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Thanksgiving — the wine lover's favorite holiday, when sharing our favorite bird-friendly wines with family, friends and neighbors heightens our enjoyment of this most convivial day! And what do we look for in a Thanksgiving wine? A full-bodied white that will not only complement turkey, but stand up to the cranberry sauce, stuffing and onions; rosés (yes, rosés are a great choice on Thanksgiving) that have a bit more fruit and terroir expression than those we gulp in the summer; and reds that are relatively light and low in alcohol, supple with pretty fruit that won't overwhelm the mild flavors of turkey, turnips and mashed potatoes. And of course a sparkling wine or Champagne to begin or end our feast, and dessert wines that will shine with pumpkin, apple and mince pies, walnuts and cheeses.
Our Thanksgiving picks are designed to please everyone at the table, from novice to Master of Wine, and to fit every budget as well. Have fun perusing our list and please call or email with any questions or for further recommendations. (Sorry, it's a bit too long — sparkling wines, followed by roses, reds, whites and dessert.)
Most wines are is stock today, Nov. 13, all others arrive Tuesday Nov. 14. Please allow an extra day for in-store pick-up.
Happy Thanksgiving 2017 from everyone at Chambers Street!
An ardently autumnal Blanc de Noirs from our friends at Clos Lentiscus, made of 100% Sumoll from a biodynamically-farmed single vineyard planted in the 1930s in the Garraf National Park, just south of Barcelona, on sandy calcareous soils. The second fermentation is spurred by rosemary honey from Clos Lentiscus' estate apiary, which adds a heady, honeyed component (with no sweetness whatsover) to the palate of tart red fruit skins, gently gingery spice, with bold structure and complex umami notes from aging 30 months on the lees before disgorgement with no dosage. Zero added sulphur. Ariana Rolich
Portola Springs Vineyard is a consistent standout in the excellent range of Thomas Fogarty Chardonnays. 2012 has riper, sunnier fruit tone than the austere 2011, without sacrificing any of Portola Springs' cool mineral core and impressive, driving acidity, owing to the low-yielding, late-ripening, nearly 40-year-old vines planted on basalt and shale. Complex and rich enough to handle poultry and pork dishes, with refreshing energy to compliment seafood and veggies. Ariana Rolich
Precedent is the label of Nathan Kandler, longtime winegrower at Thomas Fogarty in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a renowned destination for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Precedent illustrates Kandler's versatility and curiosity and has introduced us to some truly unique California vineyard sites. Wirz Vineyard is home to 60+ year-old dry farmed, head-trained Riesling on decomposed granite over limestone in the Gabilan mountains. We usually have an off-dry Riesling on the table, but I'm happy to go in a drier direction in this case...concentrated, gleaming apricot, citrus rind, and tropical fruit is laced with gritty, long minerality and backed by supple texture and acidic tension. Terrific with herbed root vegetables and citrus glazed poultry or fish and anything peppery or spicy. Ariana Rolich
This superb wine is made from Grenache Gris, Grenache Noir, Grenache Blanc and Muscat, aged for 15 years in small, very old barrels. Complex aromas of citrus, tea, prune, flowers and caramel. The palate is balanced, with a pretty melange of citrus, white fruits, earth and secondary flavors, very long and lifted by nice acidity. A gorgeous vin doux naturel that will accompany aged cheeses, figs and foie gras, and it's sensationally beautiful by itself. Really a unique and delicious wine. DL
From a plot of very old Chenin Blanc vines, François' Brut NV is kept on the lees for 18 months before bottling. It has pretty apple, pear, floral and toasty flavors with good acidity balancing the fruit. The current cuvée is from 2014 and it's one of their best ever - a bit riper than usual with round but well defined fruit—a great alternative to Champagne, it's delicious as an apéritif before the meal or afterwards with apple pie. This is a great choice during the holidays - a real crowd-pleaser at a great price, before, after or during the meal!
L'Appetillant is the Joussets' sparkling Montlouis, 100% Chenin Blanc, Champagne method (or should we say "Methode Traditionelle") made with no sulfur and no dosage. All cellar functions by gravity, no pumping, fermentation in one to seven year-old barrels, approximately 12 months on the lees. From 40 year-old vines on sand and silex soils over limestone. This version is absolutely delicious with lovely aromas of pear, lime-flower, stone and caramel, quite subtle and complex. White fruits, creamy citrus and stone on the palate with nice chalky, lemony length. Drink over the next three years. This is a beautiful wine and is highly recommended!
