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A Wine for Spring Lamb  Add/Read Comments

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martin sarmiento 2004

It's the time of year for lamb; spring lamb and daffodils epitomises Easter for me. Nothing could be better than a few jucy slices of roast lamb accompanied by a decent bottle of red. Cooking lamb simply brings out the strident flavour and maximises the juiciness of the meat, adding a few springs of rosemary too of course. There are plenty of other opportunities through the year to stew it or spice the meat with cumin or coriander; during Spring a simple grill or roast is best.

I tried out two of Vanielje Kitchen's recipes at the weekend - Loin of Free Range lamb grilled with rosemary and garlic coupled with Oven Baked Potato Slices in Garlic and Rosemary Cream. Heavy on the garlic, heavy on the rosemary. Delicious.

For a wine you need something that will cope with the fat of the lamb in addition to the forceful flavours. Many wines would 'fit the bill' a Chianti perhaps, a Claret or even a Rioja. I went for something a little more unusual - a Spanish wine from the Bierzo region.

I travelled through the area last year but don't recall encountering this particular wine, Martin Sarmiento, made by Martin Códax.

Martín Sarmiento was an 18th century Galician monk famed for his studies on botany and agriculture. Part of his signature appears on the label.

Red WineWine Tasting Note: Martin Códax Martín Sarmiento, 2004, Bierzo, Spain.
Waitrose £8.99
A tough one on its own. Forcefully flavoured high is acidity and not insubstantial on the tannin front either. As they say 'a food wine'. With the lamb it shines; is gorgeous in fact. The acidity cutting through the richness of the meat and the cream. Coming in with 14% alcohol. The rear label states that 22,000 bottles were produced from this vintage made under the direction of Ignacio de Miguel, winemaker of the year 2006.
Scribblings Rating - 90/100 [3.75 out of 5]

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This entry A Wine for Spring Lamb is under Wine Tasting Notes


Andrew, that sounds brilliant. We will in fact be having lamb for easter and if the weather stays like this, a few sharp salad greens (rocket, watercress) and very likely something unctuous like the rosemary and cream potatoes. I will definitely be picking up a few bottles of this. My houseguests who are red drinkers will be thrilled. DO you mind if I tell them it was my idea? just kidding...they know me too well!


What could you recommend if I was cooking muton instead of Tender lamb, red wine of course !

While I feel this same wine would be suitable for the more heavily flavoured mutton I did a little call-round on Twitter and received the following suggestions :

Au Bon Climat Knox Alexander Pinot Noir ‘went very well… but it’s £35 a bottle’ – azp74

Aged Rioja Reserva – thristforwine

‘I’d choose a Southern Rhone Red Blend or something from Tuscany perhaps’ – winecast

Can you find a red from Molise? They are big into mutton in that part of Italy, from what I'm reading. – drdebs

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