Winery of the Month

December 2020 | SANTAS PICKS

Chardonnay

Fontaine Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet Les Vergers

Regular $99.00 – Santa Special $89.99

This is what Chardonnay should taste like! The Vergers delivers a superb bouquet of pear, apple, fruit blossoms, vanillin oak and a touch of crème patissière. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, juicy and complex, with a fine core of fruit, excellent cut and grip and a long, zesty and beautifully balanced finish. This is flat out delicious! Dynamite as a gift or pair with your holiday feast, especially where poultry and seafood is offered.

Fontodi Flaccianello

Fontodi Flaccianello Della Pieve 2017

Regular $169.00 – Santa Special $149.00

Under the fine wine making skills of Giovani Manetti, Flaccianello is considered one of the true gems of Tuscany. This pure Sangiovese opens with firm tannins, dark fruit richness, balanced acidity that segues to dark cherry, plum, spice, violet, chalk and licorice. Despite its power and inner opulence, this wine adds that zesty Sangiovese character with fresh acidity and an energized approach. This Flaccianello is whole and complete with the natural firmness and structure to hold it steady during the aging process. The perfect gift to the one “who has everything”, or match with steaks, prime rib, and of course, Italian fare.

Merlot

Opus One Overture MV

Regular $139.00 – Santa Special $125.00

Beginning in 1993 and following in the tradition of great Bordeaux estates, Opus One created a fine second wine called Overture, a blend of prior great vintages. Every acre of the estate vineyard is meticulously farmed with the attention to detail and singular focus required to produce Opus One. This is supple with clear ripe berry fruits, generous and fully ripe, tempered by white pepper spice and smoked cedar notes. It has a gentle but confident tannic frame and mouthwatering lift on the finish. This is focused and ready to drink and impresses with its rippling silky texture. Pair with your favorite cut of beef, rack of lamb, crown roast or simply enjoy on its own.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $189.00 – Santa Special $169.00

This Cabernet Sauvignon showcases the singular perfume of Champoux Vineyard at its very best. Aromas and flavors of violets, lavender, blackberry, cassis, and plum fruit can be found in the wine with nuances of cocoa nib, spice, and minerals. The ethereal, silky texture allows the rich fruit to coat the palate, allowing the taster to experience the purity and seamless integration of all its elements in wonderful harmony. The flagship 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley was brought up in new barrels, mostly Taransaud and Darnajou. Beautiful crème de cassis, graphite, spice box, and lead pencil notes all flow to a full-bodied, soft, elegant wine that has beautiful tannins, no hard edges, and a seamless texture. It shows the more upfront, charming style of the vintage and is already hard to resist. Nevertheless, it should easily evolve for 20+ years. This will make a unique gift to those Cab lovers with believe that only great Cabernets are produced in Napa.

Sauvignon Reserve Paso

Taylor Port 2016

Regular $125.00 Santa Special $99.00

A classic Port from a classic vintage. Notes of pure, intense woodland fruit with lively accents of green apple, plum and raspberry. Around this core of bright fruit is a heady aura of herbs, exotic notes of cedar wood and jasmine provide an additional dimension of complexity. Bold, mouth chewing tannins integrate seamlessly into the mid palate and re-emerge to hold the wine in a confident grip. Energized by a racy acidity, the intense berry flavors continue to build into the long finish. Most often served after a meal, alone or with cheese, nuts or dried fruits. It may also be served with fine dark chocolate.

Zinfandel

Tears of Llorona #3 Extra Aged Anejo

Regular $249.00 – Santa Special $229.00

This exotic blend is made with the goal of achieving a cognac or single-malt level of complexity. While most tequila is aged at 80 proof, this is bottled at 86 proof. Tears of Llorona No. 3 Extra Añejo Tequila is hand-crafted from 100% blue agave grown in the volcanic soil surrounding Atotonilco, in the highlands of Jalisco. After distillation, this heavenly tequila is aged for nearly five years in several different types of barrels — half ex-Scotch whisky barrels, a quarter Sherry casks and another quarter French Limousin barrels previously used to mature Cognac — before being blended together at optimal maturity. There is a bouquet of black cherries, vanilla, honeysuckle and apples. Notes of chocolate, toffee and crème brûlée on the palate come to a finish that is spicy and elegant, with notes of cinnamon and cloves balanced by sweeter touches of raisins, caramel and oak.