Les Perles du Mont Blanc is made from biodynamically farmed Gringet and spends two years on the lees before disgorgement. Fermentation for the base wine is done with indigenous yeast; the second with Champagne yeast and there is no dosage added, making for an exquisitely dry wine with fascinating complexity. This bottling is richer than in years past, but still intensely mineral with heady aromas of pine forest, baking spice, and toasted walnuts. The palate is decadent, with creamy flavors of pear, wildflower honey, nutmeg and bright lemon curd. The invigorating acidity makes this a versatile, food-friendly wine to pair with roasted chicken, oysters, charcuterie, or cheese. Amanda Bowman
A delicious blend of Gamay and Poulsard from the tiny appellation of Bugey. At 8.5% this delicately sweet pét-nat is the breakfast of champions or an invigorating aperitif. The nose is absolutely beautiful with vivid aromas of wild flowers, ripe raspberries, and hints of grapefruit zest. The palate offers sweet raspberry and crunchy blueberry fruit on the attack then finishes with thirst-quenching minerality. A purely enjoyable bottle at a great value. Serve chilled alongside fruit tarts, dark chocolate, or with tangy cheeses. Amanda Bowman
The Bordelet pear and apple ciders are a big hit on Thanksgiving, low alcohol too, so the kids get a sip or two. Also arriving on Tuesday: Poire "Granit" and Poiré Authentique. An apple cider from one of Normandy’s best, Tendre combines classic orchard flavors of ripe apples (Kermerien, Douce Moene, Frequin Rouge, Damelot, Marie Menard and 25 more) and a savory/sweet undercurrent of barley and dark honey. Compared to Bordelet’s pear offerings I find this to be more “beer-esque” than “wine-esque” so bring on the brats, or in true Norman fashion blood sausage, tripe, or perhaps for a lighter meal: crêpes. As with all his ciders, the farm is certified biodynamic and fermentation finishes in the bottle for a complex texture filled with small vivacious bubbles. John Rankin
The Bordelet pear and apple ciders are a big hit on Thanksgiving, low alcohol too, so the kids get a sip or two. Also arriving on Tuesday: Poire "Granit" and Poiré Authentique.
An apple cider from one of Normandy’s best, Tendre combines classic orchard flavors of ripe apples (Kermerien, Douce Moene, Frequin Rouge, Damelot, Marie Menard and 25 more) and a savory/sweet undercurrent of barley and dark honey. Compared to Bordelet’s pear offerings I find this to be more “beer-esque” than “wine-esque” so bring on the brats, or in true Norman fashion blood sausage, tripe, or perhaps for a lighter meal: crêpes. As with all his ciders, the farm is certified biodynamic and fermentation finishes in the bottle for a complex texture filled with small vivacious bubbles. John Rankin
A sensational mature Champagne from André Beaufort - the estate converted to organic agriculture in the early 70's and makes brilliant, full-bodied Champagnes that are among the most "vinous" being made today. Medium golden yellow in color and sporting a discrete mousse. The nose is quite floral with tones of cherry blossoms, apple blossoms, and irises before touches of quince and fresh baguette. The palate is concentrated with a spherical yet laser-like focus that offers notes of lemon sorbet, tart lemon custard, and apple pie, underlined by a fine minerality that persists through to a rounded, savory finish. Really a very pretty and lovely wine. This medium-bodied Champagne is made of approximately 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay and was disgorged in March 2017 after 14 years of sur-lie aging, illustrating the Beauforts' commitment to releasing mature wines.
Mouzon-Leroux in the grand cru village of Verzy on the northern slope of the Montagne de Reims makes Champagnes of great finesse and precision through good farming (they've been working biodynamically since 2008) and astute wine-making. Made from 100% Pinot Noir and macerated for 16hours and aged in a combination of tank and barrel. With soft mousse, fine bead, and pale salmon robe, the 2012 L'Incandescence rosé saignée offers aromas of strawberry, watermelon, Rio Star grapefruit, and sea spray. The broad saline palate shows flavors of wild berries, citrus peel, and red currant on a mid-weight, succulent, persistent finish. There's a subtle background spiciness here, which makes me think this would be a fabulous Champagne for the Thanksgiving table. John McIlwain
Chëpìka is a collaboration between Master Sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier and talented Finger Lakes winegrower Nathan Kendall, aimed at highlighting the virtue and versatility of hybrid grapes (those derived from crossing different species within the Vitis genus). This delicate, frothy pet nat is made from the Delaware grape, which has a long and distinguished history as a sparkling wine grape. It is a delicious debut for Chepika, graceful and refreshing, with pert floral citrus notes, buoyant acidity, and hints of lemon balm. Ariana Rolich
