Party time! How much to buy?

The Wine Rack in Louisville

Good morning! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving Day. I’m enjoying the opportunity to relax a bit after enjoying two holiday feasts yesterday, joining a group of about 50 for lunch and about 15 for dinner.
When friends know you write about food and wine, they ask you to do wine things; and so it was that I loaded a couple of boxes of reds and whites into my car yesterday morning.

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Rochette 2017 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau

Domaine Rochette

Dark ruby color, shading to a clear purple edge. Fresh and clean aromas, plums and subtle raspberries, lead into a bright red-fruit flavor, full and ripe for a Nouveau, nicely balanced with crisp fresh-fruit acidity. Really one of the best Nouveaux I’ve tried over the years, enjoyable on its own and good with food, nicely balanced at 13% alcohol.

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Georges Duboeuf 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau

Georges Duboeuf

Reddish-purple, fading to a clear garnet edge. Abundant fruit on the nose, but gone is the old “banana” or “artificial strawberry” aroma – a characteristic of its commercial yeast – that used to be an identifying marker for Duboeuf. It’s still fruity to be sure, but this is fresh, natural fruit, strawberries and raspberries and a whiff of raspberry liqueur. The aromas give a sweet impression, but the wine is nearly dry, with good fresh-fruit acidity to hold it in balance. Red fruit and crisp acidity linger in a fairly long finish. 13% alcohol.

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Click here for a list of the best Beaujolais Nouveau on (It’s below the interesting article about Nouveau at the top of this page.) Read article.

Henry Fessy 2014 Château des Reyssiers Régnié

Domaine Rochette

Deeply hued clear garnet color. Attractive red-fruit scents over a base of loamy earth, an appealing minerality on the nose. The flavor wakes up to bright and fresh red-berry, plum and cranberry flavors nicely balanced by palate-cleansing acidity and moderate 12.5% alcohol, with soft tannins building gentle astringency harmonizing with tart red plums in the long finish. This shows the distance a Beaujolais can reach when a decent model stretches out.

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Use this Wine-searcher link to browse all the wines of Henry Fessy and find vendors that carry them.

Finally, here is Wine-searcher’s list of many wines of Régnié, ranked by quality. Read through the short article discussing the region to get to the lengthy shop list. Read article.

Two for Thanksgiving

Wild turkey painted by John James Audubon.

It’s almost Thanksgiving here in the United States, that happy late autumn time when friends and families gather in the modern version of the traditional American harvest feast.
Many of us will sit down to an oversize platter bearing a whole turkey, roasted golden-brown.
But then comes the question: How do we find one wine to match them all?

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Nicolas Idiart 2016 Loire Valley Pinot Noir

Nicolas Idiart

A Loire Valley wine made from 100 percent Pinot Noir, avoiding the Gamay often used in the Loire Pinot blend, this is a dark-purple wine shading to a garnet edge. A high-toned scent of cherry liqueur and licorice, bold fruit that seems a bit “New World” for a Loire red, gives way to tart cherries and a distinct cranberry note, appropriate for Thanksgiving, that carry over in a dry, quite acidic flavor that will serve well to cut through the fat and richness of a holiday feast. Little obvious tannin, and moderate 13% alcohol.

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Gundlach-Bundschu Dry Gewürztraminer


Transparent, light straw color, unusual for a variety generally known for its pinkish to light-red skin that often imparts a rich, even rosy color. There’s nothing light about the aromas or flavors, though, which show characteristic Gewurz boldness. I pick up only a whiff of the Chinese-dessert lychees that often signal Gewurz; here they’re shy behind a more in-your-face sense of stone fruit – peaches and apricots. Stone fruit and lychees carry over on the palate in a bright, bold flavor that’s bone-dry – a rare thing in a Gewurz – with tart meyer lemon and “rainwater” minerality joining in. 14.3% alcohol is a bit pushy for a white, but it works in this wine, with zingy lemon curd lingering in a very long finish.

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Gundlach-Bundschu also sells the more recent 2016 vintage direct to the public for $25 a bottle, $270 for a case of 12. Read article.

New Zealand’s other grape: Pinot Noir

New Zealand Vineyard Reports from #NZWine

When I say “New Zealand wine,” what color pops into your mind? Chances are your first thought went straight to “white,” perhaps quickly followed by “Sauvignon Blanc.” We think of these wines in connection with New Zealand with good reason: It was New Zealand’s bold, aromatic take on Sauvignon Blanc that first introduced the rest of the world to the wines of this beautiful land Down Under, a delight that came to us not that long ago.

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Oyster Bay 2012 Marlborough Pinot Noir ($14.99)

Oyster Bay

Clear ruby color, quite dark at the core but shading quickly to a clear edge. Light red fruit and a pleasant whiff of ripe, just-cut tomato – a characteristic that I often find in cool-climate Pinot Noir – shows in the nose and on the palate. It’s brisk and acidic in the flavor, tart and palate-cleansing, rather light-bodied, with a soft edge of tannins and a hint of stony minerality in the finish.
13% alcohol in a wine that’s distinctly Pinot Noir, more reminiscent of the Old World than the New.

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