Ok, ok…we know. Wine and champagne are technically not spirits. But the title was so catchy! The Holiday season is here. Buddy the Elf says that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Sounds great, but we would make one small change to that. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is popping champagne for all to hear. Or sharing fine whiskey and pouring a beer. Check out our favorites for gifting, or pull a Scrooge and keep them for yourself (we don’t judge). Happy Holidays!
Michel Reybier 20th Anniversary Case, $4,390.
Esteemed Bordeaux winery Cos d’Estournel has released 100 cases of its new Michel Reybier 20th Anniversary Case to honor the impressive 20-year tenure of the winery’s owner and industry pioneer, Michel Reybier. The 12-bottle case includes two of the six best vintages released under his direction and an invitation for four guests to visit the winery for an extravagant lunch. Inside, you’ll find the 2009 Château Cos d’Estournel. It is a stellar wine that’s received 100 points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown. Still a bit shy, its pleasantly fresh vintage gets rounder as the powerful fragrance steps back to let a vivid fruit appear. Black fruits on the nose, sleek tasting on the palate, tannic structure of a high density while retaining a fine-grain, make an opulent wine full of extravagance. At the same time powerful and velvety, generous and fresh, it is a wine that does not leave people indifferent, a great and unique Cos d’Estournel. It’s extraordinary simply.
Alfred GIRAUD French Malt Whisky: Heritage, $155.
Alfred Giraud French Malt Whisky offers luxurious blends curated in very small batches by renowned cognac blenders. Heritage, one of their signature blends, brings to life 100 years of Giraud’s family cognac mastery of blending and aging. The triple malt whisky is meticulously married and blended until it reaches a delicate balance. Only 23 rare cognac casks used for the final maturation are identified each year. The aroma is fresh and delicate with notes of new oak, honey, lemon zest, and jasmine. The finish is medium length and lightly sweet. This spirit overall is incredibly smooth and flavorful and bottled at 91.8 proof.
Yayoi Kusama x Veuve Clicquot, $195.
Veuve Clicquot Champagne’s collaboration with world-renowned Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama, highlights the portfolio’s Prestige Cuvée, La Grande Dame. This special limited-edition Kusama-designed gift box of La Grande Dame champagne will cost you a cool $195, but a select number of Kusama floral sculptures will also be available that uniquely fit a magnum-sized bottle and will set you back $36,000. The collection is available this holiday season, timed to the release of the newest vintage– La Grande Dame 2012. La Grande Dame (meaning “The Great Lady”) is champagne created in honor of Madame Clicquot, who trailblazed the industry with her innovations and audacity as a female entrepreneur in the early 1800s. As a modern-day La Grande Dame and iconic name in the design and art world, Yayoi Kusama infuses her signature dots and artistic style into these limited-edition pieces for the ultimate intersection of design and luxury.
2016 Melka Estates Métisse Martinez Vineyard, $225.
Métisse comes from three specific soil sites within the Napa Valley. This is the second vintage from this vineyard which is located on the famed Pritchard Hill. The iconic wines from this area are noted for their complexity. A blend of 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 23 percent Petit Verdot and 17 percent Cabernet Franc, the wine features aromas of minerality and crushed rock along with dark cherry, strawberry, and toast. In the mouth, it is an incredibly multi-dimensional wine with great length and refined tannins.
Russell’s Reserve 2003, $250.
A 16-year-old bourbon aged for a minimum of 16 years inside the distillery’s Tyrone warehouses, this dark and rich whisky marks the very last of Russell’s Reserve 107-barrel-entry-proof whiskey. Russell’s Reserve 2003 is as exquisite as it is rare: with a dark amber hue and aromas of charred and seasoned oak, the palate reveals bright spice with layers of confectioner’s sugar, burnt caramel, and buttery vanilla and leather. A smoky and smooth finish has lingering oak and sweet notes of caramel and vanilla. It’s estimated only 3,600 bottles will be available at select retailers and we expect them to be gone fast. Bottled at barrel proof at a cool 89.5 proof.
Thiénot x Penfolds, $200.
This collaboration, a first of its kind for Penfolds, Thiénot x Penfolds brings together two major wine regions. The Australian winery partnered with the family champagne house Thiénot to release two new varietals from the 2012 vintages: 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Blanc de Blancs (Avize Grand Cru) & 2012 Champagne Thiénot x Penfolds Blanc de Noirs (Ay Grand Cru). Sourced from two prestigious and highly regarded vineyards in Champagnes, the wines represent the joint effort of Thiénot chef de cave Nicolas Uriel and Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago resulting in must-try champagne of fruit, freshness, and finesse.
