Mourvèdre: Unpronounceable

So you want to buy some Mourvèdre, but how in the world do you pronounce it? “Move Over Dear?”  You’re in luck, just click here.  It’s kind of fun!  Of course, the French ones will be Bandol, which is easier but less fun to pronounce.

Today we’re trying another Bandol classic with an American Mourvèdre from Washington State.  The main dish was a Cardamom Rub Lamb Chop on a Mint Cilantro Chutney.  Either of these wines would be a great pick for this meal.  They both offered enough tannic structure to balance the richness of the lamb, and they didn’t compete with the many flavors present on the plate.

Cardamom spiced lamb chops with Bandol / Mourvèdre

Cardamom spiced lamb chops with Bandol / Mourvèdre

Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rouge 2005 ($38 on sale)
Definitely French, obvious tannins, even though it is 2005.
Eye: Warm, medium dark red.  Translucent edge, dark center.
Nose: Shy at first, doesn’t reveal much to me.  Dark red fruit.  After a bit, some herbs emerge.
Mouth: Nice, smooth, quite tannic, but the tannins are really smooth and pleasant.  Nice wine.
Even on days 2 & 3 this is a very nice wine.  The French “garrique” is still there.  Still nice and dry and restrained.
Overall, I thought this wine was pretty similar to other Southern Rhone wines (that’s a good thing!).  Julie commented on how smooth it was.

Gramercy Cellars Columbia Valley Mourvèdre 2010 ($50)
Eye: Pretty dark, purplish red.  Opaque in the center, transparent just at the edge.
Nose: Very dark fruit, maybe figs.  I got an impression of something like caramel.  Julie commented the same thing.
Mouth: Dark fruit, smooth, moderately tannic.  Nice long finish.
Days 2 & 3 the caramel has receded a bit.  Very nice, even after a few days being open.

Washington State Mourvèdre and Bandol Rouge

Washington State Mourvèdre and Bandol Rouge

We’re trying a new lamb chop preparation today, from Beth Dooley’s book: The Northern Heartland Kitchen.  Beth is from Minnesota, so her emphasis on fresh local ingredients is especially useful for cooks in the upper midwest.  We can actually find the items in the recipes!  Spices of course, come from around the world, I don’t have cardamom in my garden.  If you’re interested in this particular recipe, you’ll need to consult Beth’s cookbook.  Her unique choice of spices was new to me, no fair claiming I adapted her recipe.  Besides, you probably need another cookbook on your shelf!

Cardamom is the secret weapon in this recipe.

Cardamom is the secret weapon in this dish.

As a spice, cardamom is a bit of a pain to work with.  You need to break open the seed hulls to get at the seeds inside, so allow a few minutes finish this task.  Once you have released the seeds, you’ll know it was worth it, as they have a unique aroma, not just another spice rub.

The lamb chops came from our favorite local farmers market source: Sunshine Harvest Farm.

Spiced lamb chops on the grill.

Spiced lamb chops on the grill.

lambchops text2

Exotic spices, fresh herbs, spring is in the air!

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  1. […] breads and coffee cakes. If you’re looking for savory uses this holiday season, spice up your lamb chops with cardamom, cinnamon and cumin for a real […]



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