Cabernet SauvignonSanta Cruz Mountains 2018
The grapes for this wine are sourced primarily from a beautiful, fog-laden hillside vineyard just outside of Los Gatos. Between the dramatic diurnal temperature shifts and the Bay’s fog intrusion, we often harvest this vineyard as late as mid-November, a full month after all of our other wines have come into the winery.
We source our grapes from sustainable and organic-practicing vineyards. Minimal intervention winemaking is employed in the winery: native yeast fermentations, no 'adjustments', restrained use of oak, little-to-no fining or filtration, and responsibly minimal sulfur usage. Balanced, complementary with food, and always 100% Vegan.
After some early, minor heat waves at the beginning of summer, the rest of growing season was mild. The vineyard was hand-harvested and grapes hand-sorted before being loaded into 6-ton open-top fermentors for co-fermentation. As fermentation began, the wine was pumped over twice per day for structure and flavor extraction. After fermentation completed, the wine was racked into primarily neutral French barriques and aged for 15 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Restrained and elegant, there is a classic, 'old school California' structure to this wine. The tannins are slightly grippy but not overbearing, and rounded out perfectly by the dark fruit profile. Black plum, black currants, and cassis intermingle with a gravelly minerality, cedar shavings, and coffee bean.
The classic and refined structure here pairs beautifully with roasted lamb, venison loin, and lighter game such as partridge.
Lamb Rump with Burnt Leek, Pea Puree and Crushed Jersey Royal Potatoes
For the pea purée:
- Bring to a boil a pot of salted water with 100g of butter. Add the peas and cook for up to 5 minutes, until tender.
- Remove from heat and drain the liquid, but keep it to the side.
- With the help of a stick blender or blender, start blending the peas and add gradually the cooking liquid until you obtain a thick but smooth purée. Check seasoning. Place the puree into a bowl on top of ice cold water. Place in the fridge.
For the lamb:
- Cook the jersey royal, mint, salt and water. Bring to a boil and cook until firm and soft.
- Blanch the leeks in boiling salted water. Remove, and cool down under cold running water.
- Add oil into a hot pan. Place the lamb skin side down into the pan and brown until it is coloured on all sides.
- Place onto a roasting tray, place into an oven preheated to 180 degrees Celsius, and cook for 15 minutes. Then, rest for 6 minutes.
- Turn the grill on to max heat, and while the lamb rests, grill the leeks cut side up until blackened.
- Arrange on a large plate.
Pan-Roasted Fillet of Highland Venison with Venison Shepherd’S Pie, Salsify and Green Cabbage
For the venison loin:
- Season the venison pieces then colour on all sides in a heavy-bottomed frying pan on a high heat
- Use a neutral oil such as rapeseed oil for searing at high temperatures
- Once the meat is nicely coloured, add the butter to the pan with the rosemary, thyme and garlic
- When the butter has melted baste the loins continually for 6 minutes before removing from the pan
- Rest the meat for 5 minutes
For the green cabbage purée:
- Bring a large pan of boiling water to the boil and add the shredded cabbage
- Cook for 1 minute then drain
- Mix the cabbage with the double cream and blitz to a purée with a handheld blender
- Season with salt and pepper
For the salsify:
- Peel the salsify and cut in to 7cm batons then place the batons into acidulated water (water with a splash of lemon juice) – this will stop the salsify from going brown
- Cook the salsify in the chicken stock then keep in the stock until needed
- When the venison is cooked and has been removed from the pan, tip the remaining butter out and wipe the pan with some kitchen paper
- Strain the salsify and pat dry
- Add some oil and sauté the tubes of salsify until golden brown
For the gravy:
- Reserve some of the cooking liquor from the pie mix, reduce it to a thick sauce then stir through a knob of butter and infuse with a fresh bay leaf; a small splash of green chartreuse will add a real aromatic depth of flavour.
For the mashed potato:
- Cook the potatoes until soft then strain and return them to the pan
- Place over the heat for a few moments then mash using a potato ricer or masher
- Add the milk, butter and eggs and mix thoroughly
- Season with salt and pepper
For the venison shepherd’s pie:
- Place a frying pan over a high heat and sear the meat in batches in a little vegetable oil until well coloured
- Remove the meat from the pan and add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic
- Reduce the heat and cook the vegetables until well coloured
- Add the tomato purée and cook for 3-4 minutes
- Return the meat to the pan, add the stock and herbs and slowly cook until tender for around 3 hours
- When cooked, leave the meat to cool in the liquid, this will keep the meat from going dry
- When sufficiently cool, strain the liquid through a fine sieve and take care not to break up the meat to much, place in liquid in a pan on the stove to reduce by half
- Melt a little butter in a pan and cook the diced carrots, turnip, and onions until soft
- Dice the meat and then return to the pan with the soft vegetables and add the reduced sauce
- Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce and cook the mixture until it is thick and unctuous
- Pour the venison into small pie dishes depending on how many guests you are serving, top with the mashed potato and baked in the oven until golden and crisp on top
- Warm the purée and put on to four plates, the golden salsify can go on top of this
- Put the pie on the side of the plate leaving enough room for slices of the Venison loin
- Drizzle with the gravy before serving.
Stuffed Lamb with Spinach and Pine Nuts
- Sauté the onion and garlic in a medium-hot pan with a dash of olive oil for 5 minutes until softened. Season, then add the pine nuts and fry for about 1 minute until golden. Add the spinach and wilt briefly in the pan, tossing to mix well. Remove from the heat and stir in the feta.
- Lay the saddle of lamb open on a board, flesh side up. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the sumac. Spoon the spinach mixture along the middle of the meat, using the fillets that run down the inside length of the meat to support the sides of the stuffing.
- Roll the meat around the filling and tie at intervals with string. Season the outside of the lamb all over, then chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight to help firm it up and make it easier to brown.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5.
- Put a roasting tray on the hob and heat until hot. Add a glug of oil and fry the joint for 10 minutes until brown all over. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 45-55 minutes, depending on the weight of the lamb and how pink you like it. When cooked, set aside to rest.
- Meanwhile, mix all the dressing ingredients together and add a little seasoning.
- Serve the rested lamb hot or at room temperature, thickly sliced, with the dressing on the side.