If you have a friend, colleague or client that is interested in wine, here are some gift suggestions that will be remembered.
You can give a royal treat with a bottle of Corton-Charlemagne. According to legend, Madame Charlemagne disliked when her husband’s white beard was stained with Corton, his favorite red wine. She ordered white grapes planted, and even though Charlemagne was the emperor of the western world, he listened to his wife and began drinking the new white wine made on the hills of Corton.
Faiveley, a prestigious Burgundy family, produces an outstanding 2010 Corton-Charlemagne. It is pure chardonnay and layered with vanilla aroma and flavor from aging in French oak barrels, and has the classic mineral backbone of Corton-Charlemagne. As tempting as it is to drink this wine now, it needs five years in the cellar to mold itself into a structured, full-bodied wine that Madame Charlemagne would be proud to pour for you- white bearded or not.
The 2010 Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne retails for approximately $200.
Barolo resides in the upper tier of the world’s wines, making it an elegant gift for any red wine drinker in the perfect season for full-bodied red wines.
Pio Cesare has been a respected name since its founding in 1881 by Cesare Pio. Recently, Pio Boffa, the founder’s great great-grandson, was in New York presenting his 2007 and 2008 Barolos. Both wines have the modern fashion of ripe fruit and an underlying vanilla flavor from aging in French oak barrels.
Boffa doesn’t push the envelope too much. His wines are in the mainstream of Barolo winemaking styles, which allow for current enjoyment while maintaining Barolo’s aging potential. Give the Pio Cesare 2007 to those who like to drink their wines with little cellar time, and the 2008 to collectors.
Both vintages of the Pio Cesare Barolos retail for about $65.
The finest dessert wines come from Bordeaux’s Sauternes and Barsac villages, and are made from sauvignon blanc and semillon, two white wine grapes that also make first-rate dry wines.
Chateau Coutet is in Barsac and was ranked a First Growth in the famous 1855 Classification of Bordeaux chateaux. In 1787, it was recognized by America’s preeminent wine connoisseur from the political class, Thomas Jefferson when he was Ambassador to France.
Bordeaux’s antiquated distribution system yields no predictability of what vintages will be in any market, or which distributors will offer the wine. The very good 2006 Chateau Coutet is filled with tropical fruit aromas and flavors and a luxurious texture, and it’s a bargain at $65.
The equally enjoyable 2005 Chateau Coutet can be found in half-bottles. I like half-bottles of dessert wines—it’s the perfect size for a couple or foursome dinner. The 2005 Chateau Coutet reflects the opulence and structure of the vintage. It retails for about $45.
And while you’re buying, remember to gift yourself. Who deserves it more?