Wine Pairings for Tagliatelle con Ragú di Agnello
My favorite black grape with lamb is Syrah. Both are a bit gamey with iodine notes, making for a perfect union on the palate. Other descriptors often associated with Syrah are blackberry, black olive, pepper and thyme, all of which work well with a lamb ragu.
When we think of Syrah or Shiraz, we probably first think of the Rhône Valley, the Barossa Valley or Paso Robles. However, Italy makes some terrific Syrah, too. Some of them are so good they just might break your bank with their prices…or your patience given their ability to age! Thankfully, there are also many, tasty Italian Syrah available at reasonable prices. Here are the ones I recommend for this week’s Lamb Tagliatelle.
In Sicily, Alessandro di Camporeale makes a varietal Syrah called Kaid. The Alessandro brothers were the first to plant this variety there in 1989 after being inspired on trips to Australia and California. Since then, many Sicilian producers have followed in their footsteps and now are making great Syrah.
In Basicilata, Bisceglia just celebrated its first decade of wine production. This young company makes a delicious Syrah called Armilla that is full-bodied and muscular with just a hint of oak. It’s delicious, and it over delivers for its small price tag.
Tuscany has so many Syrah vines digging into her soils that it’s almost hard to choose the best for this week’s dish. Here, I’ll throw caution to the wind and recommend some pricier selections. I assure you they are worth it if you splurge. First, there is Tua Rita’s Syrah. It is chunky on the palate with firm tannins and loads and loads of aromas and flavors. (Don’t tell Ed, but it might steal the show from his lamb dish!) Then, there is Scrio from Le Macchiole. This, too, is a powerhouse; and, while it is slightly more reserved and elegant than the Tua Rita, it shows more evident new oak.
I hope you enjoy your Syrah and Lamb Tagliatelle combo over the Easter weekend. Buona Pasqua!
Check out our recipe for Tagliatelle con Ragú di Agnello.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)