The Father’s Day Wine & Spirits Guide

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We’re all familiar with the cast of apropos Father’s Day gifts: a cool tie, a set of rocks glasses, a World’s Best Dad mug, and bad-but-adorable kids artwork, fresh from art class. No order of greatness here, of course.

As time passes and we figure out what dad really likes (perhaps also noting that he never wore that tie you bought him), many of us have picked up on a a few categories of reliable gift ideas that seem to ‘work’. You can probably guess what we usually go for here… collectible, age-worthy wines and hand-crafted spirits! Maybe he will even share them with you later?

With Dad’s Day on the immediate horizon, we wanted to share some potent potables from across all of our portfolios that we thought perfect to cellar or celebrate with father figures of all kinds.

BUBBLES

“Spécial Club” Brut, Pierre Gimonnet & Fils

Spécial Club Champagne was created to be competitive with the big house Téte de Cuvées and Gimonnet’s Spécial Club always will rise to the occasion. 100% Chardonnay from Grand Cru and Premier Cru sites on chalky soils, this wine is always mineral and electric upon release and eases into its fruit and muscularity as the years go on.

CÉPAGES: 100% Chardonnay

ASSEMBLAGE: 100% 2014

VINEYARD / VILLAGE: 60% Cramant Grand Cru, 30% Chouilly Grand Cru, 10% Cuis 1er Cru

MALO: Yes

ELEVAGE: Stainless steel

EN TIRAGE AGING: 60 months


 

“Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ” Brut, Gaston Chiquet

The only wine better than a bottle of vintage Champagne to tuck away in your cellar is a magnum of vintage Champagne! Gaston Chiquet’s Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ Grand Cru 2009 magnum was released this year after spending 10 years on its lees in Nicolas Chiquet’s cellar. While impressive now, wines from the Grand Cru village of Aÿ are incredibly long-lived, especially from a great, ripe vintage like ’09.

CÉPAGES: 100% Chardonnay

ASSEMBLAGE: 2009

VINEYARD / VILLAGE: Aÿ Grand Cru

MALO: Yes

ELEVAGE: Stainless steel

EN TIRAGE AGING: 108+ months


WHITES

Ungeheuer Riesling Grosses Gewächs, von Winning

Von Winning’s Ungeheuer Grosses Gewächs is a stunning example of what Grand Cru Riesling can become in Germany. Powerful and firm, the Ungeheuer does show some charm in its youth but truly blossoms after a few years in a cellar.

GRAPE VARIETY: Riesling

VINEYARD/S: The famous Ungeheuer is located above the city of Forst in the middle of the slope that rises from 125 to 180 metres a.s.l. toward the Haardt hills. The soil is quite diverse and heterogeneous and includes a bit of volcanic basalt rock in some areas.

VINIFICATION: Spontanenous fermentation in 500L barrels, left on the gross lees for 24 months.


 

Ried Steinertal Smaragd Wachau Grüner Veltliner, Alzinger

Leo Alzinger’s wines are some of the most sought after in Austria, and the Steinertal Grüner Veltliner always shows at the top of the class. Stony soils give this Grüner an intense minerality with high toned, bright fruit. Alzinger’s wines change dramatically as they age, with 20+ years on them, the differences between their Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings begins to blur, and instead, you really see the place, and terroir, come into focus.

GRAPE VARIETY: Grüner Veltliner

VINEYARD/S: Steinertal  is an extremely complex location that offers optimal terrain for both Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. The foundation of the Grüner Veltliner lies in the lower and deeper terraces, although here too, despite a slightly creamier texture, vital acidity and profound minerality set the tone.

VINIFICATION: Spontaneously fermented in stainless steel. Elevage in large, neutral, acacia barrels.


REDS

Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Domaine Arlaud

Cyprien Arlaud is one of the most heralded growers in all of Burgundy, crafting wines of unparalleled elegance and refinement that stand the test of time. This Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin is his magnum opus, coming from biodynamically farmed vines on the edge of Latricieres-Chambertin, in the epicenter of the some of the finest pieces of dirt in the world to grow Pinot Noir on. This has everything one would want from Grand Cru Burgundy, with a seamless texture and never-ending finish that tell us it will be jaw-dropping today and 30+ years from now.

GRAPE VARIETY: Pinot Noir

VINEYARD/S: 50-plus-year-old vines from the Mazoyères-Chambertin section of Charmes-Chambertin, across the road from Leroy’s plot of Latricieres-Chambertin. Certified biodynamic.

VINIFICATION: Aged in 30% new oak. Picked and vinified in three sections: the very old vines (80+), the regular old vines (50+), and the ‘young’ vines (25+). Each section is vinified separately so that Cyprien can declassify the younger vines.


