Winestone's Saturday Tasting - "Thanksgiving Wines with Rich Ricci"
November 18, 2017, 12pm - 5pm
2016 Giacomo Fenocchio Roero Arneis, $20
Where: Roero, Piemonte, Northwestern Italy
"Arneis" means "little rascal" in the local Piemontese dialect. As its name suggests, it can be a difficult grape to cultivate, and, by the 1960s, it was nearly extinct. Thanks to a handful of stalwart producers, Arneis still survives and now produces some of the finest white wines of the region. Some of the best Arneis wines come from the Roero hills where the sand/clay/limestone soils are well suited to this grape variety. In this wine from Giacomo Fenocchio, you will find flavors of white peach, green melon, and ripe citrus with hints of almond, chamomile and almost salty minerality. Arneis is a fuller bodied white wine that feels rich, but it has nice acidity that lifts the wine on the palate. It will pair well with the herbal, savory and fruity flavors on your Thanksgiving plate.
2015 Pierre Janny "Challand" Bourgogne Blanc, $16
Where: Mâconnais, Bourgogne, Eastern France
This Chardonnay wine comes from the Mâconnais region - the southernmost part of Burgundy, France. In the Mâconnais, Chardonnay is the focus especially versions that are unoaked or lightly oaked with beautiful flavors of fresh orchard fruits. The Janny family of winemakers have been specialists in the Mâconnais for 5 generations. They combine both traditional and modern winemaking methods to preserve the pure characteristics of the grape in their wines. The Challand Bourgogne Blanc shows floral and fruity aromas of white rose, honeysuckle, golden apple and Meyer lemon. On the palate, the wine is pleasant and clean with ripe fruit flavors, balancing acidity and a lingering mineral finish. This is a versatile Chardonnay which will pair with most courses of the Thanksgiving meal.
2015 Cave de Turckheim Riesling Tradition, $20
Where: Turckheim, Alsace, Northeastern France
Riesling is always a great addition to the Thanksgiving table, and the Rieslings of Alsace offer a wonderful concentration of ripe fruit flavors that play nicely with the mosaic of foods that grace the plate. The Cave de Turckheim is a cooperative winery in the heart of the Alsace region. Their commitment to the environment is shared by all 240 of their winegrowers, all of whom have achieved a French certification of sustainability. The winery is equipped with modern technology and traditional values that create beautifully clean, aromatic and classic wines from their "Tradition" level all the way through to the "Grand Cru" level. The 2015 Riesling Tradition entices the nose with aromas of ripe citrus, apple, apricot with hints of white flowers, lime zest and stony minerality. On the palate, it has a medium-body with a round texture and clean finish. This Riesling is a great companion for the flavors of the Fall harvest - especially squash, pumpkin and apples.
2013 Cherry Hill "Dijon Cuvée" Pinot Noir, $21
Where: Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon, Northwestern USA
Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Proprietors Mike and Jan Sweeney spent many years and much effort seeking outstanding Pinot Noirs. They pursued the holy grail of Pinot Noir in France, California, New Zealand and Oregon. In 1998, after several visits to the Willamette Valley of Oregon, they purchased the undeveloped 150-acre vineyard that is now the home of Cherry Hill Winery and Vineyard. Their "Dijon Cuvée" is made specifically from Dijon clones of Pinot Noir planted on the local volcanic soil called "Nekia". It is their biggest and boldest Pinot Noir. The Sweeney's noticed that their winery dog, Daisy, would anxiously wait for the leftover drops of wine from barrel tastings of the Dijon clones. They now use only the barrels that Daisy selects and approves for the "Dijon Cuvée". The wine is elegant with fresh berry flavors, hints of caramel and spice. On the palate, you'll find rich notes of red cherry and chocolate framed by velvety tannins. This will pair perfectly with your Thanksgiving dishes with cranberries, chestnuts, onions, or mushrooms.
2013 Ronchi Barbaresco, $32
Where: Barbaresco, Piemonte, Northwestern Italy
It's rare to find a bottle labeled "Barbaresco" for less than $40. When we do find one that exhibits the powerful elegance that we would expect from Barbaresco, it's an easy decision to add it to our shelves. To be called "Barbaresco", Nebbiolo grapes must come from a specific area to the east of the town of Alba. The wine must be aged a minimum of 2 years with 1 year minimum aging in oak barrels. The 2013 Ronchi Barbaresco is an attention grabbing wine with generous black fruit flavors supported by framework of firm, velvety tannins. Notes of herbs, leather, dried flowers and exotic spices are dispersed throughout the nose and palate of this wine. It calls for meaty and savory food pairings like turkey and gravy.
2014 Capanna "Rosso del Cerro", $15
Where: Toscana, Central Italy
Grape(s): 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot
The Capanna farm, owned by the Cencioni family since 1957, is situated in the Montosoli area, to the north of Montalcino. It was one of the first farms of the modern period of Brunello, and Giuseppe Cencioni was one of the 25 founders of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino. The "Rosso del Cerro" is a wine that is released earlier while the Brunello is still aging in barrels. For the Rosso, a little bit of Merlot brings some darker fruit flavor and depth to a young and bright Sangiovese wine. The result is a well-balanced Tuscan red with flavors of red berries, plum, dried herbs and forest floor. This pairs nicely with sausage stuffing, fresh cranberry, mushroom and tomato sauces.
2013 Five Vintners Zinfandel, $22
Where: Dry Creek Valley, California, Western USA
Krisi Raymond represents the fifth generation in her family to grow grapes and make wine in the Napa Valley. Her family roots run deep, dating back to 1876 when her great-great-grandfather Jacob Beringer, together with his brother Frederick, established Beringer Brothers Winery. In 1970, the Raymond family purchased 90 acres of prime vineyard land south of St. Helena on Zinfandel Lane and founded Raymond Vineyard & Cellar. Now, Krisi Raymond has set out on her own as a grape grower and winemaker. The 2013 Zinfandel marks the second vintage from her new vineyard in Dry Creek Valley, just minutes outside of Healdsburg. The Five Vintners Zinfandel is packed with flavors of black cherry, black pepper, vanilla and baking spices. It is rich on the palate with bright acidity providing some lift and elegance. This wine will mingle nicely with some of the bolder flavors of Thanksgiving.