Guigal 2007 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne

In 1946, Étienne Guigal established this domaine, which is now under the direction of his son, Marcel. Guigal produces stunning cuvées from both northern and southern Rhône appellations. Dazzling flavors of thick-cut bacon, rich black truffle, crème de cassis, and white pepper make this wine a must-have for holiday sipping.

Margerum 2007 Über Syrah Santa Barbara

Fruit from seven different vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley’s Los Olivos are blended to create this supple and spicy Rhône-style wine. Flavors of raspberry, pepper, and black olive lead to a long finish that attests to Doug Margerum’s unerring skill.

Zaca Mesa 2006 Mesa Reserve Syrah

Tasting notes: This inaugural vintage of Mesa Reserve Syrah is a melding of deeply extracted blackberry with the pungency of roasted coffee, sweet tobacco, tar, and earthy chaparral. Worth knowing: Santa Barbara County’s winemaking history dates back to 1782, when Father Junípero Serra planted cuttings along a creek in what is now downtown Santa Barbara. […]

JC Cellars 2006 Rockpile Vineyard Haley’s Reserve Syrah

Tasting notes: The JC Cellars 2006 Rockpile Vineyard Haley’s Reserve Syrah is as intense and generous as the vineyard is spartan and bleak. The scent of wildflowers greets the nose, while unctuous brambleberry juice and concentrated black-cherry liqueur wash over a deep core of ripe tannins. Worth knowing: Jeff Cohn, the former winemaker at Rosenblum […]

Two Hands 2006 Shiraz Coach House Block

Tasting notes: Velvety on the palate yet packed with explosive plum, blackberry, and spice, this shiraz combines lovely texture and bright acidity. Seamlessly exquisite and long on the finish, it exudes a level of style and finesse most other Aussie operation sonly dream about. Worth knowing: Businessmen Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz formed Two Hands […]

Clarendon Hills 2004 Astralis

Tasting notes: Shows lovely oak notes and concentrated berry flavors with loads of finesse and amazing finish. Worth knowing: The blockbusters that come from Roman Bratasiuk’s Clarendon Hills winery, founded in 1989, have a reputation as massively styled, but lately he has been toning down his style a bit in the interest of achieving the […]

Colgin Cellars 2004 IX Estate Syrah

Tasting notes: Exhibits a deep indigo color that creates anticipation for its concentration of complex aromas: sweet, moist tobacco and hints of cumin, black pepper, and spicy dried meat. Worth knowing: Ann Colgin’s departure from her focus on cabernet sauvignon was, in part, at the urging of her husband, a collector of grand Rhône wines. […]