Perhaps, you may wonder what a wine buyer like me drinks or would love to drink for Christmas and New Year eve. Well, I thought about it and decided to share with you the nine wines that first came to my mind amongst all the wines that we have in the store.
Of course, these are my choices and this short list entirely reflects my palate. I could have chose dozens of other wines, but these were really the ones that I wanted the most for innumerable reasons. Surprisingly, for a Spanish wine lover, I didn't chose any Spanish wines. Oh well, I will catch up on some other occasions next year.
I hope that this little selection will generate some inspiration for your own celebration dinners and parties. Happy holidays to you all! And thanks for your comments and faithful reading! Let's hope that next year I will find the time to write even more and about more interesting staff. Cheers! Sante!
NV Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Rose France
Suggested retail price $78-$85
Imported/Distributed by T-Edward in NYC
One of the most sought-after Champagne house in the US market and for the longest time very difficult to find, Billecart-Salmon is back with a revenge to take its rightful place at the top of the greatest Champagne. Flavorful, crisp, focus, delicate and harmonious, Billecart-Salmon Brut rose will please your taste buds in ways that few champagne brands do.
2008 Figge "Pelio" vineyard Chardonnay Monterrey California
Suggested retail price $32-$35
Imported/Distributed by T-Edward in NYC
Figge Cellars is an artisanal boutique winery producing tiny amounts of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah wines from various vineyards benefiting of the cool climate of Monterey, California.Their Chardonnay "Pelio" vineyard has a Meursault-esque profile, offering a well rounded, fresh, creamy palate with ripe white and yellow fruit flavors, nicely framed by toasted oak nuances.
2007 Vieux Donjon Blanc Chateauneuf du Pape Rhone France
Suggested retail price $33-$36
Imported/Distributed by Lauber in NYC
Better known for their reds, Vieux Donjon is a quintessential figure in the Chateauneuf du Pape decor, producing classic, earthy and full-flavored wines. Crafted with equal shares of Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Clairette, it is rich, persistent and approachable with generous yellow fruits, lot of minerality and age potential.
2008 Albert Mann Pinot Noir "Clos de la Faille" Alsace France
Suggested retail price $42-$46
Imported/Distributed by Weygandt in NYC
Albert Mann is one of the few inescapable winemakers of Alsace. Organically managed and "Ecocert" certified, and better known for his whites, (his Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru is a standard of excellence), this domaine also produces a tiny amount of succulent Pinot Noir, which deserves more attention. The carefully hand-harvested grapes come from a "Clos" (single vineyard usually delimited by a small wall surrounding it) of 1 hectare, perfectly partitioned and remarkably situated right in a breach area of a fault. The Clos is enclaved between the mountains of the Vosges and the small dry plot of land covered with bushes of amelanchiers, more typical to the Mediterranean area, orchids Ophrys sphegodes, Orchis mascula, and other flowers and animals, characteristic to this protected area, classified as biotope. Aged in oak, this Pinot Noir shows a surprisingly deep ruby color. The nose boasts spicy red fruit flavors combined with earthy, toasted notes, and slight hints of coffee and tar. The palate is fairly rich and expressive, touch spicy, with generous texture and juicy fruit enhancing the lingering finish.
2009 Grosjean Torrette Vallee D'Aoste Italy
Suggested retail price $20-$24
Imported/Distributed by Madrose/Rosenthal in NYC
Ancient kingdom squeezed between France, Switzerland and Piedmont, too often overlooked, Valley d'Aoste, located southeast of the Mont-Blanc mountain in the alpine hills of the northwestern part of Italy, offers bright, mineral wines made from indigenous grape varieties. Made with local Petite Rouge grapes, Torrette from GrosJean taste like a bowl of freshly crushed red cherries, refreshing with racy acidity and seductive minerality.
2006 Produttori dei Barbaresco Barbaresco Piedmont Italy
Suggested retail price $32-$35
Imported/Distributed by VIAS in NYC
Nestled in the hilltop village of Barbaresco, Produttori is the most ancient cooperative of Barbaresco, producing traditional, earthy style Nebbiolo based wines from some of the most respected Crus and single vineyards of the area. Their introductory Barbaresco is a balanced, concentrated, juicy and pleasing wine with refreshing acidity that carries the fruit through the finish and adds brightness to the lingering, earthy finish.
2005 Chateau Lagrange Saint Julien Bordeaux France
Suggested retail price $62-$68
Imported/Distributed by BNP in NYC
Although owned by the Suntory group, Chateau Lagrange kept its magnificence and traditional style, offering fresh red berries and cherry enhanced by great acidity and framed by present yet integrated tannins. Benefiting of exceptional conditions, 2005 is a vintage that marked the last decade for its complexity, structure and ripeness of fruit and Chateau Lagrange delivers all of these qualities in very charming and inviting ways.
2004 L'Arco "Pario" Rosso Veronese Veneto Italy
Suggested retail price $43-$47
Imported/Distributed by Lieber Brothers in NYC
A wonderful new Italian Cantina, l'Arco is the result of a collaboration between the successful Brazilian entrepreneur Luiz Alberto Barichello and Luca Fedrigo, vineyard foreman and assistant for the renowned Giuessppe Quintarelli. Luca Fedrigo crafts Veneto wines that have similar density, texture and complexity as those from Quintarelli for much lesser prices. L'Arco "Pario" Rosso Veronese is a traditional Valpolicella blend of Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara and, in very small percentages, Croatina, made in a combined Ripasso-Amarone style and aged for approximately 3 years in large Slovenian oak. The result is superb, showing a dark ruby red color, beautifully layered inciting bouquet and rich mouth-feel with exuberant ripe dark fruits, figs, earthy, autumnal aromas and flavors. A refine companion for meat dishes and mellow cheeses, after about 2 hours in a decanter, it will be excellent with game and grilled meats.
NV D'Arlay Macvin Du Jura Sweet Red Liquor wine Jura France
Suggested retail price $41-$44
Imported/Distributed by Alain Juguenet Selection in NYC
Located in the heart of the Jura vineyards, the medieval Chateau d'Arlay has been producing stellar, classic "Côtes du Jura" red and whites, and more traditionally Vin Jaune and Macvin du Jura for centuries. Some authors have even written that Arlay was one of the oldest Vineyard Castle of France. Their Macvin is a fantastic sweet fortified red wine, meaning that alcohol has been added to the must to stop the fermentation and retain residual sugar, but also slightly increasing the alcohol level. D'Arlay Macvin is a blend of 2/3 of fresh must 100% Pinot Noir with 1/3 marc-brandy (aged for 4 years in cask), then matured for 1 year in old barrels. The result is a fantastic, rich and unctuous sweet red wine layered with tons of aromas and flavors and slight oxidative notes, like most Jura wines. It pairs well with chocolate, wild red berries and nutty dessert like pear-almond tart. To be served at moderate temperature.
LeDom du Vin
Step into the Green! Drink more Biodynamic, Biologique and Organic wines and spirits and food) from sustainable culture and respect the environment! Support the right causes for the Planet and all the people suffering all around the globe! Also follow projects and products from the Fair Trade, an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and promote sustainability. Also support 1% for the Planet, an alliance of businesses that donate at least 1% of their annual revenues to environmental organizations worldwide. "Commerce Equitable" or "Fair Trade" is evidently and more than ever a needed movement connecting producers and customers, to be aware of others and their cultural and traditional products based on high quality, natural components and craftsmanship.