ONCE YOU TASTE the Tom Gore wines you will understand what all the “farmer” business on the label is about. All the labels carry the tag: A Farmer’s Wine. Tom Gore is a second-generation grape grower in Sonoma County, in Alexander Valley to be specific, and a vineyard manager like his father — in essence, a farmer. Tom knew at an early age what he wanted to do: farm wine grapes.
A graduate of Cal Poly, he spent eight years managing vineyards throughout Napa and Sonoma before joining the huge wine producing and marketing company Constellation Brands where he cared for the Franciscan and Mt. Veeder Napa Valley vineyards and then, still with Constellation, moved back home to Sonoma to manage 680 acres of estate vineyards for Simi Winery. Currently, he is Constellation’s director of vineyards for Sonoma and Mendocino counties. And he is making his own Tom Gore Vineyards brand in the Alexander Valley — three wines: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and a red field blend — all of which just went into nationwide distribution, including at Metro Detroit Kroger stores.
His Web site has a handy wine finder you can use to locate the wines in your area.
Tom Gore Vineyards Field Blend Alexander Valley 2012, $40: Code words on the label that would make me grab a bottle are “Field Blend,” referring to more than one grape variety planted in the same vineyard, and “Alexander Valley,” the warm Sonoma region that grows spectacular reds. This baby is dense and concentrated, with flavors of blackberry, plum, dark cherry, leather and toasty oak. It’s a blend of Petit Verdot (note the inky color and structure), Malbec (berries and spice), Merlot (plum and brown baking spices), Cabernet Sauvignon (rich dark fruit), and Tempranillo (cherry, plum, clove). It’s nature’s own Red Wine Blend.
Tom Gore Vineyards Chardonnay 2013, $13: Aromas are a siren of Honey Crisp apple, pear, mango, melon and pineapple. In the mouth, the crisp, dry flavors are supported by sturdy acidity and a subtle infusion of smoky oak. Mouth feel is creamy smooth. Grapes are from Tom Gore’s vineyards in Sonoma’s Alexander Valley.
Tom Gore Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon California 2012, $15: Nice buy for a Cab of this quality. It’s a dense, concentrated wine with bold fruit, acidity for backbone and toasted oak for added structure and complexity. Flavors are red currant, cherry, plum and dark roasted coffee enhanced by sturdy acidity and supple tannins.
You can reach Sandra Silfven at ssilfven@Hotmail.com.