 

La Source Pinot Noir, Evening Land

This wine is sourced from the vines at the very top of Seven Springs Vineyard, which was planted in 1984 by Oregon wine Pioneer Al MacDonald. This vineyard has always been dry-farmed and certified biodynamic since 2007. This is an impressive example of high-elevation Pinot Noir, crafted from one of the most-prized sites in the Willamette Valley.

GRAPE VARIETY: Pinot Noir

VINEYARD/S: The La Source Pinot Noir comes from vines at the very top of Seven Springs Vineyard. Here in shallow and rocky soils, Dijon selections of Pinot Noir weather the daily winds from the Van Duzer corridor, channeling these environmental stresses into an age-worthy and complex wine.

VINIFICATION: Gentle handling of the fruit throughout fermentation insures a supple, texturally pleasing wine. The 2016 La Source Pinot Noir was raised in 40% new French oak barrels and bottled without fining or filtering.


 

Pinot Noir ‘Hawk Hill’, Anthill Farms

This is a new cuvee from Anthill Farms and is sourced from the town of Freestone – just a few miles from the Pacific. The vines are more than 20 years old.

The 2018 Pinot Noir Hawk Hill is one of the more refined wines in this range. Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, mint, chalk and blood orange give this mid-weight Pinot striking aromatic presence. Understated, vibrant and classy, the 2018 is so finessed and so sculpted. It is one of my favorites in this range.93+ points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous

GRAPE VARIETY: Pinot Noir

VINEYARD/S: Hawk Hill Vineyard is perched on a steep, Goldridge soil covered slope just a few miles from the Pacific. Shaped by the coastal climate, this low yielding vineyard is farmed by the Yarak family. The two decades old vines work late into the fall to ripen and develop detailed flavors in its tiny berries.

VINIFICATION:  Gentle handling from crushing to bottling, judicious use of oak, and, perhaps most importantly, leaving the wine alone as much as possible.


 

Bierzo Tinto, ‘Ultreia el Rapolao’, Bodegas y Viñedos Raúl Pérez

This single-vineyard red from Raúl Pérez, widely considered one of the world’s greatest winemaking geniuses, stands right alongside any Grand Cru— the Rapolao vineyard is just that good.

GRAPE VARIETY: Primarily made with Mencía grapes

VINEYARD/S: From the El Rapolao plot in Valtuille de Abajo. The harvest is performed by hand. 

VINIFICATION: Whole-cluster fermentation with native yeasts in large, open-top oak vat. 60-90 day maceration followed by one year of aging in neutral barrel. Bottled without fining or filtration.


 

Brunello di Montalcino, Lisini

Lisini Brunello – Lisini is sine qua non – the epitome of classically-styled Brunello, against which all others are measured.  The 2015 vintage was among the most lauded in recent years.  Mature enough to enjoy today, but promising a huge return on investment a few years down the road.

GRAPE VARIETY: Sangiovese

VINEYARD/S: Volcanic tufo from the eocene epoch. Vineyards range in elevation from 300 to 350 meters above sea level.

VINIFICATION: Vinification is traditional, in glass-lined cement tanks with skin contact for 20-26 days. The wine is then transferred to 20-52 hectoliter casks for 42 months, followed by 6 to 8 months of bottle age prior to release.


 

Rioja Gran Reserva, Imperial, CVNE

Not merely an icon of Spain, but one of the world’s great red wines, full stop. Drink this absolutely classic exemplar of traditionally-styled Rioja now or hold for decades more. 

GRAPE VARIETY: Tempranillo: 85%, Graciano: 10%, Mazuelo: 5%

VINEYARD/S: Hand-harvested at low yields from bush-pruned vines in the area around Villalba and Haro in Rioja Alta.  Only the healthiest and ripest grapes are selected.

VINIFICATION: Aging in cask 36 moths and aging in bottle 48 months before going to market.


 

Barbaresco ‘Cotta’, Sottimano

Sottimano Barbaresco Cotta – showered with praise from every major publication, including 97 points from Wine Enthusiast, Andrea Sottimano’s 2016 Barbaresco ‘Cotta’ is the apotheosis of Nebbiolo-based wines from Neive.  This wine is showing brilliantly today, but will continue to develop for decades.

GRAPE VARIETY: 100% Nebbiolo

VINEYARD/S: Limestone and clay soils of the Cotta cru with 40 to 60 year old vines, farmed organically since 2004.

VINIFICATION: Fermentation is spontaneous and maceration lasts 40 days in mostly used barriques (only 10% are new). The wine stays in these barrels for 24 months on its lees without racking. There is no filtering and no fining prior to bottling.


 

Barolo ‘Garretti’, La Spinetta 

La Spinetta Barolo Garretti is a rich, vibrant and aromatic expression of Nebbiolo from one of Italy’s most prolific and celebrated winemakers, Giorgio Rivetti.  2016 is already legendary for its long, cool season and picture perfect harvest, producing wines of exquisite elegance and long-term cellaring potential.

