Thanksgiving has come and gone for another year. I trust all of you had a wonderful celebration. We certainly did. As I promised in my Thanksgiving article (to read that article which includes recipes click here), here are notes on the wines we enjoyed with our Thanksgiving meal and other wines that we enjoyed with “leftovers”. Also, I have added a few photo highlights of our Thanksgiving day. The Holidays and New Year are fast approaching. Enjoy the season!
THE THANKSGIVING DAY WINE LINE UP
2003 Pascal Cotat Sancerre Chavignon.
Interesting that the word rose does not appear anywhere on the bottle. But, make no mistake this is a stunning rose now in its 8th year with no sign of fatigue. It is pale orange in color with a golden tone and golden hue. The perfume is stunning with hints of peach and citrus with floral, exotic fruit nuances. On the palate, the wine has great fruit with nuances of tropical fruit, peach and citrus and a faint underlying candied quality. It is lush, soft and rounded but with a lovely dry, crisp finish – a great contrast of yin and yang – Outstanding Plus
2004 Charles Melton Rose of Virginia.
What a shame. I thought I had a few bottles of this rose left, but alas this is the very last bottle of any vintage that I have left. And, since it is no longer imported here I do not know when I may come across it again. (To read my article on this click here.) But, for now, this was a lovely swan song in its 7th year. I only wish I had more! Pale red in color with and amber tone and amber edge, the wine has a great perfume of cassis and raspberry with a faint floral undertone. It is intensely fruity with hints of cherry and raspberry and a lovely pomegranate kick on the finish – Outstanding.
2003 Marcel Lapierre Morgon.
This is a gorgeous Cru Beaujolais now 8 years of age. It drinks beautifully at the moment and should keep for many more years. Light in color with a faint amber tone and an amber edge, the wine has a gorgeous complex perfume with hints of spice and green olive and earthy, foresty nuances. On the palate, it is lush and supple yet with a good underlying backbone. The flavors suggest earth, spice, and forest with a faint exotic faintly candied nuance followed by gorgeous tart cherry finish. This is a stunning Beaujolais that is intriguing, flavorful and complex with a great yin and yang quality – Outstanding Plus.
1995 Ridge Vineyards Geyservile.
WOW! What a stunning wine. Made with a field blend consisting of 62% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 15% Carignane, and 5% Mataro, the balance, complexity and flavors here nothing short of extraordinary. Ridge Geyserville is one of my favorite wines. It is amazingly consistent, but certainly this has to be one of the greatest Geyservilles ever. The perfume is amazing with intense mulberry fruit and briary, spice undertones. Round and lush, it has the structure of a great claret, but with a different flavor profile. Again, there is intense mulberry fruit, spice, a hint of cedar and a faint underlying briary nuance. The balance and complex flavors in the wine are matched with an equally impressive long, lingering finish. A real pleasure to drink now, but should hold well for many years – Exceptional.
All four of these wines were delicious with our Thanksgiving feast. The rosés were lovely and a great counterpoint to the savory flavors of the vegetables and meat. The two reds were different, to be sure, but gorgeous complements to everything on the table.
SPARKLING WINE WITH CHERRY LIQUOR AND APPETIZERS
THANKSGIVING TURKEY ON THE ROTISSERIE
THANKSGIVING DAY TABLE SETTING
PREPARED THANKSGIVING DAY FOOD READY TO BE SERVED
POST THANKSGIVING WINES
1977 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel.
In our first post Thanksgiving Day dinner we had the great fortune to start with another WOW wine. I never suspected that the wine could be this good. But, guess what? It was mind boggling and left every one with a smile and a sense of awe and amazement after the first taste. This is one of the very greatest moments in wine and food. It is a time of great joy and appreciation to know that you are enjoying something that defies all expectations. Made from the second drought year in a row with yields of under 3/4 ton per acre, less than 500 cases were made. There cannot be much of it left on the planet. This bottle and one other have been in my cellar since release over 30 years ago. And who said that Zinfandel does not age? The wine consists of 100% Zinfandel grapes sourced from two great vineyards on Montebello Ridge, Jimsomare and Picchetti. The fruit was very similar from both vineyards so it was combined from the very beginning. The wine was described early on as having deep fruit and firm acidity. The alcohol was 12.8%. Paul Draper, in his very understated way, commented at bottling in April, 1979 that the wine would “open within six months and improve with 3-4 years bottle age.” The aging ability and tremendous quality of this wine surely is something that no one could have predicted. So, with that in mind, this wine gets my vote as the best old “Under The Radar” red wine of all time. With a deep color showing a faint amber tone and an amber edge, the wine has a simply fabulous perfume that is intense and complex with floral and spice nuances and a faint cedar, forest, and exotic berry undertone. The flavors are intense, complex and balanced with subtle floral, spice, foresty, and dark cherry nuances. Supple, lush, and rounded the finish goes on and on and has a gorgeous underlying crispness that carries the wine beautifully. This wine defies comparison, but I would say it is more Burgundian than anything else. And, as great as the wine is now, it shows absolutely no sign of fatigue – Extraordinary.
1994 Ridge Vineyards Geyserville.
As I was pulling the 1995 Ridge Geyserville out of the cellar I noticed this 1994 so I took it as well. Here the field blend is slightly different (as it most always is), with 68% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah, and 4% Mataro. This too is a lovely wine with great balance. It has a deep color and a lovely perfume with floral, spicy, briary nuances. The flavors show a complexity of fruits with plum and raspberry accented with a touch of spice and a faint briary quality - Outstanding
1977 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon California.
The Mayacamas Cabernets take a long time to come around and this one is just hitting its stride. It has a dark color with a faint amber tone and amber edge. The perfume is gorgeous showing plum, cedar and spice. Now lush and rounded with a great intensity of fruit with a cedary, spice tinged complexity there is no hurry to drink this wine. Drink it now or for another decade or more – Outstanding Plus.
1977 Mt. Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley Niebaum Coppola Vineyards.
Oh my! What a wine this is! It is a stunning example of the potential for this historic vineyard. The great old Inglenooks from the 1930s to the early 1960s are some of the greatest California Cabernets ever. Sadly, they have been in a long slumber since. But, then there is this absolutely great wine that is a match for some of the old Inglenooks. And, while it is absolutely delicious it is still a baby with a long life ahead. Dark in color there is only a faint hint of amber at the edge. The perfume is fantastic showing cassis and cedar with a touch of spice and a faint dustiness. It is very rich and flavorful with great balance. The flavors again show cassis and cedar with an underlying spicy, foresty, faintly earthy undertone. Very long on the palate, this is a fabulous wine for the ages – Extraordinary.
So there you have it. The other wines we enjoyed over several nights after the Thanksgiving Day wines were finished. Again, they were great matches with our food.
And, what a treat to find such a treasure trove right here at home. Happy Holidays!
THANKSGIVING DAY 2011 IN SANTA BARBARA