J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot

2012 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot

VINTAGE
Every vintage has its own personality; a unique history of climatic experience that shapes the flavor of the wine we taste in our glass. 2012 had been preceded by two of the coldest vintages in a decade and was a welcomed proposition for vintners and growers in the Paso Robles region. Preseason rainfall was a bit on the shy side at 60% of normal, with a nice wet storm arriving at budbreak in the first week of April that brought welcome moisture for growth and suppressed chances of spring frost. Warm springtime conditions brought rapid shoot growth, and irrigation was stopped in our vineyards in mid-June to promote seed ripening and push the classic Merlot red fruit charactistics. A period of triple digit hot temperatures gave definition to the vintage in mid-August, toward the end of veraison. We believe this gave a general uptrend of tannin structure to the vintage as a whole. Ideal warm and dry conditions ushered in the 2012 Los Osos Merlot crop in a tight, 10-day harvesting window at the end of September in the 25-26° brix range.


VINEYARDS
Traditionally, we harvest our estate-grown Merlot grapes across a range of sugar ripeness. The early picks usually capture the classic varietal definition of Merlot, while the fruit harvested later adds depth and intensity to the wine. Clone and rootstock combinations, along with variations in soil, add complexity to our Los Osos Merlot, as does the introduction of recently planted Italian clones. We grow our Merlot grapes in Nacimiento-Los Osos, Arbuckle-San Ysidro, and Arbuckle- Positas complex soils in our vineyards in Paso Robles, where these welldrained but relatively poor soils have chalky or gravelly components.


TECHNICAL DATA

Apellation: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, California
Composition: 87% Merlot, 12% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot
Harvest Dates:  September 20th - October 2nd, 2012
Brix at Harvest: 25.6° Brix avg
Vinification:  
  Fermentation: Whole-berry fermentation in stainless steel tanks
  Malolactic: 100%
  Maturation: 12 months in barrel with 22% new oak
  Barrel type: American oak from Missouri forests, medium-plus toast with toasted heads
Bottling Chemistries:
  pH: 3.7
  Total Acidity: 0.55 g/100ml
  Alcohol: 13.93% by volume
  Residual Sugar: 0.19 g/100ml
  Cellaring: Showing well upon release, with the potential to age up to five years

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
The 2012 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot presents a mature red color with a raspberry hue. Red fruit aromas of plum and pomegranate are integrated with a barrel signature of dark chocolate and baking spice. Whole berry fermentation with a generous use of Malbec as a blender accentuates the brighter fruit tones of Merlot and leaves ripe, soft tannins on the palate.
-Steve Peck, red winemaker

FOOD PAIRINGS
An excellent pairing for cheese tortellini or herb-roasted chicken.

WINE LIST DESCRIPTION
Blended with Malbec, this Merlot shows plum and pomegranate highlights integrated with a dark chocolate barrel signature.

Price: $15.00 750ml

Label: 

2011 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot

VINTAGE
Cool weather prevailed in 2011, much like the 2010 season, which was the coolest in a decade. Low yielding secondary shoots grew to replace frost damaged primary shoots after a defining hard frost hit the area on April 8th. Winter rainfall had provided sufficient soil moisture for rapid springtime growth of the vines after the setback of the early frost. Fewer clusters with larger berries was the norm, pushing toward a softer tannin profile in the wines. We employed our standard practice of ceasing irrigation after fruitset in early June and waiting 8 weeks or more until vines began to run out of soil moisture before resuming irrigation in August. We saw seeds turn hard and brown, while flavor in the berries shifted from herbal to fruity as a result of this water stress exercise. The inclusion of 11% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot provides a hint of hibiscus and banana peel to the blend. This 2011 Los Osos Merlot reflects a union of these primary fruit and floral characters with crafted oak flavors from a full year of barrel aging at the winery.


