Welcome Wine Club Members,
Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving from Cove Ledge!
It’s November and that means a new wine of the Month is ready to be enjoyed and accompany you on your Wine Journey.
Some of the best wines in the world are blends of several grape varieties. We are thankful this month to offer you two fantastic blends from – California!
Thanksgiving being as traditional as it is, you may already have your own favorite wine pairing for turkey but if you’re looking for inspiration here are two fantastic matches.
Remember Thanksgiving dinner is not just about the bird but the flavorful stuffing, sauces and sides that go with it; so what you want is a wine with plenty of flavor to match!
The red is a beautiful Côtes du Rhône-style GSM (grenache, syrah, mourvèdre) inspired Blend from Tablas Creek Paso Robles. The combination of 3 varieties, –Grenache, Syrah and Mourvédre,– make up the majority of the blend. Because of the mishmash of varieties, you’ll taste both red and black fruit flavors and find a range of medium to full-bodied flavor. These wines are a perfect match for a rich piece of meat because of their complexity. And yet, they are still light enough for poultry.
The white is lovely blend of Chenin blanc and Viogner (another Rhone Valley varietal favorite). The combination of these two grapes provides a wine that is both aromatic and refreshing. The clean, vibrant palate enters with juicy peach and honeyed tangerine fruits, balanced by vibrant acidity and hints of yellow apple and key lime pie that last through the crisp and refreshing finish.
Both wines will pair nicely with your Thanksgiving Feast for sure… Or simply take the opportunity to uncork, unwind and take a time out from the start of the holiday rush by enjoying a glass of these lovely wine blends with family and friends.
Thank you for your continued patronage. As always, we hope that you enjoy this month’s selection! “Wine is our passion, but being part of the community is a life long commitment that we consider a privilege and an honor”.
Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving. ☺
Annette & Keith
In Store Price: $17.99 / btl
Wine Club Member Price: $16.99/ btl
Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rouge 2014
Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
The Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas is a blend of four red Rhône varietals: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise. The wine incorporates fruit from several of the top Rhône vineyards in Paso Robles, each vineyard selected for its quality. Like many red wines from the Rhône Valley, it is based on the dark fruit, mineral and spice of Syrah, with the brightness and fresh acidity of Grenache, the structure and meatiness of Mourvèdre and a small addition of Counoise for complexity.
Grapes for the Patelin de Tablas are sourced from four regions in Paso Robles. Three are limestone-rich: the warmer, higher-elevation Adelaida Hills near Tablas Creek, the cool, coastal-influenced Templeton Gap to our south, and the moderate, hilly El Pomar to our south-east. These regions provide structured, mineral-laced fruit and excellent acidity.
Tablas Creek also sources fruit from the warmer heartland of the Paso Robles AVA: the Estrella District, whose mixed sandy loam soils produce juicy, darkly-fruited Syrah.
The 2014 Patelin de Tablas has a dark, Syrah-driven nose that is creamy, meaty, minerally, and a little bit wild. A little blue fruit lurks underneath and comes out with air. The mouth shows both Grenache and Syrah’s influence, with black plum, boysenberry, chalky minerality and nice powdered sugar tannins that come out on the finish.
Decant if you’re drinking now, or age for up to a decade for secondary and tertiary flavors of meat and earth.
Blend: 55% Syrah, 29% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, 6% Counoise
WE92 Wine Enthusiast – “This blend of 55% Syrah, 29% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and 6% Counoise offers boisterous yet elegant aromas of blackberry, boysenberry and dried violet that are met with hints of crushed marjoram and white pepper. Once sipped, mulberry and exotic plum flavors mesh with wild mint on a brooding yet bright and fresh palate.
Editors’ Choice. “
Vinous / Antonio Galloni – “Brilliant red. High-pitched aromas of ripe red berries, cherry and fresh flowers; bright mineral and peppery spice scents build in the glass. Energetic and appealingly sweet, offering intense raspberry and lavender pastille flavors that are sharpened and lifted by tangy acidity. Silky tannins give shape to the clinging finish, which leaves notes of allspice and minerals behind. There’s fabulous value here.”
