Tuesday, January 18, 2011

#154 - Hanger & Onion/Spinach Napoleons With '06 Filliatreau la Grande Vignolle

Leftover-garbage-buried in the freezer-"Let's see how this goes" meal last night.

And it went quite well.

We've been in a bit of a pairing slump of late. Feels like it anyway. Might have something to do with the poo-arse weather and dreariness that comes with late December-early January but not much has stood out w/r/t wine. Except this one, of course. Yeah...that was Good.

Some of it, as Mrs. Ney ruminated on last night, probably comes from the fact that we've drunk so much white and rosé wine this winter. We love white and rosé, of course, but there is a point of diminishing returns when you drink so much of said wine that is indelibly attached, or in the least elevated, by its delicious accompaniment to the weather outside.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whites and rosés should never to boxed into "summer quaffer." Of course not. We drink a ton of it when it's bone-chillingly cold. But too much during that time can make you want to put it to bed until the joy of having the windows open in the apartment for the first time presents itself. Too much has made us want so much less of it.

So let the red flow.

Food: Hanger steak, onion/spinach napoleons and fava beans

Freezer hanger steak that didn't taste like it. Came off fresh. Marinated in parsley, onion, lemon and extra virgin olive oil, much like the Greek-style Bittman chicken marinade from two weeks ago.

Napoleons made with mini pancakes (originally going to be crepes but didn't make it). Pancake batter made from the leftover French Pot Chicken from the day before, blending the potatoes, carrots, onions and juice into a batter.

Used the mini pancakes to make layers stuffed with a combination of sautéed onion and spinach, roasted kumatoes, sheep's milk ricotta, roasted garlic, lemon zest, oregano and dill, calling them napoleons, cuz it's our house and we can. Oodles of savory goodness with quality depth jumping everywhere, coming off creamy at one time only to change to this rustic, almost Italian jumble of deliciousness. Light that changed to substantial. Bright that changed to dark. Odd and weird, delicious and wonderful.

Freshly-shucked fava beans tossed with shallot, mint, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and dumped over the entire plate adding a lift to the entire plate.

For a meal made on the fly and incorporating so many leftovers, it tasted...intentional. And pretty darn good.

Wine: 2006 Filliatreau la Grande Vignolle Saumur-Champigny ($20 - WDC)

Grape: 100% cabernet franc
SubRegion: Anjou-Saumur
Appellation: Saumur-Champigny (fun to say)
Vintage (WS): 85 for cabernet franc - very rainy, leading to unripe grapes

We've had two cab francs since the start of this blog. Enjoyed the first (2006 Guiberteau) and piqued my interest more for cab franc than any other one I had before. This one stayed right in that "interesting" vein.

Four hour decant, recommended by the person we bought it from and it helped. Tight and tannic right out of the bottle. After the decant, it opened up into something almost generous with red cherries and black cherry pit all over the plate with a rose petal edge. Meaty core with vegetal/red pepper/green and black olive hints going everywhere, alternating with every sip.

Bigger than the Guiberteau with an impression that came off like a watered-down shiraz at times, but mostly medium-bodied with an always prevalent acidity that accented the cherry pit notes on the finish.

Good stuff. Don't know if I need it again but, good stuff.

Pairing: 86 Great with the hanger, short with the napoleons

The wine exploded with the char on the hanger steak, making every note in the wine jump up a level and become more distinguished, bigger, more concentrated and darker.

The napoleons shortened the wine's finish considerably, something that seemed to be the result of the onions as I tried them separately and killed it even more. Nothing strange, just muted.

Overall though, not too shabby.

Really enjoyed the food. Almost enjoyed the pairing.

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