This month I had to completely remove the introduction to the write up as each wine had a very compelling story. In fact, when JP sent me the write up it weighed in at more than 1300 words, 300 more than space allows. I could hardly blame him, as you will read, these are great wines and there is so much to say about each.
The theme of this month is how Old World wines inspire the creation of these very New World examples. Our first wine is produced by arguably the oldest winery in South Africa, although many others also make their claim. It is a joint venture between Klein Constantia and two of the most heralded winemakers in Bordeaux, Bruno Prats and Hubert de Boüard. Both men recognized the potential for producing world class wine in the Stellenbosch and invested with the prior owners of Klein Constantia. Today their project, Anwilka, is seen as one of the most important projects in the country.
My second pick is the reason we are a week late in release. When I purchased the wine it was in New Jersey, but a shipping error routed the wine to California, not Florida. Thankfully our alert distributor caught the error when the wine was cross-docking in Cincinnati. After an early morning call to our supplier in Adelaide, Australia, he fixed the error, rerouted the wine, and here we are.
The wine worth so much trouble come from our old friends at Woodstock winery, and one of their hallmark bottlings, the Octogenarian Grenache. This is a wine that is primarily very old vine Grenache, made with the inspiration of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Another fun fact, I tasted this vintage of wine more than four years ago and was able to make a deal for this Reserve tier wine to fit into the NWR club. It is a beauty, and now really perfect to drink.
My recipe selection is a pork roast with what should be called 100 mushrooms. I really like this recipe because it uses pork shoulder, or Boston butt, which roasts far better than loin in my opinion. Yes, it is fattier, but if you properly strain the sauce before making the gravy you barely notice. It works really well with both recipes.
Download Full Club Write-up
2017 Anwilka Ugaba
2013 Woodstock “Octogenarian”
Pork Roast with Mushroom Gravy
This is a fantastic recipe, perfect for any full-bodied red wine. When I first made this, I was surprised by the number of mushrooms, but they cook down and contribute immense flavor to the sauce.
1 (4- to 5-pound) boneless pork shoulder roast, fat trimmed to 1/8 inch thick
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
1 ½ teaspoons dried sage
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 onion, peeled and halved
24 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, quartered
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat pork dry with paper towels. Make 10-12 slits into the meat with a pairing knife and insert one slice of garlic in each. Then rub all over with 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon sage, salt and pepper. Tie roast at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine.
Arrange roast, fat side up, in roasting pan and cook until beginning to brown, about 3 hours. Add onion, mushrooms, broth, 1 cup water, bay leaf, remaining thyme and remaining sage to pan and continue to roast until meat is well browned and skewer inserted in center meets no resistance, about 3 hours. Transfer roast to cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 30 minutes.
Discard onion and bay leaf. Strain contents of roasting pan through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator; reserve mushrooms. Let liquid settle, then pour defatted pan juices (you should have about 1 cup) into measuring cup and add water to yield 1½ cups.
Transfer 2 tablespoons of fat from separator to large saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Stir in flour and cook until golden, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in pan juices and bring to boil. Add reserved mushrooms and simmer over medium-low heat until gravy is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove twine from pork. Cut pork into 1-inch slices. Serve with gravy.