PICKS FOR THE THANKSGIVING TABLE!
Sundström Cider Golden Russet 2015
Country: USA / Region: NEW YORK STATE / Appellation: HUDSON VALLEY / Varietal(s): N/A --- This is the second year Leif Sundstrom has been making his amazing ciders, and luckily for us, unlike last year, he actually made enough to sell! Leif produces ciders that are a combination of select wild harvest apples, heirlooms, cider apple varieties and several species of crab apples in an effort to make vinous, age-able ciders that speak of place. The ciders in this series are each produced with a single apple variety, grown on the gravelly, sandy loam soils at Samascott Orchards in Columbia County. As the name implies, this still, dry cider is produced from Golden Russet apples, milled and macerated for 30 hours prior to being pressed straight to neutral oak barrel. There they are fermented and aged on their lees for 8 months prior to bottling with minimal sulfur. Aromatic complexity, clean apple flavor, with a touch of golden nuttiness make this a great choice with hard cheeses, salads or stuffing!
Domaine du Pavillon de Chavannes Côte de Brouilly AOC "Cuvée des Ambassades" 2015
Country: FRANCE / Region: BURGUNDY-BEAUJOLAIS / Appellation: CÔTE DE BROUILLY AOC / Varietal(s): GAMAY --- The Côte de Brouilly is one of Beaujolais's smallest crus, only 1.3 square miles in area, and is renowned for wines of focus, energy and drive. Domaine du Pavillon de Chavannes has grown vines on the slopes of the landmark Mont Brouilly since 1861. This 100% gamay is the domaine's most ageworthy Beaujolais, from vines grown on the highest and steepest vineyards in the Mont Brouilly appellation. The domaine reserves 12 of its 37 acres of vines for its top cuvée, rumored to be a favorite at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hence the name "Cuvée des Ambassades." Pale red, this wine is the very definition of elegance, with a pure, generous bouquet of vibrant strawberry and blood orange, with floral elements and gunflinty minerality. Fresh and focused, the palate offers up flavors of juicy dark red berries, ripe red currants, and a touch of five spice power. Plenty of concentration without weightiness leads to a lingering finish of dusty tannins and earth on a core of sweet berries. A refined choice, perfect for many foods, especially roast turkey and gravy, or brussels sprouts with pancetta.
La Porta di Vertine Chianti Classico DOCG 2012 - CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Country: ITALY / Region: TUSCANY / Appellation: CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG / Varietal(s): SANGIOVESE+CANAIOLO+ COLORINO --- The current incarnation of Porta di Vertine began in 2006 when Dan Lugosch, an American real estate developer with family ties to Italy, bought a house with a vineyard near Gaiole in Chianti in the secluded hamlet of Vertine. Lugosch brought enologist Giacomo Mastretta (formerly of La Massa in Tuscany and Chapoutier in the Rhône) on board full time to manage the tiny, 2.5-hectare estate, giving him free rein. Informed by his time at Chapoutier, Mastretta follows strictly organic principles at La Porta di Vertine. A disciple of non-interventionist winemaking, Mastretta ensures grapes are hand harvested and fermented (destemmed but not crushed) in concrete tanks with indigenous yeasts, avoiding the use of sulfur throughout the entire fermentation process. 2012 was a difficult year of record heat in Tuscany, but resulted in yields of great freshness and modest alcohol levels. Porta di Vertine did not make a Riserva for this vintage, producing instead this great age-worthy Chianti Classico. It possesses the ability to improve over time like a Riserva, while being a true expression of the vineyards - and a great value! 90% sangiovese, with small (5% each) amounts of canaiolo and colorino, this bursts with tart cherry, red plum, strawberry and fig flavors, accented by tobacco, leather and earth notes. The great acidity of the 2012 vintage gracefully balances structured tannins, making this ready to age for a few years, or drink now with lentil nut loaf, lasagna, or wild mushroom ravioli!
Broc Cellars Nero d'Avola Mendocino 2015 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: MENDOCINO / Varietal(s): NERO D'AVOLA--- If you read these emails with any regularity, you know the wines of Broc Cellars, one of the faces of new-wave California winemakers. For those new to the winery, Broc was founded by Chris Brockway and built on a philosophy of sourcing sustainable and organic fruit on the way to creating exceptional wines. He takes a hands-off approach, allowing nature to be in charge. The Nero d'Avola grape is a classic Sicilian grape, not usually associated with California. However, the Fox Hill Vineyard near Ukiah has some 15 year old vines on sandy soils that result in this wine, a tad rounder and fresher than its Italian counterpart, buttressed by lively acidity. A modest 13.5% alcohol, this wine, like all Broc Cellars wines, uses native yeast for fermentation. Dark garnet in color, and complete with a badger on the label, it bursts with aromas of ripe cherry, plum, spice, and seasoned leather. Smooth and dry, this possesses an intensity of flavor that belies its medium body. Mouth-filling fruit, bright acidity, and perfectly balanced tannins on a long finish, this is a beautiful companion to sausage and herb stuffing.