Thanksgiving dinner is a fine time for the right wine
For many years, due to my close relationship with folks from the United States, I have found myself the fortunate recipient of American Thanksgiving dinners.
The rule in our house has always been that only wines from the US be served on these occasions.
One website that I looked at states that “there is no right or wrong wine to slug it out with your stuffing”, but it certainly seems that pinot noir is the most favoured if you are having red.
All 50 states produce some sort of wine but the one that Donald Trump served to Emmanuel Macron when the French president visited the US in April was from Oregon.
Domaine Drouhin Cuvée Laurène 2014 Pinot Noir was the only red at the official state dinner for the French delegation.
You have to consider that the birthplace of pinot noir is in president Macron’s “backyard”.
Named after Véronique Drouhin’s elder daughter, Laurène is the winery’s flagship wine, and it is produced entirely from pinot noir grown on the family’s estate in the Dundee Hills.
The fruit is handpicked into small totes, destemmed, fermented with indigenous yeasts, and then placed into barrels (French oak, never more than 20 per cent new).
Once the vintage is safely in the cellar, Véronique begins the process of selecting barrels which have an extra complexity, length and depth — barrels which will work together as Laurène.
Like their vineyards in Burgundy, Drouhin farms biodynamically in Oregon.
Robert Parker, who gives it a 92-plus, has this to say: “Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2014 Pinot Noir Laurène offers a very fragrant nose of exotic spices — anise, cardamom and fenugreek — over a core of pomegranate, rhubarb, Bing cherries, fertile loam and truffles.
Medium-bodied with a taut, fine structure of fine tannins and refreshing acid, the fruit has plenty of earth and red berry layers that linger with great persistence.” $57.55.
For normal occasions I would tell you about our 2014 Rodney Strong Russian River Pinot Noir because, at $29.30, it is one of my consistently favourite wines that is just so easy to enjoy.
As this is for Thanksgiving, I would prefer to offer their Reserve 2015 RRV Pinot Noir that has wonderful aromas of dark cherry, plum and dark raspberry accompanied by clove and cinnamon baking spice notes on the palate.
The wine is lush and rich, with a silky textured mouthfeel and well-balanced acidity.
Wine.com rates it 92/100 and comments: “The industry, and now the public, have found excellent satisfaction with the Russian River Valley pinot noirs.
As one of America’s top AVA for this finicky grape, the Russian River Valley vintners have learnt how to make consistent top wines each year.
Tasting notes: This wine is full, satisfying, and delightful in its aroma and flavours.” $57.85.
I gravitate towards chardonnay for a white as I am such an unabashed fan, but the internet suggests sauvignon blanc, pinot blanc, pinot gris, chenin blanc and even a riesling or viognier.
Let’s go with Dry Creek Vineyard 2017 Sauvignon Blanc that gets 93/100 from WineReviewOnline and the following description: “Small amounts of sauvignon musqué and sauvignon gris, plus a brief time in oak barrels, have all helped add a layer of complexity, as well as more texture.
That said, this vintage is still crisp, dry and racy, with flashes of citrus, melon and stone fruit flavours.” $17.80.
The Boisset family, who own the DeLoach winery, have a long history as Burgundy producers in France and it shows in their lovely chardonnay.
Their DeLoach Heritage Reserve 2016 Chardonnay opens with floral aromas of orange blossom and green fig with herbaceous undertones.
Tropical flavours of papaya and mango blend with luscious vanilla and a touch of lemon grass, leading to a round mouth feel and well-balanced wine.
The price of $19.70 is quite special as we took advantage of a singular offer on a large amount.
If you would prefer to try other white wine grapes may I suggest viognier, grenache blanc, marsanne, muscat and roussanne.
All you need to do is purchase a bottle of Orin Swift Mannequin 2014 as it is a blend of them all, and I do confess that chardonnay is the dominant variety. The wine offers pleasing aromatics of jasmine, Granny Smith apple, orange blossom, poached pear, honey-lemon and roasted marshmallow.
The entry is assertive with bright acidity that quickly softens to a largesse of flavours including crème brûlée, white peach, tangerine oil, honeysuckle and roasted marshmallow.
An engaging mineral note is present throughout the tasting juxtaposed with the right amount of supple texture to provide balance.
The finish is lively and radiant with a stony tinge.
It could be worth $53.85 just to surprise your guests by showing them one of the most unique wine labels ever.
Meanwhile, you can try to figure which grape in this mixture best accompanies your fine turkey dinner.
• This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. E-mail email@example.com or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554), Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355) and St George (York Street, 297-0409). Visit www.wineonline.bm
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