Gift Guide 2018
This second part of our 2018 Gift Guide features some unique gifts for the wine lover on your list. We’ve dug deep to find some of the California Wine Country’s undiscovered gems but we’ve made sure to add in a few perennial favorites guaranteed to light up any wine lover’s eyes.
If this list takes care of the gifts for the wine lover on your list but you’re still looking for gift ideas for the rest of your food enthusiasts and bon vivants friends, be sure to check out our Part One. It features sensational lifestyle gifts, many of which feature a giving component.
2013 Cartograph Brut Rose
This small, boutique winery in Healdsburg produces gorgeous Pinot Noirs from single vineyards in the Russian River and Anderson Valleys so it figures that their sparkling rose would be stunning as well. Their “zero dosage,” or no sugar added, Brut Rose has a bit of Pinot Noir added for floral aromas of violets and wine petals with a hint of strawberries and salinity obvious on the palate. With a finish of berry and citrus, this is a wine for celebrating. Pair with seafood, hard cheese or truffled potato chips. $68 at cartographwines.com
2017 Moshin Vineyards Rose of Pinot Noir
Rose is hot right now, no question about it, and rose can be made from just about any red grape or combination of red grapes. No longer an afterthought, roses can be made in a number of different ways and the tasty, fruity Moshin rose is gently pressed off for maximum color and flavor. Almost sold out but, at about $25 from this small producer, a good buy. Join the wine club for great events like lunches at Valette in Healdsburg. Moshinvineyards.com
2017 Chateau Montelena Reisling
If you know Chateau Montelena for their other popular varietals and their fame from the Judgement of Paris, step away from the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon and try the Potter Valley Reisling that is dry, fruit forward and a perfect match for so many foods, especially Asian, sushi and strong cheeses. A great gift from a memorable producer at about $27. Chateaumontelena.com.
2016 Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Chalk Hill AVA
From a known and popular producer, this top of the line, well-made wine from the tiny Chalk Hill appellation is a wine certain to please anyone on your list especially women. Face it…a lot of us never gave up liking Chardonnay and now well-crafted examples of this varietal are better than ever. Stone fruit aromas with touches of citrus and almond on the nose with creamy but balanced flavors of lemon meringue and crème brulee. Perfect with seafood and a cream sauce or pair with Gruyere cheese. At $42, a nice mid-priced wine. Or give the gift of a membership to the Foley Food and Wine Society for year of wine experiences. Foleyfoodandwinesociety.com
The lineup of Sagrantino di Montefalco wines
These Italian wines are made from the Sagrantino grape. It’s native variety of Montefalco and one of Italy’s oldest grapes. A very careful cultivation process is required in order to enhance power and uniqueness of this wine. And to ensure the right balance and elegance. Very high quality farming system is adopted in the vineyard, with small, flavorful yields, well below the ones permitted by the regulations. Perfect with roasted meats and pasta and truly unique gift. viaswine.com/wineries/colpetrone/
2014 Trombetta Pinot Noir, Gap’s Crown Vineyard
This single vineyard Pinot Noir from the new and heralded Petaluma Gap appellation is everything a Pinot should be. From a growing area that is cooled by fog throughout the morning then warmed by the sun in the afternoon only to cool down again at night for a balanced, long growing season. It offers aromas of blackberry and dark fruit with flavors of spice and berry cobbler and a long, beautiful finish. Pair with osso buco, roasts or brie cheese. I suggest a magnum as a gift and the 2014 is tasting spectacularly now. $150 trombettawines.com
2015 Duckhorn Merlot, Napa Valley, Three Palms Vineyard
Although the film “Sideways” kicked a blow to the Merlot market, it did clean up all the mediocre Merlot producers. And those that made it through continued to have a strong fan base for this noble Bordeaux variety. Merlot is back and those in the know adore finding the hottest emerging producers or continue enjoying the stalwarts like the venerable Duckhorn. That’s why this legendary wine makes our list of gifts for the wine lover. This Merlot offers aromas of cranberry, fig, and cocoa nibs with flavors of plum, molasses and cherry. A long finish with bittersweet chocolate touches. Pair with short ribs or pecorino cheese. $98 at duckhorn.com.
2016 Pedroncelli Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Valley
From long-time producers (over 90 years), this Cabernet Sauvignon is such a value. Give a case or mix it with some of their renowned Zinfandels. Aromas or dark, rich berries and dried herbs are followed by flavors of blackberry and hints of Italian spice. Among our gifts for the wine lover, this one is incredibly well priced at only $20. (This is what come from having vineyards in the family for so long you can produce Saturday night quality at Tuesday night prices.) Pair this luscious Cab with steak or parmesan cheese. Pedroncelli.com
For more great wine recommendations, check out our Wine of the Week.
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