DeLoach was our first stop on our Sonoma County wine tasting weekend in late October. I’ve been holding off publishing the story for Thanksgiving week in particular for various reasons—mostly we’ve been distracted by all the wine-tasting private events that we’ve had the pleasure to enjoy lately. But this week seems particularly apt as the winery prides itself on fine pinot noir production, a very food-friendly red that is perfect for the traditional T-day meal.
What are you having for Thanksgiving this year?
We’re cooking with our dear friend and fellow pescatarian, John. We’ve agreed to have herb stuffed roasted whole fish with potatoes and clams, some TBD French green bean dish, Tartine bread with two dips: edamame miso party dip and artichoke dip, mixed olives, leafy salad in vinaigrette, classic pecan pie and Barbara’s cranberry upside down cake. Along with a selection of wines, of course, pinot included. If the fish cannot be caught, then we’re going with Tofurkey as a standby. So all of you reading this, pray with me for good fishing without complications!
But back to DeLoach. The winery was founded in 1973 when Cecil DeLoach planted his first vineyard. It was purchased by a French family from Burgundy, the Boissets, in 2003. Right now they’re in the process of converting all of their production to organic, biodynamic and sustainable practices according to their web site. That site is really informative and kind of fun. I love it that the sub title for the place is “The Russian River Original.” It sounds like a classic. Though I wonder exactly what they mean with the expression?
The tasting room and surrounding property is quite lovely. The gardens are also organic and biodynamic. They’ve a wonderful map of it on their site, which shows where they’ve planted various things. It sounds like the garden is both ornamental and used for food production. That’s really cool.
We went on a sunny relatively warm day. There’s an incredible sculpture out front of a female figure holding her arms up to the sky with a smaller perhaps child or baby in one of them. It is very striking. I sort of felt warmly greeted in her elegant embrace. It was a fine way to begin.
They’ve a conventional and quite pleasant tasting room with an attentive staff. “Debbie” poured our tastes. She was a riot and we felt very comfortable. She even let me stand behind the bar for a picture. Amazing! My friends Karen and Veronica enjoyed the experience so well that they joined the winery on the spot.
2008 Pennacchio Vineyard Pinot Noir: A transparent red with aromas of raspberry and tobacco, this was medium bodied with a long finish. We detected lots of interesting earthy notes that were almost bitter.
2008 Thornton Vineyard Pinot Noir: A transparent ruby red with a delightfully musky smoky aroma, this was richer and even creamier than the first with a good finish. I liked it a lot.
2007 Masút Vineyard Pinot Noir: Apparently “masút” is a local Indian term meaning “good earth.” This had wonderful aromas of raspberry, eucalyptus, and pine with caramel and sour cherry flavors predominating, ending smoothly with some white pepper notes.
2008 Maboroshi Vineyard Pinot Noir: “Maboroshi” means “whimsical dream.” A transparent deep red with a nose of smoke, bergamot, orange peel, candied ginger and licorice, this was smooth with ample red fruit and earthy notes.
2008 Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir: Another dark transparent red, this had a smoky mushroomy nose. It is a huge wine! Full bodied all the way with lots of red fruit, mineral and creamy smoothness leading to a complex delightful finish. The wine seemed to open up for miles.
2008 Forgotten Vines Zinfandel: If I wrote this right, the grapes for this zin are all sourced from pre-Prohibition vines. That’s old. A purple red, it was jammy, spicy with a long finish. Good.
NV tawny port: My friends are really into port and they loved this one. It had a lot of fruit and spice though not really my thing.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And if you do happen by DeLoach, tell them that you heard about it on weirdcombinations.