December 20, 2019
Seven decadent wines to dress your holiday table.
As the next two weeks usher in friends and family gathering around dinner tables and festive events, wine plays an important—and tasty—role. Whether on the search for a standout hostess gift, or needing inspiration to set the quintessential dinner table, here’s our top toasts of the holiday season.
Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Francaises 2010. According to wine expert and Vinous founder Antonio Galloni, this is one of his top-rated champagnes of 2019. Expect a 100-percet Pinot Noir Grand cru (Blanc de Noirs), with exclusive use of the cuvee and fermented entirely in barrels. Per the usual with Bollinger, only the highest quality harvests become a vintage: in 2010, the Vieilles Vignes Françaises produced a gorgeous Pinot Noir.
Far Niente 2018 Chardonnay. When there’s talk of Chardonnay, there’s most likely talk of Far Niente. Since its first vintage in 1979, Far Niente has created a Napa Valley Chardonnay without malolactic fermentation, which, in turn, retains the grape’s natural acidity. The result? Chardonnays with forward fruit and bright acidity while young and a sophisticated, and creamy profiles as they mature. The 2018 vintage has scents of melon, sweet citrus, and white blossom floral layered with notes of flint, yeast, and sweetly toasted oak.
Sinegal Estate 2016 Sauvignon Blanc. Debuting its inaugural vintage in 2013, Sinegal is known for precision, organic winemaking and a strong presence in the evolving world of Sauvignon Blancs. If looking for the gift of travel, a visit to its Napa headquarters reveals a world-class setting dating back to 1881, with new caves, a tasting room, and VIP Lounge. The boutique 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (93% Sauvignon Blanc; 45% Sauv Musque Clone and 7% Semillon) is a must, with notes of green apple, lime zest, and kiwi.
Caymus Vineyards Special Selection. A beautiful hostess or holiday gift, this Cabernet Sauvignon arrives in a lacquered Burlwood box. Of top note is the wine itself: Caymus Vineyards’ Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon opens with aromas of anise and creme de cassis. On the palate, the wine celebrates earthiness, brown spices, cigar box, and ripe plums.
Keplinger Wine’s 2016 Vermillion. Produced by dynamic Napa duo Helen Keplinger and DJ Warner, this red blend is a favorite for its value, robust wine DNA, and a festive red label—a holiday showstopper. The elegant 2016 Vermillion is a red wine blend with layers of blackberry, raspberry, coriander, black licorice, aromatic herbs, slate, mandarin oil, and black tea. This is a table wine for every night and nearly any dish. It’s sourced from 10 different vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, and the Sierra Foothills and aged in 100-percent French oak and bottled without fining or filtration.
Donelan Wines 2015 Obsidian Vineyard Syrah. The holidays must be toasted with a sumptuous Syrah, and this Donelan gem won’t disappoint. The first vintage of Obsidian Vineyard Syrah was helmed by new ownership and management of the vineyard. The intense Obsidian Syrah has trademark notes of chocolate ganache, black currants, fig, and graphite and an expansive mouthfeel.
Darioush Library 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum. Big format is a festive and bold holiday statement, and if walking into a dinner party with this graceful Cabernet, you’re sure to fuel a fun evening. According to Wine Spectator magazine, it’s “robust and potent, offering ripe, dense blackberry, licorice, lead pencil, cedar and roasted herb flavors that are full-bodied and concentrated, all the while holding onto a tight focus and ending with a long, chewy, persistent finish.” Best through 2023.
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