Slow-Braised Lamb Shanks + 2018 Château Magnol Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois
Updated: Oct 21
This month the French Winophiles - with Susannah from Avvinare at the head - are looking at Cru Bourgeois or any other wines from Bordeaux.
You can read Susannah's preview and learn more about how these wines go well with Fall foods. Also the group will be gathering on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Saturday, October 21st at 8am Pacific time. Follow hashtag #Winophiles and be sure to add that to anything you post so we can see it. Here's what the group is sharing...
Barton & Guestier Château Magnol and Instant Pot Beef Brisket by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Slow-Braised Lamb Shanks + 2018 Château Magnol Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois by Culinary Cam (you're here)
$20 Merlot from Bordeaux: 2015 Château Bardoulet Saint-Émilion Grand Cru paired with beef stew stuffed squash by Wine Predator...Gwendolyn Alley
A Little Background
Let's take a look at history of Cru Bourgeois, a designation that dates back to the 15th century when members of the bourgeoise acquired land and planted vines. But more formal designations followed in the 1920s and in the 1960s. But it was in 2000 that the country actually labeled Cru Bourgeois Exceptionel (the top tier); Cru Bourgeois Superieur (for second tier); and lastly Cru Bourgeois. Seven years later the tiers were dissolved; and three years after that, the single label returned. Now Cru Bourgeois must come from one of the eight appellations in the Médoc: Pauillac, St. Estèphe, Margaux, St. Julien, Moulis, Listrac, Haut-Médoc and the Médoc.
2018 Château Magnol Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois
Château Magnol family wines are a collection wines coming from the vineyard of the château's estate. I noticed the 'sustainably farmed' and researched what that really meant. Château Magnol is member of the first organization for the Environmental Management System for Bordeaux wines, that states every action of the organization considers land, energy, water and waste water quality, carbon and water footprint, safety and health. In 2016, the estate attained the highest level of environmental certification for agriculture which attests to a number of biodiversity components and low impact on the environment.
This wine is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot from the southern part of the Haut-Médoc. The wine pours deep black cherry hue with a rim of inky purple. On the nose, there was lots of black fruits along with some notes of spice and herbs. On the palate, the wine was well-balanced with soft tannins.
Slow-Braised Lamb Shanks
I decided to pair this with a meaty, Fall dish that mirrored the black fruit, spice, and herb flavors in the wine.
4 teaspoons za'atar or other seasoning blend you like
2 Tablespoons flour
two 3/4- to 1-pound lamb shanks
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1- 1/4 cups dry red wine
1/4 cup Amarena cherry balsamic vinegar
1- 1/2 cups organic chicken broth
1 Tablespoon unsulphured molasses
4 Tablespoons fresh tomato sauce
2 cup pitted cherries
2 stems of fresh rosemary plus more for garnish
Mix together za'atar and flour . Coat lamb shanks with the blend and set aside.
Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Add the coated lamb shanks and cook until browned on all sides, approximately 2 to 3 minutes on all sides. Remove the meat from the pan and add in the last Tablespoon of olive oil.
Stir in the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté until the onions are slightly softened, approximately 5 minutes. Pour in the wine, vinegar, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits. Whisk in the tomato sauce and unsulphured molasses. Bring to a boil again.
Add lamb shanks, turning to coat with liquid. Add the rosemary sprigs, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for one hour.
Add in the cherries. Bring to a boil again. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for another hour, turning lamb shanks occasionally
Uncover and boil until liquid is reduced to desired sauce consistency, approximately. Stir and turn lamb shanks occasionally. They should be falling-off-the-bone tender! Season with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon the sauce over the shanks.
I served this with a side of fonio grains and a fresh tomato salad. That's a wrap for my Cru Bourgeois offering.
Next month we will be back looking at Beaujolais. I am hosting and had initially thought we would look at the ebb and flow of Beaujolais Nouveau. But I think we are cutting it too close to post as this year's nouveau won't be released until the week of our event. Boo. So, the field is wide open to any Beaujolais wines. Stay tuned!