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World of Wine – Gift Suggestions for the Wine Aficionado

Gift Suggestions for te Wine AficionadoThe best selections in their respective price ranges

By Denman Moody, author of The Advanced Oenophile

Once again, I have tasted more than 200 wines to come up with this list of winners. Many of the wines I taste are good to very good, but I only have room here to recommend the best in their respective price ranges! Taste in good health!

Sparkling and Rosé

Paniza Garnacha Rosé Cariñena (Spain) 2015 $10

Cupcake Sparkling Rosé (Italy) $11

Castello del Poggio Prosecco Demi-Sec — semi-sweet, almost too good to put down $11

Member’s Mark Asolo-Prosecco Superiore $15

Gosset Grande Reserve Brut Champagne — Right on target for smoked salmon or truffle mousse. $60

Meiomi Rosé 2016 — (Sonoma, Mont­erey and Santa Barbara counties) $20

Sanford Rosé of Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2015 $20


White Wines:

Lubanzi Chenin Blanc (South Africa) 2016 — 50 percent of profits go to “the hands that made it.” $14

Bonterra Viognier Mendocino County 2015 — “crisp yet creamy with peach and apricot.” $15

Benziger Chardonnay Sonoma County 2015 — Excellent price point at $15.

Harken Barrel Fermented Chardonnay California 2016 — Purposely “rich, oaky and buttery.” $15

Olema Chardonnay Sonoma County 2016 — Another excellent price point. $15

Domaine Bott-Geyl Riesling Les Elements 2014 (Alsace) — Semi-sweet. Luscious. $16

Trimbach Riesling (Alsace) 2013 — Slightly sweet with good acidity and minerality. $18

Notable Australia Chardonnay 2016 — “Fruity and Crisp” $18

Notable California Chardonnay 2015 — “Oaky and Buttery” $18

Landmark Overlook Chardonnay Sonoma County 2015 — Consistently great value. $25

Sanford Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills 2015 — Another consistent winner. $28

Balletto Chardonnay Cider Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley 2014 — Delicious. $28


Red Wines:

Susana Balbo’s Crios Wines (all recommended): Crios Red Blend Men­doza; Crios Cabernet Sauvignon Luján de Cuyo Mendoza; Crios Malbec Uco Valley Mendoza $15 each!

Predator Six Spot Red Wine Lodi 2014 — Weight and texture. $16

Chateau Paul Mas Clos des Mures Coteaux de Languedoc 2015 — 85 percent Syrah. Very few red wines at this price rival this rich, bold, charming wine. $18.50

Chelsea Goldschmidt Merlot Alexander Valley 2015 $20

Gramenon Cotes-du-Rhone Sierra du Sud 2015 $24

Decoy Merlot Sonoma County 2015 — Consistently excellent, as expected from Duckhorn. $24

Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2015 $24

Saved Red Wine California 2014 — Malbec, Syrah, and Merlot. Awesome bottle presentation. $24

Cooper and Theif Cellarmasters Bourbon Barrel Aged Red California 2014— “Dark and jammy with tasty vanilla notes.” Hints of Bourbon and caramel. Not for the timid! 17 percent alcohol. $26

Emiliana Coyam Los Robles Estate (Chile) 2013 — Predominantly Syrah and Cariñena. Beautiful. $30

Chateau Lilian Ladouys Saint-Estephe 2010 — (One of the great vintages in Bordeaux.) $34

Sanford Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2014 — Like its Chardonnay, a consistent winner. $34

Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014 — The best “under $30 Cabernet” I’ve tasted this year. May have something to do with Michel Rolland being consulting winemaker. $28

Kenwood Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 2013 — Very special and successful vintage for Kenwood. Complex and harmonious. $60

Chateau Ste Michelle Artist Series Red Wine 2013 — Gorgeous Bordeaux varietal blend. $64

Justin Isosceles Paso Robles 2014 — The wine that put Paso Robles on the map! $64

Robert Mondavi Cabernet Franc Napa Valley Oakville district 2014 — 77 percent of the grapes are from the iconic To Kalon Vineyard. A gorgeous offering. $65

Duckhorn Merlot Three Palms Vineyard Napa Valley 2014 — Rivals most Merlots on the planet. $98

Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Napa Valley 2013 — If Jean-Charles Boisset is the King of California Wine Country, then Joseph Wagner is the Prince. His Meiomi brand sold for over $300 million. $100

Stewart Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2002— No longer available except in private wine cellars, but had to mention how aging a wine that is excellent at release, with good aging ability, can be rewarding. I’m guessing this was a 95 at release, but I score it now at around 97! Priceless.

Duckhorn The Discussion Napa Valley 2013 — Pinnacle of the Duckhorn portfolio. Stunning. $135

Revana Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 — Possibly the best wine produced to date by Revana, this wine has everything from perfect fruit to restrained power to tender tannins. $150


DENMAN MOODY USE DSC_0007Denman Moody was the Editor and Publisher of Moody’s Wine Review for six years and Con­tributing Editor on Rare Wine for International Wine Review in New York for six years. He has published or had published over 400 articles on wine, including The International Wine and Food Society Journal in London, Revue du Vin de France in Paris and The Robb Report in Malibu. He is or has been a member of The Inter­national Wine and Food Society, Confrerie Saint-Etienne d’Alsace, The German Wine Society, Commanderie de Bordeaux, Chaine des Rotisseurs, Les Amis d’Escoffier and The Knights of the Vine.

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