GRAPE VARIETY: Nebbiolo

VINEYARD/S: 35-year-old vines in calcareous soils of the Campe cru of Grinzane Cavour in Barolo.

VINIFICATION: Fermentation begins in temperature-controlled rotofermenters for 10 days before finishing in oak. Aged in 50% new and 50% one year old, medium toasted 600L French oak for 20 months. Transferred to stainless steel vats for 3 months before bottling, aging in bottles for another 12 months.


 

A & D Vineyard Grand Vin, Ashes & Diamonds

This wine was made by Diana Snowden-Seysses (Domaine Dujac, Domaine Triennes) and is an incredible blend of Merlot (75%) and Cabernet Franc (25%) from vines that are more than 30 years old, planted in the heart of Oak Knoll District in Napa Valley. These wine are produced with the old-school style of Cabernet Sauvignon in mind, like Mayacamas, Robert Mondavi and Inglenook from the 60s and 70s.

GRAPE VARIETY: A blend of Merlot (75%) and Cabernet Franc (25%)

VINEYARD/S: Oak Knoll AVA. 30-year-old vines grown in gravelly clay loam. Merlot harvested August 29th, Cabernet Franc harvested September 13th.

VINIFICATION: Macerated in stainless steel tanks for 17 days (Merlot) and 21 days (Cabernet Franc). Aged in 50% new French Oak (Ermitage, Boussuet, Sylvain) for 20 months.


 

Malbec ‘Appellation Gualtallary’, Altos Las Hormigas

Revered Malbec producer Altos Las Hormigas continues to impress us vintage after vintage and their flagship ‘Appellation Gualtallary’ Malbec from this high-elevation subregion of Argentina’s Uco Valley (often referred to simply as “Gualta”) exemplifies their muscular approach to the country’s most famous grape variety. Rather than masking the wine in oak, their winemaking team ages the wine in used French oak to allow its tannins, bright red fruit and minerality to express themselves. This is a wine that drinks well young, but can be aged in your cellar for years to come! Wine Advocate: 96+ Points

GRAPE VARIETY: Malbec

VINEYARD/S: Vines grow in Gualtallary’s loamy soils, lying at 1,300 meters above sea level. Limestones covered pebbles and gravels occupy 50-60% of the soil volume, with a high percentage of free calcium carbonate in the profile granting to the wine a chalky, fresh minerality. 3% of clay in the fine matrix allow Malbec to express fresh fruit flavors, for a strong but well-integrated roundness on the palate.

VINIFICATION: Grapes go through a double selection process and are released by gravity into small stainless-steel tanks for pre-fermentation maceration at 5°C for 7 days. Indigenous yeasts at 24°C for 15 days. The wine was matured in 3,500 liter untoasted Foudres for 18 months, and 12 further months in the bottle.


 

Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Annum’, Ramey 

Ripe and suave in feel, with waves of red currant, cherry and plum preserves gliding through, laced with subtle savory, cedar and floral hints, providing lift through the stylish finish. A minerally echo adds range. Distinctive. Best from 2021 through 2032.93 points, James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

GRAPE VARIETY: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, & 3% Malbec

VINEYARD/S: Sourced from Oakville (37%), Rutherford (34%), and Mt. Veeder (29%).

VINIFICATION: Native-yeast and full natural malolactic fermentation, and aged sur lies with monthly batonnage for 23 months in new French oak barrels (Taransaud and Darnajou). Non-filtered.


 

Syrah ‘Schist’, Mullineux

Sourced from their very own Roundstone Farm vineyard site, this small-production Syrah from Chris and Andrea Mullineux is one of our favorite wines from their Single Terroir series – which endeavors to showcase the individual soils of their Swartland region. The wine reflects the couple’s dedication to producing powerful examples of this grape variety that both embrace the abundant sunshine of their Swartland region while still paying homage to the Northern Rhone Syrahs that they love to drink. 

GRAPE VARIETY: Syrah

VINEYARD/S: Grapes were sourced from a single parcel of sustainably farmed 20-plus-year-old vines planted in the stony Shale and Schist soils of the Mullineux farm, Roundstone, on the Kasteelberg. This parcel of Syrah gives the best expression of the schist terroir – density and structure

VINIFICATION: Fermented with indigenous yeasts and left on the skins for four weeks, with pigeage once per day. The Syrah is aged twelve months in 500L French oak barrels, 25% new, and then an additional nine months in 2nd fill foudre. 10 months of aging in bottle before release.


