But not this year. No sir, this year was different!
For one, my family completely spared ourselves of the extended family commitment. We also had over my sister's husband and his parents, who are actually pretty damn cool. To top it off, freezing rain prohibited Josh from making it to Eastern Washington, so he joined us as well!
What were we to do to spend the time? Easy: Castle Crashers and Erath's 2008 Leland Pinot Noir. I'm not going to dig into Castle Crashers too much, but I highly suggested buying it if you have a PS3 or X-Box 360 and also have friends.
As for the Leland Pinot Noir, I want to first express that our bottle was a review sample sent to us from Erath. Erath was generous enough to send us two different single-vineyard Pinot Noirs and what better holiday to enjoy a pinot than Thanksgiving?
For those of you unfamiliar with Erath, they've been producing wine out of the Dundee Hills for over 40 years. While mostly acclaimed for their breadth of incredible Pinot Noirs, they also happen to make a handful of whites and dessert wines. With a portfolio ranging from incredibly affordable to special occasion-only, you're bound to find a Pinot Noir that you'll love at the price point you're looking for.
Our 2008 Leland single-vineyard Pinot Noir happens to be a bit on the higher end. At a suggested $45 per bottle, it's not something we'd pop without a reason. This is Thanksgiving and not only do I want to make sure we're pouring something special, but I also wanted to use this as an opportunity to get feedback from my sister and her father-in-law. They both enjoy wine, but are by no means enophiles. Before we get to tasting notes, however, here's a bit about the Leland Vineyard itself
Located near Oregon City in the north Willamette Valley, owners Bruce and Ginny Weber planted the Pommard and Wadensvil clones of Pinot Noir in 1982. Leland vineyard consistently produces a complex and age-worthy style of Pinot Noir.
This single estate pinot noir immediately gives off hues of plum, cranberry, and currant on the nose. When sipped, it comes off as very light, slightly fruit forward, and very inviting. Josh and I both agreed that it is fairly complex for a pinot noir, yet everything about it is very unified. Pretty much a classic Oregon pinot that will win over almost any fan of great wine.
Josh and I liked it, but what about the people who aren't wine nerds? My sister, as depicted above, was immediately won over. While not an exact quote, I believe she said something to the extent of "this wine is friggin amazing!" Jim, her father-in-law, immediately noticed the drastic difference between Erath's 2008 Leland Pinot Noir and the Red Diamond Cab Sauv he had been working on. "I don't know much about wine, but this one is damn good!"
So there you have it. Not only did you learn a little bit about my family and how we operate (or don't) at family gatherings, but you also have yet another incredible wine to put on your list of bottles to pick up. A big thank you goes out to Erath for sending us the sample bottle and look forward to hearing about another of their offerings soon. Another big thank you goes out to Josh for making this Thanksgiving the best ever!