Chez Parker Welcome Home Dinner

In my opinion, there is no better purveyor of high quality beef in the United States than Lobels. Returning home after a long tasting trip is always marvelous, and being treated to Lobels' steaks on the grill was the icing on the cake. While I was ready to drink some Châteauneuf du Pape after all the Bordeaux I had consumed, my wife wanted some Bordeaux that were close to maturity, so I decanted both the 1982 Le Gay and 1982 L'Evangile three hours before dinner. From my cellar, both were surprisingly young, and not yet ready for prime time drinking. Le Gay is still dense ruby/purple-colored to the rim, but L'Evangile reveals more amber at the edge. However, both are dense, thick, concentrated Pomerols made in the style of the finest wines of the vintage. Le Gay is more earthy and mineral-dominated, with a more muscular overlay of tannin as well as huge sweetness and body. If this bottle is typical (and I have no reason to think it isn't since it has been impeccably stored since its arrival in 1985), this wine needs another 4-5 years of cellaring. With aeration, L'Evangile offered up aromas of beef blood, black truffles, flowers, and meaty/aged beef-like characteristics (and that was before I started cutting into my sumptuous Lobels' strip steak). Broad, rich, and extremely youthful, it is slightly more approachable than Le Gay, but still seemingly not at its peak of maturity.

As for the Lobels' steaks, I prefer to rub them with fresh garlic, sprinkle on some salt and pepper as well as a bit of olive oil, and then throw them on the grill. I order the 16 or 18 ounce strips and tend to cook them on extremely high, searing heat for 4 minutes on each side, then remove them and let them sit for about ten minutes before cutting into them. I like high quality beef extremely rare, but not, as the French would say, bleu. These great steaks are well worth their relatively lofty price. In fact, I have not found better beef anywhere else in the country ... which might as well mean the world when it comes to beef.

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