Continued from yesterday…
This collection has inspired the following story. Each wine is fitting of any Thanksgiving celebration, and also popped into my head as I looked at the world map on the treasure chest, that we’re all one from around the globe.
- 2014 Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, Produced by Concha y Toro ~ Riverbank Series
- Their Wines: All Gran Reserva Serie Riberas wines start with the triple Marine Mediterranean advantage:
- Areas where cool breezes from the coast, traveling along river corridors, and cold mountain winds from the nearby Andes meet.
- Areas where the temperature contrast between cold ocean air and warm air currents from the Central Valley combine to produce cooling winds.
- Ancient riverbank soil — mineral-rich, free-draining and infertile, so that vine roots dig deep, resulting in more complex wines.
- Their Notes: The winemaking team for Gran Reserva Serie Riberas was chosen with the same level of deliberation as the selection of vineyards sites. Both lead winemakers responsible for the “Riverbank Series” specialize in working with specific grapes and regions in which they excel: Marcio Ram írez for Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere and Malbec; and Mario Miranda for Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
- My Notes: Melons dominated my swirling and sniffing experience, and next came my perfect three-claw score factor (not too much, not too little of that meow factor)
- What causes this cat claw aroma? It’s a chemical compound called p-mentha-8-thiol-3-one. Yeah, we can’t really pronounce it, but can use this in a chem lab and everyone will get you. This is a classic example of Sauvignon Blanc and it’s very classy and very classic, all at once. If you know someone who loves Sauvignon Blanc, this is it!
- Their Wines: All Gran Reserva Serie Riberas wines start with the triple Marine Mediterranean advantage:
- Segura Viudas ~ Brut [Spain] Estate Bottled, Metodo Traditional
- Their Wines: Segura Viudas’s Brut is an artisanal Cava, from the renowned Ferrer Family of Spain. It’s a very affordable go-to wine for celebrating with friends and family. Known for its high quality at an affordable price ($10), Segura Viudas Brut makes celebrating Turkey day easy as (pumpkin) pie. Plus, it’s hardly a celebration without some bubbly! Incredibly versatile with foods, Segura Viudas will impress your foodie friends at the table from the first course to dessert! Segura Viudas is your answer to a million types of dishes on the table (often the case on Thanksgiving!)—it pairs with it ALL!
- Their Notes: The prime feature of our Brut is its elegant and persistent mousse. This fine sparkling wine delivers aromas of white fruit and citrus, along with tropical and light floral notes. The exquisite, complex palate includes notes of lime and pineapple, with balanced acidity. It is refreshing and smooth on the finish.
- My Notes: Tiny bubbles that excited my palate and let me know that this is a great palate cleanser, and lead into many more wonderful flavors to come. And, at this price, you’ve got a direct line to some great history and wine. This is an excellent wine for the price and I’ll personally never hesitate to buy it, when I’m wanting to purchase Cava.
Entree Wines with Fowl ~ White and Red
- Iron Horse Vineyards ~ Iron Horse’s 2010 Classic Vintage Brut [Green Valley]
- The Wines: Every single one of Iron Horse Vineyards’ wines is from Green Valley of the Russian River Valley. This is one of the coolest regions of Russian River Valley, and prime-time Pinot and Chardonnay acreage. Very few acres are devoted to Pinot Noir in the grand scheme of things in Green Valley. This means that their wines are as rare as they are precious.
- Their Notes: [This sparkling wine] is a ‘classic’ blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, a traditional and elegant showcase of the 2010 vintage, with over three years on the yeast. It is ‘brut’ level dry and vintage in every sense of the word. Rich, creamy and delicious with precise, pinpoint bubbles.
- My Notes: I love the creaminess and rich flavors of this sparkling wine. It’s refreshingly clean and stands alone in flavors, so that it complements foods of a more rich character. And, with the bounty of a Thanksgiving meal, this one is sure to be a food and wine pairing that people will long remember. We’re going to be sharing this one with Creamy Sweet Potato Ginger Soup.