Tinc Set is organic and biodynamically farmed Xarello and Parellada, two of the great local grapes of Penedès. Calcareous and clay soils speak loudly through tiny firm bubbles, with vibrant flavors of golden pear, green apple skins, crisp peach, salty yeast, and crunchy mineral length. Exuberant and fresh, with creamy, earthy underpinnings, vinified and bottled with no added SO2. Tinc Set is a perfect holiday apéritif, alongside grilled oysters and charcuterie, or to keep spirits bright throughout long holiday feasts! Ariana Rolich
Claus Preisinger has managed to delight us again! Lightest peach in the glass, this méthode ancestral (read: pét-nat) sparkler is 100% Sankt Laurent, picked early to preserve acidity. Aromatic and fresh, notes of white flowers and green strawberries give way to a lively mousse with vibrant flavors of tart peach yogurt, juicy wild strawberries, sour cherry, blood orange zest, and rose petals. Cari Bernard
Tasted moments after I arrived at Hofgut Falkenstein on a sweltering day in July, I failed to get notes down on any sort of paper. I do remember being very pleased with the fresh intensity of the mousse, brightness of the acidity, notes of green and yellow stone fruit with a refreshing citrus zestiness and stony minerality...a delightful, dry sparkling Riesling (tasted again back in the states, this all still holds true)! Pair with cheese and salty appetizers, rich pâtés, vegetable gratin, turkey or ham! Cari Bernard
The Domaine de la Pépière Château Thébaud "Clos des Morines" comes from old vines on a beautiful vineyard sloping down towards the river. The granite here is fissured and permeable by the vine roots which have access to water during dry spells and absorb micro-nutrients along the way. 2009 and 2010 here were among the best of the vintage in Muscadet and the 2012 is outstanding as well from this somewhat difficult low-yielding vintage. More austere than the previous vintages, the 2012 shows subtle aromas of dried pear, herbs, citrus, almond and stone, quite subtle and elegant. The palate has excellent weight and concentration with firm acidity, without the forward fruit of the 2009 - very tight and mineral in style with terrific length. Fabulous served now with oysters, ceviche of cod, flounder and sole, and grilled fish, This should age beautifully for 20 years and more. Highly recommended. Tasted again in December of 2016, this beautiful Muscadet is beginning to open up a bit, with lovely fruit appearing in the aromas and palate, really drinking well, though obviously a wine that will benefit from another five years of aging. In 2018 the wine is singing and will be a treat on Thanksgiving!
Our second Thanksgiving recommendation from Lise and Bertrand Jousset is this beautiful Chenin Blanc that will pair well with the turkey and sensationally with the sides! The 2015 Jousset 1er Rendez-Vous "Version Longue"is from 5 to 100 year-old vines from 8 parcels in Montlouis with clay and silex soils over limestone. The grapes are hand-harvested into small containers, all cellar functions are by gravity, fermentations are with wild yeasts, aging is 10 months in large used barrels then an additional 12 months in vat. The wine shows very elegant aromas of dried pear, quince, fine herbs, beeswax, honey, stone and lemon zest, really lovely. The palate is a beautiful melange of white fruits, mineral flavors, citrus and honey. The finish is supple, dense and long with sapid white fruits, honeyed citrus and stone flavors that linger on the palate, Beautiful wine, only a few cases available. David Lillie
This crowd-pleasing Quincy is an economical and delicious Thanksgiving option - at $15.99 it's better than many Sancerres and it will accompany everything on the table. Sauvignon Blanc has been grown in Quincy at least since the 15th century and produces a particularly distinctive wine on the gravel and silex soils of the Domaine de Villalin's vineyard "Les Grands Vignes." The estate is clearly the finest in Quincy, farming with mostly organic methods, plowing (sometimes with horses), harvesting by hand and fermenting with wild yeasts. The 2016 is a bright and refreshing Sauvignon, showing subtle fruit aromas of peach and pear with almond, lime-flower and citrus. The palate shows lovely pear, apricot and almond flavors with lemony minerals in the long finish. This is a refreshing, stylish wine to serve quite cool this spring and summer with seafood and poultry dishes, asparagus, crudites and mild cheeses.
Clos Ste. Magdeleine is located on the slopes of the dramatic Cap Canaille just east of Cassis, where vineyards date back to the ancient Greeks, and the vines grow on stony limestone soils. The current estate was founded in the late 19th century and has been in the same family since 1920 - the estate is certified organic. The Cassis Blanc is made up of 40% Marsanne, 30% Ugni blanc, 25% Clairette and 5% Bourboulenc. The 2015 shows lovely aromas of dried pear, almond and stone with floral and herbal hints, with a bit of candied citrus and exotic fruit. The palate is round and supple and quite elegant with ripe pear, apricot and almond, citrus peel and marzipan. The finish is long and balanced with firm acidity and mineral flavors. (This would be a great option for Thanksgiving dinner, being elegant and dry but with enough weight and fruit to pair well with turkey and all the sides. A crowd pleasing choice...)
