Wine of the Month

All selections are 750ml unless otherwise noted. While Bristol Farms takes every effort to ensure adequate supply, all offerings are subject to availability

Holiday Stocking Stuffers

December 3 - 30, 2014

Santa, along with some help from his trusty Elves and Reindeer, has concocted a stocking stuffer "wish list" for those who have a passion for wine, but are not sure of what to buy. Or for those who want to offer that unique gift to their favorite wine aficionado, but are afraid to ask. The selection below will suffice all possible options. Happy Holidays!

Laurent Perrier Vintage Brut 2004
91 Points Wine Spectator

Reg $56.99 Special $49.99

As a long-time fan of Laurent Perrier, this historic house continually impresses with reliable quality and is simply makes delicious wines year in and year out. 2004 was a strong vintage, the stars were in alignment and for a change, things just fell into place. While producers can freely declare the vintage every year, best practice dictates that only exemplary vintages adorn the label. The lesser vintages are typically used in multi vintage cuvees where they can be blended with reserve wines to achieve the house style. But when it is warranted, it is spot on. The 2004 Vintage Brut is brilliant, with delicious ripeness, but tremendous balance. Pear, stone fruits, blossom and creamy almost custardy flavors segue to a slightly toasty, just shy of smoky flavors. This delicious rendition offers suppleness with an appropriate zing that will deliver for another decade, should you have the will-power to wait.

Barnett Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
91 points Antonio Galloni Vinuous

Reg $79.99 Special $68.99

Fiona and Hal Barnett created this vineyard and winery in 1983. The vineyards are located at the top of Spring Mountain, at an elevation of 2,000 ft., and planted on steep terraces that follow the contour of the land. Grapes are harvested by hand; vineyard row by row, until optimum ripeness and maturity is reached. This brooding Cabernet shows crushed violets and cocoa on the nose. Some of the subtle minerality segues to a palette that is very plush, with dark berry fruit flavors. Very firm chalky tannins begin to build on the finish, which is backed by firm acidity. An added dollop of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot bring extra levels of complexity to this wine. This is a deep, firm Cabernet, a true classic mountain grown wine.

Clif Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
91pts Cellar Selection Wine Enthusiast

Reg $74.99 Special $64.99

Once the happy home of S Anderson Winery, producer of some of California's finest sparkling wines, Cliff Lede Winery did an about face and followed the lead of the greats changing the focus to Cabernet Sauvignon and the Bordeaux varietals. Stags Leap District, widely noted for its world class wines, is where Cabernet truly flourishes, and history has proven that again and again. Classically Stags Leap, it delivers a core of black cherry, dried berry, dusty fruits, mint and fresh herb components finishing with notes of licorice, and a recurring black currant theme. Approachable now, it will deliver more than a decade of enjoyment to those that possess the patience and restraint.

Segla by Rauzan-Segla Margaux 2010

Reg $65.99 Special $59.99

2010 marks the last of the great vintages, at least for the next several anyway, and signals serious wine drinkers to consider putting some away to capitalize on this good fortune. Rauzan-Segla is classified a Second Growth Margaux, with roots dating back to 1661, with adoring fans including one Thomas Jefferson. As with most chateaux, Rauzan Segla makes a second wine that they use younger vines, or lots and parcels they don't deem worthy of the ultra-lofty Grand Vin that is the standard bearer for the chateau. For the primary label, only 45% of the harvest was used, opening up vast opportunities for bargain hunters to adorn their cellars with a superb Margaux at a relative value. Roughly 2/3 Cabernet, this powerful yet classy Margaux delivers pure sexy cassis, cherry, mocha, sage, licorice, spices, and on and on. Segla simply over delivers in quality and value, and drinkability for those who prefer not to wait 2 decades, or spend the $200 for the first wine. The Wine Advocate described it as delicious and remarkably similar to its 95 point sibling, and praised its purity and depth.

Les Fiefs de Lagrange 2010
90 points Wine Spectator

Reg $47.99 Special $39.99

Renowned winemaker, Marcel Ducasse, brought prestige back to Lagrange, but finally hung up his vine shears after the 2008 vintage. The upward trend continues with his maitre du chai (cellar master), Bruno Eynard. Change has been rapid, with a new building and cellar format that includes an extraordinary 92 vats of differing sizes that correspond to the different parcels by soil type and vine age. Now that's a commitment to excellence. This beautiful Bordeaux hails from the Saint Julien appellation and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. A very fine nose of blackberry and a touch of black tea starts this red off with good definition and purity. Powerful flavors enrich the mid palate with loads of blackcurrant and black cherry, with an under coating of chocolate richness. A superb choice for your red meat holiday feasts or certainly as a stocking suffer for those passionate about great wine.

