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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

From California's Oldest Wine Region: 2019 L'Autre Côte Cabernet Franc + Chimichurri Lamb Lollipops

Updated: May 13, 2023

This month the Wine Pairing Weekend group is turning their eyes to pairings with wines from Livermore with David from Cooking Chat hosting. This is a sponsored post as wine samples were provided and this page may contain affiliate links. Thank you to the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association.


For this month's Wine Pairing Weekend, host David has us looking at wines from Livermore. We will be gathering for a live Twitter chat on Saturday, May 13th at 8am Pacific. All of these articles should be live between Friday, May 12th and Saturday, May 13th...



Livermore Valley's 2019 L'Autre Côte Cabernet Franc


I received three bottles of wine from the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association for this #WinePW event. I poured the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from McGrail Vineyards for last month's Local Food, Local Wine event when I posted Localish: Some Bay Area Love for Pizza from Oakland and a Wine from Livermore. And I also shared Ramen, Rolls, Long-Simmered Broth, & a Sauvignon Blanc from Livermore with the 2021 Sauvignon Blanc from Murrieta's Well.


The Livermore Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) is one of California’s oldest wine producing regions. Also a part of the Central Coast AVA and the San Francisco Bay AVA, Livermore Valley lies approximately 30 miles East of San Francisco within the East Bay region of Alameda County. Surrounded on three sides by the Diablo Range - to the East, North, and South - the Amador Valley sits to the West. That lower elevation allows cooling winds and marine fogs from the San Francisco Bay into the valley. The resulting diurnal shift in temperatures with warm days and cool nights allows the ripening grapes to retain some of their acidity.


I am almost embarrassed to admit that I have never been to the Livermore Valley even though I drive by the exit to the area each and every time I drive from Monterey to Berkeley. I will make a point of visiting soon. I promise!


The 2019 L'Autre Côte Cabernet Franc is comprised of 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. The former comes from the Ghielmetti Vineyard and the latter was picked at Home Ranch. Fermented separately, the Cab Franc was aged in neutral French oak while the Cab Sauv saw time in new French oak.


On the nose, I got lots of black fruits along with redwood duff and a tinge of violets. On the palate, the wine was bright with subtle structure and fine tannins.


Chimichurri Lamb Lollipops


Ingredients

serves 4 as an entree or 8 as an appetizer


Lamb

  • 2 racks of lamb

  • 6 Tablespoons dukkah spice blend (you can use whatever spice blend you prefer!)

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • olive oil

  • Also needed: roasting pan with a rack that fits inside


Chimichurri

  • 1/4 cup parsley

  • 3 Tablespoons vinegar (I prefer sherry vinegar)

  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and pressed

  • 2 Tablespoons oregano leaves

  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves

  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • freshly ground pepper, as needed

  • freshly ground salt, as needed


Procedure

Lamb

Divide the dukkah evenly over the two racks of lamb; I used 2 Tablespoons on the meaty side of the rack and 1 Tablespoon on the bony side. Massage the spices into the lamb. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place lamb on a roasting rack with the fat-side up. Roast for 30 minutes, then flip the rack over and return it to the oven for another 10 minutes.


Remove the lamb from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into lollipops.


Chimichurri

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth, drizzling in the oil until desired texture; season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and let stand for, at least 30 minutes. If you are making this ahead of time, place in a lidded jar and keep in the refrigerator.


Serving

Place lollipops on a platter. Add a generous spoonful to each lollipop. Served immediately.


Once again, I am grateful to the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association for their generosity. You may find L'Autre Côte, an arm of the Steven Kent Winery, on the web, on Instagram, and on Facebook.

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