Best Gift Wines
The Best Wines to Give as a Gift
For the wine lover, a bottle of something interesting is always a welcome gift. However, it can be hard to figure out what will surprise someone with an avid interest in wine. We’re helping you out with GAYOT’s list of the Best Gift Wines.
Whether the wine lovers on your gift list are just getting into wine or are serious collectors, there’s something on this list that will surprise them and impress them with your choice. Prices range from $4.50 to $180.
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1. 2015 Marciano Estate M Proprietary Red Wine
Origin: St. Helena, California
Varietal: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
Price: $125 for 750 ml.
You may be shocked to learn that the Marciano California estate was first planted with vines in the late 1800s. Although the estate didn’t produce its own commercial label until it was purchased by Maurice Marciano in 2006, it was a grape producing property for more than a century. One of the newest and most exciting wineries on the Napa scene, Marciano is already making a reputation for itself as a producer of remarkable red wines.
If you have lovers of Napa reds in your life, they are going to have their socks knocked off by this wine. A huge Cabernet-dominant blend, it offers aromas of black cherry, espresso and sweet baking spices. Super concentrated yet finely focused, it’s a beautifully made wine with dark fruit, spice and lingering caramel on the finish.
> For more information, visit the Marciano Estate official website.
2. 2016 Peter Michael Chardonnay “La Carrière”
Origin: Knights Valley, California
Price: $125 for 750 ml.
Although Chardonnay may have fallen out of fashion for a time, Napa’s Peter Michael Winery stayed true to the grape. The winery is considered by many in the industry to be America’s finest Chardonnay producer, or at least in the top five.
But the 2016 La Carrière is a special wine, even by Peter Michael’s standards, and one that easily makes GAYOT’s list of Best Gift Wines. A single vineyard wine coming from Peter Michael’s Knights Valley estate, it is a Chardonnay of great elegance. Aromas include almond, toasted brioche, honey and ripe pear. Medium-bodied, it offers notes of pear and stone fruit flavors with bright citrus acidity and an intriguing thread of minerality.
> For more information, visit the Peter Michael Winery official website.
3. 2010 Marqués de Riscal Barón de Chirel
Origin: Rioja, Spain
Price: $75 for 750 ml.
Marqués de Riscal is one of the oldest Rioja wineries. Barón de Chirel is a limited production wine and one that they only produce in the best vintage years.
The collector on your list will be delighted to add this Rioja to his or her cellar. Cocoa and bramble dominate on the nose with a vegetal note adding dimension. Its jammy, blackberry and dried cherry fruit notes are held in check, giving the wine refinement.
> For more information, visit the Marqués de Riscal official website.
4. 2015 Ashton Hills Reserve Pinot Noir
Origin: Adelaide Hills, Australia
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Price: $60 for 750 ml.
The Pinot Noir lover on your list has probably already done a thorough exploration of the wines of Burgundy, California and Oregon, but they might not realize that the hills just outside of Adelaide, South Australia, also offer perfect Pinot Noir growing conditions.
Ashton Hills is considered a pioneer in Adelaide Hills Pinot and the 2015 Reserve showcases the winery’s legacy. A dark and smoky wine, its ripe cherry fruit is balanced by earthy notes and an almost intangible gaminess. It’s a wine that could be drunk now or cellared for several years.
> For more information, visit the Ashton Hills official website.
5. 2017 Domaine Huët “Le Mont” Vouvray Sec
Origin: Vouvray, France
Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Price: $45 for 750 ml.
Domaine Huët has a reputation as one of the finest producers in Vouvray. This heralded winery owns some of the Loire’s finest vineyards, including Le Mont.
Farmed biodynamically, Le Mont consistently produces fine wines, but the 2017 Sec may be one of the best. The white wine lover in your life will appreciate this single vineyard Chenin’s full body. On the nose it offers notes of wildflowers and quince with just a hint of its lemony acidity. It’s a wine with great vibrancy and a long, creamy finish.
> For more information, visit the distributor’s website.
6. 2015 Col Solare Cabernet Sauvignon
Origin: Red Mountain, Washington
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Price: $75 for 750 ml.
Col Solare is a fascinating partnership between Tuscany’s Marchesi Antinori and Washington’s Chateau Ste. Michelle. The relatively young partnership was built around the idea of creating the best possible Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Washington wine lover on your list may have already heard of this wine but will likely be thrilled to be handed a bottle. This is a decadent Cabernet. On the nose there are hints of black cherry, blueberry and dark chocolate. It’s tightly knit with dark berry fruits, vanilla, oak and spice in the palate and a lingering note of cocoa powder on the finish.
