Host's Guide Holiday 2012: Winter Vintages

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TENUTA DEGLI DEI 2009 CAVALLI TOSCANA
From Italian designer Roberto Cavalli and his son Tommaso, this Super Tuscan has a royal-purple color that prefigures its nose of plum and brambleberry. On the palate, its boysenberry flavors are spiced with cinnamon, dried herbs, and spearmint. ($45)

TENUTA DELL’ORNELLAIA 2009 ORNELLAIA
Sensuous, pure, and characterized by silky boysenberry-fruit, cocoa, and toasted-walnut notes, this unforgettable vintage will undoubtedly continue to flourish in the cellar. ($215)

TENUTA SAN GUIDO 2009 SASSICAIA
Big and voluptuous even for Sassicaia, the 2009 vintage departs from this wine’s usually more restrained personality, offering a riotous brew of black currant, black cherry, tanned leather, dried sage, star anise, and white pepper. ($227)

VALL LLACH 2007 VALL LLACH PRIORAT
This blend of Cariñena, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon festoons its black-fruit flavors with threads of cola, sandalwood, tarragon, black pepper, and minerals. ($95)

VÉRITÉ 2008 LA JOIE
One of California’s true viticultural masterpieces, La Joie consistently envelops its flawlessly articulated structure in opulent black fruit, silky texture, and savory layers of smoky cumin, truffle, and sweet tar. ($450)

VIN PERDU 2010 NAPA VALLEY
Heidi Barrett’s unusual blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot takes the taste buds on the wildest roller-coaster rides, presenting alternating flavors of red currant, plum, berry, grapefruit, curry, and pepper, to name but a few. ($75)

VINEYARD SEVEN AND EIGHT 2009 ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON
With its emphasis on structure, this towering red from the top of Napa Valley’s Spring Mountain engages the intellect yet, at the same time, satisfies the senses with aromas and flavors of blueberry, root beer, mushroom, and earth. ($125)

Photo by Jeff Elkins
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