Exclusive offer: 11/17/2022 — Thanksgiving Picks 2022

This offer is available from Thursday, November 17th at 3:00 pm to Sunday, November 20th at 3:00 pm, or as supplies last. First come, first served on all wines.

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Hi everyone –

It’s that time of year again!

My favorite holiday, Thanksgiving!

And a Thanksgiving feast is never complete at Chateau Kallsen without delicious wines.

This year’s theme

Every year for Thanksgiving I like to have a thread that runs through all the wines. This year: all from Oregon, and all with Minnesota connections!

It’s important to support the right people, in my opinion. Truth be told, there is a ton of great wine out there. At many of the best shops in town you can close your eyes and throw and dart and hit a great bottle that will probably be awesome for Thanksgiving. So where you put your money goes beyond the juice in the glass. It’s the people behind the brands.

Let’s get to it …

Paetra Riesling “Elwetritsche” 2020
by Bill Hooper

If this sounds familiar, it’s because we featured it a few weeks back along with a number of Pinot Noirs from Bill Hooper. This is too good to pass up when it comes to Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect wine, and we’re happy to showcase it.

Riesling and Turkey play so well together. If the turkey leans at all dry, the juicy aspect of Riesling helps counter it. It also amplifies the flavors we seek on turkey day: the sage, the herbs, the butter, the meat! Oh my!

This is from an old (relatively speaking) dry farmed Riesling vineyard that Bill has been farming for years. Unfortunately, it was recently sold and this is the last vintage of this particular wine that will be made.

Here’s a video of me, Bill, and Chuck stepping through a bunch of wines including this one. Go to about 26 minutes in to get to the Riesling discussion.

Gamling and MuDuck NORTH Chenin Blanc
by Gabe Schaffer and Adam McClary

BRAND NEW from our good friends Gabe and Adam of Gamling and McDuck! Southern Oregon Chenin Blanc!

A number of years ago Gabe and Adam decided to look beyond California for the future of Gamling and McDuck. Napa is awesome (and their tasting room is a must visit) but between wildfires and climate change, they wanted to diversify. Gabe moved to southern Oregon to manage a vineyard and found, guess what, her favorite grapes: Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. The first vintages of the new Gamling and McDuck NORTH have now been released and they are STUNNING.

Chenin is a natural choice for turkey day, with all the apple-pear-herb aromas it throws. This particular one benefits from more sunshine and less heat than most California Chenin, making for a dynamic and expressive style that is very reminiscent of the best of the Loire Valley. Those that have had the likes of Nicolas Joly will recognize what I mean when you smell it. Dry in style, but loaded with punchy pear goodness. YUM!!

Joleté Pinot Noir 2021, Willamette Valley
Le Cadeau “Diversité” Pinot Noir 2016, Willamette Valley
by Tom and Deb Mortimer

Tom and Deb Mortimer

One wine is young, sassy, bright, punchy, fun, and more affordable.

The other wine is elegant, detailed, polished, sophisticated, and extremely rare.

Both come from Tom Mortimer, a former Minnesotan who was a regular customer of mine at Surdyk’s in the late 1990s. Tom would come in and become my “Oregon Pinot Professor” a decade before I even visited the state. We’d pull out maps, he’d tell me about soils and exposures and hills, and he would always leave with Willamette Valley bottles in hand. Little did I know he was hunting for land to build a winery in Willamette.

Fast forward to today, and we have the beautiful gem of Joleté, assembled from a variety of hillside vineyards and made in extremely limited quantities. The price doesn’t reflect the scarcity of this wine at all. It’s young, but full of exuberance and energy that I know will play well with the Thanksgiving platter … bright, red, dancing, energetic, and balanced by a good helping of potatoes and stuffing!

And next to that is the single vineyard “Diversité” Pinot Noir of Le Cadeau. Only 168 cases of this were produced!

From the winery:

Production Notes – The Diversité cuvee showcases a unique and diverse range of characteristics that reflect its varied soil, sunlight exposure, and clonal blend. It is sourced from three blocks of our estate vineyard, covering the Northern end, containing 9 clones – Pommard, Dijon 113, -114, -115, -667, -777, a few rows of the Swiss clone Mariafeld, and a touch of Mt. Eden and Calera. The Mariafeld in particular lends natural smoke and spice notes to the wine, which have become distinctive characteristics in this cuvee. The soil variation for Diversité ranges from heavily broken volcanic basalt on the Northwestern block, to the more lush Nekia soil of the Northeastern block.

Winemaker Jim Sanders has meticulously refined his talent in Oregon winemaking since the mid-90s. Jim’s portfolio features some of the Willamette Valley’s most acclaimed wines, including those produced under his partnership with Le Cadeau proprietor Tom Mortimer – Aubichon Cellars. Jim focuses on small production, hand-crafted wines, aged exclusively in top-tier French oak from the finest cooperages in Burgundy.

93 pts. | Wine Enthusiast, Editors’ Choice – This multi-clonal selection is lushly endowed with a bright mix of red fruit, recalling cranberry, pomegranate, raspberry and cherry. It’s annotated with orange peel highlights and orange blossom scents. The detail and subtlety are impressive. –PG

92 pts. | Wine Spectator – Polished and generous, with expressive raspberry and plump blueberry flavors accented by orange zest and spiced cinnamon notes, lingering toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2024. –TF

Buying advice

The stories and the people behind these brands speak for themselves. All four of the wines are way over the top good. All the wines are hyper-limited in production. We’re talking low hundreds of cases total production. These are as rare as wine gets.

Let’s celebrate great wine, but also celebrate some Minnesotans that we went west to make some amazing fermented grape juice for us! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Thank you, everyone! We couldn’t do this without you!

Jason Kallsen
Sommelier and founder/owner of Twin Cities Wine Education


NEW! Your payment to Solo Vino for the Friday offer is contained on the order form. No more back-and-forth emailed invoices and payments. Yay!!

This offer has closed. Thank you for your interest.

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