A great and interesting choice for Thanksgiving, the delicious Traginer Collioure has the weight and density to accompany everything on the table! An outstanding and unusual white made by Jean-François Deu at the organic/biodynamic estate, Domaine du Traginer (Mule-driver) in Banyuls and Collioure. Made from Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Malvasia from low-yielding vines, on steep slopes of schistes above the Mediterranean. Light gold color. The 2015 is ripe but well-balanced with intense and beautiful aromas of dried white fruits, lime-flower, lemon, stone, almond and pine with hints of spice. Quite complex! The palate is supple and dense with mineral flavors, white and yellow fruits, citrus, pine and brown spice that linger in the very long finish with firm acidity. This is a delicious and versatile wine that will accompany shellfish, grilled fish, chicken in sauce, Asian foods and more. Highly recommended! David Lillie
From eighty year-old vines, in mid-slope on thin well-drained clay/limestone soils, the 2015 Meix Chavaux shows elegant pear, lemon, lime and floral aromas. The palate is rich and ripe with white fruits and exotic citrus covering the chalky core, with firm acidity and mineral flavors in the finish. Serve with full-flavored fish dishes, poultry and white meats, mild cheeses. This is a beautiful young Meursault that is delicious now and over the next ten years.
From 1 HA of vines planted in 1985 by Claude de Nicolay’s mother. In addition to Chardonnay, there are 6 rows of Pinot Blanc. Something of a rarity as Ile des Vergelesses is considered by most to be the finest red wine climat in Pernand Vergelesses, the Blanc from Chandon de Briailles also features Pinot Blanc adding an extra layer of aromatics to this Pernand blanc. Floral on the nose with aromas of honeysuckle, apple blossom, and bosc pear. The palate is generous with notes of lemon curd, tropical fruit, and stone on the midweight, pretty, energetic, and forward palate. Delicious now and a true rarity! Enjoy with roasted chicken, turkey or guinea hen, broiled swordfish, or strong cheeses. John McIlwain
Indigena is Garnacha Blanca from higher altitude vines in Penedes, the heart of Cava country, farmed organically and biodynamically. A relatively acidic and lean rendering of Garnacha Blanca, typically associated with rounder, fleshier wines, but recognizable in its floral notes of apple, pear, crunchy peach, and salty, earthy minerality. Thirst-quenching, attention-getting, and among diverse food groups and family members alike. Ariana Rolich
Eric Asimov included Chass! in his Thanksgiving lineup this year, noting that he would serve it with a cheese course or for wine fanatics, but cautioned that it is not for a general crowd. Given that most Chambers Street customers fall safely into the fanatic category, we feel confident in this recommendation! A fresh and pretty entree into the world of RuBor Viticultores, our good friends Ruben Diaz and Orly Lumbreras, this is 100% Chasselas from two small plots of 70+ year-old vines on decomposed granite soils in Cebreros, the heart of the Sierra de Gredos. With 3-4 days of skin contact, then raised entirely in stainless steel with occasional batonnage, this is a new experience of Chasselas. Bright and salty, textured and expressive, with subtle stone fruit, white grapefruit pith, orange blossom, beeswax, and crunchy minerals, with a tickle of tannin from time on the skins. An irresistible choice for adventurous apéritifs, poultry, and seafood! Ariana Rolich
We are very proud to work with Corisca ("storm" in the local dialect), a certified organic Albariño made by Natalia Rodríguez and her father José María, pioneers in the region (the first in Rías Baixas to be certified organic) who work tirelessly to perfect the balance of this wine - the only one that they make. Corisca displays pure Albariño character and heightened refreshment at an everyday price. Salty, stony aromas with hints of orange oil and green herbs precede the elegant palate, full of twinkling citrus and stone fruit, bright sea spray, minerals, and a long, complex finish. An invigorating apéritif and easy pairing for poultry, fish, and vegetables. We cannot imagine a more delicious "house" Albariño! Ariana Rolich. Want a great wine with your fish? Corisca is one of the best wines you can buy to pair with! With great salinity, pretty texture and good acidity, the wine works beautifully with white flesh fish, such as mahi mahi, striped bass or skate, and many seafoods, from crab to scallop. Try it with ceviche and sushi and you will thank me! Caroline Coursant
We are very proud to work with Corisca ("storm" in the local dialect), a certified organic Albariño made by Natalia Rodríguez and her father José María, pioneers in the region (the first in Rías Baixas to be certified organic) who work tirelessly to perfect the balance of this wine - the only one that they make. Corisca displays pure Albariño character and heightened refreshment at an everyday price. Salty, stony aromas with hints of orange oil and green herbs precede the elegant palate, full of twinkling citrus and stone fruit, bright sea spray, minerals, and a long, complex finish. An invigorating apéritif and easy pairing for poultry, fish, and vegetables. We cannot imagine a more delicious "house" Albariño! Ariana Rolich.
