Lamb Tajine and Four Gates Pinot Noir, Ella Valley Pinot Noir, and Others
This weekend saw us enjoying a lamb tajine/tagine. We have spoken about the recipe before, but this time we modified it a bit more, by making the meat secondary and making the vegetables more primary. We started off by marinating the meat overnight, in a bag with almost all of the Tajine’s core spices. This intensified the flavor of the middle eastern spices, while also marinating the meat and tenderizing it to boot. We also threw in more vegetables when cooking the tajine, the extra vegetables, included butternut squash and more potatoes and onions, than called for. This lowered the meat’s flavor profile, but the spice profile, as screaming. The cinnamon, cumin, and cloves permeated the dish and added to the overall success of the dish.
To match the tajine, we opened a few bottles of Pinot Noir. The Pinots that were not DOA, were able to hold their own and were enjoyable. There were unfortunately a few DOA Pinot Noirs. I had two, and two friends each brought a dud. The good news was that were more bottles to be had and they were enjoyed by all. The wine notes follow below:
Ella Valley Pinot Noir 2005 – Score: A-
This wine was a real winner and highly enjoyed. The nose on this dark ruby colored wine is crazy alive out of the gate, and grows more and more as the wine sits in the glass. The nose is packed with cherry, oak, hot out of the gate, and vegetal notes. The mouth of this medium to full bodied wine, starts off red and heavy with tannins and continues to grow darker as the wine opens up. The mouth starts with cherry, raspberry, and vegetal almost earthy flavors. As the wine opens, the wine moves from a red wine to a bit darker flavored wine, that shows cassis and more black cherry flavor. The mid palate shows not yet integrated tannins, oak, acidity, and coffee. The finish is super long, with more acidity, tannins, and oak. This wine is really nice, and is not yet at its peak, and a wine that will smooth out in a year or two.
Four Gates Pinot Noir 2000 – Score: B+
This wine has moved just over its peak and is time to drink up. The nose on this ruby red colored wine, is hot (out of the gate) with cherry, raspberry, currants, and oak. The mouth of this now medium bodied wine, has integrated tannins that are not as velvety as they used to be, along with cherry, currants, and acidity that bleeds into the mouth. The mid palate is acidic at its core, with light oak and now integrated tannins. The mouth is not as soft as we would guess, because of the acidic core. The finish is medium long with acidity, light tannins, and hints of oak.
Yarden Pinot Noir 2003 – Score: N/A
Unfortunately, this bottle was dead on arrival.
Galil Pinot Noir 2005 – Score: N/A
Again, this was dead as well.