Over the last couple of months, I’ve tasted a ton of new wines. Some that I’ve tasted in the past but the current vintage has given it new life or a new rockstar producer that is delivering the goods in a big way. That gives me a mental catalog of wines that I can suggest for any occasion. I’m no Sheldon Cooper with an eidetic memory but if it stands out to me, I can usually pull it out my back pocket and deliver a palate tingling experience for the drinker that will have them begging for more… Or at least say, “Oh yeah, that was good.”
This is a list of some great wines that I truly believe will set your Thanksgiving feast apart from years past. So here is my Top 10 Thanksgiving Wines:
10) 2012 Newton “Red Label” Chardonnay, Napa Valley, CA, $16.99
Newton Red Label has been a constant in Wine Country for years. It always delivers that richness and creaminess that we demand of a classic Napa Chardonnay. This is a Thanksgiving no brainer.
9) 2012 Canvasback Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, Washington, $49
In the first ever offering of a Washington State property, Duckhorn really came to play ball. Classic Washington state style. Hints of vanilla, dark cherries and dried cranberries. Perfect with dressing and cranberry sauce.
8) 2013 Charles Smith Winery “Kungfu Girl” Riesling, Washington State, $14.50
This little gem also graces another list you may have heard of: Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines. Coming in at #43, Charles Smith has created the equalizer in Rieslings. Perfect for a hardcore Riesling drinker but anyone can drink and enjoy it. So if your worried about what to get for multiple white wine drinkers, look no further. Perfect if there is something spicy or tangy on your Thanksgiving table.
7) 2013 Henri Perrusset Macon-Village, Burgundy, France, $18
Its always so hard to find a great white Burgundy without spending crazy money on it. Henri Purrsset(imported by Kermit Lynch) nails it. Crisp, zesty citrus flavors with slightly creamy mouthfeel. Perfect to start holiday get togethers.
6) 2013 Lewis Cellars Chardonnay, Napa Valley, CA $56.99
If you are a fan of over the top oaky, buttery-deliciousness then Lewis Cellars makes the perfect Chardonnay for you. They pull no punches on their Napa Chardonnay. The finish will make you think you are at a movie theater chowing down on some buttery popcorn.
5) 2013 The Prisoner, Napa Valley, CA, $41.99
Formerly of Orin Swift, now standing on its own, The Prisoner has already left a legacy on Wine Country patrons and continues to. Lots of red fruit and super easy to drink. Velvety isn’t a word I like to throw around alot but I’ll just leave you with that idea. Oh, and perfect if vension or beef tenderloins are on the menu. Trust me.
4) 2012 Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel, Sonoma, CA, $18.99
I know I’ve been slamming you with Seghesio for the last couple of weeks but I can say that it would really add something special to your table. Having tasted it so much recently, it’s made me think about all the great pairings that it can stand up to. Rich fruit mixtures of blueberry and raspberry with smoke and oak make this a great addition to turkey or anything that has a demi glace or a sweet glaze on it. Side bar: It’s normally $26.50 per bottle, once we run out of our current stock it will go back to that price. That means if you buy a case of it, it’s $16.20 with our 10% case discount.
3) 2007 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc, Columbia Valley, WA, $43.99
Hailed by at least 2 long time Wine Country guys as “the best bottle of wine in the shop,” this Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend is divine. Tropical fruits are held in check with a beautiful oak presence that makes me think of high end Bordeaux whites. The best thing about this wine is that the flavor hits like a 18-wheeler but feels like a feather.
2) 2006 Rocca Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA, $59
Wait….. An older vintage of one of the most rock star wineries in Napa for $59? Hell yeah! Dense. Big. Beautiful. Silky textures will grace your lips followed quickly with classic Napa flavors of red currant, raspberries, tobacco, and oak. Tannin textures on the back end will have you remembering this one even after the bottle is gone. Suggestion: Decant while you are powering through your first plate, grab a glass and fill it up when you head back for seconds to give this Rocca time to show itself.
1) 2011 Hirsch Vineyards Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, San Andreas Fault, $57.99
Hands down my favorite for Thanksgiving. Hirsch gave us a RIDICULOUS Pinot Noir with depth, punch and versatility. Layers of tobacco, cherry, plums and just a hint of smoke from those gorgeous oak barrels. Its ready to drink as soon as you open it. Make sure you have more than one bottle so you don’t feel bad about sharing and get a little extra in your glass.
Honorable Mentions and stuff you need to know about:
Textbook Merlot, Rutherford, Napa Valley, $25
Insanity in a glass. If you’ve been burned by Merlots in the past and think the only good stuff out there is Shafer Merlot or Duckhorn Merlot or even right bank Bordeauxs you can’t even think about buying without feeling bad, chin up. I was blown away by the richness and depth of this Merlot. It’s silky with blackberry, pomegranate and hints of cassis and saddle leather(Think the way a new baseball glove smells). Seriously worth a non Merlot drinkers time and definitley something a Merlot drinker shouldn’t pass up.
2012 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, $45
Craig Becker of Somerston Winery describes his Priest Ranch Cab as “The glass is full of dark fruits, spice, and the glamour you expect of a great wine.” We are excited to have it in the shop. It’s small production and his previous vintages have gotten 93s and 94s from Wine Advocate. Definitely something you’ve got to try.