This is a particularly fun food and wine pairing article for me to share with you. Fun because it features three wines instead of one. Fun because these wines are new releases from Troon Vineyards that were shared with me from a legend in the wine world, Craig Camp. Fun because I am trying out a new beef rub. And finally, fun because this meal calls for bacon!
The Wines: These wines are all estate wines from Troon Vineyards. In my article “The Pioneering Spirit of Troon Vineyard” I shared with you the history of this lovely winery located in the Applegate Valley AVA of southern Oregon. Please revisit the article to learn about the winery and the delicious initial three wines they sent me. This article I am pairing three more Troon wines: 2013 Malbec, 2013 Estate Tannat, and 2013 M+T Reserve. But first, a little about each grape.
Malbec: Malbec is originally from France, but has come to fame due to the efforts of the Argentinians. Additionally, Malbec is grown in various wine regions of the US. Troon Vineyard is the only winery in southern Oregon currently cultivating Malbec. Malbec is a full bodied red wine with a flavor profile that includes dark fruit, smoke, leather, tobacco, spice, dark chocolate, espresso, and black pepper. It is typically crafted with medium acidity and medium tannins. Malbec pairs well with a variety of red meats, smoked meats, and sharp cheese.
Tannat: Like Malbec, Tannat originally finds its home in southwest France; however, it has become the flagship grape of Uruguay. Furthermore, Troon Vineyard is the only winery crafting Tannat in southern Oregon. Tannat is a full body, robust wine with a flavor profile of dark fruit, pronounced smoke, and often intense spice notes. It is typically a highly acidic and tannic wine. These characteristics make Tannat a perfect pairing for hearty meats, smoked meats, and strong cheese.
Though these two wines sound similar on paper they really do have a pronounced uniqueness; however, as you can see from reading their tasting profiles, they make a fantastic blend! Troon Vineyard offered me the first time I have tasted a Malbec Tannat blend. The Applegate Valley AVA offers a unique climate and graphite soil similar to the original French homes of these grapes. Furthermore, hot days and cold nights coupled with long summer days are ideal ripening conditions for these two grapes. Finally, Applegate Valley AVA produces wines with leaner tannins, thus refining and softening these wines. Here are my wine notes:
Troon 2013 Malbec: Malbec in southern Oregon is exclusive to Troon Vineyard; poured a deep garnet into the glass; brooding aromas of black cherries, black berries and black plums are balanced with notes of spice, savory herbal notes, crushed violets, chocolate and a passing hint of vanilla; the spice notes take center stage on the palate but not to the point of over-powering the fruit, well-structured with penetrating acidity and dusty tannins, full body wine that is driven and intentional, a power hitter but don’t be fooled, this wine has style, class and a mineral driven earthiness that makes it approachable and delicious; SRP $29
Troon Estate Tannat 2013: Tannat in southern Oregon is exclusive to Troon Vineyard; this wine poured a deep violet into the glass; penetrating aromas of dark red and black fruit, tobacco, damp under brush, minerality and dazzling spice notes; fierce and firm on the palate yet balanced with a velvet elegant mouth-feel, round acidity with well-integrated tannins in a full-body wine with a long, pleasing finish; this is a beautiful expression of Tannat; SRP $29
Troon 2013 M+T Reserve: This wine was crafted from Troon Estate 56% Malbec and 44% Tannat; it poured a vibrant garnet with ruby hues into the glass; a harmonious integration of both varietals with aromas of plums, cherries, blackberries and black raspberries wrapped in wonderful spice notes, crushed violets, chocolate, a touch of smokiness that led into tobacco and concluded with a firm minerality; broad and exuberant on the palate, elegant yet firm, a wonderful concentration of fruit balanced with earthy integration, round acidity, firm yet integrated tannins, full-body, mouth-coating in a long, spicy and delicious finish; this is a lovely wine to drink now, a few short years will add to its harmony; the grapes are co-fermented, natural yeast and malolactic fermentation, minimal use of new oak; SRP $50
The Food Pairing: I have a hard time pairing Tannat with anything other than the “Three B’s:” beef, bacon, and blue cheese. In fact, in a previous wine and food pairing article earlier this year I paired a Virginia Tannat with a bacon, blue cheese beef burger and it was outstanding! Since Malbec also pairs well with the “Three B’s” I thought I would give it another go with a different recipe.
My Choice: A few weeks ago my friend Cindy (Seagreenwench on Instagram & Twitter) posted a photo on Instagram of an awesome looking steak she had made with a rub called Hardcore Carnivore. After visiting the Hardcore Carnivore Instagram page I was sold. Even better, the rub is made in Austin. I ordered and received a bottle very quickly. My beef choice was grilled hanger steak with a Hardcore Carnivore rub. Next a side, remember bacon and blue cheese. But it is summer and I wanted something light and easy. I found the perfect side: Pecan, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Green Beans! Awesome. I am thinking this is going to be a delicious meal!
The Results: Amazing, if I may say so myself! So the Hardcore Carnivore rubbed hanger steak was so juicy and delicious. The green beans side was also truly delicious. And the wines, all three were a home run! But like I said, you cannot go wrong with Malbec and Tannat and the “Three B’s.” Since my taste skews Tannat slightly over Malbec I enjoyed the Estate Tannat the best, follow by the M+T Reserve, and finally the Malbec. However, and this is important, all three of the wines were so beautifully crafted I would happily drink any of them any day of the week. Furthermore, with another year or two they will only get better! Another successful family dinner and wine pairing! Winner, winner beef dinner!
Troon Vineyard Makes Wine For Life:
The foundation of our winery is located squarely in the rows of vines that grow here. Our wines are vineyard-driven, derived from the ancient granitic soils, elevated benchland, and incredible climate. Uniquely situated at the spot where the Siskiyou Range bends westward toward the Pacific Ocean, we benefit from cooling sea breezes which moderate the heat from inland valleys. Long hours of sun, cool nights and warm days, infrequent summer rain, and well-draining soil produce wonderful fruit for making complex wines of deep color, pure aromas, and low alcohol.
We are committed to producing wines for all parts of your life. Drinkable, approachable, affordable, food-friendly wines that, just by their inclusion, make the everyday a little less typical. But also award-winning and collectible wines that elevate the commonplace to the extraordinary; fine wines for life’s finest moments. Whatever you chose, it will be absolutely Applegate…entirely Troon.
My Song Selection: These wines are dark and brooding in the glass; a perfect pairing for steak that has been coated in a jet black rub. Furthermore, the wines have soul, a touch of funk, an earthiness, and are timelessly crafted. That can all mean one song:
Get your own Troon Vineyard 2013 Malbec, Tannat, and M+T Reserve, and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!