With the Holidays rapidly approaching it’s time for us to figure out what to get the oenophile in our family. Fortunately Beltramo’s has you covered with a wide array of fantastic wines to give even the most discerning enthusiast. Whether your recipient prefers Napa Cabernets or Italian Pinot Grigios, you’ll find it here. I’ve taken the liberty of picking out a few different varietals that I tasted throughout the year. Needless to say, each one of these is amazing in its own special way (and I wouldn’t mind receiving any one of them as a gift this year).
First up is the 2005 Vazart-Coquart Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut ($79.99). It hails from Chouilly in the southern part of the Champagne Region. This is a wonderful expression of French Champagne that is drinking very well right now, and has the stamina to withstand a bit of aging. It has a classic toasty nose that carries through to the palate. When I tasted it recently I also experienced wonderful minerality sprinkled with pear. This sparkler is a treat.
Another French wine that would make a wonderful gift is the 2010 Dominique Lafon Muersault ($79.99). This wine is an amazing example of Burgundian Chardonnay. The nose is fresh, aromatic, and voluptuous with hints of honey and minerals. This wine is wonderfully dry, bright, and fresh with a creamy viscosity and a finish that lasts for days. Get ready for some grilled salmon.
The first red on this list is a Pinot Noir from the Baden region of Germany. The 2010 Dr. Heger Achkarrar Schlossberg Spatburgunder ($89.99) was one of the most surprising wines I’ve ever tasted. In my humble opinion the most exciting wines right now are coming from Germany. The nose is smokey, aromatic and complex with notes of red fruit. It is dry on the palate with a touch of pepper and raspberry. I would stack this wine up with anything similarly priced from Burgundy (and it would win).
Speaking of Burgundian Pinot Noir, one of my favorites this year was the 2010 Camille Giroud Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru ($169.99). It was when I tried this wine that I finally understood exactly what makes Burgundy such a magical wine region. The nose has wonderful notes of smokiness, vanilla, and red fruit that carries through to the palate. The wine is light and dainty with great balance. I would recommend drinking this by itself.
Far and away my favorite Burgundy Pinot Noir was the 2010 Domaine A. F. Gros Vosne-Romanee “Aux Reas” ($74.99). This Pinot is spicy, smokey, aromatic, and fresh. The flavors of currant, clove spice, red berry, and minerals are inviting and delicious. As an added bonus there is a creamy viscosity that coats your tongue as you sip. This is your perfect duck or pork loin wine.
I couldn’t have a list like this without something from Italy. One of the best wines I’ve ever tried while working here is the 2010 Podere Poggio Scalette “Il Carbonaione” Tuscan IGT ($49.99). This wine is 100% Sangiovese and is a powerhouse. This wine has a dusty nose that is highlighted with citrus and red fruit. The dustiness carries through on the palate along with a silky texture that is very pleasing. This wine is dry, fresh, and dense with notes of licorice that pop up from time to time. It also has an amazing ability to be aged for many years to come.
If you’re in the market for a great California Cabernet Sauvignon that will not require much aging, the 2005 Kathryn Kennedy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($119.99) is the one for you. This wine is a testament to the power of patience. What makes this wine special is the fact that it is not made anymore since the owners sold the vineyard site to a developer a few years ago. On the nose there are hints of black fruit, leather, and minerals. This wine is silky smooth, has wonderful balance, and has a nice under currant of acidity that binds everything together. This goes along with notes of black fruit, licorice, and coffee. Here’s your steak wine right here.
Back in September we had an opportunity to try some 2010 Bordeaux. One of my favorites was the 2010 Lynch Bages Pauillac ($199.99). The nose is woodsy, earthy, and slightly tropical. The flavors of minerals, flint, wood, and earth combine with a firm structure that will help the wine last for decades. The famed 2010 vintage is a testament to age-ability and power. Do not open this wine within the next five years unless you plan to decant them for a couple of hours. But once the rough edges are softened and rounded out this is a wine for the ages.
The 2008 Aldo Conterno Barolo ($59.99) was an experience that I won’t soon forget. The nose is aromatic with notes of cocoa and currant that carry through to the palate. This wine is big and beautiful, bright and fresh, and an amazing example of Nebbiolo. I was amazed by the power and density of this wine that is just starting to shed its baby-fat.
One wine that left an indelible impression on me was the 2010 Adamvs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($99.99). This is what happens when Napa gets it right. It is a big and bold, masculine wine that is in need of some cellar time. The nose is alive with leather and smoke. Needless to say that the structure is very firm, but there are enough subtle flavor notes that speak to an amazing experience in 10-20 years. New parents: this is the wine to open when your child turns 21.
As you can see, Beltramo’s has something for everyone that will make a great gift for the up-coming Holiday season. We look forward to seeing you in the store soon and would be happy to direct you to any of these wines. May you days be merry and bright. Cheers!
Rob R., Beltramo’s Wine Consultant