From wines for the tech guru in your life and the photography aficionado to the rock n’ roll fan and the magnum lover, we’ve got a fabulous holiday list for you! We’ve even tapped a few Bay Area wine experts to offer a few of their top bottle choices this year from our nearby wine regions. And you’ll find a few accessories and wine-related options in the mix, as well. Cheers to the holidays!
ALL ABOUT THE BUBBLES
The Crème de la Crème for Your Sparkling Lover
Domaine Carneros Le Rêve Blancs de Blancs ($120)
Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs is a highly respected tête de cuvée, Domaine Carneros’ finest sparkling wine and frequently named America’s Best Sparkling. French for “the dream,” Le Rêve is crafted from 100% estate grown Chardonnay, making it a pure expression of Domaine Carneros.
For the sparkling rosé drinker, Domaine Carneros has paired their beautiful salmon-hued 2017 Brut Rosé with four whimsical, hand-etched flutes, each glass a unique work of art ($110). The ensemble, Cheers to You, is beautifully boxed and perfect for that one-of-a-kind friend who deserves a truly one-of-a-kind gift. For this and more lovely holiday gifts from Domaine Carneros, click here.
A Little Rock ’n Roll, French Style
Claypool Cellars Pachyderm Champagne ($55)
For the rock ’n roller who loves a good Champagne, Sonoma County-based radio personality (KRSH), wine educator, competition judge and event doyenne, Ziggy Eschliman highly recommends Pachyderm Champagne from Claypool Cellars as a “go-to” bottle of bubbles and one she often chooses for holiday gifting and sipping. Pachyderm is an elegant, grower Champagne crafted by third generation family growers in Cormoyeaux, France in the heart of the Marne Valley. Sonoma County-based Claypool Cellars is owned and operated by Primus frontman and bassist, Les Claypool, and his wife, Chaney Smith Claypool. They are also offering magnums and special holiday gift collections. Visit their website for more information.
Cornell Vineyards 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon ($425/1.5L)
After more than 20 years in development, including bouncing back from setbacks like last year’s Glass Fire, the recently released 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is evidence of Cornell’s resilient spirit, commitment to sustainability, and dedication to producing the best Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma that rivals its Napa counterparts. It’s available in magnum, because nothing says celebration like a magnum! Click here for more information on holiday wines and gifts from Cornell Vineyards.
FOR THE TECHIE
Clos de la Tech Domaine du Docteur Rodgers Pinot Noir 2015 ($150)
For the tech and Burgundy lover in your life, look no further than Clos de la Tech, located on the edge of Silicon Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Founded in 1994 by TJ Rodgers, CEO of renowned Silicon chip producer, Cypress Semiconductor, and his wife, Valeta, Clos de la Tech specializes in making sustainably driven, elegantly crafted Pinot Noirs using a blend of innovative technology and time-honored, hands-on farming and production practices. With caves tunneling deep into a vine-covered mountain ridge and vineyards so steep they have to be farmed by a specially designed tractor moved by cables, Clos de la Tech has been called one of the most ambitious and innovative producers in California. The “Tech” reference in the name not only comes from Rodgers himself and his longstanding leadership and connection to the tech industry, but also to the silicon chip on the neck of each Clos de la Tech bottle. Rodgers always appreciated Château Mouton Rothschild’s tradition of adding works of art to each new label. With his own silicon “chip art,” he’s added his own authentic stamp.
The Domaine du Docteur Rodgers (DDR) is Clos de la Tech’s “home vineyard”, its premier single-acre, close-planted vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where the evening fog provides ideal growing conditions for the Pinot Noir grape. Only 100 cases of Pinot Noir are produced annually from the Domaine du Docteur Rodgers vineyard. Gorgeous and elegant, these Pinot Noirs will not disappoint!
Hamel Family Wines 2017 Nuns Canyon ($160)
“Hamel Family Wines is one of the most exciting projects in the region and a winery I’m encouraging all of my collector clients to get in on early. They’re sourcing the fruit for their Nuns Canyon wine from their Nuns Canyon Vineyard in Moon Mountain District, on the western side of the Mayacamas Mountain Range (which borders Napa), which is one of Sonoma’s hidden gems. It’s not only biodynamically farmed, but produces one of the region’s most impressive, structured, and persistent Cabernet Sauvignons. This showstopper is an ideal gift for wine collectors and should only develop further with time in the cellar.” ~Amanda McCrossin, certified sommelier, wine personality, podcast host and Napa Valley wine expert,
Julien Fayard’s Martínez Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($165)
After a couple of decades making wine for other notable brands, including Château Lafitte Rothschild in France, Philippe Melka, Danica Patrick, and a dozen other brands in California, Napa’s renowned consulting winemaker, Julien Fayard, debuted his own namesake label, Fayard Wines, earlier this year with a 2018 portfolio of wines from his favorite vineyards in Napa and Sonoma. One of them, the Martínez Vineyard, is his most favorite. The wine recently received 97 points right out of the gate from Antonio Galloni of Vinous.
