2015 Holiday Gift Guide – That Special Bottle
These gifts require a lot more thought since you give those special bottles to those people who are very close to you such as your parents, significant others, partners and best friends. The best gift is to give them something similar to wines they like or a bottle they covet. For example, if they are just craving a bottle of a bottle of Stag’s Leap Cask 23 but they are never willing to spring for it themselves, it would make a perfect gift since they wouldn’t buy it for themselves. Another way to buy a gift for them is to know what they normally drink then buy something similar in the case above, you might get a bottle of Quintessa or Dominus. If you don’t know what it is they normally like but you still want to impress, I always recommend wines that are well known and have broad appeal. Good examples of these are Chateaneuf du Papes, Spanish Reds, and California red blends. Here are some of my favorites suggestions from each category:
Chateauneuf du Pape
Good: La Robe Rouge ’13 – A great value CDP that is Grenache driven giving it a lighter more approachable style.
Better: Ch. De la Font du Loup ’12 – A silky dark fruited wine with more earth tones than la robe rouge for those looking for more complexity in their wines. – 92 points Stephen Tanzer
Best: Ch. Beaucastel ’12 – A dense, amazingly complex CDP that sets the standard for the category with its easy drinking character while young, while maintaining its amazing capacity to age. – 96 points Robert Parker
Good: Torremilanos Crianza ’11– A rich Ribera with dark berry tones, hints of cherry and orange rind wrapped up with chocolatey tannins. Another prime example of how Spanish reds are
Better: Montsalvat Priorat ’04 – A heavy wine with blueberry fruit and mineral backbone. The age on this wine has softened its palate leaving it accessible to a broad palate. 92 points Robert Parker
Best: Muga Prado Enea ’06 – An amazing traditional Rioja with ripe fruit tones of cherries, plums and prunes with notes of vanilla, tobacco and leather. The wine drinks incredibly fresh for one that is nearly a decade old. – 98 points and #2 wine of the year by James Suckling
California Red Blends
Good: Orin Swift Abstract ’13 –The best Abstract I’ve ever had with layers of fruit ranging from strawberries to blackberries dipped in mocha and vanilla with an easy drinking palate. – 94
points Robert Parker
Better: Beringer Quantum ’12 – A silky fruity yet serious wine with its vibrant fruit juxtaposed against its spice and mineral tones. A wine that stands out from a great vintage. – 92 points Galloni
Best: Opus One ’12 – The most sought after gifting wine every year, Opus One has out done themselves in the ’12 vintage even getting the critics who normally rate them harshly to recognize its quality out of the gate. – 97 points James Suckling
I hope this guide has helped you pick out some of those gifts you need this season. If you have any questions feel free to ask our knowledgeable crew and don’t forget our wine store is open 24/7!