Saturday, January 29, 2011

L'Ecole Apogee Pairing Dinner and Vertical

Last weekend the wine club had the pleasure of having a vertical tasting of the L’Ecole Apogee. We had the 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2007-not a full vertical, but enough to see what holding on to a bottle can really do.  The 2007 was decanted for a couple hours, the 2006 was decanted for an hour or so, and the rest were not.

Dinner was paired with a horseradish and herb encrusted strip loin, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, bean salad, and Gruyere scalloped potatoes.

For the strip loin crust, I took 
  • 1/2 c prepared horseradish
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 tbs thyme
  • 2 tbs garlic
  • 2 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs of red wine vinegar 
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
I made it into a paste and rubbed the strip. (which was really a whole KC strip loin) Our, unfortunately, was a bit overdone and over marinated, but it was really good. In the future I would recommend marinating a for a 6 lb roast for 1-2 hours, and then cooking it in a roasting pan - uncovered- at 350 for 1.5 hours. That will give you some rare and medium rare options in the center-we marinated it for about 7 hours and it was a bit too strong for my liking, but I don't LOVE horseradish and it was a *smidge* too strong for the wines, but not much, so I think cutting down the marinading time would help.  (We cooked it for 2 hours and it was just medium in the center.) Everyone was polite, and said it was fine, but those who know me know I like my meat mooing, so it was WAY overdone for me.
So, should I make it again, that's what I'd do - if you really like horseradish you can use a tougher (and much cheaper) roast and marinate it for 6-7 hours. It was very tender. See Mr. Lush (right) in the too-small apron, getting ready to slice up the roast-isn't he dashing?? :) It was a fun event, of course, thanks to those who made it and contributed to the meal, a special thanks to Ms. G for having the 99 and 03, as well as looking up the (large amount of) information, and special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. D for hosting the event!!!

Now, onto the wines….they were all wonderful, but the 99 was a smidge past its prime. We had it a few months ago and it was perfect, and I think we just missed the window of perfection. While that makes me sad, it reminds me to keep better tabs on what we have, so we don’t miss our window. I’d rather drink a wine a few months too early than a few months too late! However, it was still very good. The 2003 and the 2005 were probably my favorites, the 2007 was just too young, it was a bit hot.

The 2006 was good, got better with a little air. The 2006 is still available if you look for it, so I’d keep an eye out and if you can find a bottle for less than $40, pick it up and forget about until 2013-2014. I certainly think these wines have the capability of aging 10+ years, but because I don’t have the finances to hold onto tons of bottles for 10 years, I’m shooting for 7!!!!

Luckily, because of a mix up, I was “forced” to buy a couple of the 2006 Perigee at a really good deal (around $31), a similar blend from L’Ecole, so we’ll lay those down for a couple years. I’ll let you know how they go!!!


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