In Store Price: $12.99 / btl
Wine Club Member Price: $11.99/ btl
Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc – Viognier 2014
Central Valley, California
The 2014 release of this intriguing blend delights the nose with a charming bouquet of enticing aromas of fresh Meyer lemon, fuzzy peach, ripe honeydew melon and yellow plum, mingled with touches of citrus blossom and white tea. The clean, vibrant palate enters with juicy pomelo, sweet lychee and honeyed tangerine fruits, balanced by vibrant acidity and hints of yellow apple and key lime pie that last through the crisp and refreshing finish.
With its balanced acidity, this versatile wine pairs well with a number of dishes, from light salads to seafood to, most notably, foods with a hint of spiciness – its subtle sweetness provides balance alongside a touch of heat.
Try Chenin Blanc + Viognier with a flavorful Thai curry, a sushi dish, such asa spicy tuna roll, or seared halibut.
Blend: 80% Chenin Blanc, 20% Viognier
90 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
A consistent, big-time winner in the value sweepstakes, the 2014 Chenin Blanc / Viognier is a blend of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier (145,000 cases produced) is aged totally in stainless steel, has malolactic blocked, and offers what consumers love – big, flowery, fresh honeysuckle and tropical fruit, a light to medium-bodied mouthfeel, beautiful purity, texture and a long finish. (RP) (8/2015)
Seriously quaffable but not to be underestimated—five of the past seven vintages won 90-point approval from Wine Advocate.
In 1978, a remarkable vineyard took shape alongside a deep pine forest that climbs the western hillside of Napa Valley’s storied Stags Leap District. Today, nestled in a small valley along the Silverado Trail, the carefully maintained and terraced slopes of Pine Ridge Vineyards blend gracefully with the natural rise and fall of the land. Year after year, the wines of Pine Ridge carry a sense of this place and its history. Continuity, balance and meticulous craftsmanship are inherent in the wines and deeply embedded in the winery’s heritage. Each vintage reflects the distinct characteristics of the appellation and a focused commitment to refinement that reaches across the years, from the founding of the winery to today.
TABLAS CREEK – Paso Robles, CA
Paso Robles got its start in Côtes du Rhône-style wines with a single winery/nursery called Tablas Creek. They imported vines directly from a partner winery in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape area called Chateau de Beaucastel. This little nursery has single-handedly provided some of the highest rated vines for Syrah and Mourvèdre in the United States.
The Perrins of Chateau de Beaucastel and Robert Haas, their importer since 1970, founded Tablas Creek Vineyard in 1990. They chose their 1600-foot elevation site in West Paso Robles’ Las Tablas because of its chalky clay soils and its climate similar to the southern Rhone Valley. They imported selected French cuttings of Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah and Counoise and multiplied, grafted and planted their own vines, which they farm organically. This blended wine, in the image of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, is 100% estate-grown and bottled.
Both of these winery’s are known to offer acclaimed, value priced wines.
CALIFORINA WINE REGIONS (IN GENERAL)
California has nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and accounts for almost 90% of wine production in the United States.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it’s not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara’s Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
The largest of California’s wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California’s wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Grape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity – you’re able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
Here are a few smaller AVAs you may see on the label:
- Livermore Valley AVA, located right outside of San Francisco and home to wineries such as Wente.
- Lodi County AVA, an AVA further east of San Francisco and known for its excellent, old-vine Zinfandels.
- San Francisco Bay AVA, a sprawling AVA that covers Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, to name a few.
Wine that holds only the California AVA is typically a wine that includes grapes from a number of different AVAs, which leads to the general labeling of the wine as California. This does not denote the quality of the wine, only the diversity of where the grapes originate.
It’s not rare to see a wine’s country of origin listed as “California.” A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.