Wines That Will Satisfy the Connoisseur on Your List

Wines That Will Satisfy the Connoisseur on Your List

When only the most special will do, this list will impress those who cherish wine

SHARE
With winter showing up 10 days early, its time to rattle off some better cold weather wines that a special recipient would love. Pricier wines that are worth every penny. Whether to drink now, or to cellar for a spell, these selections will be remembered, while that elf-themed sweater sinks to the bottom of the dresser.
2015 Chardonnay Mi Sueño, Carneros $42 suggested retail price
     From day laborer to winery owner, Michoacán-born Mexican immigrant Rolando Herrera has fashioned his own Sonoma County wines since 1997. Straw-colored with golden highlights. An old school nose of buttery apple, pear, pineapple and honeysuckle. Big bouquet but gentle, with a nice cut of fresh acidity. Flavors are rich and creamy with extra-ripe apple, spice and an orange-tinged lift. Drink now-2020. A winter white with a vengeance; try with lobster, paella or poultry. 91/100 points
2016 The Flyer Pinot Noir, Macphail Wines $50 srp
     Dark but translucent red in color. Bold perfume of crushed roses, cranberry, wild raspberry, cherry, black pepper and smoke. Savory and explosive flavors including crushed berries, a touch of milk chocolate, silky smooth texture and brash aftertaste. This wine is fun first, complex second. Drink now-2022. Best with coq au vin or stews (meat or not). 93/100 points
Graham’s Six Grapes Special River Quintas Edition $42
    A blend of two of Graham’s oldest and best quintas along the Douro River. Dark caramel in color. Opulent bouquet of blackberry, plum, fig, dried cherry and dark chocolate. So inviting on a cold night. A full-blooded, concentrated palate with generous elements of dried black fruits, caramel, cocoa, and a rich, luscious finish. Created to resemble a young Vintage Port, this lovely wine delivers. Drink now-2026. Try with walnuts, mince pie or all alone in front of the fire. 93/100 points
2013 Brunello Di Montalcino Castelgiocondo, Frescobaldi $80
     Dark purple, almost black in color. A vibrant, thrilling bouquet of violets, wild cherry, blackberry and tar. Flavors include plum, currant, licorice, leather and forest floor. The fruit is a bit muted for now, but the structure is fabulous! Enormously proportioned and extracted in style, this is impressive with a long life ahead. Drink now-2030. Try with with Bistecca Fiorentina, game or baked cannelloni pasta. 95/100 points
SHARE
Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.