Accendo Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon ($365)
Napa Valley’s “grand cru” vineyard sites, according to the Araujo family (former stewards of the famed Eisele Vineyard), are captured in this elegantly fresh and balanced blend from Accendo Cellars, packaged in a bottle reminiscent of the old world’s noble Château Haute Brion.
FOR THE BORDEAUX LOVER IN YOUR LIFE (WITH A SONOMA TWIST)
Aperture Oliver’s Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2018 ($150)
“From the incredibly talented Jesse Katz, this is the perfect gift for the Cab lover in your life. Mr. Katz quickly rocketed to winemaking stardom with his amazing varietal Malbecs under the Devil Proof label, which have become increasingly hard to get and limited to the mailing list. This is my favorite from Jesse’s lineup of delicious Cabs, as it always shows a beautiful, earthy, gravelly quality underneath the velvety fruit and seamlessly integrated oak. I love pouring this one for the staunch Francophiles, as I believe it belongs right next to the great growths of Bordeaux.” ~ Evan Hufford, Healdsburg-based advanced sommelier and California appellation specialist, (also former wine director for Healdsburg’s acclaimed SingleThread. Aperture will be offering special gift collections online for the holidays, as well as gift certificates to curate your own gifts.
Far Niente Estate Collection ($450)
“The Estate Collection from the iconic Far Niente features selections from five of the famed producer’s Napa Valley and Russian River Valley wineries. From single-varietal Cabernet to cellar worthy Chardonnay and more, this exclusive boxed set demonstrates Far Niente’s history of exceptional winemaking and is an elevated gift option that any wine lover is certain to enjoy.” ~ Matt Montrose, CAO and Partner, OmVino and former Wine Director for Atelier Crenn. Click here for more information and additional gifting options.
Small Vines Gift Set: a bottle of Small Vines TBH Pinot Noir 2018, 2 Zalto Burgundy Glasses and a Zalto Mystique Decanter ($375)
“As far as exquisite wine gifts go, there is no better glassware for enjoying fine wine than a Zalto stem. They are delicate and lightweight, and perfectly accentuate what’s in the glass; I also love their Mystique decanter, which is also extremely lightweight and elegant. Zalto’s gorgeous glassware can be easily dressed up or down, and is the perfect addition to any table and occasion. For the best wine to add, I’ve recently been obsessed with a fantastic local Sonoma producer: Small Vines, owned by Paul and Kathryn Sloan. Paul is one of the top vineyard managers in California. The fruit for Small Vines’ TBH (The Barlow Homestead) Pinot Noir 2018 comes directly from their estate, which Paul farms biodynamically. The wine is incredibly aromatic and lifted, with notes of candied cherry, dried rose, and warm spice. It is soft and elegant on the palate. Delicious!” ~ Haley Guild Moore, CEO, Acquire. Look for this gift set and others in the shop section of their website.
FOR THE COFFEE TABLE
Veritas by Photographer Jimmy Hayes ($125)
Published in September of this year, the highly anticipated Veritas by wine industry insider and photographer Jimmy Hayes is a one-of-a-kind work of art. Hayes’s structural, minimal, and poignant photographs are works of art present unromanticized, unscripted beauty and quietly magnificent details from an insider’s vantage point. This may be Hayes’ authorial debut, but you’ve likely seen his work featured across various mediums, as he has been deeply involved in California’s wine industry for over 20 years as a commercial photographer, winery director, sommelier and cellar . The book contains a foreward by three-time James Beard Award winner, winemaker and world-renown wine expert, Rajat Parr, and an afterword from magazine photographer Fred Lyon. 10% of all proceeds will benefit Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation and Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation, two local organizations dedicated to the betterment of their respective farmworker communities through academic and professional development opportunities. Click here to order.
GORGEOUS GLASSWARE FOR THE QUINTESSENTIAL HOST
SL Riedel Stemless Wings 3-Glass Series ($19.90/glass and $33 per two-pack)
Celebrating 265 years as a family-owned business, renowned German glassware great Riedel rolled out this year its SL Riedel Stemless Wings, a collection of three gorgeous, stemless thin-blown glass wine tumblers crafted by Georg Riedel and designed to perfectly complement its original stemmed series. The Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon tumblers have been redesigned to ensure they sit comfortably within the drinker’s hand, nestling perfectly between thumb and fingers. The new stemless series is produced by machine in crystal glass and is dishwasher safe! (Cheers to more time entertaining and less time washing!) Click here for more information and to order.