I tend to focus my monthly column on wines that are unusual, small production or somehow obscure. I somehow feel as though it’s my duty to share my knowledge of those things that are exciting and possibly little known about the wine industry.
But we don’t always need an education. Sometimes we just need a good drink. That’s why I took a step back and reevaluated what I had planned for my Thanksgiving column. Just as I was kicking around new ideas, a letter arrived in the mail accompanying a couple of samples of California wine. For some reason I was touched by the sentiment of the letter. It was written by winemaker Jamie Benziger of Imagery Estate Winery. The sentiment compelled me to open the two bottles of enclosed wine right away. The wines happened to be perfect for a Thanksgiving article.
The wines, a Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, fit the bill for what I think wines for a Thanksgiving table should be: affordable, approachable, available nationwide and made in the USA. After all, this is America’s holiday. We should drink American wine! But more importantly, Imagery is a Sonoma winery, from one of the areas hardest hit by the recent wildfire disaster. And what that area needs more than anything is for Americans to support the region by buying the wines.
This wine is made from a blend of 95% Chardonnay and 5% Chenin Blanc. The addition of Chenin Blanc gives the wine beautiful floral and melon notes which harmonize nicely with the Chardonnay’s apple and pear. The result is something pretty, fresh and fruity. It is the super easy drinking sort of wine that tastes great before dinner and won’t overshadow the delicious flavors at the table.
2016 Imagery Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon
Imagery made this wine with the addition of 15% Petite Sirah to the Cabernet. The wine is a super smooth, boldly fruity style of Cab. The Petite Sirah gives it a sexy hint of baking spice and pepper that I, of course, love. If your table is full of serious oenophiles, this is not going to be the wine for you. But if you are like most of us and want to enjoy an easy-to-drink wine that will compliment rather than overpower the meal, this is not only going to fit the bill at an affordable price, it will likely absolutely delight many of your guests.
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