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By Jeff Stearns | STAFF
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Wines for the holidays

As the holidays are here it's time to think of special wines that can be given as gifts for your discerning friends and family. This is always a challenge as budgets and tastes vary.

Schramsberg Brut Rose, $30. All good things start with bubbles, and this lively yet complex sparkler represents the best of California. Beautifully pink in color, the wine is redolent of red berries and baking spices, perfect with turkey or for New Year's Eve.

2006 Domaine Gros White Burgundy, $24. From the excellent 2006 vintage in Burgundy, this wine is a steal, full-bodied with lovely ripe fruit and excellent balance, a perfect gift for white-wine lovers. If you have a friend that you would like to introduce to French wine, this is where to start.

2007 Mer Soleil Chardonnay, $30. A very special bottle of Chardonnay from the famed Mer Soleil (Sea and Sun) vineyard California's central coast. This wine is rich and delicious with ample ripe pear and pineapple balanced by toasty vanilla oak from barrel aging.

2007 Enkidu Pinot Noir, $30. From the Russian River region of Sonoma we get this elegant and balanced Pinot Noir. It has lovely dark cherry fruit with hints of cola and forest floor for added complexity. Try this with grilled salmon for a real treat.

2007 Caymus Cabernet, $75. Caymus, for several decades, has been at the forefront of Cabernet production in California. In this great 2007 vintage they have produced a full-bodied, complex, almost decadent wine that should not be missed.

2006 Ehlers Estate " Lunar Opposition" Red, $200. OK, I realize this wine is not for everyone, but if you need a special bottle for that person who has everything, then this is it. This wine was Lot Number 197 from the 2008 Premiere Napa Valley Wine Auction. Only 120 bottles were made, and each is individually numbered. The wine is a classic Cabernet-based blend with good amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot, deeply colored with intense flavor this is a once in a lifetime treat.

2006 Expatriate Shiraz, $65. Another pricey but delicious red wine, this time from Australia. If you are ready for another piece of steak or a big piece of dark chocolate, open this intense red for maximum pleasure.

Otima 10 year Tawny Port, $29. After aging for 10 years in barrel, this tawny port takes on a luscious character; aromas of toasted nuts, toffee and spice soar from the glass. On the palate, it is complex and very rich with intense caramel and spice character.


Story published Friday, December 4, 2009 ( Volume 4, Number 7 )

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