Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Smoky Tea Lamb, Tomato Vinaigrette, Grilled Potatoes & Asparagus With 2008 Domaine Tempier Rouge Bandol


The last time we had the 2008 Tempier Rouge, it was a big bowl of tannin.

This time, three-and-a-half years later, we found a medium-bodied, deliciously simple country wine that reminded us why wines that scream OLD WORLD (!) need to get back into our rotation.

Another New York Times recipe, lamb with a smoky slather, using lapsang souchong tea leaves to give it a distinction, tea earth, and depth. Subbed loin chops for the leg, skipped the sauce from the recipe. Tomato vinaigrette using golden tomatoes, a drinkable Spanish condiment to douse and spill on everything (house fav). Grilled potatoes that Mrs. Ney wished she'd cut in half before grilling because wet-ish potatoes suck. Tasty, fresh asparagus. Had to use up a turnip so...a grilled turnip, sliced.

As Anne Burrell says, "Brown food tastes good." As you can see. It's brown. And good.

Lamb-potato-tomato-asparagus-turnip-acid-char-tea-cumin-garlic-thyme. So...flavors.

Nice meal with flavors that were restrained enough to allow the Bandol to dance its old-style Bandol dance. Funky to open, with dusty, poopy black fruit and licorice. More medium-bodied than I expected, never wandering out of that realm. Medium length, sparkly, lifted finish. Tasted like a happy table/country wine in the best sense. $40? With the utterly welcome funkiness and the reminder of why Frenchy funk is so good, it tasted worth the price tag. Not all the time, but with this meal, it worked.

Mourvèdre-dominant wines have such a loveliness as they're settling down, kicking their feet up in their favorite chair, and coasting into retirement. They're rarely crabby, just confident. With this food, it allowed the wine to embrace its confidence and eschew any crabbiness. So, success, I say.  

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