As the chilly brisk days of autumn nudge closer to winter, we retreat to our warm cozy homes. Comfort foods like a long- simmering pot roast, pasta, and full-bodied red wines are center stage at the table.
In continued collaboration with L’Ecole No 41 winery, I tasted two vintages from their Perigee wines. I paired these wines with a Ligurian Tócco (pot roast) made into a pasta sauce. The pairing was everything you wanted to satisfy your tastebuds and hunger on a cold winter’s night.
Perigee Estate Seven Hills Vineyard Walla Walla Valley
L’Ecole’s Perigee is part of their vineyard collection of age-worthy single-vineyard Bordeaux blends. The Perigee blend varies slightly by vintage but is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon with the addition of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and smaller amounts of Petit Verdot and Malbec.
The grapes from Seven Hills Vineyard are planted in wind-blown loess of geologically young, mineral-rich soils; it is one of the oldest and renowned vineyards in Walla Walla Valley. In 2004, Wine and Spirits Magazine named Seven Hills Vineyard one of the “Ten Great Vineyards of the World.” The 170-acre vineyard is owned in partnership with Pepper Bridge Winery and Leonetti Cellar. The vineyards are sustainably farmed, certified sustainable, and certified salmon-safe.
The Estate vineyard is known for producing red wines with characteristics of cedar, dark red fruits, good structure, and elegance. Perigee is a wine that will benefit from aging for up to 10-20 years. The wine’s tannins, acidity, alcohol, and fruit components are well balanced for age-worthiness.
What do the different Bordeaux varieties contribute to the Final Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon – high acidity, high pigment, high tannin, and moderate alcohol; flavors of black cherry, currant, tobacco, graphite, cedar, cocoa, tea, and chocolate
Merlot – moderate tannins, moderate pigment, moderate to low acidity, and high alcohol; flavors of blueberry, black cherry, plum, cedar, coffee, spice, and cocoa
Cabernet Franc – moderate tannins, pigment, and acidity; aromas & flavors of florals, roses, tea, forest floor, herbs, strawberries, cranberries, and cocoa
Petit Verdot – high tannins, high pigment, high alcohol, and aromatics; flavor notes of blackberries, and spices
Malbec – low acidity, supple and ample tannins; flavors of mint, mocha, blackberry, and plum
My Tasting Notes
Disclosure: The wines were provided to me as media samples. All opinions are my own.
2018 L’Ecole Perigee, Estate Seven Hills Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley
14.5% abv | SRP $57.00 (sample) | 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot, 9% Malbec
Deep ruby in color. Beautiful aromatics of blackberries, boysenberries, spices, cedar, and dark cherries. On the palate, full-bodied, high tannins, and medium-high acidity. Flavors of blackberries, black cherries, boysenberries, red currants, and dried herbs. The wine is well balanced and structured for aging. The finish is long with lingering complex flavors.
2015 L’Ecole Perigee, Seven Hills Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley
14.5% abv | $73.00 (available when you call the winery) (sample) | 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec
Deep ruby in color. Aromas of cedar, blackberries, dark fruit, and spices. On the palate, full-bodied, medium(+) tannins, and medium (+) acidity. Flavors of cedar, blueberries, mocha, cassis, and earthy notes. Well structured with a silky texture and a long lingering finish.
L’Ecole offers library wines from their single vineyard collections. This is a fantastic opportunity to try different vintages of a wine – taste how climate impacts the wine from year to year. Learn how wines evolve with years of cellaring. Library wines make a unique gift for the wine lover! Call the winery for library wine purchases. (L’Ecole No 41)
Ligurian Tócco Pasta Sauce Paired with L’Ecole Perigee
Perigee needs a hearty, rich meaty dish to match its full body and structure. The Ligurian Tócco (pot roast) made into a pasta sauce meets the Perigee in weight. The rich, slow-simmered pot roast with earthy elements like porcini mushrooms, onions, and herbs makes for a savory and luscious pairing.
Tócco (pot roast) Pasta Sauce
- 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushroom
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 lb. beef chuck roast
- 1 large stalk celery, finely minced
- 1 medium white onion, finely minced
- 1 small fennel bulb, minced
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 5 fresh sage leaves
- 1 cup + low sodium beef broth
- In a small bowl, add the dried porcini mushrooms and cover with hot water. Set aside for 30 minutes to soften. Strain, reserving 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid. Finely chop mushrooms.
- With kitchen string, tie together the bay leaf, rosemary, and sage. Set aside.
- In a 5-1/2 qt. Le Creuset cast-iron Dutch Oven (or similar heavy pot), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chuck roast and brown on all sides, about 10-15 minutes total. Season the meat with salt and lower the heat to medium/medium-low. Add the minced vegetables. Sauté until until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, the mushroom soaking liquid, white wine, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and tomato paste, bring to a boil. Add the beef broth, herb bundle and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to maintain a slow simmer. Cover the pot tightly and cook for 3 hours, turning the meat every 30 minutes or so. If the pot gets too dry, add more beef broth. The meat is done when it is fork tender.
- Remove the meat from the pot and shred with a fork, removing any fatty pieces.Discard the herb bundle. If the remaining sauce is to watery, reduce it over medium-high heat. Add the meat back to the sauce and stir to combine.
- Serve the meat sauce over artisan noodles.