There’s only one thing more fun then receiving gifts during the Holiday Season. And that’s giving the perfect gift to that special someone and watching their eyes light up with glee! If you’re shopping for a wine lover who has a penchant for the finer things, our Wine Lover’s Glamorous Holiday Gift Guide is chock full of ideas that are sure to delight!
1.) For the Red Wine Lover…
Round Pond Estate Cab Lovers Gift Set ($180): Hailing from one of our favorite properties in the Napa Valley, this gorgeous set of acclaimed wines features 2 styles of Round Pond’s Cabernet Sauvignon, the Reserve and Rutherford, to show just how deliciously diverse one grape variety from the same vineyard can be. Specifically for the lover of big, bold Napa Valley Cabs, this gift set is sure to be a favorite as it brings together Round Pond’s 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (94 points Antonio Galloni) and the 2014 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon in a beautiful, artisan gift box.
2.) For the Art Lover…
Cuvaison Andy Warhol Series One Collection ($250 – 2 bottle set): In the early 1980s, Alexander Schmidheiny, owner of Cuvaison Winery and friend of Andy Warhol, commissioned the iconic artist to create screenprints for his Cuvaison wine labels. Done in his signature Pop Art style, the prints have rarely been seen until now! Cuvaison and The Andy Warhol Foundation celebrate this historic collaboration with this limited edition Andy Warhol by Cuvaison Collection. This first release in a series of three includes exclusive wines from Cuvaison’s two Napa Valley estates: a Chardonnay from Carneros and a red Bordeaux blend from Brandlin Vineyard on Mount Veeder. Both the beautifully-crafted wines and collector’s box feature original artwork created by Andy Warhol.
3.) For the Book Lover…
Mark Oldman’s How to Drink Like a Billionaire: Mastering Wine with Joie de Vivre ($23): Want to know the mysteries of how the 1% drink? Mark Oldman, one of America’s most popular wine experts, demystifies the secrets of the wine world. Oldman distills his vast knowledge of wines into this easy-to-read, humorous guide, complete with in-depth how-tos on everything from tasting, swirling, and buying wine the same way billionaires do—without the price tag! From detailing little-known ways to hone in on the best value bottles to the secret maneuvers you can do to master wine in restaurants, shops, and at home, How to Drink Like a Billionaire will have you approaching wine with the shrewdness, style, and unapologetic joy of the 1%.
4.) For the Holiday Host & Hostess…
Magnum of of Taittinger Brut La Francaise Champagne ($140): This delightful Champagne from Taittinger is definitely one of our favorites with it’s lively, festive bubbles and brisk acidity. This special bubbly is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier aged on the lees for almost 4 years more than the legal minimum of 15 months! This extra time in the cellars allows the wine to reach the peak of aromatic maturity, and the result is a delicately balanced Champagne, known for its consistently excellent quality. There’s nothing more festive then bubbly around the holidays and you’re guaranteed to be invited back year after year if you present your gracious Host and/or Hostess with a magnum of fabulous Champagne – the equivalent of two regular 750mL bottles.
5.) For the Collector & Gadget Lover…
Coravin Model Two System ($299): This revolutionary gadget needs to be in every wine lover’s home since it completely changes the way you drink wine! Coravin’s Model Two is the company’s most intuitive wine system that gives wine lovers the freedom to pour and enjoy a glass of wine from any bottle, at any time, without pulling the cork! Using Coravin’s proprietary technology, the new Model Two is the best-in-class tool that lets you taste, share, compare and explore wine like never before. Want to sample a glass of your 1982 Bordeaux without committing to an entire bottle? Get out your Coravin! It’s the revolution that’s opening up an enriching world of possibilities.
This time of year I love to revel in reds. Big, bold, complex, luxurious reds. And what better place to find them than California’s Napa Valley? Recently, I had the pleasure of sampling one such red wine – our Wine of the Week, the 2012 Brandlin Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder.
Who it’s from: The Brandlin family were early pioneers of Mount Veeder and began farming grapes there in the early 1870’s. The Brandlin Vineyard was founded in 1926 by Chester Brandlin’s grandfather, and Chester himself continued to farm the vineyard for over 50 years. In an interview featured on the winery’s website, Brandlin fondly recalls growing grapes during the tough Prohibition years which ultimately devastated California’s budding wine industry. How did the family avoid getting caught? “We were good friends with the Sheriff,” Brandlin remarked coyly.
As winemaker for Napa Valley’s Cuvaison and Brandlin since 2002, both of Cuvaison Estate Wines, Steven Rogstad honed his sense of terroir as a graduate student of Enology and Viticulture at UC Davis. During his studies, Rogstad experimented with non-commercial yeast strains on lots of wine from fifty different wineries across the appellation. This project also developed his ability to work with and blend small lots which is crucial to his winemaking style today. Over the years, Rogstad has worked with and advised such well-regarded names as Viader, Dominus, Duckhorn and Spottswoode. He was ultimately draw to Cuvaison’s estate vineyard in Carneros as well as the opportunity to build their new winery from the ground up.
Where it’s from: Named for Dutch Pastor Peter Veeder in the mid-1800’s, Mount Veeder is located among the southern Mayacamas mountains adjoining Carneros. Existing within the Napa AVA, the Mount Veeder AVA (American Viticultural Area) was established in 1993 and features vineyards which are highly exposed to elements including the winds off of San Pablo Bay. This exposure is responsible for Mount Veeder’s unusually cool temperatures, resulting in the longest growing season of any AVA in Napa Valley.
“Steep rocky soils and a moderate climate render intense, black fruited concentration and a powerful backbone of tannin that make this wine unique.”
– Steven Rogstad, Winemaker
The Brandlin Vineyard is located on a Mount Veeder ridgeline on the valley’s west side. Perched at 900 to 1,150 feet in elevation, the vineyard is divided into 15 different blocks facing a multitude of different aspects. The varied differences in sun exposure, slope and soil composition provide distinct fruit characteristics in each block. These unique conditions have led to Mount Veeder’s well-deserved reputation as an ideal place to grow world class Cabernet Sauvignon characterized by briary aromas and flavors with herbal and floral notes which are often powerful and high in tannin.
Wine by the (Geeky) Numbers:
Harvest Date: Oct 11- 30
Age of Vines: 12 years average
Fermentation: 15 – 28 days
Barrel Aging: 22 months in small French oak barrels (50% new)
Blend: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Malbec, 9% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot
The Glamorous Gourmet’s Tasting Note: The Brandlin Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder possesses an opaque, deep purple color and aromas of spiced red and black fruit. On the palate, this opulent wine demonstrates remarkable balance while exhibiting notes of ripe blackberry, cassis, earth and luxuriously firm tannins. The wine’s harmonious flavors and textures hold together beautifully on the long, lingering finish.
Pair it with: Enjoy this immensely pleasurable wine with a juicy, well-marbled New York Strip Steak, our own delicious Steak au Poivre or even an aged cheese. Roast duck or pork with a blackberry sauce would also be fabulous!
MSRP: $68 (for purchasing information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 561.317.6663)