Tom Gore, founder of the eponymous Tom Gore Vineyards, often refers to his wines as “farm-to-glass.” It’s a claim he can comfortably make, as he himself tends and harvests the hundreds of acres of grapes that ultimately become his wines. At the recent debut of his first-ever namesake wines (after years of managing vineyards), Gore and his wife presented three exceptionally balanced, highly enjoyable wines—and each reflects his impassioned history as much as their Sonoma roots.
“The wines we are introducing with Tom Gore Vineyards are the ultimate expression of what we do in the field, demonstrating how the craft of carefully farming grapes impacts the flavors and quality of the wine, from farm to glass,” Gore shares with CH. “It was important to me that the wines showed the character of the fruit above all, that’s why the Chardonnay, for example, doesn’t show one style of winemaking too much, like overly oaky character, or go the complete other way with stainless fermentation—it’s a really balanced wine that lets the fruit shine on its own.” Gore studied at Cal Poly, where he earned a degree in fruit science with a concentration in vineyard management. He applies this knowledge to the fact that he has been among grapes since the age of two. His own signature line is a deserved debut.
Gore partnered with celebrated winemaker and longtime friend Gary Sitton for further insight and mastery. “When we decided to create Tom Gore Vineyards,” he continues, “more than anything, I wanted the wines to have a great sense of place and varietal character, while over-delivering on quality at a great price. Usually my job in the winemaking process is to bring great fruit to a winemaker and let them do their job. This time around, things were a little different. I worked closely with the winemaker to sample different stages throughout the wines’ development and blending process, making sure that they let the grape character shine.”
As for the wines themselves, each provides a unique entry point into his vision. Gore’s 2013 Chardonnay blends wines fermented across both oak barrels (65%) and stainless steel (35%). It’s crisp and fruity, without being overly sweet. A touch of acidity lends a nice edge in this altogether wonderful wine. The medium bodied 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 16 months in French and American oak. The result, from its dark red character to the plum aromas and delightful mouthfeel, happens to be both respectable and enjoyable. The clear standout happens to be the Field Blend, an inky colored 35% Petit Verdot, 33% Malbec, 21% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Tempranillo blend that’s been aged 22 months in French oak barrels. It’s full-bodied and fruit-forward, with length in every sip.
The Tom Gore wines will be rolling out across the country in the coming months. Their online where to buy page will offer continued updates, both in-store and at restaurants or bars. The Field Blend is also available online, where it retails for $40. The others will be available online in mid-April, retailing between $13-15.
Lead image courtesy of Tom Gore Vineyards, additional images by Cool Hunting