- 2014 Pinot Grigio 2014 Peter Zemmer
- The Wines: Peter Zemmer is one of Alto Adige’s most respected viticulturists and winemakers. His grandfather founded the winery in 1928, in the Alpine village of Cortina; population ~ 600 people. In their winegrowing region, tradition began during the period of the Roman emperors. Culture, art, and wine have been closely intertwined throughout their history: Alto Adige – South Tyrol has been shaped by countless generations of winegrowers, as an area of quality wines.
- Their Notes: The Pinot Grigio is a selection of the best vineyards of the valley floor and steep slopes near the vineyard estate. It flourishes under outstanding climatic conditions on a stony, sandy and extremely chalky soil. The poor yield per hectare and the particular terroir are responsible for the outstanding quality of the wine. The fascinating interplay between tradition and innovation, man and the surroundings, sense and sensuality finds expression in the passion and sensitivity with which Peter Zemmer brings this wine to life.
- My Notes: This wine has a perfect balance for your Thanksgiving turkey. The combination of high altitude Pinot Grigio wine grapes has produced a wine of extraordinary flavor. The beautiful straw-yellow color with greenish tinges, tells you that there’s a bit more body than what we think of as a typical Italian Pinot Grigio. This wine is more indicative of an Alsatian Pinot Gris… Bright, crisp, and a great body and depth for turkey’s white meat, and will also complement your stuffing. This is a perfect Italian Pinot Gris that will be pleasing all of your guests.
- 2015 Beaujolais Nouveau by Georges Duboeuf
- The Wine: There’s real excitement surrounding the quality of this year’s new vintage. Thanks to ample sunshine throughout the the summer, and a particularly early harvest, the grapes for this wine found had an ideal maturity, for being picked. Georges Duboeuf and his winemaking team believe that this wine has all the potential it needs to become one of the best – ever – that they’ve produced.
- Their Notes: You’ll see that the wine’s colors are beautifully red with tones of purple and deep garnet. Flavors of current, blackberry, and blueberry dominates the wine.
- My Notes: Always a treat. Some of us think that it’s just so cool to have the first taste of a harvest. It’s even more cool when a shipment from George and Franck Duboeuf show up on your door step and offer the next tie of that season. What this has to do with the wine is enhanced by the attention to detail. The wine is just magnificent… young, vibrant and juicy… It shows the potential of the 2015 harvest for forest fruit that makes up this wine. Having small birds? This is the one I’d pick for pheasant, for instance. I also see this one as a great wine for any vegetarian dishes, because of it’s light body. This is an extreme VALUE wine.
- 2012 Trivento Eolo Excelsior Malbec
- The Wine: From Argentina, Trivento – Tri = three, Vento = wind ~ Three Winds (Polar, Zonda, and Sudestada). We’re reminded that when wind arrives, climate is now changing. These wine usher in Argentinian changes, which sweep in throughout the year. Founded in 1996, Trivento Bodegas y Viñedos produces brand-name wines, which are distinguished for preserving the character of those winds.
- Their Notes: Winemaker Victoria Prandina is known to have a delicate hand in crafting her wines. And so, this Malbec would compliment the dark meat of your birds for your celebrations. This Malbec is a vibrant red. It has scents of red berries, with light red and juicy raspberries. It’s a perfect match for red meats and saucy dishes.
- My Notes: Smooth as silk and mother’s milk. (I watched three daughters nursing, so I can say that.) This wine made our meal when we enjoyed the wine. I’m thinking drum stick or thigh meat with this one for your main course. For vegetarians, this one would work well with an eggplant dish or Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas.
Entree Wines with Game ~ Red Wines
- WILD BOAR: Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Rouge Côtes du Roussillon Villages
- The Wine: Rhône Leader Michel Chapoutier’s believes that Roussillon is on the rise for its credibility. He envisions it to becoming one of France’s greatest, right along side Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Rhône. Michel’s region is in the southwest of France, and received Mediterranean influences, so I’m not surprised at all. In 1999, Chapoutier bought the neglected Roussillon 190 acre estate. Maison M. Chapoutier is a family owned winery and négociant company. Founded in 1808, it’s based in the Rhône’s Tain-l’Hermitage, and is world famous for it’s northern and southerner Rhone wines.