2017 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, $225
The 2017 growing season was one of the extremes. The year began with a welcome wet winter after a five-year drought, only to be followed by hail in June and a very hot summer. In spite of the weather extremes, Spottswoode crafted an honest and truly exceptional expression of their site in 2017. Great vineyard sites are rare, and part of defining them is their ability to ripen fruit that allows for a consistently extraordinary wine. Spottswoode’s 36 vintages of Cabernet are a testament to this. For the 2017, quintessential notes of brambly blue fruit and graphite complement warm oak spices and hints of plum, celery seed, and cocoa powder. A weighty and compelling core leads to a layered depth that will follow this wine through the long and dynamic life that it is destined for.
Champagne Henriot Hemera ’05, $199.
Founded in 1808, Champagne Henriot is one of the few remaining family-owned Champagne houses, with more than 200 years of independence and heritage. Known for its luminous Chardonnay-driven style, this holiday season, try the Champagne Henriot Hemera ’05. After 12 years of aging in the darkness, the Hemera ’05 brings all the luminous color we need for the new year. The mineral freshness of the finest Chardonnay heightens the delicious accents of the very best Pinot Noir and is perfect for tasting to 2021. Cuvée Hemera 2005 is a homage to the Greek Goddess of daylight, Hemera, and the Greek mythology painted on the walls of the Champagne Henriot house.
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Brut 2012 with Flute Set, $185.
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Brut champagne is an icon of the House. The original Belle Epoque Brut cuvée is adorned with the legendary white anemones created by Art Nouveau artist Emile Gallé in 1902. Produced only in years when, in the judgment of Cellar Master Hervé Deschamps, the seasons have aligned perfectly, it is a captivating demonstration not only of the art of blending but also of the exceptional quality of the Perrier-Jouët vineyard. Testifying to the rarity of this cuvée, less than 30 vintages of Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Brut champagne have been produced to date, and most recently that of the 2012 Harvest. This gift set not only includes a bottle of this beloved vintage, but also a set of Perrier-Jouët hand-painted anemone flutes, also inspired by Gallé.
Whistle Pig Boss Hog VII: Magellan’s Atlantic, $499.
Whistle Pig has long been known for its Boss Hog collection, unique barrel proof ryes with powerful flavor. The seventh edition, Magellan’s Atlantic shows the softer side of rye, this 17-year-old rye aged in American oak and finished in Spanish oak and finally Teak wood for just three days. Sweet and full of fruit, it’s loaded with cherry notes that are spiced with those same holiday elements, here taking on even more of a festive character. The notes of berries and the increasing intensity of the spices — all filtered through a rich body that leaves your palate begging for more. Bottled at barrel proof, 105.1-107.8 degrees.
2016 Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon, $100.
Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon is a tribute to John Daniel Jr., who produced the much-heralded Inglenook 1941 Cabernet Sauvignon from vine cuttings brought to the Inglenook Estate from Bordeaux by founder Gustave Niebaum. Today, this estate-grown wine is blended with the finest lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties that remain after the highly selective blending of Rubicon. On the nose, the 2016 Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon opens with very focused fresh, ripe black cherry and blackberry aromas. In the background, scents of garrigue – lavender, thyme, and bay – emerge and build complexity. On the palate, the wine is superbly balanced to the point that it is difficult to identify individual flavor components, although cassis bud and blackberry do reveal themselves. The fine-grained, polished tannins are very much in harmony with the oak and exhibit an underlying firmness that continues throughout the long, lingering aromatic finish.
Armand de Brignac Blanc de Blancs, $700.
This very small production of 100% Chardonnay cuvée is crafted from fruit sourced from traditional Chardonnay territory, the Côte des Blancs, and almost half of the blend is from the lauded Montagne de Reims. This unique assemblage delivers both minerality, suppleness, roundness, and lightness from the Montagne de Reims terroir, providing even greater potential for aging.
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep 17 Bottled in Bond, $179.
With the fifth release of Master’s Keep, Wild Turkey chose to celebrate the revival of the Bottled in Bond movement with the release of a 17-year straight Kentucky bourbon whiskey. This edition marks only the second time Wild Turkey has released a whisky carrying the bottled-in-bond designation. Bright and bold, this spirit has a well-rounded finish. To carry the bonded label, the bourbon must be the product of one distilling season from one distillery, aged in a federally bonded warehouse, and artfully bottled at 100 proof. Master Distiller Eddie Russell identified this unique, high aged liquid and pledged to share it with discerning whiskey connoisseurs around the world.
Dom Pérignon Vintage 2010, $188.
