ALL-AMERICAN WINES FOR THE THANKSGIVING TABLE
With only two weekends remaining before Thanksgiving, we're thinking turkey and tasty seasonal grain and vegetable dishes, and picking some delicious wines to give you a head start on your holiday meal planning. Not just for Turkey Day however - these wines are equally well suited to any Autumn dinner occasion!
Angry Orchard Cider "Understood in Motion" #03
Country: USA / Region: NEW YORK STATE / Appellation: N/A / Varietal(s): N/A --- Although Angry Orchard is best known for the sweet, easy-drinking ciders seen across the country, their cider makers have experimented with apple varieties and processes from around the world for over 20 years. In 2015, Angry Orchard opened a research and development center (and tasting room) just down the road from us, in Walden, NY. There, the focus is on experimentation and collaboration in the creation of unique small-batch ciders that utilize traditions from all over the world. This is one such collaboration cider, a story of two orchards separated by an ocean. Renowned UK cider maker Tom Oliver is based in Ocle Pychard, Herefordshire. Oliver and Angry Orchard head cider maker, Ryan Burk, each naturally fermented a cider with wild yeast, with bittersweet Dabinette as the principal apple. At Oliver's, the cider was fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged on lees, whereas Burk fermented his cider in used Calvados barrels, also aging it on the lees. After a year, Tom and his cider made their way from Herefordshire to Walden, where the two base ciders were blended together and the cidermakers began their collaborative tasting and experimentation. "Understood in Motion" is comprised of ciders from multiple harvests, all matured in oak, for as many as four years. The result is truly unique; hazy orange amber in color, with very low carbonation (practically still). Dry on the palate, it displays the earthy, funky farmhouse character that is a trademark of English cider, particularly Oliver's cider. However, its sharp, balanced acidity is a hallmark of American small-batch cider making, and highlights notes of bittersweet apple, orange, grapefruit, pomace, and leather. A lengthy, firmly-tannic finish completes this Old World/New World meeting of the minds! Great with grilled cheese with bacon and tomatoes, or that cheesy potato gratin on your holiday table!
Onward Wines Malvasia Bianca Suisun Valley Capp-Inn Ranch 2015 - SKIN FERMENTED
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: SUISUN VALLEY / Varietal(s): MALVASIA BIANCA --- Winemaker Faith Armstrong Foster seeks to highlight California's unique grape growing history with both her Farmstrong label (which features blends of small lots of grapes from individual vineyards) and her Onward label (which focuses on single vineyards with distinctive characteristics). Faith works with farmers who are true stewards of the land, and this cuvée is a beautiful expression of the Capp Inn Ranch vineyard. Planted in 1995 by the Capp family, the vineyard was previously a prune, peach, and apricot orchard, but had fallen into ruin. Its clay loam soils drain well, with moderate daytime temperatures and cooling evening breezes that are well-suited to white grapes such as verdelho and malvasia bianca, featured here. 100% malvasia bianca, this wine was skin fermented with native yeast, but remains fresh and fragrant, without those oxidative, Sherry-like notes that can accompany some "orange" wines. After time in neutral oak barrel, with the lees stirred every two weeks, the wine was bottled with a touch of those fine soft lees to enhance the velvety texture. Opulently aromatic, this explodes with the fragrance of rain-drenched magnolia blossoms, fresh melon rind, Valencia orange peel, and quince marmalade. A plush, silky texture on the palate invites sip after sip, evoking a tropical getaway in a glass! Luxuriate in a glass of this with any sort of roasted poultry (hint hint), a cozy vegetable pot pie, or a simple plate of hard cheeses and toasted baguette.
Pax Mahle Wines Carignan Mendocino County Testa Vineyard 2016 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: MENDOCINO COUNTY / Varietal(s): CARIGNAN --- Pax and Pam Mahle moved to California wine country in 1997. After a few years of tasting and sourcing wine from throughout California for Dean & Deluca, Pax decided to start his own brand, and Pax Wine Cellars was launched in 2000. Soon acclaimed as one of California's premier syrah producers, the entire lineup of wines comes from cool climate vineyards in Sonoma County and Mendocino. Expanding that winning approach to the carignan grape, this new beauty comes from a historic vineyard in Calpella, CA, originally planted in 1912 and sustainably farmed. 100% carignan, this undergoes complete whole cluster carbonic maceration with native yeasts in neutral French oak puncheons. Loaded with savory varietal character, it positively bursts with sweet red cherry, blood orange, and rose petal tones before yielding to rustic deep black fruit and spices. Vibrant and expressive, this has a rich, meaty texture that makes a lively companion to hearty stews and casseroles.
Nichols Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2016
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: NAPA VALLEY / Varietal(s): CABERNET SAUVIGNON --- Britt Nichols has a well-deserved reputation for making stellar Napa Valley cabs, and it's easy to see why: she learned from the best. Beginning with a short stint at Chappellet before moving to Jordan Winery and Keller Estate, she eventually ended up working under Nicholas Morlet at Peter Michael. The enologist at Peter Michael for years, she was just about to go national with her own label when she found out she was pregnant. She partnered with Sussex Wine Merchants instead to bring this wine to market, with the added bonus (for us!) of making it an exceptional value! A blend of six different Napa cuvées, mostly from Oakville Bend and Rutherford, this is a potent new classic. Powerful dark blue and black fruit mingle with a touch of new oak in an elegant, complex package. Blackberries, mocha, and espresso wander across a velvety palate before structured tannins kick in for a finish that keeps on going and going. A showstopper that delivers a silken-gloved knockout punch, enjoy with rib eye with shiitake mushroom chimichurri, or an herb-rubbed lamb roast.