Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 1

ED I T O R'S
NOTE

Sp ring
LAM B

T

his spring, I've been marking the changes of the season with a heightened sense of
wonder, with an intensity I don't recall since childhood.
The first dawn with a phoebe singing by the pond.
Raking out the daylilies and daffodils, then watching them recover from a late snow,
only to green up faster.
Recording the arrival of the tree frogs at twilight on an early April evening and sending their
cacophony, embedded in an iPhone video of a still pond, to our executive editor Tara Thomas.
She'd been homeschooling her two girls in Brooklyn for weeks and she showed the video to her
nine-year-old, who said, "Whoa, that's very cool." Maybe it was because the frogs showed no
signs of social distancing-except when a human got too close to the pond and they all went
silent. In all other ways, they were oblivious to my newly quarantined life.
THIS WINTER, SPAIN was quickly descending
CHEF GARCIA OF MANNIX PRESENTS LECHAZO
into COVID-19 lockdown while Patricio Tapia
TO PABLO ALVAREZ, CEO, VEGA-SICILIA.
and I were racing to finish our research for
this issue before cutting our trip short. In an
outpost on the high plain above Ribera del
Duero, I found myself taking comfort in the
focused energy of a chef, Mannix's Marco
Antonio García, as he shared his recipe for
lechazo, the roasted milk-fed baby lamb that
has, for centuries, sustained the local farmers and restaurant community. A month to
cure the cazuelas, the terra-cotta ovenware
that holds the meat, an hour and a half for
the fire in the domed oven to turn to coals,
another two hours to tend the cazuelas as
the meat roasts. The culture of lechazo here
is as old as the culture of wine, bringing
flocks of tourists from Madrid-or Massachusetts-to stuff themselves like the pig I
believe I was, demanding lechazo at lunch
and dinner for two days straight, then
quickly leaving town to catch the first available flight home.
But my appetite seemed only to goad the chef on, the tension and the fear of this pandemic
moment accelerating what was, in this fifth-generation lechazo specialist, a legendary, almost
manic energy focused on the perfection of crisp skin and a subtle, refreshing purity of flavor in
the tender lechazo. As we talked by the oven in the kitchen of Mannix, chef García recalled how,
as a 14-year-old, he would drink 1970 Vega-Sicilia every Sunday with his father, when their restaurant seemed to have an endless supply. Now, their stocks, like everyone else's, are more limited. He took a moment to check on the placement of the cazuelas in the oven, which seemed to
brighten his mood. Then he turned back to me, holding his fist in the air and beaming like a
football player after a score, filling the empty kitchen with his own rebel yell: "Siempre Lechazo!"

JOSHUA GREENE


https://www.grahams-port.com

Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 3
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 4
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 5
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 6
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 7
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Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover4
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