Troon Malbec with Slow Roasted Rack of Lamb

Look to the far southwest in Oregon to find the Applegate Valley. Map courtesy of Oregon Wine Press (

Applegate Valley, Where?
Most wine enthusiasts know Oregon is the home of the Willamette Valley. They may be familiar with Walla Walla. They may even have heard of the Rogue Valley. But Applegate? Where the heck is Applegate Valley? As you can see on the map above, the Applegate Valley is in the far southwest corner of Oregon. The Applegate valley is a sub-AVA within the larger Rogue Valley AVA. The valley is surrounded by the Siskiyou mountains and the grape growing areas sit on a bench above the Applegate river. For dirt fans, the soils are mostly granitic. The days are warm with cool nights, perfect for growing grapes. The successful grapes here are warmer season varieties. The area is too warm for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as found in the Willamette Valley. Tempranillo, Bordeaux varieties, Tannat, Malbec all do well here.

Troon Vineyard Malbec

Enjoy a bit of Troon Vineyard Malbec while the food cooks

Troon Vineyard, Who?
Grape growing in the Applegate valley goes all the way back to 1852 and the valley saw the original winery in Oregon just a few years later. Dick Troon planted grapes on his land back in 1972 with a winery starting in 1976. Today, the vineyard is owned by Denise and Bryan White. The operation is lead by general manager Craig Camp and winemaker Steve Hall. The grapes are grown using sustainable methods, and the wines are made using natural yeast fermentations and minimal intervention.  In 2018, the vineyard is being transitioned to biodynamic farming, an admirable big move! Vineyard manager Craig Camp has an excellent blog, if you’d like to follow along the path to biodynamic farming, you can see regular updates here.

Troon Vineyard Malbec

Troon Vineyard Malbec shows an impenetrable dark color with a beautiful ruby edge

Troon Vineyard Malbec 2014 Rogue Valley, Oregon ($35 purchased direct from the winery)
Eye: Clear, deep intensity ruby with a very narrow purple rim
Nose: Clean, medium- intensity, aromas of fresh blackberries, a touch of heat, rich meaty undertones
Mouth: Dry, lively medium+ acidity, medium tannins, very refined. Fresh black fruits with an impression meatiness/richness. Not a lush fruity wine, but a fruit dominated, dry red wine.

Drinking this Malbec shows how Malbec was once more popular as a blending grape in Bordeaux. Typical Argentine examples rarely show the noble character and old world appeal. Well done.

Slow Roasted Rack of Lamb with Troon Malbec
I grill, smoke and roast all year long but it gets so much easier as we move into spring with warmer temperatures and longer days. I especially enjoy NOT having to shovel off the deck to start the grill!

Reverse Seared Rack of Lamb

This recipe is really just a bit of advice on the process of reverse searing a rack of lamb. You can adjust it for your grilling (or even oven) circumstances as well as your favorite flavorings for lamb.


  • Rack of Lamb
  • Your favorite mix of herbs, finely chopped and mixed. Good choices for lamb are rosemary, thyme, garlic and extra virgin olive oil
  • Your favorite vegetables for the grill. I used butternut squash, leeks, cauliflower


  • Trim the fat from the outside of the lamb.
  • If you have time, salt and pepper the lamb the night before and hold it covered in the refrigerator
  • Set the grill for 1/2 direct and 1/2 indirect cooking. Adjust the grill for 225° F on the indirect side
  • Make a rub with your garlic, herbs and extra virgin olive oil. Apply all over the rack of lamb. Cover the bare bones with foil if you like.
  • Cook the lamb on the indirect side of the grill to an internal temperature of 125° F for rare. Rotate the vegetables between direct and indirect.
  • Open the vents (or raise the temperature) on the grill to finish the lamb rack.
  • Briefly sear the outer edges of the lamb, being careful to not burn the herbs too much, they make a nice accompaniment to the meat.

Troon Vineyard Malbec & Rack of Lamb at



7 Responses to “Troon Malbec with Slow Roasted Rack of Lamb”
  1. Yum! Like the idea of the reverse searing – makes sense. Nice pairing!

  2. Craig wouldn’t have it any other way! Great pairing.

  3. Craig Camp says:

    I am waiting for my dinner invitation! What a perfect match! I hope you can visit the Applegate Valley one of these days!

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  1. […] Wine Click features the Troon Vineyard Malbec from Applegate Valley Oregon along with a delicious looking rack of […]

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