Finding the perfect wines to match the diverse dishes on your Thanksgiving table can be a daunting task. From cranberry sauce to mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, how does one find the right pairing to satisfy everyone’s palate? To solve this overwhelming task, one may use the classic approach and serving something to compliment both the meat and vegetable spread.
Dr. Tony Truchard was one of the first physicians in California to become a winery owner in the 70s. He started off with 20 acres in 1973 while still practicing internal medicine in Reno. Wine was already in Dr. Truchard’s blood as he was raised on a farm in Sealy, Texas that was originally dedicated to winegrowing before it was turned into cattle raising and agricultural. It was Truchard’s grandfather, originally from a small town outside of Lyon, France that settled in Texas. After Dr. Truchard relocated to California in the 70s, he discovered Napa Valley where the idea of grape growing soon settled in.
The site of the originally purchased 20 acres of Truchard Vineyards was planted to prunes at the time. After replanting to Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay, Dr. Truchard started to sell his fruit to various Napa wineries. Over the next 40 years, Truchard would have accumulated over 400 contiguous acres in the Carneros region. Today, fifteen different varietals are produced, amounting to 15,000 cases per year. 70 percent of the grapes produced are still sold to about twenty-six Napa wineries. Wineries sourcing Truchard grapes have included David Bruce, Picchetti, Jessup, Saintsbury, Acacia, Bouchaine, Carneros Creek and Artesa.
The vineyards benefit from the cooling fog and moderate temperatures of Carneros and the rolling hills, steep ravines that make the estate unique. The soil is composed of clay, shale, sandstone, lava rock and volcanic ash. Most of the property faces south and west and captures the afternoon sun. The Pinot Noir is planted on the eastern facing slope to gain morning sun and shade in the afternoon heat.
The 2015 Truchard Pinot Noir is one of their earliest harvests on record. Dry winter, early bud break and cool spring conditions reduced the yields of the crop. A moderate temperature brought the crop to maturity earlier than normal. This resulted in 2015 Pinot Noir as a more powerful and concentrated, yet elegant wine. The grapes were harvested between Aug 19th and Sept 2nd and all of the fruit was gently de-stemmed and crushed. After fermentation, the wine was aged for 10 months in French oak (35% new) and bottled in August 2016.
Truchard 2015 Pinot Noir is a fine example of Carneros, Napa Valley’s Pinot at its best. It is a combination of traditional winemaking with new world techniques and grapes. The 2015’s cooler climate and earlier harvest resulted in a wine with great aromas of black cherry, pomegranate, tea and earth. The wine is earthy however the fruit is abundant with firm acidity, delicate tannins and touch of spice and red fruit on the finish.
Why is this good for Thanksgiving?
Truchard Pinot Noir is medium bodied with balanced tannins, which makes it a versatile wine with food pairing. From poultry, game, turkey to rich side dishes, this Pinot Noir will be a crowd pleaser. The vibrant red and black fruit provides liveliness to lift turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. In addition the gentle tannins marry well with green vegetables such as brussels sprouts, kale and green beans. At $28.99 this wine makes a great host/hostess gift or something to impress your family with. American pedigree with French roots!