VINEYARDS
Traditionally, we harvest our estate-grown Merlot grapes across a range of sugar ripeness. The early picks usually capture the classic varietal definition of Merlot, while the fruit harvested later adds depth and intensity to the wine. Clone and rootstock combinations, along with variations in soil, add complexity to our Los Osos Merlot, as does the introduction of recently planted Italian clones. We grow our Merlot grapes in Nacimiento-Los Osos, Arbuckle-San Ysidro, and Arbuckle- Positas complex soils in our vineyards in Paso Robles, where these welldrained but relatively poor soils have chalky or gravelly components.


TECHNICAL DATA

Apellation: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, California
Composition: 84% Merlot, 11% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot
Harvest Dates:  September 27th - October 12th, 2011
Brix at Harvest: 24.8° Brix avg
Vinification:  
  Fermentation: Whole-berry fermentation in stainless steel tanks
  Malolactic: 100%
  Maturation: 12 months in barrel with 22% new oak
  Barrel type: American oak from Missouri forests, medium-plus toast with toasted heads
Bottling Chemistries:
  pH: 3.71
  Total Acidity: 0.65 g/100ml
  Alcohol: 13.94% by volume
  Residual Sugar: 0.12 g/100ml
  Cellaring: Showing well upon release, with the potential to age up to five years

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
The 2011 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot presents a mature red color with a raspberry hue. Savory fruit aromas of black plum and pomegranate are integrated with a barrel signature of cocoa and cedar. Our winemaking style and use of Malbec as a blender accentuates the brighter fruit tones of Merlot and leaves ripe, soft tannin on the palate.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

FOOD PAIRINGS
An excellent pairing for cheese tortellini or herb-roasted chicken.

WINE LIST DESCRIPTION
Savory fruit aromas of plum and pomegranate integrated with a barrel signature of cocoa and cedar.

Price: $17.00 750ml

Label: 

2010 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot

VINTAGE
2010 was the coolest growing season Paso Robles has seen in a decade, bringing with it rainfall that was 50% above normal. While this cool and wet combination may have presented challenges for the late-ripening varieties, it was ideal for the early-ripening Merlot cultivar. After rapid vine growth in spring consumed most of the moisture held in the rainsoaked soils, we employed our latest thinking in vineyard irrigation strategy and applied absolutely zero irrigation for an 8 to 12 week period in our Merlot blocks between fruit set (mid-June) and veraison (August). This dramatic approach in the vineyard kept berry size small and promoted brown seeds earlier in the season than we had ever seen before. Absent were the agressive tannins that are common in a cool vintage. Instead, 2010 Los Osos Merlot is dense, mature and fruit-driven.


VINEYARDS
Traditionally, we harvest our estate-grown Merlot grapes across a range of sugar ripeness. The early picks usually capture the classic varietal definition of Merlot, while the fruit harvested later adds depth and intensity to the wine. Clone and rootstock combinations, along with variations in soil, add complexity to our Los Osos Merlot, as does the introduction of recently planted Italian clones. We grow our Merlot grapes in Nacimiento-Los Osos, Arbuckle-San Ysidro and Arbuckle- Positas complex soils in our vineyards in Paso Robles, where these well-drained but relatively poor soils have chalky or gravelly components.


TECHNICAL DATA

Apellation: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County
Composition: 85% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 5% Petite Sirah
Harvest Dates:  September 24 - October 19st, 2010
Brix at Harvest: 25.2° Brix avg
Vinification:  
  Fermentation: Whole-berry fermentation in stainless steel tanks
  Malolactic: 100%
  Maturation: 12 months in barrel with 22% new oak
  Barrel type: American oak from Missouri forests, medium plus toast with toasted heads
Bottling Chemistries:
  pH: 3.69
  Total Acidity: 0.66 g/100ml
  Alcohol: 13.76% by volume
  Residual Sugar: 0.17 g/100ml
  Cellaring: Showing well upon release, with the potential to age up to five years

WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS
The 2009 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot has a mature red color with a raspberry hue. Black cherry and pomegranate aromas are accentuated by the high fraction of Malbec in this year’s blend. The toasty oak signature is reminiscent of hazelnut and dark chocolate. This soft red wine has a fine texture on the palate and finishes with a bright Rainier cherry fruit signature.
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

FOOD PAIRINGS
An excellent pairing for cheese tortellini, crab bisque or herb roasted chicken.

