Sunday, December 11, 2011

Singular Spice

The family doesn’t get together often with members spread over the country and busy lifestyles, bur a quick dinner before Stormin’ Norm hopped on a plane was one get-together. Jubes had a lovely meal all prepared, and a number of good bottles were dispatched.

One wine was particularly noteworthy, a 2005 Ata Rangi Celebre. A blend of 35% Syrah, 35% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon was just coming into its own. The Syrah component stood out, making it a singular spice experience. Savoury spices, meat, a hint of pepper and a taste of the exotic. Not too much tannin, but still with good freshness and acidity, and no sign of green, showing the quality of the vintage. A touch of the secondaries, ideal for interest. Celebre has never been about great finesse or having the quality to take on the world as a Bordeaux-Rhone style, but rather about drinkability. That’s what maker Clive Paton designed it to be, and sure enough, this is what it was. Deliciously drinkable.

Moroccan-inspired and marinated with a gentlespicy mix, the lamb, cooked on the BBQ, served on cous cous with pumpkin and lots of herbed yoghurt was the dinner, simple and not quite rustic. Just like the wine.

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