Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wines we drank on Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! One of the few days in the year that we are not counting calories. Good food, good company and a day off, what else can we ask for? Well, on this day, to complete a perfect meal, some folks insists on drinking American; some folks insist on perfect food and wine paring and the other simply want delicious beverages to go with that turkey and the side dishes.

In our household, a lot of alcoholic beverages were served on thanksgiving day including beer, wine and even cocktails. With all the alcohol consumed throughout the day, it is essential to keep the alcoholic content in-check so our guests can get home safely. So, in the wine department, we decided to drink the following wine, all with ABV no higher than 13%:

2003 Marqués de Gelida Cava Brut Exclusive
1996 R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Viña Gravonia

1997 Trimbach Pinot Noir "Réserve Personnelle"

2003 Marqués de Gelida Cava Cava Brut Exclusive
ABV: 11.5%, Price: $12
Packaged in an unique and interesting plastic yellow label that wraps the entire bottle, this cava is a blend of 35% Macabeo, 30% Xarello, 20% Parallada, 15% Chardonnay. It is produced by El Cep, S.A and is aged for 3 and half years before release. It is simple yet pleasing to the palate which makes a perfect inexpensive sparkling wine to serve as aperitif.

Color: Pale straw
Nose: Mostly green apple and lemon, with a light touch of yeast.
Palate: Very crisp and fairly dry. With air, it becomes quite creamy and eventually yields a touch of sweetness. Flavor mostly refines to apple and citrus.
Body: Light. The bubbles are fairly large and slow.
Finish: Clean, long and inviting for the next sip.

1996 R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Viña Gravonia
ABV: 12%, Price: $23
This traditionally made Rioja is made from 100% Viura. It is the 'youngest' wine currently released from the winery (released after 10 years of aging in oak cask and then the bottle). Although not particularly powerful, this wine possesses both elegance and freshness. In the few hours we drank the wine, it slowly opened up more and more. Fascinating stuff and a true beauty at this price range. Great match with the pumpkin soup we served.

Color: Deep yellow
Nose: Pear, roasted hazelnut and a touch of coconut.
Palate: Very dry with flavors of lemon and orange peel, showing a touch of muskiness (probably from oxidization in the aging process) and smoked wood. As hours went by, the flavor of citrus changed to preserved Chinese Ume.
Body: Medium to full.
Finish: Long with notes of honey and citrus and nuts.

1997 Trimbach Pinot Noir "Réserve Personnelle"
ABV: 13%, Price: $19
F.E. Trimbach is more famous for their whites but they do make a small amount of Pinot Noir. In good vintages such as 1997, they also make a "Réserve Personnelle" using ultra ripe grapes resulting in a more concentrated Pinot. If you are used to Pinot Noir from California, Oregon or even Burgundy, this flinty and lighter style pinot may not be your liking. However, this wine does exhibit the true character of thegrape with expression of the Alsatian terrior. At age 10, the "Réserve Personnelle" is surprisingly youthful and fresh.

Color: Clear medium ruby.
Nose: Explosive aroma of riped cherry and brown sugar. Hint of moss (or fern) .
Palate: The tannins is totally resolved. Velvety texture supports a mouthful of red fruits. Flavor is mostly red cherry with hints of vanilla and mushroom. Very flinty. Very balanced.
Body: Medium.
Finish: Long and clean. Mostly cherry and black pepper with a hint of mushroom.

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