossed with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a touch of lemon along with green salad, cheese, and crunchy bread (grilled). The lamb is so good that whatever you serve with it is truly going to be only a complement, so compliment it with something nice, fresh, and Eastery.
As I mentioned in our risotto recipe, what makes great recipes great are their reliance on good ingredients and flexible parameters. This is such a recipe. Chris finely chops her Continue reading
Think you want to work a harvest? Want to find out what that really means? Follow our intern, Sarah Green, as she chronicles her experience as a first time cellar rat. This entry highlights hand stain-inducing task of pressing.
We have pressed the last of our ferments – two small lots of Syrah, from Atoosa’s Vineyard in the Russian River Valley and Richards Family Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. But there’s still a cellar to run. And now we have to turn all of this stuff into wine.
Pressing marks the end of the alcoholic fermentation and the beginning of the malolactic fermentation, which for Donelan happens in barrel. The first step is to drain the wine into barrel. This means trying not to overfill it, which – for those of you following along at home – is definitely something I have done before.
Somehow after all these months of trial and error, that kind of mistake stopped being a constant threat to me. I’m still a rookie who just tries to get through the day without ruining things – but that mythical feel for the cellar has started to creep up on me here and there.
After draining the ferment, barrels are full of “free run.” The next step is the actual Continue reading