Holiday Gift Guide 2018: The Best Splurge Wines – Forbes


Domaine Serene MonogramDomaine Serene

Splurge is defined as unrestrained extravagance—it is the very essence of lavish and these wines are special not only for their splurge-worthy price tags but also because they represent some of the finest expressions in winemaking. If you need a wine that must rise to the occasion, this is your list. Rare, (but not impossible to find) and made to impress.

Chateau de Nalys Blanc Grand Vin, 2017, France. A white blend of primarily Roussanne and Grenache Blanc this is one of France’s most distinctive Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines. The Nalys bottling is the expression of the three finest vineyards in the appellation. Floral, with notes of orange peel and vanilla, the wine is polished, rich and mouth-watering; enjoy with roasted salmon. $95 (average)

Domaine Serene Monogram, 2014, Oregon: This exquisite Pinot Noir is made only during exceptional vintage years—it also happens to be the highest-scoring Oregon Pinot on record (98 points from James Suckling). What makes it so special? 19 months in French oak and a palate of serious weight showing intense notes of dark cherry, cassis and spice. Structured and complex, this is certainly not your granny’s Pinot. $275

Ruinart Rose Spice Box SetRuinart Champagne

Ruinart Rose 1764 Spice Box Set, France: A holiday-only boxed set offering that pays homage to the year 1764—when Ruinart Champagne released their first rose. The set comes with a spice blend (crafted by spice master Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boîte) that weaves in the ephemeral notes of Ruinart rose—lifted elegant notes of cherry, citrus and raspberry with. Use the spice blend on roasted duck for a no-fail Champagne and food pairing. $99.99

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon, Martha’s Vineyard, 2013, California: A true Napa classic from an amazing vintage year. Made from 100% organic Cabernet Sauvignon this wine delivers on lushly concentrated black fruits and spice over a satiny texture with a structure built for aging. It drinks like a velvet hammer—elegant, stylish but with tightly coiled power. $243 (average)

Jean-Luc Colombo Vallon d L’Aigle, Cornas 2015, France: This superb Rhone wine (called “Small Valley of the Eagle”) is only produced during exceptional vintages and 2015 is one of them. It is a dynamic wine of rustic yet opulent sensibilities with notes of black tea, bay leaf and blue-black fruits. Rich and full-bodied with a pleasing tannic grip. $189

Signorello Padrone, pictured left.Signorello Estate

Signorello Estate, Padrone, 2014, California: Sourced from the best of the best– select vineyard blocks within their hillside vineyards–this 91% Cabernet Sauvignon (blended with a spot of Merlot and Cabernet Franc) is supple, complex and concentrated. Signorello Estate was one of the few wineries that burned down during the 2017 wildfires but winemaking and life go on, and Padrone is testament to that. Unfined and unfiltered prior to bottling. $175

Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Gresy Camp Gros Riserva, 2010 Italy: This flagship wine has been produced only in the best vintage years since 1978. Fruit is sourced from the family’s exquisite Martinenga vineyard where terroir and climate come together to deliver a singular expression of what Nebbiolo can be. Sculpted, harmonious and savory with deep red fruit and spice notes. $110

Numanthia Termanthia 2013 Spain: An exotically spiced, deeply concentrated red wine made from some of the oldest vines in Spain (read 150 years). The 2013 is a tightly coiled expression of deep, dark fruits, and coffee and tobacco notes. Architectural in its structure, built to age or decant tonight and serve with old friends and a serious ribeye. $250

Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz, 2013 Australia:  Penfolds is revered for its Grange label which enjoys a legendary reputation in the wine collecting world, but as their winemaker Peter Gago notes, “Our St Henri wines can last almost as long as Grange, but they fly under the radar while Grange gets all of the love.” Under the radar also means you’ll have a decent shot at finding a bottle. Spice, black cherry, silk and earth come together in this richly textured, layered wine. Buy them both and decide for yourself: Grange is $850 a bottle, St. Henri is $150.

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