Rick's Picks: 2009 Domaine Breton Bourgueil Cabernet Franc

Catherine and Pierre Breton are leading a new movement of organic viticulture in the Bourgueil appellation of the Loire Valley.  I've had a few of their wines and have been impressed each time.  Their sparkling wine made from Chenin Blanc is one not to be missed.

I came across Domaine Breton wines at Kermit Lynch, one of my favorite wine shops in Berkeley.  The 2009 Domaine Breton Bourgueil Cabernet Franc demonstrates why this producer is gaining popularity in trendy shops and restaurants in Paris.  There was some distinct chalkiness in this wine as there is in wines grown in Limestone soils.  Limestone is prevalent in the Loire valley, which is nice.

It's a red and it's 2009 vintage.  Do the math and you'll see this wine was harvested about 10 months ago, give or take.  Although young, this Cab Franc was singing like a bird right out of the bottle.  Rich, full and well made.  Here's a few notes:

APPEARANCE

Color: Clear Brightness: Star Bright Red Color: Garnet Rim Variation: yes, pink at the edges Viscosity: Medium

NOSE

Condition: Clean Intensity: Medium Plus Aroma: Youthful Fruit: Red fruits, black cherry, quince Earth/Chalk/Forest

PALATE

Sweetness: Dry Body: Medium Fruit: Black cherry, stewed plum, cola, olive Earth/Chalk/Forest Alcohol: Medium Minus Acidity: Medium Complexity: Medium Plus Finish: Medium

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Presidential Rack of Lamb a la Richelieu

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When President and Mrs Reagan visited Paris in the mid 1980's they did have many official functions including a diplomatic dinner with President and Madame Francoise Mitterand at the Elysee Palace (the White House of France) Naturally, the diplomatic decorum demanded that the American guests of honor should return the invitation. The Reagans were staying at the US Embassy and decided to honor the French President and first lady with non American food. The chefs at the US Embassy were French chefs. The Lamb recipe is very fancy in terms of prestige. It was put together by chef Auguste Esccoffier at the turn of the 20th century. It was named in honor of Cardinal Armand de Richelieu, who was chief minister to King Louis XIII in the 17th century.

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INGREDIENTS 2 racks, 6 chops each., have the butcher cut the chine bone for easy serving of chops.

Marinade: 1/2 bottle of white wine 1/2 cup of quality olive oil 1 medium onion sliced 1 whole bay leaf crumbled 1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram, or 2 TBSP of fresh if available 8 black peppercorns, coarsly crushed 1/2 TSP of dried thyme, or 2 TSP of fresh salt to taste

Marination needs to be a minimum of 4 hr. Overnight would be good. Keep turning and spoon over the rack.

Place in the oven and grill at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on cooking level preferred. Keep to lamb warm in the oven while the sauce is being made.

Sauce: Place the drippings in a fry pan. Remove some of the fat. Add a cup of port or madeira. Reduce under high heat. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of butter one at a time. Serve the sauce in a gravy boat at the table.

marinate AT LEAST 4 Hrs.

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