Tesoro WineryYou could feel the approach of winter on the patio of Tesoro Winery. I got together with friends Jake and Jan to taste a few more wines in time for you to consider for Thanksgiving.

Our first wine of the evening was a 2010 Attems Venezia Giulia Pinot Grigio. I think this would be a perfect accompaniment to your holiday meal either served with hors d’oeuvres or your turkey. Jan enjoyed its full body and creaminess, Jake appreciated the acidity and liked its smooth finish while I thought it had a nice, round mouthfeel. At $19, all of us felt it was a good value.

Next up was Monte de Oro‘s 2010 Synergy 65 Rosé from Temecula, a blend of eight different varietals using the saignee method. Jake thought it was pleasant, but a bit sweet. Jan also found it sweet, but both thought it would pair well with spicy or Asian foods. It was very fruit forward, but I might pick up a bottle or two for $18. Jan wouldn’t buy it while Jake said he might.

The 2009 Beaujolais Villages from Louis Jadot was next. We all enjoyed it. Jake enjoyed the upfront fruit, clean raspberry and cranberry with a medium finish. Jan, too, found it fruit forward with hints of cranberry and a smooth finish. I thought it was quite soft and picked up some strawberry. All of us would spend the $12 suggested retail for it.

Our next wine was a 2008 St. Francis Winery “Old Vines” Zinfandel. None of us were initially too excited by it at first, but I put a Wine Soirée aerator on the bottle and it opened right up, revealing complex dark fruits. Jan thought it was well structured and called it “yummy.” Jake and Jan would buy it and so would I, but I highly recommend decanting it or getting some air into it. $24.

We went back to Troon Vineyard in Southern Oregon for their 2009 Cabernet Franc. The color grabs you right off the bat, strikingly deep. I liked its inviting nose and balance and thought it was a good example of the varietal. Jan loved the nose, color and structure. Jake commented on the deep violet color and enjoyed the toasty fruit notes on the nose.  It got three “yeses” at $35.

I was fortunate enough to have two bonus bottles, a 2004 and 2007 Tierra Roja Oakville Cabernet. I met owner and vineyard manager Linda Neal at last week’s Stars of Cabernet event in Beverly Hills. These wines had both been opened Friday evening and on Monday Jake was stunned there were “no oxidized flavors.” He commented on notes of eucalyptus and mint on the nose, the extended finish with concentrated brambleberry and called it a knockout. Jan said it was “a wonderful wine” with great structure and a beautiful nose. I had tasted it earlier in the day and really feel it’s one of the single best Cabs I have ever tasted. The ’07 didn’t fare as well after being open for three days, but Jake was impressed by its concentrated “silken finish.” We’d all buy Linda’s wines if we could, but they are sold out. The ’08 Cab will be released next, followed by the release of the ’06.

I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. I’m grateful you have come along for the ride.

  • Wines for Thanksgiving 2011 (wineweekly.com)
  • More Wines for Thanksgiving (vignauvavino.blogspot.com)
  • Talking Turkey (Wines) with the New York Wine Community (lenndevours.com)