The Christmas holiday is all about generosity and giving, but deciding what bottle to buy for the wine enthusiast can be overwhelming. Relax! Here’s your go to guide for the perfect bottle of wine. Below are nine bottles guaranteed to thrill even the most discerning wine connoisseur!
One of CdP’s most fabled estates, whose founder established the French AOC system to ensure authenticity. The 2016 southern Rhone vintage was a doozy that yielded vibrant reds not only full of forward fruit notes, but also with underlying qualities that would emerge with age. This cuvee has all the virtues of the 2016 vintage in spades: vivid cherry and raspberry flavors that emerge with time, lavender and violet hints, and a gamey note that walks on the wild side. A sexy, savage red!
For many, the arid, sunny, mountainous vineyards of Montalcino are Italy’s best. Those from the Uccelliera are among the region’s finest. His small plot of vines permits a more artisanal, hands on approach. And he takes all the time he and his wines need in the cellar. He prefers a cool fermentation in temperature-controlled vats to ensure a vibrant and supple red overflowing with fresh, savory flavors. Dark cherries, raspberries, plums, spice, black licorice, savory tobacco, wild herbs, earthy hints, even fine polished leather - all you can find in this deftly crafted Brunello.
The ultimate insider’s wine. GPL itself is owned by the same family that owns Ducru Beaucaillou, and displays the same silky elegance and verve that are the hallmarks of the Super Second estate And all without any loss of power that all Pauillac wines enjoy. Pound for pound and dollar for dollar, GPL is one of the finest cabs from Bordeaux. Almost opaque to the eye, with blueberries, blackberries, cassis, and flowers on the plush palate. Full-bodied and multilayered, and every bit the Grand Cru wine.
The wines were first discovered by Robert M. Parker, Jr. Today all the critics concur: Peter Sissick’s Dominio de Pingus is one of the finest wine estates in all the world. Of course, a large measure of his success is due to the extreme conditions that his vineyards endure. The sweltering days and frigid nights yield some of the world’s most fruit driven and full-throttled reds. The proof is in Sissick’s 2014 Flor de Pingus. Bold black fruit, exotic baking spices, and smoky oak - it is all in there. Nothing nuanced about this wine!
The first question that springs to mind is... why cultivate the vine in Cote Rotie??? The vineyards are hazardously steep, almost impossible to mechanize, and therefore labor intensive. But they yield some of the wine world’s most stunning reds, as the 2014 Domaine Jamet Cote Rotie demonstrates. Floral notes, a basket full of berries, and spice nuances on the nose. Dense, all-enveloping black raspberries and violets on the palate, with aromatic herbs and bacon lingering in the background. Bright, even nervy, its persistence and focus of flavors are impressive. Proves that syrah is every bit the equal to pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon.
Champagne's first commercially available prestige cuvee, and still one of the greatest sparkling wines! It's made with fruit from an unchanging core group of vineyards located in 8 Grand Cru sites and 1 Premier Cru site, and comprised of chardonnay and pinot noir in roughly equal proportions. Dom Perignon captures and expresses all the distinctive flavors that only the finest sites of Champagne can express. It’s rare breadth and balance of flavors - lush pinot notes and crystalline chardonnay suggestions - are second to none!
A grand chardonnay that lives up to its royal namesake! Even among the wine world’s greatest sites the Grand Cru appellation known as Corton-Charlemagne is special. It is a rare hillside vineyard famous not only for its sunny and cool southwestern facing aspect. It’s blessed with limestone soils that impart a firm texture on the palate, vibrant lime fruit flavors, and persistence on the palate. Those two advantages yield a chard whose vitality of flavors and intensity on the palate are second to no one. Undeniably one of the world’s greatest chards.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.
From one of Napa’s oldest estates, a cult cab that highlights the virtues of hillside vineyards. Enjoying a more sunny and cooler climate, vines rooted on hillsides often yield exceptionally ripe and energetic wines that could also gain complexity with age. It’s a proven fact today, but was still unsubstantiated when Donn Chappellet first broke ground for his hillside estate. He took a risk - and today his cabs are considered among the world’s finest! The 2015 Chappellet Pritchard Hill shows beyond a doubt that Napa’s hillside vineyards are world class sites. Red and black cherries, plums, cola, vanilla, and cedar - the Pritchard Hill cab is loaded with a mountain of flavor. A cellar treasure!
Proof positive that even large estates can craft a Grand Cru pinots that equal anything from a smaller artisan estate. Though Jadot is a vast operation by Burgundy standards, its winemakers maintain a hands on approach while also drawing from the vast resources that a large enterprise like Louis Jadot enjoys. And no onle crafts grand cru pinot noir better than the winemakers at Jadot. Brooding dark fruit, baking spices, and woodsy hints on the nose, with black berries, cinnamon, and floral hints of the palate. This is a beast of a wine in a finely tailored suit.