I have covered a lot of great Pinots this year!
To me, it is one of the best red wines to consider for Thanksgiving dinner. It is very food friendly and versatile and has less punch than Zinfandel. I prefer Zinfandel at the end of the evening when gathering around the fireplace and catching up with relatives. Listed below are a few great Pinot choices to consider for your Thanksgiving dinner.
We will start with Merry Edwards. Her 2009 offerings were all at the top of their game. If you can find one of her top rated Pinots, you will have one of the best dinners you can remember and your relatives will still be talking about the wine on Monday morning. We will start with the 2009 Merry Edwards "Meredith Estate" Pinot Noir for $57. I awarded this wine 97 points. According to Merry’s website, the winery still has a limited amount of this wine left. You should call them right now. It displays an absolutely delicious blackberry and mild black raspberry flavor profile with some nicely integrated oak and hints of black plum. It finishes with elegant fine tannins that drift away nicely. It would be perfect with turkey, cranberry and all the fixings. If you can’t get or find the Meredith, then look for the 2009 Merry Edwards "Russian River Valley" Pinot Noir for $42. She makes more of this wine and it is still available locally. This offering is full-bodied, balanced and juicy. The flavor profile is a rich black raspberry jam with notes of red beet and old oak. I also detected a hint red cherry. I scored this wine 90 points.
Here are a few other Pinots to consider. The 2009 Evening Land "Seven Spring Vineyard" Pinot Noir for $45 is a real gem. If you can find a bottle or two of this one, grab them! I think Colonial Spirits may be able to get some. This wine was my favorite at a mini-tasting of Oregon Pinots at this year’s bloggers conference in Portland. It is medium-bodied and smooth as silk, making it perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. I loved its very tasty mild red currant flavors with hints of pomegranate and gently infused old oak. This is truly a yummy Pinot that will really impress your family and friends.
Another very impressive Pinot is the 2010 Breggo from the "Anderson Valley." At 92 points and $38, it is an absolute steal. Like the Evening Land, this offering is very smooth and silky. I loved its yummy black cherry flavors with notes of cola and strawberry. It finishes dry and its fine tannins drift away nicely. If your dinner includes some smoked salmon as an appetizer, this Pinot would be perfect. It would also serve you well with the turkey and stuffing. Another 92 pointer that you can get via Colonial Spirits is the 2008 Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Pinot for $65. This Oregon Pinot is very impressive. It delivers a fragrant and inviting black cherry and cola bouquet. On the palate, it is very well balanced and smooth. I really like its tasty mild black currant flavors with hints of old oak and black plum.
My favorite 91 pointer that I know Colonial has in stock is the 2010 Hamilton Russell "Hemel en Aarde" Pinot Noir. This wine is from South Africa and is consistently the leading Pinot from that country. The 2010 displays very tasty smoky oak infused plum flavors with a hint of mild anise. It is for a reader who likes an Old-World styled Pinot. It will go well with the turkey and stuffing or a sage and thyme seasoned pork tenderloin.
My next two offerings are 90 pointers. The 2009 Siduri "Sta Rita Hills" Pinot for $29 is consistently very good. It also turned out to be one of the best deals in our first big blind tasting. It opens with a fragrant strawberry bouquet with a hint of cherry, cigar box and earth. It is medium-bodied and juicy with tasty plum flavors with notes of red currant with a hint of old oak and cherry cola. It finishes with dusty moderate tannins that are nicely prolonged. Colonial Spirits has this wine in stock. The 2010 Van Duzer "Estate" Pinot from Oregon is approachable and another very easy to drink Pinot. I enjoyed this wine at the bloggers conference in Portland this summer. It has tasty mild plum flavors with hints of mild minerality and light oak. It finishes dry and its fine tannins drift away nicely over a long period of time. It runs for about $30 a bottle.
Our last three offerings all scored in the high eighties. The key here is they are all priced right around $20 or less which is rare for a Very Good Pinot. The 2010 "Decoy" Pinot Noir from Duckhorn is very good and reasonably priced at $22. It is medium-bodied, juicy and easy going. I enjoyed its ripe strawberry and old oak flavors that blended nicely with notes of black cherry, black raspberry, and some black pepper. It is elegant and friendly and would make a nice Thanksgiving wine. I scored this wine 89 points.
The best deal by far is the 2010 Saint Clair "Vicar's Choice" Pinot Noir for $16. This 88 pointer hails from Marlborough, New Zealand. It is a terrific wine for the money. I found it to be medium-bodied, balanced, and pretty easy going. Its flavor profile was black cherry with hints of red currant and a touch of old oak and minerality. This Pinot is versatile, food friendly, and will pair well with many foods at your Thanksgiving day meal.
We wrap up with the 2010 Kendall Jackson "Vintner's Reserve" Pinot Noir. This offering is easy to find and reasonably priced at $20. This Pinot is very interesting and unique. It is medium-bodied and savory with smoky oak infused strawberry flavors. I also detected a hint of mild black cherry. The finish is dry and its mild old oak tannins linger for a little bit. This Pinot is a little more rustic and pairs well with comfort foods if you went that route for Thanksgiving or the day after.
All in all, I think you will find the above collection of Pinots will make your Thanksgiving Day dinner a delight. Many of the above wines are either available at Colonial Spirits or can be ordered by them this week in time for next week’s feast. For the complete list of all the Pinots I have recommended this year, please Check out our Pinot Noir blog post. Happy Thanksgiving and cheers! - Ken