- Their Notes: Blue fruits, reminiscent of plum, blackberry and blueberry, paired with savoriness are the welcoming hallmarks of France’s southernmost wine region… This Syrah dominated blend, mingled with Grenache and Carignan offers the aromas and flavors of each, plus notes of sweet earth, menthol, licorice, mocha, and the smell of summer rain on stone.
- My Notes: When any of the Bila-Haut wines arrive, I begin to drool. I loved the lightness and elegance of Bila-Haut, which always has such great fruit structure. It’s not an overwhelmingly powerful red wine with tannins, and would be enhanced by the fat content found in wild boar. Smoothed by the fat content, this would be a great food and wine pairing.
- 2012 Marques de Casa Concha Carménère ~ Vina de Concha y Toro
- The Wines: This Carménère is a classical style wine, which expresses the character, nobility, and concentration of the grapes which have had a long history in Chile. A Prize-winner year by year, it has been ranked really well for five times in the Top 100 Wines of the Year, by Wine Spectator.
- Their Notes: Dark and deep red. It has a classic Peumo Carménère (Peumo Vineyard, Cachapoal Valley) profile of intense dark plums, black currants, and dark chocolate. It is modern in tannins, which are soft and finely ground. The wine shows firm tannic structure, with a crisp bite of acidity.
- My Notes: Any wine I’ve tasted by Viña de Concha y Toro has been superlative. This wine company has it down for producing consistently great wine, for the price that we pay. When in Puerto Rico, it’s my go-to wine. I know it’s going to have great flavors, so I make it our house wine white there. (My husband is Puerto Rican. We have a lot of family on the island, and now we also have dear friends, including Concha y Toto wines… Carménère has become a new favorite variety for me. It’s a delicious red wine with just the right body for meat that would fit into the “game” department for Thanksgiving. I grew up in Maine, where hunting happened in the month of November, to keep the herds in balance with nature, and it was all about the bucks. My father owned a gun shop in the basement of our home. On Thanksgiving day, he rented and sold guns, sold ammunition, and we had a weigh station. On occasion, deer would come in and have to be processed. As a result, we had to wait until Sunday to have our Thanksgiving. No one could hunt on Sunday, so that was the day of no interruptions, and we’d go to my grandmother’s home. I’ve had venison (but not recently at all). I know that this Carménère would be a delicious food and wine pairing. Whatever your game may be on this day, this delicious wine would complement it nicely.
Quinta de la Rosa Ten Year Tawny – Tonel 12 Porto !
- The Wines: Traditional port varieties, mainly Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Roriz make up this wine. This Port is made each year in the traditional manner, trodden in granite lagares from grapes grown at Quinta de la Rosa. Each year we keep back a small quantity of our best ports LBV quality and above. It is from these stocks that we blend our Tonel 12. This blending occurs on a regular basis to ensure that stocks are always fresh. For many years, before 1988, when they started selling port under the La Rosa brand, the Bergqvist family used to go down to ‘Tonel 12’ (a large 25 pipe barrel kept in the lodge under the house) and fill their decanter full of delicious ten year old tawny direct from the barrel. To this day they still refer to Tonel 12, instead of ten year old tawny, and decided to keep the name on the label.
- Their Notes: It is a rich and elegant blend with wonderful aromas exuding the heat of the Douro. On the palate it is complex with powerful dried fruit, figs, honey and almonds with a long pleasing finish. It should be consumed within 2 to 3 years of bottling.
- My Notes: This is very special bottle of wine… Given that it’s a 10 year Porto, save this for the last part of your meal… It’s your liquid dessert. It’s your joie de vivre, after 12 long months to get back to “here and now.” Your celebrating, and if you can fit in a dessert wine experience, go Portugal. (I grew up at 738 Lisbon Street, until I segued away from home as a young adult. I cannot tell you home many times in my life I wrote, 738 Lisbon. It wasn’t until I went to Lisbon Portugal and Evora, Portugal that I connected all of my dots. Portugal is in my heart and soul forever more. It’s a grand way to end a Thanksgiving celebration.