Taste all 5: $50


With holiday gift-giving (and frigid weather) in mind, we’ve assembled a lineup of serious, special-occasion red wines from around the world, all of which would make impressive gifts. Come taste all five this Saturday at SV!


Cobb Sonoma Coast “Emmaline Ann Vineyard” Pinot Noir 2010, $63

Just a few hundred cases are produced of this elegant, high-toned Pinot Noir sourced from a 3-acre parcel along the extreme Sonoma Coast near Occidental. Ross Cobb, who also crafts the wines at Hirsch Vineyards, is undeniably one of the great interpreters of Pinot Noir in California. The wines are restrained in extract and alcohol, but the flavors and aromas are profound.



R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Reserva “Viña Bosconia” 2003, $38

The historic Lopez de Heredia winery is a marvel, carrying huge inventories of aging wines in cask and barrel, only to then release them at crazy-low prices! This wine hails from one of LDH’s four “cru” vineyards, where old vines lend depth of character to a wine that spends 5 years in barrel and many more in bottle before it is released. Predominantly Tempranillo with some Garnacha and Graciano, this is a fragrant, silken-textured, well-aged red that over-delivers at this price.


Cascina delle Rose Barbaresco “Rio Sordo” 2008, $60

Heady, earthy Nebbiolo from a tiny producer in Barbaresco. Very few cases of this wine make it to California, but we’re glad at least a few did.





Mocali Brunello di Montalcino 2007, $68

A perfect winter wine: powerful, aromatic Sangiovese from a tradition-minded producer. Great with steaks, braises, and drinking beautifully right out of the bottle.




Lionnet Cornas “Terre Brulee” 2007, $50

This tiny domaine (2.2 hectares) in the Northern Rhône boasts a stand of 40- to 100-year-old Syrah vines which produce this meaty, gorgeous red. Fermented in cement vats and aged in large, old wood, this is old-school, peppery Syrah with a nice blast of lavender on the nose. Wow.