Sunday, April 24, 2011

Eating Parker: Rack of Parker

For more about our 4-H lamb, Parker, see the first installment of Eating Parker.

Seven years ago today, I proposed to my Girlfriend Unit, and for reasons that remain unfathomable except to her, she agreed to become my Spousal Unit. In celebration of this anniversary, not to mention Easter, I roasted a rack of Parker.

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The preparation was simple; I applied olive oil, garlic, and herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper, and roasted for 20 minutes at 500 °F. For sides, I sautéed potatoes in duck fat with smoked Spanish paprika, and nuked some frozen peas.

The lamb was, as usual, excellent; very tender, with mild flavor. I’m really getting spoiled with this lamb!

On the night of our engagement, we dined at Bistro 45, and drank 2001 d’Arenberg Shiraz “The Dead Arm.” Since then, I’ve built up a vertical of the wine, from 2000–2006, starting with at least three bottles each, and we open one each year on this occasion. We’re on our second pass through the list, so we drank our second bottle of the 2000 tonight. Unfortunately, neither of us was very impressed with the wine, and I suspect that it was an off bottle.

Decanted off moderate sediment. Youthful dark red. Immediately, wet earth, baking spices, cooked red fruit, mocha. Somewhat austere on the palate, with dust, red berries, iodine. Didn't improve much. A lot of acid and some medicinal notes, with little fruit. Bad bottle? (86 points)

Unfortunately, I have not been able to purchase the 2007 or later Dead Arm vintages in the United States. When 2007 was late being released, I asked @darenberg whether it had been made; they responded that it had, and its release was delayed due to the poor economy. Since then, it has been released in other markets, but I haven’t seen it in the US.

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