27 December 2010

Sheep Go to Heaven, Goats Go to Hell

Ah, among the first South African wines I ever tried was this little oddity with name based around the goats on the vineyard as well as the classic French wine region Côtes du Rhône. (Indeed, that closeness resulted in a lawsuit that eventually fell apart.) The last time I had this it had a plurality of Pinotage, a third, but it looks like they've phased it out over time.

The wine now comes with a screwcap enclosure, and the label has been redesigned to reflect a more minimalist appearance, using an ancient Mesopotamian drawing of a goat. (Mesopotamia and South Africa are a good 7000 km/4300 miles apart, but let's not get into that here.)

2008 Goats Do Roam Red
$11, 14% abv.
61% Syrah, 14% Cinsault, 13% Mourvèdre, 8% Grenache, 4% Carignane.

The current wine is full of blackberry and plum, big purple profile. Tannic bite on the finish. After breathing it is much different. With just a few hours of decanting, it becomes a mild and soft wine with muted fruit flavors. Sometimes you'll want one or the other, but the joy of slow, natural breathing is that you can find a sweet spot that might appear around the 2.5 hour mark.

I served this with a savory winter dinner with my pal Paul. Lamb shoulder braised in chicken stock, this red wine, and a bit of butter, combined with onions, diced tomatoes, and various seasonings. I let everything stew for a few hours, let it rest overnight, removed most of the fat, and warmed it up for dinner the next day. For side dishes I've got a batch of homemade cranberry sauce (punched up with clementine peels and juice) and Brussels sprouts sautéed with bacon, chicken stock, and white wine. It's the kind of unbelievably savory dinner that makes the whole house smell great, and you wake up in the morning still tasting the succulent flavors coaxed out of the lamb bones.

P.S. If you enjoyed the title of this post, please take a listen to the song of the same name by CAKE. "Now I just want to play on my pan-pipes / I just want to drink me some wine."

1 comment:

Joe said...

I didn't need your note at the bottom to be pleased that you quoted Cake. great band.