For the first barbecue of the season last weekend I prepared some lamb chops and opened a bottle of La Morera de Montsant 2002, a Priorat D.O. by Cellers Pasanau. This turned out to be an excellent match.
The bottle was offered to me by Joan Gómez Pallarès, the man at the keyboard of De Vinis Cibisque. We had met for a lunch in Barcelona during the Mobile World Congress last February.
Priorat wines are intense by nature, think of Châteauneuf du Pape on steroids, another monument to Grenache with a decidedly Bordeaux influence further honed by low latitudes and high altitudes. This 2002 had rested long enough to let the American Oak get integrated into some superb dense juices, with lots of kirsch, leather and tar providing a spicy olfactory balance. A very long finish completed every sip, with lots of tannin and yet very clean and freshly acidic.
Perfect with young Provençal lamb, the acidity cutting well through the fat, and the tanning enveloping the meat. Lamb here has absolutely none of the gamey flavour that so many people associate with lamb (mutton more likely), in fact if anything it was the wine contributed a hint of that flavour.
I wish I had some of the Priorat’s olive oil left, whereas the wines are definitely big, the oils are very delicate, much like Ligurian oil. For years I have been buying D.O. Siurana oils from Molí de la Mola, made from Arbequina olives, it would have accompanied the roast potatoe perfectly… I will be in Catalunya in ten days so I hope to find some then (it also happens to be dirt cheap, despite the superb quality).
Thanks again Joan! I will have to bring you a Châteauneuf next time…