Traditional Roast Lamb and Trusty Claret

The reason for the recent frequency of claret is that I have quite a lot of 2005 clarets in the cellar, most bought in bond, some a little later, and several are reaching their prime drinking age. At the moment it’s the ‘little’ ones including some of the Cru Bourgeois.

Today we were eating roast shoulder of (local) lamb with all the late winter trimmings. This is a classic for claret and the powerful taste of lamb needs a claret with a good tannic backbone. I opened the first of my Chateau Lassus 2005, Medoc, again from the Wine Society, in fact from the very same mixed case as yesterday’s La Croix Canon. The Lassus cost a mere £6.21 – perhaps £7.99 today. It is described as having “… well built structure and depth of ripe, fresh fruit” and that, like all Medocs, it is best drunk with food. The last implies enough tannin to be too dry on the tongue to be drunk on its own.

Well, it worked extremely well with the lamb and actually the last half-glass was thoroughly enjoyed on its own too, but by then we were fully adjusted to the Medoc experience. It is always a pleasure to feel the spectrum of tastes in a sophisticated wine adjust itself around the tastes of the meal, tannins receding to let the fruit advance. So much better than a one-note wonder.

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