The holidays are often expected to be joyful. After the death of loved ones, you find yourself trying to find normality and joy when you are missing people that were once in the center of family celebrations.
This Thanksgiving has been a journey of finding a new center with the loss of my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. It happened in the last two years, but with the last two holidays spent burying both, this is a year of reality. The reality of what it means for the family, what it means for the spouses and what it means for the kids. It’s a time of acceptance, sadness, memories and the knowledge we need to make the most of the moments we have together. We decided for a change of pace and went to the beach for a shift in environment and traditions. The lack of structure and traditions make this a much easier transition this holiday.
At the end of the day, I have no solution but to keep active and to bring good wine to help celebrate being together. I do what I know. Here is my update of what I’m drinking over the Thanksgiving week:
Today is a mix of some samples, some not. First round-up column in a while, but I have to get back in my groove again:
NV Champagne Salmon Meunier Brut – this is a 100% pinot meunier with notes of stone fruit, hazelnut, baked bread, ginger and apple.
2020 Druid’s Fluid Troon’s White Blend – So much going on with Troon’s that this deserves a column of its own at a future date. Troon Vineyard is the first estate farm in Oregon and the second winery in the world to become Regenerative Organic Certified™️ as of this Fall and the first to feature the Regenerative Organic Certified™️ logo certification focusing on soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness. I tasted notes of florals, citrus, stone fruit, herbs, honeysuckle and a nice minerality. It’s made in a white Côtes du Rhone style and a heck of deal.
2018 Domaine Ventoura Petit Chablis – Founded in 1953 and family-owned with the third generation managing the vineyard and estate, Domaine Ventoura owns 11 hectares of Petit Chablis, Chablis and Chablis Premier Cru vineyards. I tasted notes of green apples, citrus and steely minerality.
2019 Merry Edwards Warrens’ Hill Pinot Noir – This wine is a perfect holiday wine to toast to a special family member you miss (cheers to you guys). It’s a vineyard in the Russian River Valley who honors three “Warren’s” important to Merry Edwards, the former owner of the winery — Warren Dutton, a good friend and prominent grower; Warren Arnold, a friend, partner and talented sculptor; and son Warren, who passed away in 2006. Notes of blueberry, blackberry, cherry, earth, balanced and beautiful.
2018 Newton Vineyard The Puzzle – Founded in 1977 by an English businessman, Newton Vineyard was founded on Spring Mountain with a respect for nature on volcanic soils.
This signature wine from Newton is a blend of vintage of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot and 2% each of Petit Verdot and Malbec. It quickly became the star of the table with its notes of blackberry, tobacco, herbs and cedar with deep mountain fruit and will become even more gorgeous with the gift of cellar time.
2018 Newton Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – This unfiltered Cabernet has notes of red cherry, spice, tobacco and a nice complexity. Sit back, relax and enjoy with your dinner.
2019 Bonterra Merlot 2019 Bonterra Merlot – I figured a winery known for balance with nature might be good for this holiday. This wine is all organic and a blend of 79% Merlot, 13% Petite Sirah, 2% Zinfandel, and 6% other grapes (I couldn’t find the rest of the blend). I tasted chocolate, cherry, cocoa, blackberry and plum.
2020 Troon Vineyard Druid’s Fluid Oregon Red – this Côtes du Rhone style red bold wine was lovely and with notes of strawberries, cherries, raspberries, violets, herbs, pepper and mocha.
2017 Jordan Winery Cabernet Sauvignon – Jordan is like coming home for me with their amazing hospitality and we just experienced it again recently at their amazing Halloween party. This wine had notes of red fruit, herbal notes, vanilla, tobacco, blackberries and spice.
2017 Yacoubian Hobbs Sarpina Areni — Renowned Winemaker Paul Hobbs and the Yacoubian family came to the birthplace of wine from indigenous varieties in Vayots Dzor, Armenia, one of the oldest wine producing region in the world. I have been blown away by past wines I’ve tried from Armenia and this continues to impress (it’s Paul Hobbs after all) with dark fruits, black pepper, pomegranate, blackberry, spice, licorice and vanilla.
2015 Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino – we had a wonderful opportunity to visit the Ferragamo family owned winery our last trip to Italy and it was an incredibly special trip. I tasted notes of flowers, plums, pepper, raspberry, mocha, red spice, earth, tobacco.
2016 Domenico Clerico Barolo — Clerico is a well-known name in Barola is known for making good wines from in Monforte regions in Ginestra, Bussia, Pajana and Mosconi. I tasted cherry, spice, blackberry, tobacco, spice and herbs.
2018 Faust Wines Cabernet Sauvignon – Brought by the owner of Quintessa estate a decade later, Faust is a tribute to Cabernet Sauvignon and the legend of Dr. Faust, a scholar and respected man of society who was tempted by the Devil to seek new renewed passion and youth in exchange for his soul. Faust is the renewed passion for Agustin Huneeus but he appears to be on a balanced path based on my sample. I tasted notes of black currant, cedar, bay leaf, blackberry herbs and oak.
During this time of holiday celebration whatever your normal is – old or new — I wish you a very joyful celebration and great wine.