Want a great wine with your fish? Corisca is one of the best wines you can buy to pair with! With great salinity, pretty texture and good acidity, the wine works beautifully with white flesh fish, such as mahi mahi, striped bass or skate, and many seafoods, from crab to scallop. Try it with ceviche and sushi and you will thank me! Caroline Coursant
Friends and winemakers Andreas Adam and Julian Haart jumped at the chance to go in together on a terraced parcel of un-grafted old-vines on the Piesporter Goldtröpfchen and have been collaborating on wines from that parcel ever since. The Adam & Haart Kabinett is luxurious yet peppy, with notes of green strawberry, mango, and fresh nectarine illuminated by an electric acidity. Pairs beautifully with dishes like sweet potato cassarole, cranberry relish, fruit-studded stuffings, assorted cheeses, or even as a reset to whet the palate when fatigue starts to set in. Cari Bernard
This gloriously elegant magnum will bring loads of energy to even the weightiest Thanksgiving table. The nose is c lassic Saar riesling with citrus, freshly mown lawn, and a hint of white petals. Niedermennig riesling always impresses me with its extraordinarily pure petrol tones. The palate impresses with its balance of opulence and linearity. The light sweetness is balanced by extraordinary energy. This wine will go head to head with the tartest cranberry sauce, pair fantastically with turkey or rich pork dishes, and complement richer sides like butternut squash mash or stuffing. Make sure to save some for the pumpkin pie. AP#11. Andrew Farquhar
Bernhard and Maria Ott took over the family business (est. 1889) in 1993, with an eventual expansion to 28 hectares and RESPEKT Biodynamic certification in 2006. Der Ott is a cuvée made from the younger vines of the three Grüner Veltliner Grand Cru single-vineyards: Spiegel, Stein, and Rosenberg. Weightier and spicier than the Am Berg but incredibly vibrant. Notes of white blossoms and marjoram with green pear, underripe pineapple, and crisp apple are powerful and balanced. Cari Bernard
This beautifully poised rosé from our friends at Clos du Joncuas is a textbook example of a powerful wine wearing a velvet glove. Its weight and 14% alcohol are balanced out by lively acidity and a persistent minerality that folds itself seamlessly into a long and textured finish. The nose and the attack on the palate is all ripe fruit: tangerine, kumpquat, passion fruit, orange zest, and a hint of honeydew (but the part right up against the rind.) Then the bright acidity kicks in and the wine dances across the palate with vibrant energy. As it resolves, a note of wet granite lingers. Pair it with salade Nicoise or hot dogs, or shout "So What" like P!nk and drink this delicious rosé by itself all summer long, any day, anytime. Oskar Kostecki
Though there are fewer than 20 growers of Rosé des Riceys, we tend to think of the wines as a coming from a single terroir. By separately vinifying two different lieux dits, Olivier Horiot shows the possibilities of expression within the appellation. En Barmont is a warm site, whose southerly exposure and marls interspersed with Kimmeridgian limestone produce a ripe Pinot Noir with a broader character than nearby En Valigrain. The 2012 En Barmont has a darker garnet/copper robe, effusive and floral on the nose with wild cherry, cherry blossom, and Red Delicious apple aromas. On the palate, vivid, racy acidity, bright red fruits with hints of crushed herbs, and a fine dusty minerality on a broad expansive finish. This is quite pretty with a generous ripeness and exuberance. John McIlwain
To make a Saignée, a small percentage of juice is "bled" off during fermentation of red wines, to balance the ratio of skins to juice, and give more boldness to the resulting wine. The run off juice is fermented separately and yields a rosé that has a considerable amount of color, compared to rosés made by direct press, or with very short maceration times. In one of his "rants " from a few years back about pink wine, John Paul writes that "one should be drawn to the wine by its color, captivated by its elegant aromas, and finally conquered by its texture and lingering flavors." The 2016 Saignée Rose delivers on all counts. It has a lovely rich pink hue, pretty strawberry aromatics, and a fascinating fleshy texture and long finish. A perfect rosé for the fall/winter months! I get the sense from John Paul that he might be getting out of the rosé game soon, as the market that was demanding rosé 4 years ago now seems to him to be saturated with them… so this may be the last time we get a chance to drink the Cameron Saignée. I'd suggest getting a bottle or two and drinking sometime in the next 1-3 years. Eben Lillie
I heartily recommend drinking more deeply pigmented rosés throughout winter (especially at holiday feasts). This is an addictive, fuschia-hued, slightly off-dry rosado of Garnacha from Maldivinas' prime vineyards in Cebreros, the heart of the Sierra de Gredos. Two-thirds of the fruit comes from vineyards on schist and one-third from granitic soils. The perfumed nose of hibiscus, wild flowers, and damp brown earth continues onto the wild, juicy palate of strawberry preserves, raspberry patch, and black tea. Lots of bright, tangy acidity is present to balance the rich, wild fruit and the touch of sugar that remains in the wine. An explosively delicious rosé for sipping and an inspired pairing for any cured or smoked pork products, dark poultry (like turkey or duck), Asian fare, cheeses, and fruity or chocolatey desserts. One barrel produced. Ariana Rolich