WINE LIST DESCRIPTION
Ripe fruit aromas of black cherry and pomegranate meld with a barrel signature of chocolate and coconut.

Price: $17.00 750ml

Label: 

2009 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot

The 2009 growing season in Paso Robles had a dry start and a wet finish. Preseason rainfall totals were scant, reaching just half of the 12 inch norm. Merlot responded to the dry conditions by setting smaller, more intense berries with berry weights averaging under 1 gram. Cold April temperatures limited vine growth in the first month after budbreak but were followed by a warmer month of May with a one day temperature spike reaching 104° F just after bloom. The added heat units helped to establish the canopy needed to get the Merlot harvest underway. However, we were hit by an unlikely storm on October 13th that delivered over 6 inches of rain in a single day and delayed our harvest plans for a week. The 2009 wines show intense color and significant tannin structure, with the bright fruit signature that we expect from J. Lohr.


Vineyards
Traditionally, we harvest our estate-grown Merlot grapes across a range of sugar ripeness. The early picks usually capture the classic varietal definition of Merlot, while the fruit harvested later adds depth and intensity to the wine. Clone and rootstock combinations, along with variations in soil, add complexity to our Los Osos Merlot, as does the introduction of recently planted Italian clones. We grow our Merlot grapes in Nacimiento-Los Osos, Arbuckle-San Ysidro and Arbuckle- Positas complex soils in our vineyards in Paso Robles, where these welldrained but relatively poor soils have chalky or gravelly components.


Food Pairings
This wine is an ideal pairing for seafood bisque or filet with wild mushrooms.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Apellation: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County
Composition: 78% Merlot,17% Malbec, 4% Zinfandel, 1% Petie Verdot
Harvest Dates:  September 28 through October 21st, 2009
Brix at harvest: 25.2° Brix avg
   
Vinification:  
Fermentation:  Whole berry fermentation in stainless steel tanks
Malolactic: 100% malolactic
Maturation: 12 months in barrel
Barrel type: American Oak (Missouri and Minnesota)
Bottling chemistries:
pH: 3.68
Total Acidity: 0.67 g/100ml
Alcohol: 13.9% by volume
Residual Sugar: 0.26%
Cellaring: . Delicious now, but has the structure to age up to 5 years

Winemaker's Comments
The 2009 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot has a mature red color with a raspberry hue. Black cherry and pomegranate aromas are accentuated by the high fraction of Malbec in this year’s blend. The toasty oak signature is reminiscent of hazelnut and dark chocolate. This soft red wine has a fine texture on the palate and finishes with a bright Rainier cherry fruit signature. —Steve Peck, red winemaker

 

Price: $15.00 750ml

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Label: 

2008 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot

"GOLD" - 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Double Gold - Best of California - 2011 California State Fair

The 2008 growing season presented significant challenges for California winegrowers. Spring and autumn frosts--coupled with heat spikes, which impacted flowering and maturation--claimed much of the prized crop. Yields were at half of normal levels in the Paso Robles AVA, depending on variety, microclimate and cultural practices. This was the second consecutive vintage of drought, which limited vine growth and reduced cluster and berry size. Merlot was fully ripened and harvested before it could be impacted by an unseasonable October frost. This 2008 Los Osos Merlot is enhanced with a bit of Malbec fruit that adds delicate pomegranate aromas and a soft mid-palate to the blend.


