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November 2016

Devenish 2016 Thanksgiving Wine Picks


Pierre Bonhomme Telquel

Pierre Olivier Bonhomme has been making beautiful classic wines in central Loire for over a decade.  This is a lovely fresh natural and thirst quenchingly lip smacking blend of Gamay and Grolleau.  Totally natural winemaking.  Available at Maine and Loire, Rosemont on Brighton, LeRoux Kitchen, Water's Edge Wines, and the Great Cranberry Island general Store.


Pierre Bonhomme Touraine Sauvignon Blanc

Here’s Pierre’s Sauvignon Blanc.  It has the citrus and minerality you want, but the grapes were harvested riper so it has a lush deep texture and lots of mouth feel.  This is an amazing layered complex white that will really shine with turkey.  Available at Lois's Natural Foods, Maine and Loire, Aurora Provisions, Local in Brunswick, Rosemont on Brighton Ave,and the Blue Hill Wine Shop

Laurent Saint Pourcain Rouge

This is an old favorite and one of Devenish’s best values.  This Pinot Noir Gamay blend from the mountains at the headwaters of the Loire is so smooth and elegant, but with a smoky gamey side!  It’s a gorgeous wine that does everything I want delicious Burgundian Pinot to do but for half the price.  Available at Oak Hill beverage, RSVP, Black Sheep Wine Shop, Rosemont Market, The Farm Stand, Whole Foods, Aurora Provisions, Market Basket in Rockport, Bow St Market, Vic and Whit's, The Wine Seller, and Treats.

Frank Cornelissen Contadino

Super old vine field blend from about 3000’ up on Mount Etna.  The Contadino is lithe and fresh and dynamic tasting; it’s not too heavy at 13.5%, but it just tastes electric and really lights up your palate.  This is a super fun off the wall wine that will rock with any thanksgiving food you throw at it.  Available at Blue Hill Wine Shop, Maine and Loire, LeRoux Kitchen, RSVP, Aurora Provisions, Rosemont Market, The Farm Stand, Meridians, Lois' Natural Foods, Bangor Wine and Cheese.

Poco a Poco Zinfandel

Zin is a classic Thanksgiving pairing, but some can be to big.  Poco a Poco is a small batch hand made organic Zin that has the dark juicy fruit and spice but isn’t too heavy.  It has the rustic extroverted character but is well balanced. Available at Rosemont Market, Lois' Natural Market, Maine and Loire.

Saliceto Lambrusco

Saliceto Lambrusco is a great crowd pleasing party wine.  It’s bubbly red that’s smooth, juicy, but not sweet and is well balanced.  The bubbles help it pair with food from sweet potatoes and marshmallow to even sadly overcooked turkey.  Available at Burby and Bates, Oak Hill Beverage, Maine and Loire, Bangor Wine and Cheese, Aurora Provisions, Maine Meat.

Castrucci Pinot Noir $52

Sometimes you just need an amazing show stopping Pinot Noir.  This is made by Wine Maker of the year Steve Matthiasson from a single organic vineyard in at the southern edge of Napa overlooking San Pablo Bay.  Available at Browne Trading and Meridians.

Nuedorf Riesling $25

The Nuedorf family moved from Germany to New Zealand 3 generations ago and have built a reputation for making excellent classic Germanic style Riesling in NZ.  This is off dry but has bright acidity and ripe developed fruit that make this an excellent versatile Thanksgiving white.  Available at Oakhill Beverage, Sawyer's Specialties, and Tess market.

Teutonic Bergspitz Pinot $42

Old, Cold, High, Dry, Wood, and Wild: that’s Barnaby’s motto for the Teutonic wines.  He only farms old vines in particularly dry and high elevation sites.  He uses old wood for aging and everything is fermented with natural yeast.  This is a beefy muscular Pinot with power and smoke.  The pen drawing label of an old German mountain top castle is a great representation of the wine’s character.

Teutonic Crow Gewurztraminer $29

With Barnaby’s Gewurz you get all of the beautiful aromatics of Gewurztraminer, but not the thickness, weight, or cloying character.  It checks in at 11% alcohol and has the mineral structure to compliment Thanksgiving food without over doing it.  Available at Aurora Provisions, Meridian's, Lois' Natural Market, Maine and Loire


Bel Air Bougueil $16

We love Loire Cabernet Franc at Devenish but this 5th generation family winery must have had a particularly good year in 2013 because this wine is really impressively ripe and integrated.  There’s lots of dark fruit, some nice acidity that adds a lively character, and hints of dark chocolate and black pepper.  Available at Rosemont Market, RSVP, Aurora Provisions, Blue Hill Wine Shop, Oh No Cafe, and House Wines.

Partida Creus VN Blanco $24

This is a completely wild and unsulfured field blend of 7 white varietals from Spain’s Catalonia.  The grapes come from abandoned old vine vineyard plots that the owners rescued and it ferments on the skins so this is an orange wine.  This has depth and rich mouth feel and even a tiny bit of tannin.  The rich and giving character of this white is great for Thanksgiving food if someone wants something outside the box.  Available at Lois' Natural Market.

Ullibarri Txakolina $21

Txakolina sure isn’t the first thing most people think of for Thanksgiving, but this is from interior Bizkaiko Txakolina and is made from fully ripe grapes.  It’s thick and lush and takes it’s time on your palate, plus there’s a salty briney taste backing up the fruit that makes this ideal for Turkey.  Available at Maine and Loire

Domaine du Bel Air Bourgueil

Domaine du Bel Air is a small family winery in the town of Restigne.  Pierre and his son Rodolphe farm their 40 year old Cabernet Franc vines organically.  The vines are planted on a mix of limestone and chalky clay.   The grapes are hand harvested, the fermentation happens in cement tanks, and then 1/3 of the wine is aged in used 225L oak barrels.


This is excellent, classic, and impressively ripe Cabernet Franc from the Loire.  The wine has a dark slightly spicy aroma.  There's juicy blackberry that hits you first but also aromas of cranberry and dried cherries.  There's pretty much no leafy or unripe flavors; just dark, wild, berry fruit and a hint of wood smoke.  Bel Air's Bourgueil smells like an autumn desert!

Palate: pretty dense cherry fruit but the wine has some nice acidity to it that keeps the flavor fresh and fun and light on it's feet.  This is medium bodied, but on the full side for Loire Cabernet Franc.  I'm impressed, it's very well balanced and integrated.  Bel Air's wine makes me think 2013 must have been a particularly good vintage in the central Loire because while this is good now it tastes like it would stand a decade of aging and just improve.  The dark berry fruit and slight zip that also makes me think raspberry/cherry are the driving component of this Bourgueil, but there's a bit of black pepper and a hint of bittersweet chocolate in the mid-palate as well; plus just the right amount of integrated tannin in the back. 


Give this wine a bit of time to breathe after you open it and it will really impress.  Considering how inexpensive this is it's a great candidate to buy 6 or a case and see how wine ages.

The Bel Air Bourgueil is available for about $16 at Rosemont Market, OhNo Cafe, RSVP, Aurora Provisions, and House Wine in Bar harbor