Pinot NoirMonterey 2018
The grapes for this cuvée are sourced from two vineyards, both sustainable and organic-practicing. One of the vineyards hugs the Monterey coastline, taking in the full cooling influence of winds from the Monterey Bay. The other sits in the Santa Lucia Range on an east-facing slope, alternately ripened by the extended sunlight and cooled by the Salinas wind funneling down from the Monterey Bay.
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.
A warm summer gave way to cooler harvest temperatures, with no major heat spikes. The vineyards were hand-harvested and grapes hand-sorted before being loaded into 2-ton open-top fermentors; 30% of whole clusters were retained during fermentation for added complexity and structure. As fermentation began, the wine was punched down twice a day for flavor extraction. After fermentation completed, the wine was racked into neutral French barriques and aged for 12 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Medium-bodied with delicate cherry, red plum, and red berry fruit. A very pure fruit profile with an uplifting, savory complexity leading to a long and refreshing finish.
An extremely versatile pairing wine, running the gamut from roasted beets, wild mushrooms with gnocchi, pan-seared fish, up to wild game like duck and quail.
Vegan Beet Wellington
Start with the beetroot centre:
- Remove any leaves from your beetroot, wash gently, and place in a pan of simmering water with all of the other ingredients (but not the spinach)
- Simmer for around 20-30 minutes, until the beetroot is tender
- Whilst the beetroot is still warm, peel off and discard the outer 2 layers using a new jay cloth - wear protective gloves to do this
Make the duxcelles:
- Caramelise the sliced chestnut mushrooms in a heavy based pan with the crushed garlic, thyme, and vegetable oil
- Add the blanched chestnuts and cook until combined
- Season with salt and truffle oil to taste
- Blitz the mixture to a spreadable texture
Next, make the crepes:
- Combine the ingredients, and whisk to remove any lumps
- Heat a non stick pan, and cook the crepe until golden brown on both sides. You will need at least two crepes
To construct the wellington:
- Lightly blanch the spinach and wrap it around the cooked beetroot ensuring there are no gaps
- On a layer of clingfilm place 2 of the crepes. Spread a layer of mushroom and chestnut duxcelles on top of the crepe
- Place the beetroot wrapped in spinach on top. Wrap it up tightly in cling film and rest in the fridge for an hour
- Remove cling film and wrap tightly in vegan puff pastry. Rest in the fridge for another hour
- Glaze the wellington in chickpea water and score
- Cook at 210c for 18 minutes
Next, make the beetroot gel:
- Bring everything to boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes
- Pass through a muslin cloth and set in a baking tray
Finish by making the vegan jus:
- Roast all of the herbs and vegetables, coated with the vegetable oil, in a large tray at 220c for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until deeply caramelised
- Cover the roasted vegetables with water and roast again at 180c for 1 hour
- Pass through a fine sieve and reduce by half
- Dissolve the corn flour with the water and add to the reduced sauce. Bring to the boil and allow to thicken
- Season to taste
Plate your Beet Wellington:
- Smear a dessert spoon full of beetroot gel on one side of the plate
- Garnish the beetroot gel with a few thin slices of beetroot, Breakfast radish, truffle, mixed salad cress, and a little horseradish to taste. Drizzle with oil
- With a sharp knife, cut two slices of Beet Wellington, and position on the other side of the plate
- Serve vegan jus in a sauce jug alongside the dish
Wild Mushroom Gnocchi
- Place the dried mushrooms in water to re-hydrate.
- Dice the shallots and chop the garlic. Remove the thyme leaves from the sprig, discarding the sprig, and roughly chop.
- Add oil into a pan and caramelise the diced shallot on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further 3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat and add in the tomato paste, mixing well.
- Remove the rehydrated mushrooms from the water and pour the remaining water into a large sauce pan, boil until you are left with approximately half the water.
- Add the remaining rehydrated mushrooms to the tomato mix. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the white wine and reduce until you are left with less than a quarter of the contents. Then add the reduced mushroom stock, mixing well. Simmer for a further 5 minutes, then remove and pass through a sieve into a clean sauce pan.
- Slowly add half the cream and simmer until contents begin to thicken. Add the remaining cream and slowly reduce the mixture again by a quarter. Tip: be careful not to reduce it too much as this will cause the mixture to split. Using a heavy cream provides more stability and is less likely to split.
- Add a squeeze of lemon and truffle oil and salt to taste.
- Place the gnocchi in water and boil until they float. Remove and drain onto a plate and add the wild mushroom sauce.
- In a hot pan add some oil and fry the wild mushroom mix for 1-2 minutes then remove and place on a clean cloth to remove the excess oil. Season with salt and place on top of the gnocchi to serve.
Sea Bream with Salsa Verde
For the salsa verde:
- Chop up all the herbs and place into a blender along with the vinegar, mustard, capers and olive oil.
- Mix the blended herbs in with the sun dried tomatoes.
For the fish:
- Heat up a frying pan on high.
- While heating, season the Sea Bream both sides with salt and pepper, then rub a dash of olive oil on each side.
- Place the fish into the pan with another dash of oil, and cook both sides for 4 minutes or until crisp.
- Once the fish is ready, serve it on top of a generous helping of salsa verde and enjoy.
Pomegranate Molasses-Marinated Spatchcock Quail
- Place a small pan over a medium heat, add the cumin and coriander seeds with a pinch of salt and dry-fry for about 2 minutes, or until aromatic. Transfer to a mortar and pound with a pestle.
- Add the garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil and the pomegranate molasses to the mortar. Mix well, then taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
- Season the quail and place in a single layer in a baking dish. Pour the marinade over them, ensuring that all parts are covered. Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 180°/ Gas 4.
- Place a large ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and add a dash of oil. When hot, put the quail into the pan, skin side down, and fry for 2-3 minutes, until sealed and lightly coloured. Turn and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes. Add 100ml water, then transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 12-15 minutes, until the quail are cooked through, dark golden and sticky.
- Serve sprinkled with lemon zest.
How to make Pomegranate Molasses
You can buy pomegranate molasses from delis, Middle Eastern shops and some supermarkets, but it is easy to make your own. Simply boil up a litre of pomegranate juice with 100g sugar and the juice of one lemon. Simmer for about an hour until syrupy. Once cooled, you can store it for up to a month in the fridge and add to marinades, dressings and tagines.