April 7, 2016

Bonjour Mes Amis,
We just received a shipment from France, and it is chock-full of French must-haves. Amora mustard, Foie Gras, Duck Leg Confit, and much much more. We are excited to share these new specialties with you, so drop in and take a peek at what we have to offer!

Barral Olives
Located in Nice, Barral has been specializing exclusively in olive oils and olive production since 1883. Barral is a company that is quite proud of their Provencal identity–as they should be! Barral offers a wide variety of the highly sought-after and exquisite olives of Provence. Each variety has a unique taste and appearance, though they are all a delicious ode to the Mediterranean. 

French Green Picholine $7.49
Perhaps the most famous of French olives, the Picholine is medium-green with a shiny skin and firm texture. Cultivated in Languedoc, these crispy green olives have a “green” taste with hints of pistachios.

Lucques Olives $9.49
Lucques Olives are hand-picked in the month of September in the Languedoc-Rousillon region. They are distinguished by their brilliant green color, crescent moon shape, and their thin, curved pit. Their soft exterior and flavors of fresh almonds and avocados have earned them the nick name ‘La Reine des Olives’ the Queen of Olives.

Oil Cured Black Olives with Herbes de Provence $5.49
These black olives are harvested when ripe and then cured. After the aging process removes their natural bitterness, they are mixed with olive oil and tossed with Provence herbs for the perfect aperitif olive: fruity, salty, and aromatic all at once. Reminds one of vacation in the South of France.

Nicoise Olives (Olives from Nice) $11.49
These small dark olives, produced in the Maritime Alps, grow on a specific olive tree known as “Le Cailletier”. They are cured in a simple brine of water and sea salt , and allowed to naturally debitter for 5-6 months. Smooth and nutty, these tiny olives excel in Mediterranean cuisine. Try them in Pissaladiere, baked fish or, bien sur, salade Nicoise.

The Wines of Chateau Deyrem Valentin.

We were only recently introduced to the chateau deyrem wines of this chateau. Situated in the Margaux appellation, Chateaun Deyrem Valentin has been in existence since 1730, but only acquired by the present owners, the Sorge Family, in 1928.  Today, it’s run by Jean Sorge and his daughters.

Chateau Deyrem Valentin owns  12.5 hectares in Margaux, and an additional 1.5 hectares of vines situated in the Haut-Médoc appellation.  The vineyards have roughly equal plantings of Merlot , and Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller lots of  Petit Verdot and Carmenere. Their best parcel has vines that are close to 100 years of age, making that one of the oldest parcels of vines in the Médoc; the rest average roughly 30 years. The Sorges family managed to enlarge their estate in 1938, when they obtained a parcel of old vines from Chateau Palmer. The terroir features gravel, sand and clay soils, with great drainage, and ideal for making fine, structured wines.

The wines of Chateau Deyrem Valentin are vinified in traditional cement vats, and malolacticfermentation taking
place in tank. The first wine is then aged in about 30% new, French oak barrels for up to 15 months before bottling.

Chateau Deyrem Valentin  Margaux Cru Bourgeois 2010  $45.00
Comprising 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and equal parts, Petit Verdot and Carmenere. Quite tasty with its soft, smooth textures, medium body and earthy, floral, black cherry and espresso tinged nose. For a Margaux of this quality, the wine sells for a very fair price.

Chateau Valentin Haut-Médoc 2010  $18.99
Made with about equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The Cabernet provides superb structure, natural acidity, and ample fruit, with aromas of black currant, plum, with a hint of bay leaf, and licorice to boot! The Petit Verdot adds a kiss of spiciness, while the Merlot lends a hint of soft, black cherry. The tannins are fine grained and soft. You can’t go wrong with this little gem! A staff favorite.

Green Olive, Basil, and Almond Tapenade
From My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz $35
Garlicky, salty, nutty–David Lebovitz’ mouth-watering tapenade pairs excellently with chilled Rosé.

Serves 6-8

2 cups green olives
1/3 cup whole untoasted almonds
1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt or Kosher salt

Put the pitted olives, almonds, garlic, lemon juice, and capers in the bowl of a food processor. (I don’t use a mortar and pestle for this because I like the slightly chunky bits of almonds in the finished tapenade.)
Coarsely chop the basil leaves, add them to the processor, and pulse the machine a few times to start breaking them down.
Add the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Pulse the food processor until the mixture forms a coarse paste, one that still has a little texture provided by the not-entirely-broken-down almonds.
The tapenade will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Bon Appetit!
Kelsey & Manuel