Hearty celebrations paired with even heartier meals… The holidays are a good time to stock up on wine.
Many wineries even offer specials or discounts this time of year, providing savvy shoppers a deal. Yes, please.
I think this year’s list really displays the diversity of our Sonoma County terroir. It wouldn’t be a “Real” Sonoma Gift Guide without a little Pinot… and of course some killer Cabernet, Sparkling and Zinfandel selections.
I have personally tried & reviewed each of these bottles, plus many others that did not make the list… work, work, work. I know, rough life. I also had a panel of experts from #SonomaChat vote during our holiday party, that’s right, these wines are tested and tried for you already in a holiday shenanigan setting…
Wine is a no-brainer gift for most wine loving friends.
Give red wine or bubbles, they show best as gifts unless your recipient absolutely adores Sauv Blanc or Riesling. Putting the extra thought into the gift itself comes from considering what the person receiving the present would enjoy most. Also consider introducing them to a new varietal or producer.
The holiday season is filled with shindigs, bring a wine that seems to fit right in with the crowd.
I’m getting excited already…
Top 5 Picks – 2016 Sonoma Holiday Wines
Get your glass ready folks, it’s time to pull that cork and reveal what’s inside…
Keller Family Estate
Pinot Noir – 2013 Sonoma Coast La Cruz Vineyard
817 Cases – $45
Winemaker: Alex Holman
Keller Estate WINE SHOP
— Fabulous Price for a terroir example of how great Sonoma Coast Pinot vineyards can taste in the glass and very food friendly.
Website: This comes from soils which are heavy marine clay. In 2013 La Cruz grew a sanguine and firm expression of pinot noir, the aromas tilted toward scents of cumin and tomato leaf more than berry fruit. Bright acidity punches through the compact structure, refreshing the tough clay-grown tannins. It’s a powerful coastal pinot noir that will become more complex and velvety with a few more years in bottle—then pour it with duck breast.
Sbragia Family Winery
Zinfandel – 2012 Gino’s Zin Dry Creek Valley
2,684 Cases – $44
Winemaker: Ed Sbragia
Sbragia Winery WINE SHOP
— Fabulous Price for a classic style Sonoma Zinfandel made from a legendary winemaker in both Napa and Sonoma Valley.
Website: This 55-year old vineyard is five-acres in size. Located on a rocky hillside bench on the eastern side of Dry Creek, it’s the place Ed used to play as a child, and where his son Adam was first introduced to viticulture. Zinfandel, Carignane and Petite Sirah grown in Gino’s vineyard represent a traditional blend his Father made each year. Full of lush ripe red fruit. Has a core of sweet red currant and strawberry. Good acidity, a bright finish make this a great match for many foods.
Laurel Glen Vineyard
Cabernet – 2012 Lot 44 Sonoma Mountain Reserve
141 Cases – $125
Winemaker: Randall Watkins
Laurel Glen WINE SHOP
— Fabulous Specialty bottle for true Cab lovers – One of kind, very small lot production, for cellar aging, says Robert Parker- 94pts.
Website: Beginning with the 2012 vintage, we set out to make a wine that will have the depth and balance to reward extended cellaring and in 30 years will taste the way the 1986 Laurel Glen Vineyard Cabernet does today. We selected the most structured barrels of Cabernet harvested from Laurel Glen Vineyard. In 2012, 8 barrels met our criteria. Each vintage will be unique and thus only 2012 will be called Lot 44. Robert Parker awarded the wine 94+ points
Iron Horse Vineyards
Sparkling Wine – 2009 Estate Bottled Russian Cuvée
1,200 Cases – $44
Winemaker: David Munksgard
Iron Horse WINE SHOP
— Fabulous price for bubbles also served at the White House for 5 consecutive presidential administrations. Impressive as a gift and a story.
Website: Russian Cuvee commemorates the style of sparklings we made for the historic Reagan-Gorbachev summit meetings, which ended the Cold War. This is the richest of the Iron Horse Sparklings, yet still technically brut level dry. An ideal toasting wine, it has been served at the White House for five consecutive presidential administrations.
St Francis Winery
Red Blend – 2014″Old Vines” Zinfandel Eat, Drink & Be Merry
Specialty Case Production – $54
Winemaker: Katie Madigan
St Francis WINE SHOP
— Fabulous gifting series of etched bottles (7 different holiday designs), artisan holiday message etched into bottle, just stick a bow on top!
Website: These beautifully etched and hand-painted bottles are as unique as they are beautiful. Always a hit, these elegant showpieces make the perfect gift for the wine lovers on your list, or use them to add flair to a festive holiday table. This is part of a series of etched bottles for the Holidays, each with a different varietal and bottle design, perfect gift for winelover and the wrapping is in the etching of the bottle, just stick a bow on top! Some also available in 1.5L Magnum