From 15 to 40 year-old vines on clay/limestone soils in Benais, in organic agriculture since 1965. The 2016 vintage shows quite deep red/black color with bright aromas of ripe black raspberry, black cherry, pepper, earth and clove. The palate is sapid and bright, with the firm acidity always present in Guion's wines. The black raspberry and red currant fruit is light and bright, at 12% alcohol, and the finish is refreshing and mineral. This young and vibrant wine will benefit from decanting well in advance (or opening the night before). Serve cool with charcuterie, roast chicken, pork chops and burgers. Thanks to Domaine Guion for two generations of organic agriculture and natural winemaking! DL
We love Cabernet Franc on Thanksgiving and we love the Raffault "Les Picasses!" The Domaine Olga Raffault Chinon "les Picasses" is one of the most famous wines in the region - a wine that is delicious young but that cellars beautifully for ten to twenty years, even longer in a good vintage. Under the direction of Eric de la Vigerie and Sylvie Raffault, quality here has been maintained, and improved, with the adoption of organic farming. The vines averaged about 40 years-old in 2008, a vintage that was cool much of the summer but after a sunny and warm September the grapes were harvested on October 10th with beautiful maturity and concentration, combined with the firm acidity found in this vintage.The wine shows a slightly mature red/black color with aromas of ripe blackberry, strawberry and prune with, orange rind, earth and musk. The palate is supple and deep with ripe blackberry liqueur and hints of pepper, cocoa, licorice, earth and minerals. The finish is long and sappy with firm acidity. This great Chinon in mid-life cries out for a nice steak, coq au vin (or turkey!) or pork ribs. Drink now after decanting or cellar for ten to twenty more years.
Our friend Hervé Villemade made a gorgeous "Les Ardilles" in 2015. Made from 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Gamay grown on clay over limestone in Cheverny with yields of only 15 hl/ha. There was a 20-day maceration with light extraction followed by aging in large old barrels, with no added SO2 during vinificaton. The wine shows a lovely light red/garnet color with aromas of red currant, raspberry and pomegranate, with hints of rose, earth, citrus and spice. The palate is sappy and dense with a beautiful melange of red fruits and cherry liqueur, brightened by firm citrusy acids, and continuing with saline minerals in the finish. Superb wine - serve cool with charcuterie, chicken and pork dishes and mild cheeses. Highly recommended! David Lillie
This certified organic wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The wine offers a bouquet of ripe berries, plums and cherries with some light savory herbs and spice notes. This wine has a good acidity and minerality (thanks to the vineyard's limestone soil) giving a pleasant freshness and brightness to the wine. The Cru Godard is an enjoyable pairing with various dishes from grilled pork chops to the classic hamburger. Caroline Coursant
Château Massereau, an estate located in Barsac, has been farming organically since its acquisition by the Chaigneau family in 2000. The estate is fully committed to natural wine making and it shows in the quality of the wine. The grapes are hand-harvested, fermented in concrete vats and then aged in neutral barrique for 18 months with minimal addition of sulfur at bottling. Made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, planted in alluvial soils, the wine displays a bouquet of dark berries and plums with dried green herbs, menthol notes and a hint of violet, tobacco leaf and cedar notes. This elegant wine has a beautiful structure with firm acidity and smooth tannins. A great wine at a beautiful price, this wine will pair fantastically with racks of lamb, kebabs, steaks or pork chops -- a crowd-pleasing choice! Caroline Coursant
Made from Gamay Petit Grains planted in 1953, grown on a limestone parcel high in magnesium, in the Clos des Vignes du Maynes in Cruzille, organic since 900 AD, now certified biodynamic. The energetic Julien Guillot vinifies his reds without sulfur or additives of any kind, producing complex, mineral, elegant wines that transcend their appellation. The 2015s here are extraordinary, showing the elegance, purity and balance typical of the estate with the wonderful ripeness of the vintage. The wine shows gorgeous red and black fruit aromas with cranberry, earth, stone and musk and hints of mint, chocolate and spice. The palate is bright and intense with balckberry, citrus, stone and earthy flavors, that continue on the very long mineral finish. Always one of the greatest Gamays produced anywhere, the 2015 Manganite is a young wine that will benefit from decanting or five to fifteen years in the cellar. Highly recommended! DL
