George Vanderbilt’s Estate Wine to Italian to Oregon Pinot: A New Thanksgiving Tasting Tradition?

I was preparing to visit my husband’s family over the holidays in Huntsville, Alabama, and it has become part of a family tradition to do a wine tasting.  I packed up 18 bottles, mostly of review wines, and we set upon our journey.  Our wines were varied – everything from Italian wines to Pinot Noirs from Oregon to sparklings from George Vanderbilt’s estate.  We also got to taste first and second labels from one provider.

Here was our line-up:

Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate Christmas at Biltmore 2012 (California) – this was a semi-sweet white blend of Gewürztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Chenin Blanc, Muscat Orange and Riesling.  It was paired with a tataki tuna, which matched perfectly with any Asian or spicy dish.  I tasted spice, lime, citrus, honey, candied ginger and pear. 

Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs Methode Champenoise – Brut NV (Russian River) – Yeasty, nutty and green apple.  A nice sparkling that continues to impress.  Both of these wines are part of the Biltmore Estate’s sparkling collection and are served at the historic estate of George Vanderbilt.

Cornerstone/Stepping Stone

Cornerstone Pinot Noir 2010 (Oregon) – fruit forward and black cherry.  A very traditional Pinot Noir from Oregon that matched perfectly with our Thanksgiving dinner.

Cornerstone Chardonnay 2010 (xx) – almond, citrus and well balanced.  A chardonnay for people who do not like chardonnay.

Stepping Stone Pinot Noir 2010 (Oregon) – earthy, cherry cola and smooth.  Also another great match with Thanksgiving food.

Stepping Stone Cabernet 2010 (Napa) – currant, cassis, spice, cedar and licorice.  Delicious and another group favorite.

Amici

Amici Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Napa) – A very crisp, fruity wine with notes of citrus.  This was a group favorite of the whites.

Amici Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Napa) – Blackberry, coffee and cedar with balance.  A nice and well balanced wine.

Jenner

Jenner Chardonnay 2010 (confirm) – lemon curd, vanilla, almond and good balance.

Jenner Pinot Noir 2010 (Sonoma) – big fruit, big taste, cherry and cherry cola.  A good representation of a Sonoma Pinot.

Lange Twins

Lange Twins Caricature Red Blend 2010 (Lodi) – this was a very juicy wine with lots of red stone fruit and raspberries with spice.  It was a nice blend of cabernet and zinfandel.

Piccini

Piccini Chianti DOCG 2011 (Tuscany) – this was a juicy wine that was drinkable and very food friendly.

Piccini Chianti Classico DOCG 2009 (Tuscany) – notes of plum, flowers and berry.  It was velvety, smooth and had a great finish. 

Anna de Codorniu Brut NV – a nice little cava with notes of citrus, tropical and good balance.  

There were a few other wines that we did taste – one that had turned and one that wasn’t to my personal taste.  I have to point out the great wines of Cornerstone and Stepping Stone that continue to impress me with well done, small production wines.