Cavalli Tenuta Degli Dei Toscana IGT 2010
94 Points The Wine Advocate

Reg $39.99 Special $34.99

Not content sitting idly in his father's shadow, Tommaso Cavalli, son of designer Roberto, has taken Tenuta Degli Dei to remarkable heights. Nestled in the Conca d'Oro near Panzano in Chianti, Degli Dei embraces the non-traditional varietals more common with Bordeaux, shunning the regional Sangiovese. Tommaso realized the soils are ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon, Franc and Petite Verdot, and has dedicated his small vineyard parcels to those. The attention to detail is equally evident throughout their vast property, which encompasses over 70 acres of breathtaking pasture where they also breed award winning horses. The wine is produced in the cellar below a local church, and painstaking care goes into every aspect. Degli Dei delivers a powerful and compact melange of mixed berries, spice, tobacco, saddle leather, dried herbs and fruit compote finishing up the complex exceptionally lingering finish. A glorious tribute to these fine grapes, with a Tuscan flair.

Walter Hansel Chardonnay North Slope 2011
92+ points Wine Advocate

Reg $39.99 Special 32.99

The North Slope vineyard site of the Russian River Valley offers terrific sun exposure throughout the day and fields a blend of the famous French 95 and 76 clones. This creates that ripe pear, Meyer lemon and honey nose that is balanced with spice, stone fruit flavors and a touch of vanilla on the mid-palate. Smooth and seamless on the finish, with floral, oak spice and poached pear notes. Very approachable with the richness to handle full-flavored foods, especially at this holiday season. This Chard may be California born and bred, but this beauty shows its Burgundian heritage.

Roederer Estate L'Ermitage Sparkling Wine 2006
97 points Wine Enthusiast

Reg $44.99 Special $39.99

Flat out, this is the best domestically produced sparkler in America. And much of that is due to its lineage, Champagne Louis Roederer and the region where this wine is produced, Anderson Valley. This Tete de Cuvee is produced only in exceptional years from pre-selected, estate-grown grapes and nurtured in the traditional French methode champenoise - special oak-aged reserve wines are added to the final blend. Fine tiny bubbles and a long lasting mousse are the usual footprints of the L'Ermitage cuvee and shows great notes of toasted bread crust and quince. The mouth feel is smooth, velvety, creamy with a well enveloped acidity and long finish. If you really want to celebrate the occasion with this wine, do so as the main pour at your holiday feast.

Cargasacchi Vyds Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2011
92 Points The Wine Advocate

Reg $39.99 Special $34.99

Nestled in the western regions of Santa Barbara County lies a little AVA called Santa Rita Hills. Relatively new, the region gained AVA status in 2001, but has been producing superb wines for decades under the Santa Ynez Valley appellation. This is a roster of who's who in Santa Barbara county, with noted producers such as Brewer Clifton, Foley, Fiddlehead, Flying Goat and of course Sea Smoke as willing participants. And many of its members rely on the same sources, one of them being Cargasacchi. Peter Cargasacchi, now the 5th generation, planted his vineyard in 1998 and has been growing widely prized grapes since then. He has recently began producing wines that bear the name of his family. His 2011 is no exception, the wine is complex with good intensity, but doesn't push the limits like some others. It is deftly fruity with telltale cool climate savory flavors, some sage, earthy, slightly meaty flavors and a firm fruity finish. A great example of the terroir of Santa Rita Hills.

Fontodi Chianti Classico 2010
92 points Wine Advocate

Reg $36.99 Special $31.99

Fontodi is located in the heart of Chianti Classico precisely in the valley which lies south of the town of Panzano and is called the "Conca d'Oro" (the golden shell) because of its amphitheater shape. Fontodi is in a "class" by itself when it comes to Italy's most famous wine export, Chianti-Aromas of pomegranate, red cherry, raspberry and spicy oak abound. Fresh and rich in the mouth, the firm acid backbone and minerality gives shape to the mid-palate with hints of red cherry and raspberry. Those characteristic Sangiovese aromas and flavors burst through on the remarkable finish.