Foie Gras & Steak for a Right Bank Bordeaux – French #Winophiles
French #Winophiles Continue to Explore Bordeaux
Our French #Winophiles group is in the middle of a 3 month extended virtual tour through Bordeaux (links to all the other posts are further down this page). Last month, we started on the Left Bank. This month, we jump over to the Right Bank, to explore similarities and differences. The Right Bank refers to the land to the east of the Dordogne river. The Right Bank is known almost exclusively as a red wine producing area.
Fast Facts on Right Bank Bordeaux Wines
- Bordeaux red wine grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Carmenere, Malbec.
- Right Bank: Pretend you’re in a canoe, drifting and facing downstream. The bank on your right is the “Right Bank” (works in Paris, too).
- Cool maritime climate due to rivers and ocean. Wines made from blends of grapes help winegrowers manage risk when one of the grapes does poorly in a given year.
- The Right Bank climate is cooler than the left bank and often fails to fully ripen Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot and Cabernet Franc will ripen in cooler Right Bank temperatures, so they are the dominant grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon is used to add structure, but typically is a smaller percentage of the blend.
- Right Bank red wines are known to be a bit plusher and softer, and mature sooner than their Left Bank counterparts.
Chateau La Confession St-Émilion Grand Cru 2010 ($20-40 available online)
There’s only a little information I could find about Chateau La Confession online, but there is a fun video and address posted by the owner and winemaker, Jean-Philippe Janoueix. The blend of grapes varies year to year, but is close to 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc. Jean-Philippe uses long fermentations with native yeasts, which is quite unusual in Bordeaux. He ages the La Confession for 15-19 months in 100% new French oak (this is his flagship wine).
Eye: Clear, medium+ intensity deep ruby with a cool ruby tinted edge.
Nose: Clean, medium intensity nose. Immediately noticing herbs, black cherries, blackberries.
Mouth: Medium acidity, medium tannins with a tannic finish. Nice fruit, not overly lush but definitely nice and ripe, a crowd pleaser!
Serve Your Red Wine at “Room Temperature”
Bordeaux blends are perfect for steak, burgers, or any grilled red meats. The trick to enjoying them in the summer is to serve them at the proper temperature. Think of “room temperature” as the temperature in your minimally heated French chateau in 1855; about 60° F if you’re lucky. So, serve your Bordeaux at that temperature, and you’ll enjoy it immensely, even when it’s 80°+ and humid. You can even set the bottle in a bit of ice to keep it a bit cool, don’t immerse it, just let it sit on the ice.
I received a selection of delightful charcuterie this summer from Les Trois Petits Cochons and was looking for an opportunity to highlight their products in a post. What perfect timing for a late summer steak made on the grill plus a luscious French twist by topping with a slice of fattened duck liver! I served the steak alongside a vegetable tian which is, admittedly, Provençal, but it was a perfect side dish and can also be made on the grill!
The foie gras came in a block which was easily sliced while cold and spreadable when at room temperature. For a steak topping, I popped a few slices into a skillet on the grill to warm them up while the steak cooked on the grill. All done!
Disclosure: Les Trois Petits Cochons provided the foie gras and other treats with a request for a post if I enjoyed the products, but no expectations beyond the request. All opinions expressed are my own.
French #Winophiles Dream of Bordeaux
Take a look at what our #Winophiles found in our second of three Bordeaux outings below:
- Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla tempts the palate with To Saint-Émilion with Plum & Mustard-Glazed Pork Chops
- Jill from L’Occasion brings us Saint Emilion, Message in a Bottle
- Jeff from FoodWineClick shares a classic pairing with Foie Gras & Steak for a Right Bank Bordeaux
- Martin from Enofylz Wine Blog tells the tale of An American in Saint Emilion
- Michelle from Rockin Red Blog explores Diving into Bordeaux #Wine with #Winophiles: Saint-Emilion
- And Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva be sharing “The St. Emilion
Interested in joining in? Put Saturday, August 20 at 10 am CDT on your calendar and pop into twitter. Hunt down the hashtag #Winophiles. Share, ask, enjoy.