A mere 200 meters from Les Essards, Les Plantes Aux Bois has clay top soils overlying the hard limestone mother rock. The nose is generous, perfumed, and dark-fruited with aromas of black raspberry and plum giving way to notes of game and spices. Flavors of blackberry, cassis, and plum dominate on the ripe, mid-weight palate. There is good freshness, with bright acidity providing lift and drive on a long, lingering, cool-toned finish. Lovely with a quick decant, but plenty of material to justify mid-term cellaring. I love the idea of this with a holiday meal. Light on its feet with good freshness to wake the palate, but enough minerality to whet the appetite of the discerning Burgundy aficionado. Delicious! John McIlwain
The 2013 Volnay Vieilles Vignes from Joseph Voillot is marked by the generosity of the vintage. Pure fruit and freshness (not to mention exuberant energy) are hallmarks of the year. Perfumed with aromas of cherry blossom, Morello cherry, baking spices, and black tea on nose. Positively lovely wild cherry fruit and red currant fruit, with supple tannins and a touch of that mineral zang on the supple finish. This is lifted rather than brooding, but has the stuffing for mid-term aging and should evolve beautifully for the next 7-10 years. For those who prefer elegance at the holiday table, this has the versatility to go with turkey, ham, roasted pork, and just about any food your family and friend enjoy. John McIlwain
I don't normally think of Chateauneuf-du-Pape on Thanksgiving, but this elegant, relatively light-bodied version would be a brilliant choice for your hoilday meal. "Chapelle St. Theodoric is a project between winemaker Baptiste Grangeon and importer Peter Weygandt. There are two parcels; one in the lieu-dit La Guigasse, which is a pure sand soil and where the vines (all Grenache) range in age of from 50 to 100 year; and the other parcel at the top of Pignan, literally adjoining the vines of Chateau Rayas, also in pure sand and also pure, old vines Grenache. The vinification is traditional, that is to say, whole-cluster, such as employed by Jacques Reynaud at Chateau Rayas, Laurent Charvin, Henri Bonneau. In the 2014 vintage, it was decided to put all of the La Guigasse and some of the Grand Pin into Les Sablons, because of the more forward style of 2014." - Weygandt-Metzler. The 2014 "Les Sablons" is indeed a very lovely Châteauneuf, showing beautiful ripe red currant and black cherry aromas with hints of brown spice, rose, earth and musk. The palate is light and fine but very dense with sappy red fruits, citrus, earth and mineral flavors with hints of licorice and prune. The finish is long and lingering, with firm acidity showing good aging potential. Elegant and delicious now - serve slightly cool - perhaps best 2020 to 2030. Three cheers to Peter Weygandt and Baptiste Grangeon for producing this lovely old-school Châteaneuf-du-Pape!
This Pinot Noir from Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman is a beauty. With notes of dark cherry, raspberry, rose petals, cola spices, iodine and sandalwood that linger on the finish, the wine is so delectable that you will want another glass as soon as you are done with the first one. This light-bodied fresh wine has a pretty structure with good acidity, light tannin, and great length. On the wine making process side, Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman are proponents of less is more, using only wild yeast, no fining or filtering, and partial neutral oak aging. Pair this fresh vibrant Pinot Noir with light meals such as salads, grilled vegetables, roasted chicken or turkey, and vegetable curries. Caroline Coursant
This is an exciting Washington State Grenache from winemaker Joe Swick. Palest ruby in color, this wine has a sumptuous handful of fresh strawberries on the nose that mix with a touch of baking spice and a dark rumor of black tea. On the palate this wine is lush with red fruit, hinting at wild brambles, and shows great energy. Lighter in weight, its a perfect pairing for turkey, and a great companion for mashed potatoes, or roasted root vegetables. Use as a palate cleanser for anything covered in giblet gravy. Andrew Farquhar
A deep and brooding Washington Malbec from Joe Swick, this wine displays a subtle nose, with a bit of elegant dark fruit emerging from its gentlemanly reserve. Dark notes of spice and some husky minerality are clothed on the palate by a classic tannic grip. There is good structure but also fine integration of its various parts, which make it a wonderful complement for a wide range of foods. This is a great cold weather wine, that will be nice alongside rich cheeses, dark full-bodied sauces, and meats of various types, such as veal, game birds, poultry, and fine cuts of grass-fed beef. Andrew Farquhar
A burst of flamboyant flavors, Tío Uco is an exciting young wine from an exciting young winemaker! A native of southern Toro, Alvar de Dios honed his skills working with Fernando García at Bodegas Marañones (a longtime Chambers Street favorite) before returning to Toro to farm family vineyards and acquire others. Tío Uco comes from 25 to 40 year-old, organically farmed vines of Tinta de Toro on a variety of terroirs (clay, limestone, sand, and gravel), destemmed and raised in neutral oak barrels. Aromas are wild and heady, full of fermenting berries, black cherry compote, incense and clove, with a jazzy, light spritz upon opening, dissolving into the fun and full-flavored palate of cassis, cranberry, cola, salt plums, balsamic, wild rose, and bitter herbs on the finish. Substantial and spicy, but light on its feet, this is an offbeat and slightly wild foil to standard-issue Tempranillos. Ariana Rolich
