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Team Bottlenotes' Top Picks in December
December is Team Bottlenotes' favorite month of the year! Almost every day there's a reason to open, taste, and share a new bottle of wine with friends and family: 8 days of Hanukkah, 25 Days of Christmas, New Year's Eve, etc. This year we have travelled to numerous time zones, debated the definition of terroir ad nauseum (stay tuned for a 2013 Sip to see what we've learned), and discovered so many great wines.
Calera Mills "Mt. Harlan" Pinot Noir (Hollister, CA) 1990 $52
There are few wines in life that are hard to forget; Calera's 1990 pinot called “Mills” is one of them. In spite of being over 20 years old, beautiful fruit character shined through. Stewed cherries with hints of rhubarb made this a perfect sip for our team holiday event for 2012! Find it here.
En Route "Les Pommiers" Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley, CA) 2010 $60
I was pleasantly surprised when this beautiful bottle of pinot noir was delivered to me one Friday afternoon as a thank you gift. Although I wanted to open it right away, I shared it with close friends a few weekends ago at a party I was hosting. This bottle of pinot was juicy and spicy with integrated tannins. It paired spectacularly with the latkes and brisket I was serving. Find it here.
BLACKBIRD “Arise” Bordeaux Blend (Napa Valley, CA) Vintage? $50
Blackbird is one of my favorite wineries in Napa. Known for its Bordeaux blends, the Arise is about half the price of some of the other bottlings, yet the quality level remains close to its more prestigious siblings. I love the dark, brooding fruit flavors of blackberry and plum with hints of fig and clove. This would be a great pairing for a holiday roast. Find it here.
ADAM COROLLA’s “Mangria” (Napa Valley, CA) 2012 $16
I wouldn’t consider myself a sangria-lover by any stretch of the imagination, so I was a bit apprehensive when I first tried a glass of Adam Carolla’s new signature wine, “Mangria.” But I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Find it here.
MIKKELLER "Red/White Christmas" Spiced Ale (Denmark & Belgium) 2012 $28
I picked up this big bad 1.5 liter (magnum) bottle for a Christmas party. A sort of hybrid British red ale and Belgian wit bier, it's got the caramel-y roundness of the former with the spicy kick of the latter, overlaid with tangy, citrusy hops and a lashing of bitter orange peel. It's a sociable 8% alcohol-by-volume and simply delicious. Find it here.