Brut Rose

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé

Regular $89.99 – Santa Special $79.99

Classically delicate and refined, Billecart Salmon has been producing some of the most highly regarded Champagne in modern history. Now in the 7th generation of family ownership, this 200 yr. old house meticulously crafts world class bubbly from the highest rated vineyards in their respective regional designations. 40% Chardonnay and equal parts Pinot Noir and Meunier, this incredibly refined pale pink sparkler is the epitome of balance and finesse. 100% stainless fermentation and ageing vessels protect the vivacity pushing the fruit to the forefront. Crushed red berries, mixed citrus zest, crisp appley fruit and a refined, lingering delicately spiced finish.

Brander Santa

Brander Santa Ynez Blanc Sauvignon Au Natural

Regular $36.99 – Santa Special $27.99

Known as one of the strongest stalwarts of Sauvignon Blanc in the Golden State, Fred Brander pioneered the movement to bring this often misunderstood grape to its pinnacle. Not marred by oak or fermentation tricks, this is pure unadulterated Sauvignon crafted in the Loire Valley tradition. Harvested from select plots off the Los Olivos Estate, this wine shows a grace and restraint uncommon to this assertive grape, while delivering a brisk, firm backbone. Tropical hues up front segue to Jasmine and floral scents, lime, some stone fruits and a fleeting fresh herb undertone finishing long with a supple silky texture.

Brander Santa

Mácan Rioja Clásico

Regular $59.99 – Santa Special $52.99

Mácan is a collaboration of Benjamin de Rothschild & most recent project of the illustrious Vega Sicilia, creator of many of the most heralded wines in all of Spain, and the world for that matter. Considering the pedigree of Valbuena and Unico, routinely achieving 95 to 98 scores (at a serious price, however), this estate in Rioja Alta is no shrinking violet. Small lot, hand-harvested old Tempranillo vines perched on rugged terraced slopes deliver clusters of small and concentrated berries. Stainless steel is utilized to preserve the purity of this superbly versatile and delicious grape, partial malolactic fermentation provides for mouthfeel, but doesn’t undermine its racy feel. Additional barrel aging in both new and seasoned oak barrels. The result is indeed classic, but modern, with a sleek, rich cherry berry compote, vanilla and leather with a trace spice note.

Brander Santa

Hayfork Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Lewelling Ranch

Regular $74.99 – Santa Special $67.99

Hayfork is an homage to the family Patriarch, John Lewelling, from the St. Helena vineyard he bought in 1870’s that bears his name. As a horticulturist by trade, farming is in the bloodstream. Really a charming family affair, husband and wife Erik Dodd and Haley Wight run the estate, and Haley actually grew up on the estate climbing the walnut trees and playing in the vast acres of fields. That is being at one with the land. The wine is impressive, boasting opulent and juicy black currants, black raspberry, tapenade, and elements of baking spice and cedar. Rich and mouth-filling, with gobs of fruit that will develop and deliver a decade of enjoyment.

Brander Santa

Luigi Pira Barolo Comune di Serralunga d’Alba 2016

Regular $49.99 – Santa Special $44.99

2016 was deemed an extraordinary vintage for Barolo, youthful and long lived. Drawn from various vineyards around the Comune di Serralunga, this traditionally brutish or rough and tumble version of Nebbiolo has been toned down to a loud roar. But obnoxious it’s not, actually showing quite a bit of restraint and composure for a young strapping Piemontese adolescent. That aside, this is still traditional, high energy and taught, but also brimming with crushed red berry fruits, mineral, tobacco, creosote and ample spice. A bit of air is recommended, half a day if you have the opportunity, as it is a few years away from its peak.

Brander Santa

Barrel Craft 15 Yr Bourbon Whiskey

Regular $269 – Santa Special $199

Awarded Forbes Best American Whiskey of 2018, and just recently earned top 5 in the Forbes Best Bourbons of 2020 among the unicorns that are talked about but never seen, and at far heftier price of admission. Barrel Craft continues its domination in the craft whiskey realm with this small batch, cask strength blend of corn, rye and barley clocking in at about 105 proof. But it doesn’t knock you over as you might anticipate, it is beautifully balanced as Bourbon goes. Quite notably fruit driven, with ample berry fruits, pastry, floral notes finishing with an interesting tropical, spicy, piquant notes. A complete and expressive bottle of perfectly aged whiskey that shouldn’t be missed.