Mollie Katzen’s Vegetarian Chili and the 2006 Four Gates Merlot La Rochelle
On December 18th we had a slow weekend, so we looked for a fun recipe that we really love, no matter the effort required. To meet that wish, we made Vegetarian Chili from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. The cookbook is a classic organization of vegetarian dishes that take the best of their carnivorous brethren, while not leaving you yearning for the meat flavor or texture. The chili is labor intensive, but well worth it, as it has historically been consumed quickly by the both of us, so that leaves us with more work on the short horizon :-). Still it was grand fun to make and consume. I went looking in the cellar for a wine to pair with this magnificent creation, and I luckily chose the 2006 Four Gates Merlot La Rochelle, a wine that I have eyed for some time. The bottle has always been the stepchild of its bigger M.S.C. brother , but that was quickly remedied this week. The wine had its official coming out party and wow it was glorious. The wine clearly overpowered the food, but it was still worth it.
The wine note follows below:
2006 Four Gates Merlot La Rochelle – Score: A-
Wow this wine is starting to fill out and become rich, extracted, and in your face, but with a bit less complexity than its bigger brother the M.S.C. The nose on this garnet to dark garnet colored wine is hopping with rich plum, raspberry, eucalyptus, blackberry, sweet oak, spice, and chocolate. After a few hours, the nose turns darker with cassis and blackberry taking over the nose. The mouth on this full bodied wine is integrating nicely and the tannins create a caressing mouth feel that is coating, but a bit furry still in nature. The fruit carries over from the nose with plum, blackberry, and raspberry, but as it gains more air it turns blacker like the nose, with blackberry and cassis dominating the mouth. The mid palate is balanced with the usual Four Gates core acidity, oak, softening tannins, and spice. The finish is long and lingering with black fruit, raspberry, oak, chocolate, and minerals. This wine has evolved nicely.