We recently tasted four unique wines imported by Kobrand Wine and Spirits. These wine gems of the world differed by variety, location and price point. For example, the brands include a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a red blend and a Fiano from Italy, and an Argentinian Malbec. In addition, their price points range from $19 (Malbec) to $50 (Cab Sauv). Above all, despite these disparities, the wines have one thing in common – we recommend all of them. Read on for details.
Thanksgiving is behind us, but we bet we’re not the only ones still eating leftovers! So here are some more wines to pair with turkey, in addition to the ones we told you about before the holiday.
Again, these are wines that were sent to us to sample over the holidays. Thank you to the wineries who shared their bounty!
Joseph Phelps Vineyard 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($55)
This is the 10th vintage of Pinot Noir sourced from two of the winery’s estate vineyards in Freestone, CA — 51% from the Quarter Moon Vineyard and 49% from the Pastorale Vineyard.
The 2014 Pinot Noir is a powerful combination of fruity and savory, with earthy notes and flavors of black fruit and spices. Enjoy it now (with decanting) or over the next five years. From the winemaker:
“The 2014 Pinot Noir showcases aromatic red fruit, fragrant violet and savory spices. Fresh and focused on the palate with concentrated red raspberry and cherry, currant, baking spices and a hint of smoked meat. Nicely textured with firm acidity and a lingering finish.”
Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 ($45)
We loved (and wrote about) the 2009 vintage of this beautiful New Zealand Pinot Noir, so we knew we wanted to open the 2013 vintage with our Thanksgiving feast. It received a unanimous thumbs up from everyone at the table — an elegant, silky, smooth and complex wine from the Martinborough wine region of New Zealand. This Pinot is stellar, featuring smoky, earthy and savory aromas and flavors. From the winemaker:
“Deep brick red colour. Vibrant aromatics of red and black cherries, rose petal, sandalwood and wet earth. On the palate, fresh red fruits and fine dry tannins provide a soft yet complex finish.”
We were fortunate to visit Craggy Range during a trip to New Zealand in 2014, and the people in the tasting room were as lovely as the wines.
Sequoia Grove Chardonnay 2015 ($30)
We enjoyed the 2013 vintage of Sequoia Grove Chardonnay with cilantro-lime prawns on the deck on a warm summer evening. But we recently discovered that this food-friendly Chardonnay also pairs well with many Thanksgiving side dishes.
Somehow, it’s rich and creamy, with light custard flavors — yet also refreshing with citrus zest, which will complement the heaviness of a holiday meal. We found it a little to oaky for our palates, but we know people who will absolutely love it.
And if you’re finished with turkey leftovers, pair this Chardonnay with seafood or cheeses.
Margot and Dave
Summer make us think of white wine on the deck or patio. But let’s not forget about robust reds to accompany tasty BBQs during the warm weather! Here are some good-value whites to sip with a summer salad or seafood such as prawns, scallops, sushi, crab or halibut, and some good-value reds for your BBQ. And there are also some bonus wines that are a bit pricier, and also work as a celebratory toast to Independence Day with friends.
Summer Sipper Whites
- 2014 Kenwood Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc ($13): Fruit from 28 vineyards went into this crisp summer sipper, and the result is a balance of citrus and tropical flavors plus some grassy characteristics and minerality.
- Louis Jadot Macon-Villages 2014 ($15): This is a Chardonnay that is clean rather than oaky, with apple and citrus aromas, mineral notes and fresh fruit on the palate.
- Santa Cristina 2015 Cipresseto Toscana ($14): If you like your rosé dry, try this one, with notes of jasmine and raspberry.
- Santa Cristina 2015 Pinot Grigio delle Venezie ($12): Refreshing with aromas of tropical fruit and orange flowers, we will be sipping on this during lazy afternoons on the lake.
- Drumheller Columbia Valley Chardonnay ($12): Smoky mineral notes on the palate make this a summer pleaser from a new label from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates — “a more restrained, yet elegant version of Washington’s expressive fruit.”
Bonus Whites: These whites are a slice of heaven on a warm evening by the lake, by the pool, on the deck or the patio.
Efeste 2014 Feral Sauvignon Blanc ($20): This beauty of a Sauv Blanc brought us back to drinking whites in 2009 after years of reds only. Feral, with native yeast fermentation, is a wild and lively wine with intense minerality and the perfect amount of citrus to keep us sipping on the deck until the sun goes down.
JM Cellars 2015 Sauvignon Blanc ($25): We first tasted this amazing white wine in 2009, shortly after we tried Feral for the first time. JM’s Sauv Blanc was fermented in 100% stainless steel, features both tropical and citrusy flavors, and is a refreshing favorite every summer.
Sequoia Grove Napa Valley Chardonnay 2014 ($28): This Napa wine shows aromas of pear, lychee, citrus zest and almonds, with a full range of flavors. We particularly like the citrus zest, which sets this apart from many Chardonnays that we’ve tasted.
- Double Barrel Shiraz ($20):
The rich Australian Shiraz was aged in Scotch whiskey barrels to provide complex, well-developed characteristics.
- Drumheller 2014 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($12): A distinct Washington wine, we noted the delicate flavors and texture, with a silky finish.
- Drumheller 2014 Columbia Valley Merlot ($12): Another distinct Drumheller red, this merlot has lively aromas of blueberry and spice, with hints of cocoa and a soft texture.
Bonus Reds: These rich reds pair well with BBQ meat dishes, at a summer party or as a stand-alone wine by a beach bonfire.
Résonance Pinot Noir Résonance Vineyard 2013 ($65) – From the Yamhill-Carlton AVA within Oregon’s Willamette Valley, this lovely wine is a produced by winemaker Jacques Lardière, and is Louis Jadot’s first project outside of France.
2013 Jack London Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ($35)
This beauty will pair perfectly with BBQ steaks in the summer (and also roast beef in the winter). This is our kind of cab – full-bodied, rich, robust, well-structured and elegant.
2012 Ferrari-Carano Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley ($65)
With such a beautiful nose, lovely aromas and concentrated fruit, this Reserve Cab is simply delicious.
Any of these wines would add to your July 4 celebrations too!
Of note, all of these wines except Efeste and JM Cellars were samples provided by the wineries. Thank you!
Cheers to the long lazy days of summer BBQ’s and sipping wine outside.
Margot and Dave