Peju Provence

Santa’s Stash

Santa doesn’t carry wine around by the case, (except maybe to very, very good boys and girls). And so why should you? Here’s a mixed bag to pack on your sleigh, (or the hold of the plane), as you make your way to your holiday destination this December.

2004 Bridlewood Viognier, Santa Barbara
Like wine world key lime pie, this delicious thirst-quencher is tinged with citrus and sweetness. Although there’s a little too much flavor of oak, the grape’s true flavors manage to shine through. Serving hint: try it with citrus flavored white chocolate truffles. $$

Peju ProvencePeju Provence, Napa Valley
If the wine world had a gateway drug, this would be it. The perfect bridge from whites to big reds, Provence is a blend of three red grapes and one white – French Colombard, (an aromatic white grape). The wine is at once weighty and floral, great for tropical weather or sipping après ski. $$

2003 King Estate Pinot Noir, Oregon
This wine offers an interesting smoky, earthiness found more often in French Burgundy than in American Pinot Noir. Although earthy flavors dominate, there is a deliciously biting acid. The finish is short, but smacks of caramel. $$

2004 Thomas Fogarty Gewurztraminer, Monterrey, CA
A pretty, pretty wine with honey and dried stone fruit aromas and flavors, this is just the kind of bottle to pair with anything you’d want to eat. Light on the tongue, it ends with the merest impression of licorice. $$

2005 Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Marlbourough, NZ
A bright fun wine and great for the price, this New Zealand SB offers more sweetness than the typical, biting white from Down Under. Its flavors are passion fruit and gooseberry with a nice tart bite. $

Mumm Grand Cru, Champagne, France
This new wine to the American market is set to change the Mumm brand image. A complex and mature Champagne made with a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is both big in body and decidedly elegant. $$$$

2005 Alice White Chardonnay, South Eastern Australia
Chardonnay lovers take note: here is the bargain of the year. At a retail of about $7, this is a fun, everyday kind of Chard that outshines just about everything in its price class. What it lacks in finesse, it makes up for in tropical fruit aromas and sweetness. $

2003 Bourassa Rhapsody3 Syrah, Napa Valley
If you could create a prototype of American Syrah, this should be the mold. Aromas are classic, lots of blueberry. The wine has pretty fruit flavors, but it’s still got bite. There are tannins, but the kind with a fine grain which add texture without that unpleasant drying on the tongue. $$$

$ under 15USD
$$ 15-25USD
$$$ 25-50USD
$$$$ over 50USD

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