> For more information, visit the Col Solare official website.
7. 2016 Groom Wines Barossa Valley Shiraz
Origin: Barossa Valley, Australia
Price: $33 for 750 ml.
Groom Wines is a fairly new boutique Australian winery founded by vintner Daryl Groom. Wine lovers may not know Groom by name but they’ll know him by reputation. By age 30, Groom became the head winemaker for Penfolds and was the maker of Australia’s most famous wine, Grange Hermitage.
Groom’s own Shiraz is a more demure wine than Grange and it’s an excellent value for lovers of Aussie Shiraz. Coming from Barossa Valley fruit, this is a dense wine but one with more to offer than jammy fruit. On the nose there are hints of blackberry, currant and exotic spice. It’s a wine with great structure, bright berry flavors, anise and touches of mocha and baking spices. The Shiraz lover on your list will certainly agree with this pick for our Best Gift Wines.
> For more information, visit the Groom Wines official website.
8. 2016 Booker Vineyard My Favorite Neighbor
Origin: Paso Robles, California
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
Price: $80 for 750 ml.
This wine is an homage to the growers of the Westside Hills of Paso Robles whose grapes go into the making of this unique proprietary blend. It’s a wine with a sense of place that makes a statement about old-fashioned values.
For your wine loving neighbor, nothing shows your appreciation more than a bottle of wine with your declaration of adoration right on the label. This is a burly and well-structured Paso red blend. It comes on strong with aromas and flavors of black currant, tobacco, black cherry, licorice and smoke.
> For more information, visit the My Favorite Neighbor official website.
9. 2017 Parparoussis Petite Fleur Rosé Table Wine
Origin: Peloponnese, Greece
Price: $17 for 750 ml.
If there are rosé lovers on your list, surprise them with a wine they’ve likely never experienced before. In fact, it’s unlikely they’ve ever tried any wine made from this rare, Peloponnese grape. And for less than $20, you can take them on a rosé odyssey they won’t soon forget.
Made by the Parparoussis sisters, this Sideritis is a stunningly salmon-colored rosé. It offers pretty notes of citrus blossom and apricot on the nose. There’s a surprising, tart freshness on the palate with flavors of cranberries and fresh strawberries. A lovely minerality helps extend the finish.
> For more information, visit the Parparoussis official website.
10. 2016 Murrieta’s Well The Spur Red Wine Blend
Origin: Livermore Valley, California
Varietal: 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 22% Petite Sirah, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec
Price: $35 for 750 ml
This is a bottle for the wine lover on your list who enjoys the unexpected and will never anticipate a wine with this elegance and restraint to come from California’s Livermore Valley. Murrieta’s Well is an estate-grown winery that celebrates the climate and terroir of the Livermore Valley. It is clear from their wines that they truly understand which grapes work in the region.
Their 2016 Red Blend is a complex wine for the price, which is why it makes our list of the Best Gift Wines. It offers bright cherry and berry aromas. Its blackberry, black plum and cherry fruit flavors show pleasing restraint and are backed up by vanilla and the heat of clove near the finish.
> For more information, visit the Murrietta’s Well official website.
11. 2006 Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or Brut Rosé
Origin: Chouilly, Champagne, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Price: $180 for 750 ml.
This tête de cuvée from Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte makes a perfect gift Champagne. Feuillatte is known for expert packaging and marketing and with this bottle they do not disappoint. Its curvaceous black bottle is dimpled to mimic strands of black pearls.
This is the wine for the hedonists in your life. They will delight not only in this pink fizz but the package in which it’s delivered. A big, ripe Brut Rosé Champagne, it offers powerful berry notes with an underlying gaminess. It is a Champagne fit for a meal but is almost as satisfying as a meal all on its own.
> For more information, visit the Nicolas Feuillatte official website.
12. Korbel Favors
Price: $4.50 for 187 ml.
Korbel has been a mainstay for the California wine industry for decades. This sparkling wine house manages to keep up with the times simply by giving the masses what they want: fun, affordable, easy-to-drink bubbly.
Korbel’s mini bottles, or “favors” as they call them, are a good choice for goodie bags or stocking stuffers. Cute, little single-serve bottles of Korbel’s Brut, Brut Rosé and Sweet Cuvée, these wines are fun party favors that will make everyone smile.
> For more information, visit the Korbel official website.