Search Boozehoundz

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hark! The Herald Angels Drink

The Holidays – a blur of parties, gifts, stress, bad drivers, and other things. So let’s simplify the gift giving process (enough with S’well bottles, gift cards, and Blue Apron) let’s focus on six top-notch liquid gifts for your loved one, for yourself, your neighbor, pastor, UPS driver, or whomever. Life is short, so drink well.

The Three Wise Wines

Canard Vineyard 2012 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Under the radar and around since their first vintage in 1984, Canard is one of those incredible finds. Canard sacrifices big yields for smaller grapes and greater concentration of flavor due to their dry farm approach. Located on the Silverado Trail they craft a rich and voluptuous Cabernet with vibrant black cherry, raspberry, black and huckleberry, with shrewd notes of cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and black pepper spice - a perfect balance of oak, fruit and a mild but proper acidity. This is a seamless wine that reflects exactly how dry farming can change the complexity of a wine. ($125,

Ram’s Gate 2013 Pinot Noir Bush Crispo Vineyard
Located in Carneros, Ram’s Gate is crafting exceptional wines, though this vineyard is Russian River Valley. The nose is super ripe black cherry that gives way to rich luscious hedonistic black cherry, blackberry, black raspberry, acidity and a joyfulness in simply drinking this wine because it's just so damn good. And that is the X factor: a wine that tastes so good that you want to drink it three ways hard, fast and continuously. But do savor this wine – in fact it makes you stop whatever you're doing when you take the first sip and say, damn, I need to pay attention to this. What stands out is the dark rich vibrant fruit, more so than the oak treatment. ($70,

Duckhorn 2012 Rector Creek Vineyard Merlot
Duckhorn has always been at the forefront of Merlot, even when it wasn’t popular they have continued to show how the grape could excel. Rector Creek, located just north of Yountville produces powerful Merlot grapes grown on alluvial soil. With velvety smoothness, this Merlot exudes blackberry, black cherry, a wee bit of plum, a hint of cedar, allspice and a mild acidity, which compels this wine forward. Merlot’s softer side and its food-friendly nature shine through with this compelling wine. ($95,

The Three Wise Spirits
Hennessy VS Limited Edition Cognac
Hennessy has been making Cognac for 250 years and I had the great fortune to visit them firsthand in early 2015. Twice distilled, Cognac (actually a brandy) has reached mythic heights in part because the aging process can take decades. Wine is distilled into eaux du vie, which is then distilled a second time and aged. The VS Limited contains more than 40 different eaux-de-vie, aged up to eight years. This smooth refined Cognac offers a bite at the end, but it is full of spice, cedar and amber notes from the oak casks, a slight floral nose with violets and rose petal and a caramelized nut note. It’s smooth, sweet, mature and complex, as Cognac should be. ($45,

Jonnie Walker Select Series Rye Cask Finish
The first iteration in the Johnnie Walker Select Cask series (traditional whiskies finished in different casks than they were aged in) is a rye cask finish which brings together a blend of whiskies aged for 10 years in new American oak barrels and then finished in older American rye barrels, or casks. Light malt, vanilla, and honey slowly infiltrate the palette and then there is the noticeable oak. Yes the rye is evident but most noticeable is the sweet peat and smoke that permeates all around followed by sugared almond, citrus, soft resin and a spicy, floral finish. ($45,

Teeling Irish Whiskey
The Teeling family traces their distilling history back to 1782, but it was only 1987 when John Teeling reopened a distillery in Dublin with the goal of producing age-old Irish recipes that had been long forgotten. This is a soft and aromatic whiskey with notes of citrus, resin, cinnamon, vanilla, cedar and rose water. Unlike many brown spirits, there is no harshness to this, it is an elegant, gracious and personable whiskey, finished in rum casks and easy to drink, offering a maturity you wish all whiskies had. ($40,

No comments:

Post a Comment