2016 Holiday Wine Gift Guide III – Sparkling and Desserts


El Carajo’s Holiday Wine Gift Guide III – Sparkling and Desserts

If you really don’t know what to get for your special someone, two things come to mind: bubbles and sweets! My favorite bubbles are Champagne. Champagne comes in a few styles and quality levels. I’m personally a brut style lover with their crisp clean, dry, and brioche-y notes. Many people prefer rosés with their notes of strawberry, cherries, and their lovely color. But, for those very special people you can opt for a Tête de Cuvée. These special wines are made with the most care and absolute best selections of grapes.

Brut Champagne Tasting Notes

Taittinger Brut la Francaise NV – Notes of apricot, apple, and lemon with a touch of brioche. This medium bodied champagne is clean, easy drinking, and a good value.taittinger-brut

– 93pts William Wong –


Bollinger Special Cuvée NV – Incredible bubbles, brioche, with undertones of apricot, vanilla and almonds. This Champagne is on the heavier side and is always a benchmark.bollinger-brut

– 94pts William Wong –

Rosé Champagne Tasting Notes

Schramsberg Brut Rosé ’13 – Though not actual Champagne, Schramsberg is as close as you get outside of France. Clean with notes of strawberries, vanilla, and incredible minerality.schramsberg-brut-rose

– 91pts Connoisseurs’ Guide –


Piper Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage NV – The most concentrated and deep rosé from Champagne. Loads of cherry and raspberry with tones of brioche and toasted almond.piper-brut-rose

– 93pts Tasting Panel –


Laurent-Perrier Brut Rosé NV – A benchmark rosé Champagne. Light and elegant with notes of strawberry and hints of cherry.laurent-perrier-brut-rose

– 96pts Connoisseurs’ Guide –

Tête de Cuvée Tasting Notes

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs ’05 – Incredibly refined and creamy with great but not overbearing freshness. These bottles may finish so fast that you’ll need a spare.taittinger-comtes-de-champ

– 97pts Decanter –


Krug Grande Cuvée – Krug only makes Tête de Cuvée. Often described as the best Champagne produced, you need only take in its’ complex bouquet and rich body to agree.krug-brut

– 97pts William Wong –

Dessert Wines Tasting Notes

Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos ’09 – Dried apricot, candied citrus, and honey. The wine is rich with some fresh acid. The nose is concentrated fruit with notes of white flowers.royal-tokaji

– Awarded Gold International Wine Competition –


Ch Coutet Sauternes ’09 – Incredibly rich without being cloying. Incredible notes of pineapple, oranges, apricots and nectarines. The wine opens with honey, white flowers, and solid minerality.ch-coutet

– 95pts Gilbert & Gaillard –


Toro Albala Don PX ’86 – A truly special dessert wine. Looks like syrup but tastes like raisins, candied oranges, figs, and coffee.px-1986

– 92pts Wine Advocate –


Check out all these wines and more at El Carajo. If none of these fit your bill, please just ask a member of our crew for assistance picking out the perfect gift.