April in Paso Robles is Peak Green
Celebrating 25 years of Dianthus… and the return of rosés with color

Other Wines We've Loved: 2007 Beaucastel

Last night, with my sister Janet in town, we decided to grill. I got a lovely two-inch-thick, two-pound boneless ribeye from our local butcher J&R Meats. I don't normally cook such thick steaks, but think I'm going to in the future. I seasoned it with salt and pepper and set it over a grill in a technique I've been using more and more, where I heat the briquettes and then pile them on the sides of the grill, leaving an area in the middle that's heated from two sides but doesn't have any briquettes there to flare up should fat drip onto them. I grilled the steak for about eight minutes on each side, over a hot but not scorching fire, and then pulled it off the coals to rest for five minutes when the internal temperature hit 135°F. 

To accompany the steaks, I sautéed up some mushrooms we'd gotten from our farm share with white wine, parsley, and garlic (working off an old Mark Bittman recipe), baked some potatoes, and made a salad. It was a meal that showed why the classics are the classics. The steak came out a perfect medium-rare, juicy and with excellent steaky flavor. The tanginess and umami of the mushrooms were a great foil for (or accompaniment to) each bite of steak. The potatoes were fluffy and soaked up the juices. And the salad, which we ate at the end in the French style, was refreshing and tasty. 

To accompany the meal, I wanted a wine with enough fruit and tannin to stand up to the robust flavors on the plate and enough complexity to add to the night's experience. I chose a 2007 Beaucastel, which I remember thinking was one of the greatest young wines I'd ever had when I tried it at a dinner in 2010. Our Controller Denise Chouinard remembered my talking about the wine when I came back to the winery, and got me a case of it later that year. Those bottles have been sitting in my cellar ever since. I decanted the wine to give it a bit of air:

2007 Beaucastel Bottle
 The wine was every bit as good as I'd remembered. I jotted down some notes as we were finishing the bottle:

Still a lovely dense purple-red. Nose of licorice and smoky chaparral and minty currant and black cherry. Flavors of bakers chocolate and black plum, graphite and baking spices. Still youthful and powerful at age 16, with plenty of tannins to go another two decades. 

The five of us finished every drop of wine, and every bite of food, and sat around the table talking for another hour. It was a great reminder of the magic of a great bottle of wine: that it brings people together, evokes past gatherings, reminds you of the traditions you're a part of even as you create new ones. I'm grateful I have several more bottles of this, and can't wait to be reminded of this meal the next time I open one.