Wines worth giving thanks for, Eagle County
Eagle County CO, Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” To round out your Thanksgiving wine choices, after a solid backbone of Pinot Noir (see last week’s Vail Trail blurb), you need a few whites and some dessert wine.
First, the classic white wine with spicy and sweet food: Gewurztraminer. The 2005 Helfrich Steinklotz Grand Cru Gewurztraminer, from the Alsace region in northeast France, is stunning, particularly for around $22 on the shelf. Lush but dry grapefruit jump out of the glass, with a light honey and spicy cinnamon note, both typical components of this grape. Off-dry, with just a little glycerine/white tannins to give the wine body, this Gewurz finishes crisp and clean. A perfect balance to have with turkey, spicy sweet yams and even honey-baked ham.
Most people love a good Chardonnay, and it is the best choice to please all types of palates. The 2006 Lincourt Chardonnay ($20), from Santa Barbara County, has spicy pear and toasty oak flavors, hazelnut and mineral accents, and just a touch of acidity on the finish. For something above and beyond, try the 2004 Talbott “Cuvee Carlotta” ($58), an elegant Chardonnay from Monterey. This white has many Burgundian qualities: the flinty/oaky notes, strong minerality and a lovely honeyed pear texture that is pure umami, the much-touted “sixth sense” from Japanese cooking. Almond and Meyer lemon flavors round out this elegant California wine.
Pumpkin pie is a staple, so for dessert, let’s drink Ficklin Vineyards Old Vine Tinta Port ($19), from the hot middle of California. A fortified wine made from four of the true Portugese varietals, this sits between a ruby and a tawny in style. Nutmeg and sweet dried cherry flavors are silky and fuzzy at the same time, and a nice acidic finish keeps this from feeling too cloying at the end of your meal. Hints of orange peel and dark plum also drift through the wine.
To review, last week, we discussed three great Pinot Noirs to serve with Thanksgiving dinner: De Loach “Cote de Loach” ($15), Cuvaison Carneros ($35) and Yabby Lake from Australia ($55). Enjoy!