How about a juicy but not over-the-top American Pinot Noir for your feast on Thanksgiving, the quintessentially American holiday? Served slightly chilled, and with alcohol that doesn’t push the limits, such a wine will provide a refreshing counterpoint to the myriad flavors and textures of the Thanksgiving bounty.
One to consider is Bouchaine’s 2019 Estate Pinot Noir, the flagship red from a famed winery in Napa Valley’s Carneros district. At $35 to $40, the price is in that sweet-spot range that buys real quality without breaking the bank and that also makes it perfect for gift-giving.
The generous fruit gets a refreshing lift with the wine’s balancing acidity and alcohol listed at a reasonable 14.3 percent. This is a graceful and lively Pinot Noir with tastes of raspberry, strawberry, and black cherry accented by a touch of baking spices. There’s an intriguing hint of eucalyptus on the nose.
The wood influence is subtle and well integrated from 10 months of aging in mostly used French oak barrels.
The beauty of the wine lies in part from the fact that the Carneros area of Napa — part of the district is also in the neighboring Sonoma Valley — is one of Napa’s coolest, benefitting from the cold winds that blow in from the Pacific Ocean 30 miles or so away. This creates conditions perfect for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes that show finesse and elegance and makes Carneros one of the world’s top regions for the varieties.
Bouchaine’s 2019 Estate Pinot Noir provides a memorable and well-priced introduction.