Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stella Bella & the Left-Over Lamb

As mentioned in my last post, I was lucky enough to leave last night's BBQ with an entire leg of lamb - and as you can see it's definitely still on the leg.

We thought it would be a great opportunity to cook up some the purple potatoes that we actually grew this summer in our community garden plot. We likely harvested them a bit earlier than we might have, but I went over to water the plot one morning and saw that someone had been digging in places they shouldn't have. After a few nasty expletives, Boo and I figured that we'd best dig up the rest or we'd risk losing them as well.

Never grown a potato before. Makes the beans that we grew as well seem a tad pedestrian, but altogether it was a heckuva (an) easy dinner. It was probably more work deciding on the wine. Lamb? First dibs on the Aussie Shiraz I say.

156. 2002 Stella Bella Shiraz (Margaret River - Australia)

We'd actually been holding this bottle for a bit. I'd never tried a Stella Bella wine before but you have to be intrigued by a winery with names like Stella Bella, Suckfizzle and Skuttlebutt.

The winery website says that the question most asked of them isn't about price or availability, but is about the names. Great thing is that the wines (at least this wine) live up to the notoriety and marketing. Stella Bella is a small, privately owned winery in the Margaret River (which anyone who's been reading along with me, is definitely a grand starting point for me). Seems like I'm not the only one that thinks so either. James Halliday, one of the big names in Aussie wine-writing, has given the winery 5-stars for the last couple of years - his highest rating.

The region is generally lauded more for its Cabernet Sauvignon than its Shiraz, but the Stella Bella Shiraz seems to be consistently named to "great value" and "best of" lists. The winery's tasting notes say that 2002 was a cool year for Margaret River and that, therefore, the vintage is perhaps more Rhone-like in its profile than the well-known Aussie blockbuster.

I'm just thankful for a bonus lamb dinner and another new winery to keep an eye open for.

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