- Views & Opinions
Few gifts are more perfectly crafted to be holiday stocking-stuffers than bottles of wine. Whether red or white, a good wine that’s a well-considered match for its recipient makes the perfect gift. Here are few wines that will bring a smile to the face of your favorite oenophile.
Riesling fans will take a shine to Biohof Pratsch 2014 Grüner Veltlinger ($13), made from what may be considered the famous German wine grape’s Austrian equivalent. The wine pours light yellow with greenish hues, delivering a blend of tangy fruits and refined spices for refreshed, satisfied palate.
Two wines from Oregon’s King Estates “Backbone” series are worthy of note. The 2014 Backbone Pinot Gris ($26) arrives with a bright melon-citrus nose followed by flavors of lime, pineapple and honey with just a touch of minerality for character.
The Backbone Pinot Noir ($53) offers even more to like. The nose of black cherries, currants, mushroom and even cigar box give way to rich flavors of plum, dark chocolate, strawberries and the ubiquitous “forest floor” about which some wines like to brag. This is a fine example of all of the above.
November is Beaujolais season, and the 2012 Stephane Aviron Morgon Cote du Py ($23) lifts the French region’s wines well above the “nouveau” stage. The 100 percent Gamay wine is vibrant and ripe, with fine depth and an approachable flavor of fruit and terroir that helps it stand beside any other Burgundy.
Similar in approach, but significantly more accomplished, is the 2011 Hecht & Bannier Bandol ($40). The primarily mouvèdre (80 percent) blend offers flavors of ripe black fruits, black pepper and leather and earth nuances that ride on a medium-weight palate to a savory finish.
Follow the “earthy” character of wine further down the trail with the 2011 Castelo Monaci Artas Primitivo Salento IGT ($42). Produced from 100 percent primitivo grapes — a forerunner and cousin to zinfandel — the ruby red wine arrives with a blend of wild berries, herbs, walnuts and hint of toasted coffee beans for a rich, complex finish.