Looking at my Top 10 list yesterday, and I got to thinking... "what wines would I splurge on?"
Note that not all of these are wines I've had -- in fact, most, I haven't tried. But, if you had to get me a splurge-worthy wine, these would be the ones I'd love to see under the tree on Christmas... perhaps the wine geek on your Christmas list might enjoy one as well!
- 10: Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval 2006 ($55-ish). I've never had it, but a friend of mine at work got to taste it this past year, and said it was sublime, a wonderful Left Bank style blend from Washington. I like Washington wines, and I like the Left Bank, so I think this'd be excellent.
- 9: Pavillion Rouge de Ch. Margaux 2005 ($100-ish). I've always had good luck with second wines, and 2005 was -- as everyone has said -- an amazing year for Bordeaux. Pavillion Rouge is, traditionally, every bit as good as almost any other wine from the region.
- 8: Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppfchen Riesling Auslese 2007 ($55). Sublime Riesling, and the perfect antidote for the person who thinks that "sweet" = "bad" for wine. A perfect balance of sugar and acidity, that finishes for seemingly days. Truly an experience, and one I'll gladly repeat.
- 7: Dom de Perdrix Echezeaux 2005 ($150). A little young for drinking now, but... well, it's Grand Cru Burgundy. What more needs to be said?
- 6: Bodega Catena Zapata Catena Alta 2006 ($50). A big Argentine red, but well-balanced, easy to access, and most importantly incredibly tasty! Argentine wines offer some of the best value on the market right now, and a wine of similar quality from California would easily cost thrice as much.
- 5: Nickel & Nickel Chardonnay Searby Vineyard 2007 ($55). I loved Far Niente's charddonay... Nickel & Nickel is their single-vineyard line, and I'd love to see how it compares.
- 4: Bodegas LAN Culmen 2004 ($65). Powerful, deep, complex wine from a producer that's best-known for more value driven, mass market crianzas. The big, cult-wine bottle doesn't hurt the presentation either!
- 3: Titus Vineyards Reserve Cabernet 2006 ($60-ish). I've loved Titus' cabs for the last several vintages, and their '06 has amazing reviews (a better review than Screaming Eagle in Wine Spectator, if you can believe it!)... which I can say it's earned completely. A tasting pour is all I got to have, and I really, really want a bottle to cellar.
- 2: BV Georges de Latour 2006 ($105 list, but often on sale for less). Yeah, I know, you're wondering... "BV? Really?" And while their lower-end wines are pretty pedantic, their Georges de Latour is... well, amazing. I've had several vintages (2005, 2004, and 1990), and enjoyed them both old and young. '06 is the latest release, and it's one of those wines that wound up being a diamond in the rough -- '06 wasn't a great year in Napa, but BV did admirably.
- 1: Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs 1998 ($250-ish). Champagne Salon is arguably the best producer from Le Mesnil sur Orger, and 1998 (their latest release) is one of the better vintages available. It's pricy, but what better way to ring in the New Year than with cult Champagne! Only 6,000 cases per vintage are produced by Salon (they source only from the Le Mesnil vineyard, where Le Mesnil sur Orger gets it's name from), and they don't produce a wine every year, so it's really the definition of "cult wine."
Any one of these under the tree would be absolutely excellent! What would you like to find with a bow on it for Christmas?