Rufete is the fascinating red grape of Salamanca, found throughout the Duero/Douro basin in Spain and Portugal. Often blended with meatier grapes, its delicate, floral, essence is easy to obscure; it is highly expressive of terroir, however, and enjoying a surge of interest from winemakers who want to vinify Rufete on its own. Daniel Ramos is our go-to authority on the Sierra de Gredos, a true master of Grenache. When he mentioned that he made this 100% Rufete from a single vineyard of very old vines on decomposed granite sands at 890m altitude in Salamanca, I had to check it out! After several hours' drive west from Gredos toward the Portuguese border, we reached Sierra de Salamanca. Alternating between pastoral verdant terraces of decomposed granite sands and severe, swirling valleys of schist, with vines poking out of sheer rocky cliffs, this was yet another varied viticultural treasure of Castilla y Leon! El Maton is a graceful medium-bodied choice for Thanksgiving. Enticing aromas of spicy florals, ripe wild cherries, and berry skin funk are followed by deep flavors with racy but delicate acidity: red plum, raspberry, cranberry, clove, violet florals, savory umami, and bitter, salty earth. Now 5 years old, this wine is really starting to shine! Ariana Rolich
The wines of Azienda Agricola Adalia are endlessly enjoyable, none more so than their very traditional Valpolicella. The wine is produced from a blend of Corvina and Corvina Grossa with small percentages of Rondinella and Molinara trained in pergola and farmed biodynamically. The grapes are destemmed and fermented with native yeast in 40 hectoliter oak vats on the skins for one week. Malolactic occurs naturally in stainless steel where the wine is rested for a few months before bottling. The nose shows tart red fruit and a bit of orange zest over herbal notes of sage, mint, and a whiff of pungent spices. The wine is light on the palate with bright acidity and restrained tannins offering a slightly bitter, mineral finish. Adalia’s Valpolicella is a perfect match for a herbed stuffing, roast turkey with gravy, green bean casserole, or for game meats prepared simply. Andy Paynter
Bussoletti’s Ciliegiolo di Narni “0535” is a fresh, easygoing red wine from central Umbria and shows exactly why I have fallen in love with the grape. Produced from a four hectare plot of younger vines planted facing north to encourage elegance over ripeness, the wine is fermented with ambient yeast in steel tank and bottled after resting for six months. The nose is rich with fresh red cherries and rose floral notes with delicate tones of black pepper. Juicy on the palate with restrained acidity and very little tannin, it shows more strawberry and raspberry fruit. This is a wine that can lift through richer foods: try it as a foil to creamy or cheesy pasta dishes, as a pairing for charcuterie, or enjoy it on its own. The lion on the label is a reference to C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia which were inspired by images of the medieval castle in Narni (also pictured). Andy Paynter
The Langhe Nebbiolo from Chiesa is a wine that shows lovely characteristic Nebbiolo perfume with softer edges than many other Langhe reds: frankly it is a wine that makes me smile. Produced from a plot of vines planted between 1998 and 2004 on slopes of sandy soil the grapes are hand harvested, fermented in steel with a submerged cap for 12 days, and then raised in steel tank for 6 months to preserve the varietal character of the wine. The nose is quite aromatic and smells of fruity cherries with the scents of violets, dusty earth, and a slight pepper spice coming through. There is a bit of weight on the palate with slightly tacky tannins but overall it is refreshing with great acidity and a lifted taste of orange zest on the finish. Neither high-toned nor too heavy, it straddles a stylistic middle ground and is no less tasty for it. I paired the wine with a simple charcuterie plate but it would be well suited to everything from meatier cuts of fish, chicken and pork dishes, soft cheese, or vegetarian pastas. The 2015 Langhe would be a perfect fit for the Thanksgiving table as well, especially suited to a glazed ham or brussels sprouts with pancetta. Andy Paynter
An alternative to Gamay on your table (or plays nicely alongside one), this biodynamically-grown Blaufränkisch is juicy and fresh, medium-bodied, with notes of ripe red cherries, strawberries, raspberry seed, plum skin, with a touch of earthy pepper. Delicious with roasted chicken and mushrooms, vegetable gratin, or with no food at all! Cari Bernard
This is a superb Jurançon Moelleux, harvested in late December, about 90 grams/liter of residual sugar. Wonderfully complex aromas of apricot, candied citrus, flowers and exotic fruit with a hint of vanillin. Lemon confit, apricot, brown spice and chalky acids on the palate. A young wine that is gorgeous now but perhaps best in five to ten years. With more acidity than Sauternes, this is a great match for foie gras, lemon tarts and strong cheeses, and for apple and mince pies on Thanksgiving! Absolutely superb! (The wine improves for weeks, re-corked in the fridge.)