Vineyards
Traditionally, we harvest our estate-grown Merlot grapes across a range of sugar ripeness. The early picks usually capture the classic varietal definition of Merlot, while the fruit harvested later adds depth and intensity to the wine. Clone and rootstock combinations, along with variations in soil, add complexity to our Los Osos Merlot, as does the introduction of recently planted Italian clones. We grow our Merlot grapes in Nacimiento-Los Osos, Arbuckle-San Ysidro and Arbuckle-Positas complex soils in our vineyards in Paso Robles, where these well-drained but relatively poor soils have chalky or gravelly components.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Apellation: Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County
Composition: 81% Merlot, 9% Petite
Sirah, 7% Malbec, 2% Syrah
Harvest Dates:  September 9 through October 3, 2008
Brix at harvest: 27.0°-28.0° Brix avg
   
Vinification:  
Fermentation:  Whole berry fermentation in stainless steel tanks
Malolactic: 100% malolactic
Maturation: 12 months in barrel
Barrel type: American (Missouri and Minnesota) and Hungarian oak
Bottling chemistries:
pH: 3.67
Total Acidity: 0.67 g/100ml
Alcohol: 13.74% by volume
Residual Sugar: 0.26%
Cellaring: . Delicious now, but has the structure to age up to 7 years

Winemaker's Comments
The 2008 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot has a mature red color with a bright raspberry hue. Black cherry and pomegranate aromas are complimented by an oak signature reminiscent of cedar and dark chocolate. This soft wine has finely textured tannins and is bright and lively on the palate with a finish of Rainier cherry fruit.

 

Price: $15.00 750ml

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Gorgonzola Polenta

Recipes courtesy of Chef Brian Miller, Executive Chef at Morgan’s American Grill, New Market, Maryland

Serves 6

  • 4 cups milk                    
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal       
  • 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring milk and heavy cream to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Gradually whisk cornmeal into milk mixture in slow steady stream. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook polenta while whisking constantly until creamy and tender, about 10 minutes. Add Gorgonzola cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. If polenta is too thick, add milk until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately.

Beef Cheeks Ravioli

recipe courtesy of Chef Santos MacDonal, Chef/Owner of Il Cortile, Paso Robles, California

Serves 2

Pasta

  • 1 ¾ cups of Mandako flour           
  • 3 eggs
  • Pinch of salt                   
  • Flour for dusting

Filling

  • 1/2 lb beef cheeks               
  • 2 cups J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot
  • 2 cups water                   
  • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp thyme, chopped fine           
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black ground pepper           
  • 1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced thin

Set the oven to 400°F. Prepare the filling first. In a heavy pan, sear the beef cheeks on both sides until brown. Place them in a braising pan and cover with all the spices. Add the J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot and water, and cook for 1 ½ to 2 hrs. Pass the meat through a meat grinder and then set aside. Save the braising juices for the sauce.

To prepare the pasta, begin with a dry surface. Spread the flour in a circle and create a well in the middle of the flour. Beat the eggs to combine them and pour into the well. With a fork, gradually pull the flour into the egg mixture. (You can also use your fingers to do this.) When the dough is a rough mass, transfer it to a floured work surface. Knead the dough, sprinkling with more flour if the dough is sticky. Work the dough until it forms a smooth elastic ball, about 8 minutes.

Split the dough into 2 pieces and wrap the piece you are not working with in plastic wrap. Using a stainless steel pasta machine, set the rollers at the widest notch. Flatten the dough with your hands and pass through the machine. Fold the dough into thirds, press together and dust lightly with flour. Feed again through the machine and repeat about 8 times. Move the setting to the next notch and this time do not fold the dough. Dust with flour. Continue this process until you are on the thinnest notch.

Cut the length of the dough crosswise in half. Arrange one strip of dough on a floured work surface. Drop 3/4 teaspoon mounds of filling in two rows, about two inches apart down the length of the dough. Drape the second sheet of dough over the filling. With a fluted pastry cutter, cut the ravioli into 2-inch squares. Firmly press the edges to seal them. Put the finished ravioli on a baking sheet dusted with flour. In a large pot of boiling, slightly salted water, cook the 10 to 12 ravioli until just done, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain.

