Winery of the Month

DEcember Wines of the Month:

Santa’s Picks!

The Grinch has offered his wine choices to match your celebration fare, feast and banquet table, but he forgot one thing…a nod toward the holiday spirit. So Santa has gladly stepped to recommend special pricing for these unique, hard-to-find wines that your favorite boss, co-worker or well deserving spouse would be thrilled to see underneath the tree or stuffed in their stocking. T’is the season!

Pierre Gimonnet Blanc de Blanc Extra Brut 1er Cru – 92 Points, Wine Spectator

Grinch Price (suggested retail) $44.99 – Santa’s Special 39.99

Situated in the hamlet of Cuis, in the Cotes des Blancs, Pierre Gimonnet has been producing some of the finest pure Chardonnay based wines for generations. The Estate is meticulously and painstaking farmed to limit yields and focus on vine health as well as preservation of the land. The resulting wines are truly superb and incredibly satisfying. Gimonnet’s Blanc de Blanc Extra Brut is one of the somewhat rare offerings, most commercial producers are afraid to make. With less dosage (sweetening wine) added back, it is a brisk and zesty with crisp citrus, green apple, bread dough turning to brioche, hazelnut, lemon curd and some oyster shell briny notes in the lingering, complex finish.

Laurent Perrier Rosé MV
96 points Connoisseurs’ Guide

Grinch Price (suggested retail) $84.99 – Santa’s Special $74.99

Elegant and fruity at the same time with a quick invitation from bright, pure cherryish notes and then filled out handsomely by whiffs of chalky soils and well-integrated, rich and uplifting yeast-driven scents, this wine manages to be both vigorous and layered at one and the same time. Its bubbles are insistent, finely carved and add to the early sensations of lightness and energy yet also carry the wine long into a balanced, refined finish. And its latter palate grip is exactly what one should expect from the genre. While service with light foods would be our first choice, this one has the beauty to stand alone.

Domaine Morey-Coffinet Puligny Montrachet

Grinch Price (suggested retail) $59.99 – Santa’s Special $54.99

Deeply rooted in the Cotes de Beaune, two renowned families united in matrimony and Morey-Coffinet was born. The Puligny Montrachet is harmonious and well rounded with orchard stone fruits, lemon zest, bosc pear with white currants, limestone, and almonds. The nuttiness is secondary to the expressive floral components that are really just now starting to evolve. Puligny Montrachet can be a but angular initially, but patience and some breathing reveal why these wines are world class.

Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Grinch Price (suggested retail) $39.99 – Santa’s Special $29.99

Well established and icon Paul Hobbs has created an affordable option to his world class and pricey namesake label. The Crossbarn Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is chock full of mixed berries, blue fruits, restrained spice, and a dollop of toasty oak. Fruit sources from across the coastal Sonoma region are some of the finest for Pinot in California. Warm days and cool evenings allow for gradual ripening without significant heat spikes, ideal for this thin skinned variety. Very refined in style, the generous fruit and silky tannins make this enjoyable now or for another 5 years.

Cht. Larrivet Haut Brion Pessac Leognan Rouge
91 Points Wine Advocate 2015

Grinch Price (suggested retail) $54.99 – Santa’s Special $44.99

A compote of mixed stone fruits, crushed berries, cherries, leather and underbrush, Larrivet Haut Brion continues in its series of impressive offerings. The Pessac Leognan is a reptuable source for classic and age-worthy Bordeaux with considerable depth and dimension. Aside from a broad spectrum of red and black fruits, there is an underlying presence of gravel, wet stones, notes of toast and some smokey tinges that add a bit of depth to its high toned scintillating fruit. Approachable now, it will continue to develop well into the next decade.

Hourglass HGIII Napa Valley Proprietary Red
90 Points Wine Advocate 2015

Grinch Price (suggested retail) $54.99 – Santa’s Special $44.99

Hourglass is a Napa Valley success story, coming out the gate with phenomenal wines garnering impressive scores. A series of mid to high 90 scores is the rule not the exception. HGIII is a Proprietary Red combining pedigreed fruit sources blended for earlier term consumption, still carrying the flagship style of that is Hourglass. Using the three Bordeaux varieties from their flagship brand, HGIII is Merlot dominant but is very tightly knit and quite serious indeed. Expressive cherry, black plum, cocoa, cigarbox, and dried herbs deliver a terrific and approachable glimpse of the house style.


Secret Indulgence Secret Red
94 points Jeb Dunnuck 2015

Grinch Price (suggested retail) $89.99 – Santa’s Special $79.99

Intensely scented of red currants, black cherries, black currants and wild blueberries with touches of cedar chest, cloves, menthol and dried lavender. Full-bodied, the palate offers bags of finesse, with understated red and black fruits complemented by spicy accents and framed by fine-grained tannins, finishing with a persistent herbal lift.


Marco Marengo Barolo Bricco delle Viole 2014
93+ Wine Advocate 2014

Grinch Price (suggested retail) $64.99 – Santa’s Special $59.99

2014 was a cooler vintage that was influential in generating impressive elegance and grace in an otherwise aggressive grape. The Viole is suitably reminiscent of floral notes, dried cherry, some pomegranate and wet stones and some tanned leather. There is an element of silkiness not often equated to the rustic wines of Barolo, but it is most welcome as its youthful energy is quite enjoyable now. It still requires a bit of breathing, but you will be met with a graceful and approachable Piemontese specialty.


Fontodi Chianti Classico Sorbo
97 points James Suckling 2015

Grinch Price (suggested retail) $99.99 – Santa’s Special $89.99

A remarkable nose of clay, earth, crushed stones, rose petals, red licorice, baking spices, tar and Chinese spices. The level of sophistication to the red-fruited core, laser-sharp acidity and polished tannins, which grip and caress the palate, make this the greatest Chianti Classico ever made by Fontodi. From organically grown grapes. A long, long finish.


Le Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf du Pape
98 points Jeb Dunnuck 2016

Grinch Price (suggested retail) $84.99 – Santa’s Special $74.99

This is unquestionably the greatest wine made from this estate to date and surpasses the 1998, 2007, and 2010. Checking in as a normal blend of 75% Grenache, 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, and the balance Cinsault, it offers a heavenly bouquet of blackcurrants, ground pepper, new saddle leather, garrigue, and an assortment of exotic spices. Deep, full-bodied, incredibly concentrated, yet with the purity, elegance, and finesse that makes this vintage so special, it can be drunk any time over the coming two decades or more.

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 2016
100 points James Suckling

Grinch Price (suggested retail) $125.00 – Santa’s Special $105.00

Full-bodied and lightly sweet with super power and intensity. So racy and focused. Yet this has such muscle and intensity. Ripe, structured while also fruity, this intense, perfumed Port is opulent while also elegant. Its tannins and great fruit are finely integrated and are rich with potential. Bravo!


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