The Holidays (that would be with a capital H) are well known among wine snobs as the TCNY Wheel of Fortune. Thanksgiving Christmas and New Year -TCNY -provide sufficient justification to fall off whatever wagon you have been on and slop around in puddle after puddle of wine and other imbibations. We fancy a martinus in the supporting role.
Thanksgiving is the seasonal kickoff…we still think of Halloween as more carnal ritual than sophisticated “tasting of the grape” [ed. stole that from Ruxin, so sue me]. This year was especially pleasing as frequent tBoW contributor The Large stepped up to the plate and contributed mightily to an almost uniform U20 lineup.
After the cascade of impromptu and much appreciated haiku replies, tBoW encourages readers to submit their own Turkey Day wine reviews. Why leave this job to the wine press? Describe your wines in any terms you wish including the conversation generated or surrounding each pour. Presume nothing more than an associative relationship when you tap the odd memory cell.
2009 Domaine Sorin Terra Amata Bandol Ros√© $14: Bandol pank thang courtesy of Betsy Wine Selections. Dry, light, left over from the end of summer. Blend is reportedly 40% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 10% Syrah, 10% Carignan, 15% Mourvedre, and 5% Orgi. How can they sell it so cheap when so many grapes are included? Excellent outcome from the inevitable cellar purge. 13%
2009 Punta Crena Pigato Vigneto Ca da Rena Pigato $17: From Kermit Lynch via Costa Mesa’s finest Wine Exchange. Terrifically fresh and lively. Lemon and melon, dry, spritely. From Liguria which is nowhere in Collectorsville. Which is up the road from Palookaville. Superb wine and probably the best not-a-red. 12.5%
2006 Navarro Anderson Valley Pinot Noir M√©thode √† l’Ancienne $22 (wine club): The best value winery with the most plebian labels in the Anderson Valley faced off. This is Navarro’s high end value label. As opposed to Navarro’s entry level value Pinot Noir or their novelty Moscato value wine. Everything these guys do is right. They even chopped the price on their highest end value Pinot Noir in 2008 by 70%. This vintage is soft and seductive. Delicate in a hippie girl way. I’m not saying she had flowers in her hair or hair on her ankles. But the wine was charming, a bit earthy with soft lanugo-like sensations going down. 13.7%
2007 Navarro Anderson Valley Pinot Noir M√©thode √† l’Ancienne $22 (wine club): More bold, characteristic smoke not like the 2008 campground briquettes!
The better choice of the two with a plate full of bird. But not the best match in tBoW’s book. Both these wines represent outstanding value and especially given their high quality. Must put in front of the indomitable IGTY. 13.7%
2009 Duboeuf Jean Descombes Morgon Beaujolais $14: This is bottled by Jean Dascombes for Dubouef who is the Jadot of Beaujolais. The 2009 Beaujolais vintage is one worth looking for and sampling deeply. No doorbusters needed for this shopping spree and the sales will continue for at least another 4 months. And the pricing won’t bust the budget. Almost all are U20s. We have tasted several over the past few weeks and I am not including Nouveau. Morgon is one of the notable ten villages along with Moulin a Vent and St Amour. Here is an excellent WSJ article on the promise of 2009 Beaujolais. Along with this bottle we have tried other Dubouef offerings also in the mid teens. Gamay in a good vintage is always a good buy. But in a great vintage it can be choice. Dubouef calls this the vintage of his lifetime. When you have the full bodied fruit touched with just the right amount of acid and tannins you get a wine that can stand up to all the flavors of a hearty and wide ranging Thanksgiving meal. Makes one think the Tea Party WILL disappear from the weight of its own bloviations. 13%
There were other wines that stimulated long political and topical discussions such as why nobody works but isn’t retired and how tearing up Topanga Canyon road AGAIN can possibly be a good use of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds when teachers are getting fired and schools are going under. Of course there were other topics including the progress of the progressive guitarist John McLauglin and how much stronger reefer is today than way back when.
And that’s when the fight began.