In a sauté pan, over medium-high heat, reduce the braising juices and add the mushrooms. Place the ravioli in the pan and cook in the sauce for about 1 minute. Transfer ravioli to a warm plate and serve with a glass of J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot.

 

Central California Short Ribs featuring J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot

recipe courtesy of Chef Rodney Worth, Chef/Owner of The Peasant and The Pear, Danville, California

Serves 2

  • 4  2-inch thick short ribs           
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 bottle J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot       
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced               
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 cup beef stock or bouillon

Sear short ribs for 3 minutes per side in a hot pan. Remove from heat. Coat ribs with flour, then place in crock pot with J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot. Add carrots, celery, onion and beef stock to pot. Cover and cook three hours on high, checking for tenderness.

Liquid will thicken to gravy consistency. Serve with mashed potatoes. Spoon gravy over top of all. Enjoy with a glass of J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot!

Grilled Pork Chop with Wild Rice, Smoked Bacon, Apple Chutney and a Cider Sauce

recipe courtesy of Chef Rafael Lunetta, Executive Chef/Owner of JiRaffe Restaurant, Santa Monica, CA

Serves 4
Pork Chops in Marinade

  • 4 pork chops, 1 ¼ inch thick           
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp crushed black peppercorns           
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tsp green peppercorns, crushed           
  • 1 tsp crushed white peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup honey               
  • 1 orange, halved and juiced
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, scraped           
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot, sliced               
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced           
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch thyme                
  • 2 Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp coriander                
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves                    
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 rosemary sprigs                

Mix all marinade ingredients together. In a container, add the pork chops and marinate for 24 hours making sure the pork chops are completely immersed in the oil.

Wild Rice

  • 1 ½ cups wild rice               
  • 4 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 3 slices bacon               
  • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely diced           
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 2 bay leaves               
  • 3 Tbsp chives, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp parsley, chopped               
  • 2 Tbsp shallots, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp butter

In a pot, add wild rice and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then strain and set aside. In a pot, sweat bacon until lightly browned. Add diced onion, and sweat until translucent. Add wild rice and stir to coat rice with the bacon fat. Add the bay leaves and 4 cups of the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add carrots and continue to simmer. When rice is almost al dente, add celery. Season with salt and white pepper. The rice is done when it starts to expand and begins to break. Remove bacon and bay leaves immediately. Lay rice on a sheet pan to let cool evenly.

Slice 8 pieces of bacon crosswise about ¼ inch. In a medium sauté pan, cook bacon until golden brown and crispy. Strain fat and reserve for wild rice.

Apple Chutney

  • 6 apples, red delicious, peeled and diced       
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, scraped
  • 1 onion, medium dice               
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes               
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds, crushed

In a wide shallow pot, caramelize honey until dark brown, but be careful not to burn. Add onions, apples, and vanilla bean. Cook apples and onions down until liquid has been reduced. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Season with red pepper flakes and coriander. The apples are done when golden brown, usually about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove vanilla bean. Transfer to a bain-marie and keep hot in a water bath.

Pork Vegetables

  • 3 carrots, peeled, large dice           
  • 4 celery sticks, large dice
  • 1 onion, large dice               
  • 1 tsp thyme, chopped

In a medium sauté pan, sweat carrots, celery and onions. Season with thyme, salt, and white pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender and set aside.

Cider Sauce

  • 2 red delicious apples sliced, skin on           
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, scraped           
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup sherry vinegar               
  • 1 ½ cups sparkling apple cider
  • 1 ½ cups veal stock               
  • 1 ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds

In a medium saucepot, caramelize honey until dark brown, but not burnt. Add onions, apples, and vanilla bean. Cook until all liquid has been reduced. Add vinegar and reduce until evaporated. Add cider and reduce by half. Season with red pepper flakes and coriander. Add veal stock and reduce until slightly thick, then strain. Transfer to a bain-marie. With a ladle, fold in four Tbsp of butter. Keep hot in water bath.

