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This Saturday we will be visited by Garvey Daniels from American Wines & Spirits to be led through a tasting of wines that are perfectly suitable for November entertaining. You might even find the perfect Thanksgiving wine among the pearls listed below. All offer value at their price point and plenty of pleasure at your table. At least, It won’t hurt you to try, and your enjoyment if guaranteed.
NV Taltarni Brut Taché Sparkling Wine, Australia
This import of Clos du Val of Napa Valley is a great all-purpose wine. Taché is a French word meaning ‘stained’, referring to the pale salmon color of this enticing sparkling wine. The Chardonnay (52%), Pinot Noir (41%) and Pinot Meunier (7%) grapes are estate grown at Taltarni and Clover Hill, Tasmania. The grapes are picked at night to retain freshness and acidity. Specially selected Pinot Noir or Malbec is added to ‘taché’ the wine after disgorgement, resulting in a zesty sparkling wine of rosy hue and a refined freshness. Disgorgement is after a minimum of 18 months on lees in its original bottle.
2008 Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio, Australia
The ubiquitous Yellow Tail Winery makes a perfectly serviceable Pinot Grigio in the light and dry style. As is typical of the varietal there are flavors of pears and green apples with a touch of minerality. It is clean, crisp and refreshing…and
2006 Wolfgang Vineyards Gruner Veltliner “Concerto”, Austria
The Celts settled in the Austria’s Burgenland around 700 BC, and proceeded forthwith to make wine, for use in their rituals and for daily consumption. They began to develop sophisticated wine-making techniques which moreover improved when the Romans invaded present day Austria in the 1st century BC. World War II made a hash of the vineyards there, but all is fine now. This grape shows expressive fruit with typical pepper and grapefruit notes.
It can be rendered in a light style or in a rich and flavorful style not unlike Chardonnay, without all the wood. This is a favorite among Austrians, unless you wave a tankard of beer before them.
2007 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier, Napa
This wine scored 90 points in the Wine Advocate’s “Value Issue”: “2007 Chenin Blanc/Viognier is a perfumed beauty, (flowers, melons, tropical fruits), medium-bodied, super pure, with no oak and a dry, crisp finish. Drink it over the next year.” (08/08). I particularly like the flora and sweet exotic lychee fruit which is beautifully balanced with subtle citrus aromas. It is bright on the palate with fresh pear and citrus flavors being framed by clean, refreshing acidity. The wine’s off-dry style lends a touch of sweetness to the otherwise grapefruit-kissed, crisp finish.
2006 Saddlerock Chardonnay, Central Coast
Although we tasted this wine recently we are revisiting it because Garvey really likes it. This wine is pale gold in color, with hints of apples and tropical fruits fused with floral notes of honeysuckle and lemon blossom. Ask for his special deal.
2006 Taltarni Cabernet/Merlot “Three Monks”, Australia
The blend for this wine is Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (44%) and Petit Verdot (1%). It displays classic black fruit and forest floor varietal characters complemented by soft, mocha oak flavors. The long, fruit driven palate and firm, ripe tannins make this an ideal wine for drinking now or for aging for two to three years.
2007 Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa
This wine shows blackberry, cassis, violets, cedar, tobacco, and hints of minerals and graphite. It is sweet, densely packed and creamy in the mouth, but with firm, underlying structure that gives lift to the dark berry, chocolate, and coffee flavors. This is a very lush, soft, complex wine that coats the palate and spreads out on the long, lingering finish.