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Holiday Gift Guide: Wine 2020

If you’ve ever shopped for wine as a gift, you know it can be a bit overwhelming.  Below are a few of my personal favorites to help alleviate the unknown.  No matter what you’re looking for, we have you covered.

Recommendations from Amy McIntosh, Liquor Barn-Party Mart Private Label Wine and Spirits Buyer:

Dulcis Moscato d’Asti, $17.99
Piedmont, Italy

This Moscato is elegant and sweet with fresh notes of peach, honey, and white flowers. Balanced and fresh, it makes the perfect gift for the person on your list who enjoys wines on the sweeter side.

Lacourte-Godbillon Rose, $49.99
Champagne, France

Organic, highly rated, family owned and operated, you cannot go wrong with this beautiful Champagne.  It’s a 100% Pinot Noir with notes of red fruits and brioche. This will be on my list for sure—so grab a bottle for yourself as well!

Temporada Chardonnay, $12.99
Mendoza, Argentina

Switch things up a bit and grab a bottle of Temporada for the Chardonnay drinker in your life. Produced by the 2019 Argentine Wine Makers of the Year, it’s sure to impress with aromas of white pears and citrus fruits.

Chateau Siaurac Lalande-de-Pomerol, $34.99
Bordeaux, France

For the red wine drinker, I always recommend Bordeaux.  It’s classic and traditional, with notes of black cherry and a hint of pepper—perfect for the Napa Cabernet drinker looking for something a bit different.

Danger Sweet Red, $12.99
Kentucky

For the Kentucky purist, go with something local and grab a bottle of Danger Sweet Red.  It’s easy to drink with notes of cherry and strawberry. Plus this sweet wine is produced by local winery Harkness Edwards and looks great with a bow!

Recommendations from Brian Price, Liquor Barn Wine Buyer

Under $25

White: Cult Sauvignon Blanc ($23.99) Pineapple and Guava jump from the glass in this wonderful expression of Sauvignon Blanc sourced from some of the best vineyards in Napa. With 50% fermented in Stainless Steel and the other half in French Oak, this overachieving white balances creaminess and fruit with a bright, exciting finish.

Red: Antucura Barrandica Malbec ($16.99 – 93pts James Suckling) One of the best sub-$20 wines I can think of. The waves of ripe berries and earth as each sip evolves is an absolute ethereal sensation. The tannins are impeccably polished for a wine this inexpensive and the finish goes on and on and on…

Under $50

White: Huge Bear Chardonnay ($39.99) The Huge Bear 2017 Chardonnay is a lovely introduction to the 2017 vintage. It strikes a remarkable balance between the bold assertive flavors of the vintage and the delicate, delineated flavors of cool climate chardonnay. Aromas of lemon peel, lemon curd and macadamia are framed by a suggestion of French oak. A lively palate filled with citrus peel, fresh pastry dough, and minerality give the wine energy and lift that persists well into the finish. I LOVE this wine!

Red: Daou “Pessimist” Red ($32.99 – 92pts Jeb Dunnuck) – Despite the moniker, there is nothing pessimistic about this beauty. The Pessimist cuvée by the Daou Brothers is always a good value for those who love opulent fruit, and the 2018 offers loads of sweet blue fruits, white chocolate, violets, and toasted spice aromas and flavors. Based on 62% Petite Sirah, 19% Zinfandel, and 17% Syrah, it’s full-bodied, decadent, and rich while staying light on its feet. A true gentle giant, and one of the best values available.

Under $100

White: Shafer Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch ($59.99 – 95pts Wine Enthusiast) This robust, full-bodied white holds its weight and pedigree remarkably well, offering an intensely flavored, richly layered experience that seamlessly provides freshness along the way. Apple, cinnamon and nutmeg are complemented by toasted oak and lasting structure. The PERFECT holiday season white!

Red: Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir ($99.99) – An absolute knock out new release rarity from this sought-after cult winery with perennial high ratings. Each year, the goal for Southing is to create the ideal marriage of complexity and elegance. The ever-changing nose of the Southing exhibits watermelon, jasmine, Victoria plum, and subtle baking spices. The fine tannins and minerality are enhanced by the estate vineyard’s characteristic cool climate acidity.

For the High Roller

Red: Buccella Cabernet “Mica” ($129.99) – When you get to an offering this sought after, you stop worrying about ratings. This entry level Cabernet from Buccella winery is an intense one. It’s gorgeous, rich and lush with deep ripe blackberry and black cherry bursting from the glass. The finish is nothing short of decadent. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find one of their really rare, higher end bottles in our stores like Buccella Cabernet Napa ($249.99) or even better the Buccella Cabernet Cuvee Katrina ($499.99)!

Red: Premiere Napa Valley Rombauer Cabernet Atlas Peak ($299.99) This rare expression of Napa Valley winemaking is one of 240 bottles that will ever be made. Think of it as a bit of Napa Valley history in your cellar and celebrated in your glass. This one-of-a-kind wine was created exclusively for the Premiere Napa Valley auction which we attended last year. After tasting through several lots, we couldn’t help but lock up these 240 bottles of perfection from a Napa Valley juggernaut! This mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is dark purple with ruby highlights and enticing aromas of blackberry, blueberry, cassis, brown sugar, molasses and baking spices. The palate is rich and textured with flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cassis, cocoa powder and a hint of wet gravel. The finish is long and smooth, with supple tannins and bright acidity. Each bottle is hand numbered and initialed by winemaker Richie Allen of Duckhorn. The perfect conversation piece for any collector to have in their cellar.

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