Iconic champagne house Dom Pérignon released their Vintage 2010 this past September. 2010 was a challenging year with extreme weather conditions from a rigorous winter to a very delayed dry spring, however, Dom Pérignon meticulously, and with great precision, produced a vintage that resulted in a true testament of nature and worthy of a sip. Due to these conditions, the luxury champagne house is one of the few to launch a vintage. As the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2010 was a daunting and bold task, it truly showcased the house’s mastery, which is nurtured by experience, passed on, and reproduced. The newest vintage has generous aromas of tropical fruit that instantly shines, followed by freshness. The Vintage on the palate has a sappy sensation that unfolds generously yet firm and controlled.
2016 NINE SUNS, $250.
The NINE SUNS experience is a balance of the senses, places, people, and occasions that give its wines a meaningful relevance. Before wine comes the fruit. Before fruit comes land. HOUYI Vineyard is named after the archer who shot down the sunbirds. It is the foundation of NINE SUNS wine, and also for other vintners who are partners in pursuit of excellence, each creating unique expressions of their Pritchard Hill terroir. NINE SUNS Winery is the nexus of agriculture, science, history, art, and people essential to their wine. It is a landscape meant for exploration and interaction – a broad spectrum of tastes, textures, and talents. NINE SUNS produces handcrafted wines showcasing the distinctive characteristics of HOUYI Vineyard. Their flagship NINE SUNS Red Wine – a Cabernet Sauvignon-based Bordeaux blend is only produced in years in which growing conditions permit, and their 2016 is truly something special.
The Macallan: Edition NO.6, $150.
The sixth and final edition of the series takes its inspiration from the River Spay which spans the border of the Macallan Estate. Crafted from a combination of American and European oak sherry seasoned casks, Edition No.6 is meant to capture the energy of the River Spey’s. The release was created to bring awareness to the need for conservation of the river and the salmon that call it home. Bottled at 97.2 proof. Through December 31st, for every purchase of The Macallan on The Macallan Gift Guide, the equivalent of 30% of proceeds will be donated to the James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good campaign, an initiative built to help independent restaurants survive this crisis, rebuild better, and thrive for the long term.
2017 J. Daniel Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon from Lail Vineyards, $275.
The flagship J. Daniel Cuvée from Lail Vineyards is named after Robin Daniel Lail’s father – John Daniel Jr. – who made wine at Inglenook for more than 30 years. The 2017 vintage is sublime, with notes of smoky tobacco and wisps of lavender emerging from pools of inky blackberry. 930 cases were made from vineyards in Calistoga, Oakville, and Stags Leap District, and the silky tannins signal that this wine will only get better with age.
2014 Mayacamas Golden Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, $275.
Founded in 1889, Mayacamas stands as one of the most storied vineyards and winery operations in Napa Valley, CA, located high on the slopes of Mount Veeder. In 2013, Mayacamas was purchased by the Jay Schottenstein family, marking the beginning of a bright new era at Mayacamas. The Schottenstein’s will continue the Mayacamas legacy and distinguished 125-year history while simultaneously moving the brand into the future. Boasting an impressive 98 points, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Golden Hill emerges from a single block on the estate planted with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Just as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel, the 2014 possesses remarkable finesse and stunning beauty. The Golden Hill has a level of mid-palate depth and resonance that distinguishes it from the straight Mayacamas Cabernet. A vivid wine with breathtaking depth and complexity, the 2014 is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage.
2018 DiCostanzo Farella Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, $125.
Di Costanzo is the independent project of Massimo Di Costanzo. In 2002 with a Viticulture and Enology diploma in hand, he apprenticed on four continents eager to learn his craft and the culture of wine on the global stage. As a native Californian, he laid down roots in Napa Valley working for several small and esteemed estate wineries where he began to articulate his own winemaking vision, both philosophically and in the wine. In 2010, the first few cases of Di Costanzo Cabernet Sauvignon were produced and a dream realized. 2018 is a great wine with excellent potential and will age very well. If you drink it now, let it breathe for an hour, and then enjoy.
Grand Marnier Grand Cuvees Inspired Style Set by Karen Jai Home, $98.
Founded by Janelle Langford, Karen Jai Home is a female-owned, small business. The Grand Style Set features a chic and stylish decanter and ornate geometric glasses, which pairs perfectly with Grand Marnier’s most luxurious Grand Cuvée offerings – 1880 and Quintessence. In the true spirit of the season, Grand Marnier is excited to share that 50% of proceeds from the Grand Style Set will benefit the Black Design Collective, a non-profit organization that unites influential Black forces in fashion and design to bring awareness to the history & global impact of Black visionaries. A great way to give back while gifting and entertaining this season.