Wine of the Month:Justin Justification Red Blend

Winery of the Month:Justin Vineyards

Justin Vineyards and Winery started in 1981 with a plan to make Bordeaux-style blends. The soil in their four Paso Robles vineyards is ideally suited for growing Bordeaux-style reds. The limestone stresses the vines, producing grapes that fully express their varietal character. Also, the climate offers wide day-night temperature swings. The hot days allow the grapes to develop intense flavor, while the cool nights create great structure and balance.

Wine of the Month:Justin Justification Red Blend

This red blend from Paso Robles, California has been described as Old World meets New World with a combination of 65% Cabernet Franc and 35% Merlot. The Cabernet Franc grapes bring a complex expression of herbs, red fruit and elegant structure.

Justification is very aromatic of ripe black and red cherry, blackcurrant, vanilla and cinnamon spice with cedar, autumn leaves, oak, graphite, red licorice and cocoa. The flavor is full-bodied with ripe red and black fruit and baking spice on entry with oak and dusty tobacco notes joining on the mid-palate, balanced acidity keeping things elegant and fresh. The finish is long and complex with mouth filling, fine tannins, lingering cherry fruit, barrel spice and oak with subtle floral notes. It is full-bodied but lively and complex on the palate. The color is deep ruby/purple with black hue at the core and moderately stained tears on the glass.

Food Pairings: A versatile food pairing wine that goes well with a wide range of dishes from herb-crusted pork loin roasted with root vegetables, pan seared duck breast, or filet mignon with a thyme and red wine sauce.

Recipe: Pork Chops with Cherry Balsamic Sauce

4 boneless pork chops
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 large shallot, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/3 cup white wine
1 sprig rosemary
1 cup frozen cherries, thawed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Season chops with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Place chops in the skillet and sear on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove chops from the skillet and set aside. Lower heat and add the mushrooms, shallot and garlic to the pan. Sauté until soft and add the wine. Bring wine to a simmer and let it reduce slightly. Add the rosemary sprig, cherries, chicken broth and vinegar. Stir to combine and place chops back in the skillet. Bring sauce to a simmer and reduce to low. Cover the pan and let the chops cook in the sauce for 5 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the chop reads 155 degrees. Remove the rosemary from the pan and serve the chops with the sauce.

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