The Ultimate Holiday Wine & Spirits Gift Guide
Château Margaux Grand Vin 2015 ($1,200)
Presented in a stunningly designed, collectible bottle which commemorates the château’s 200th anniversary, Grand Vin 2015 is also a tribute to the late Paul Pontallier, the general manager from 1989-2016. At the New York launch event, Corinne Mentzelopoulos, owner of Château Margaux, explained that the Grand Vin is made only in very great years—the last three being 2005, 2009 and 2010---and described this Premier Grand Cru Classé as possessing, “finesse, elegance, complexity, intensity,” It’s an eye-opening wine with a remarkable structure and a long finish and will can age for decades.
Grey Goose Interpreted by Ducasse, ($100)
This “vodka gastronomique,” made from toasted winter wheat from Picardie in northern France, is a collaboration between Grey Goose Cellar Master, François Thibault and Michelin-starred Chef, Alain Ducasse. Ideal in Martini type drinks, this super premium vodka has floral aromas and subtle hints of vanilla, toffee, almonds and walnuts. At the vodka’s release party at Benoit in NY, the favorite drink was a fragrant saffron Martini.
Bollinger Rosé 2006 Special Limited Edition ($150)
This is the first vintage rosé produced by Bollinger in its nearly 200-year history. At an omakese and Champagne pairing dinner Cyril Delarue, oenologist and 7th generation Bollinger family member, related, Madame Lily Bollinger never wanted a rosé—it was the drink of French prostitutes as that time—but 40 years after her passing, we at Bollinger finally decided to release a vintage rose.” Coming in a gold metal box which the letters of Bollinger designed in bold latticework , the rosé, aged for 10 years on its lees, is extremely refined with floral, fruit and spice fragrances and delicate bubbles.
Gérard Bertrand Clos d’Ora ($250)
Made from Syrah, Grenache, Mouvèdre and Carignan grown in a high altitude vineyard surrounded by walls, Clos d’Ora possesses a deep garnet color and intense black fruit flavors. All bottles are number by hand in this 8,000 bottle edition from the appellation of Minervois La Livinère. Winemaker Gérard Bertrand, who’s considered the king of biodynamic viticulture in Languedoc, uses horses and mules to work the vines.
J. Daniel Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 from Lail Vineyards ($250)
This Bordeaux style Cabernet blend is the flagship wine of Lail Vineyards, named for John Daniel Jr., who with winemaker George Deurer crafted quality wines for Inglenook just after Prohibition. This Napa Cabernet exhibits intensity and energy with prominent black fruits—black raspberry, black cherry, blackberry—and rounded tannins. An impressive 95-97 points from The Wine Advocate.
Bourgoin Cognac XO ($92)
From a family-owned estate, the small-production Bourgoin Cognac is an opulent, round and fruit-forward cognac from the Fin Bois cru. An X.O., it is aged for 22 years and finished in proprietary micro-barriques which gives the cognac an added dimension on the mid-palate.
Hakkaisan 3-Year Snow-Aged Junmai Ginjo ($70)
From a leading brewery in Japan’s Niigata region, this flavorful sake is literally aged for 3 years under tons of snow in temperature controlled maturation facility in Yukimuro. The long aging results in a full bodied flavor and mouth-enveloping smooth texture. A premium Junmai Ginjo sake is made with the rice that is polished down by 50% which makes it very pure and refined. Coming in a tall white lacquered bottle with bold black lettering of Japanese characters, this is a brand new release from Hakkaisan.
Robert Mondavi Cabernet Franc 2014 ($65)
Oakville Cabernet Franc., a new limited edition release (988 bottles only) from Mondavi, takes two-thirds of its grapes from the renowned To Kalon Vineyard. With 80% Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot in the blend, the seductive Napa wine has expressive aromas of violets, blackberry and red currant and a rich round texture.
Volcan De Mi Terra Tequila Cristalino ($60)
Made in partnership with the Mexican Gallardo family, Volcan De Mi Terra is the first tequila in Moet Hennessy’s portfolio. With its blue agave is grown in volcanic soil near (the appropriately named) Tequila Volcano, Cristalino is an aged tequila with notes of caramel and vanilla. After aging it is stripped of its beige tint and brought back to crystal color, hence Cristalino.
Champagne AR Lenoble Rosé Terroirs Chouilly-Bisseuil ($60)
AR Lenoble, an under-the-radar Champagne house, uses estate-grown Chardonnay from the Grand Cru village of Chouilly and the Côte de Blancs and Pinot Noir from the Premier Cru village of Bisseuil. With 90% Chadonnay in the blend and aged for over four years on its lees, Terroirs Chouilly-Bisseuil possesses a lovely salmon pink hue and is spicy, fruity and elegant. It’s a jewel of the Champagne region, 100% family owned by a sister and brother, Anne and Antoine Malassagne.