Pork Chops
Mix peppercorns together. Season pork chops with salt and peppercorns. Heat a large sauté pan, add three ounces of oil, and when pan is hot, add pork chops. Brown on all sides.  Place in a pre-heated 500°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes (for slightly pink) or 10 to 12 minutes (for medium).  Take out and let rest on a resting rack for 5 minutes.

Final Preparation
Garnish: Tie one sprig of rosemary and one sprig of thyme with one chive. Repeat three times to yield four garnishes.

Cut pork tender off the bone, place in a sauté pan, heat pork in oven until heated (about 3 minutes.) While pork is heating, heat up wild rice in a medium saucepan with 1/2 cup of chicken stock and two tablespoons of butter. Adjust seasonings when ready to plate, add chives, parsley, smoked bacon, and shallots at the end, to keep herbs green. In a small sauté pan, heat pork vegetables with one ounce chicken stock. When pork is hot, slice tender at a bias against the grain, into four pieces.

Presentation
Heat four large plates. Place a medium spoonful of apple chutney at the top center of a large plate. Place a medium spoonful of wild rice on each side of chutney. Place a medium spoonful of pork vegetable under chutney. Fan pork over vegetables. Place pork bone upright on the right side of the piece. Ladle 2 ½ ounces of cider sauce over pork. Garnish in between chutney and sliced pork. Serve with J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot.

Sweet Onion Crusted Snapper with J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot Sauce

recipe courtesy of Chef Oliver Saucy, Chef/Co-Owner of Café Maxx, Pompano Beach, Florida

Serves 6 to 8

Onions

  • 4 cups medium red onions, peeled and sliced 1/8” thick    
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar           
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter               
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan, heat the 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium low heat. Add the onions and cook until browned but not crisp. Add the vinegar and brown sugar, and continue to cook until all liquid has reduced and evaporated from the pan, stirring often. The onions should be well browned with a shiny and dark caramelized color. Swirl in butter and season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove from heat and cool thoroughly. This can be prepared two to three days in advance, keeping onions tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Sauce

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped               
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • olive oil for sautéing               
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot
  • 1 tsp tomato paste               
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream               
  • 1/2 to 1/3 stick unsalted butter
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Make sauce in a heavy saucepan over medium heat by sautéing garlic and shallots. When translucent, add tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds, stirring as needed. Add J. Lohr Estates Los Osos Merlot, lemon and heavy cream and cook until mixture is reduced by half. Whisk in butter to form an emulsion. Strain through fine strainer and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until needed, being careful not to boil or allow sauce to become too cold after butter has been added. Have the reduction ready and add the butter just before service or make up to 30 minutes in advance and keep warm.

Fish preparation

  • 4  8 oz Yellowtail snapper filets, skinless and boneless   
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil for sautéing

Prepare snapper using a filet knife to carefully remove skin and cut away rib bones, rinse in cold water to remove any scales. Arrange filets on cookie sheet (with the skin side down) and lightly season with salt and pepper as desired. Using caramelized onions, pack on a light crust over the surface area of the fish (approximately 1/8 inch) dividing mixture evenly between filets. Do not allow crust to get too thick at any one area. This can be done up to 4 to 6 hours in advance.

In a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat, sauté snapper, onion crust side down, in olive oil. Shake and agitate the pan as needed to evenly brown onions, reduce the heat if the filets are caramelizing too quickly. Using a spatula, turn the portions carefully and sear for 1 to 2 minutes on the other side. Do not overcrowd the pan, so cook in two batches if necessary. Return filets to cookie sheet and bake in 375°F oven until filet is done, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately with wine sauce sparingly divided on the plates with fish resting on top. Garnish with gaufrette potatoes if desired.
 

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