 

Tannat Dessert Wine ‘Alcyone’, Viñedo de los Vientos 

Winemaker Pablo Fallabrino was raised in a family of winemakers – his grandfather Angelo moved to Uruguay from Piedmont in 1920 and in the 1930s he started two wineries spread across five vineyards just outside of the coastal town of Atlántida before his own father took over. A product of his family’s heritage, his own approach is a return to the simplicity of Italian winemaking in the early 1900s and his Tannat Dessert Wine is no different, as it was inspired by Marsala and Chinato production techniques that he learned about in a book passed down to him by his grandparents.

GRAPE VARIETY: Tannat

VINEYARD/S: Vinedo de los Vientos – 2.5 hectares planted in 1993

VINIFICATION: This wine is aromatized with different roots and herbs and then fortified with brandy before aging for 24 months in French oak barrels.


 

Vintage Port, Churchill’s

Vintage Port—one of the world’s great luxuries. Why not send a special message this Father’s Day with a stellar example from Churchill’s, a top boutique producer? This one’s from the 2017 vintage, widely lauded as one of the greatest in recent memory. Dad can decant today or tuck away for as long as he wants!

GRAPE VARIETY: 20% Touriga Nacional, 20% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Roriz, 20% Tinto Cão, 20% Tinta Barroca

VINEYARD/S: Very old estate-vineyards located in the Douro Superior and Cima Corgo sub-regions in the Douro Valley.

VINIFICATION: Grapes are crushed by foot in traditional granite lagares. Matured for one year in seasoned oak vats at the ageing lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia (Porto), after which the decision was made that the wine was of such quality to declare a Vintage Year.

 

SAKE & SHOCHU

Taiheizan ‘Tenko 40’ Junmai Daiginjo Sake, Kodama Brewery

If Dad likes sake, chances are he likes the elegant flavors of premium Junmai Daiginjo. Taiheizan Tenko 40 grounds the ethereal qualities of this style with a more full-bodied, creamy texture and snappy acidic finish.

  • Smooth, full-bodied sake with notes of apple, tropcial fruits, and citrus
  • Quite robust for a daiginjo sake, pairs well with foods both light & rich
  • Yamada Nishiki rice milled to 40%

 

Hyakunen no Kodoku ‘100 Years of Solitude’ Barrel Aged Barley Shochu, Kuroki Honten

While Japanese whiskey has exploded in popularity, Japan’s original distilled spirit is shochu. Handcrafted from 100% barley and aged for 1-2 years in Mizunara oak, Hyakunen no Kodoku drinks like a fine Japanese whiskey, but the process of single distillation and malting by koji gives it depth and umami unique to shochu. This has been one of the most in demand premium shochu in the world for decades, we’re lucky enough to see a little bit of it reach the US! 

  • One of the rarest and most sought after shochu
  • Distilled from 100% estate-grown organic barley
  • Aged in oak casks for three to five years before release
  • Strong toasty notes of barley and cereal grains

SPIRITS

Gin, ‘Ki No Bi’, The Kyoto Distillery

Nothing says ”Dapper Dad” like a martini or highball made with an elegant gin, especially if that gin is from Japan’s first dedicated artisanal gin distillery.

With a base distilled from rice, and botanicals including yuzu, hinoki, red shiso, bamboo, gyokuro tea, and green sanshō peppercorn, this delicate yet evocative spirit is a regionally inspired treasure for any gin lover.


 

Tequila Reposado, Maracame

An aged tequila that exhibits oak without overwhelming the character of the agave from which it was distilled is a beautiful thing.

The producer of Maracame, Tequila Supremo, harvests only the biggest and sweetest agaves for these bottlings, which are then roasted in a 100-year-old volcanic oven. Champagne yeast is used for fermentation and all distillate is bottled by hand, reflecting the care taken in making this sultry spirit, aged for 9 months and reflecting flavors of marmalade and nougat.


 

‘San Luis’, Mezcal, Nuestra Soledad

With notes of smoke and dry cacao and a full and creamy mouthfeel, this mezcal will hit the spot for lovers of the category new and old.

Produced from 100% Espadín in the village of San Luis del Río. The agave grows on slopes so steep that the piñas have to be rolled down the hill before heading to the polenque. This expression has the most perceived smokiness of the Nuestra lineup.


 

Special Reserve 15yr Rum, El Dorado

Blending marques from four historic stills and produced at the last Demerara Rum distillery, this minimum 15-year-old rum is a sumptuous and spicy treat.

Demerara Distillers Limited has amassed the most impressive collection of heritage stills in the world and uses molasses only from cane grown in the Demerara River Valley, making the rums of El Dorado truly unique. Fans of rye whiskey will be especially pleased with this 15-year-old expression.


 

Rhum Agricole VSOP, Rhum JM

While exhibiting the grassy brightness associated with Rhum J.M’s exceptional Agricole rum, a year in new, American oak followed by 3 years in ex-bourbon barrels results in deeper flavors of cinnamon, clove, and lemony toffee. The perfect spirit for summer-tailored Old Fashioneds.

Situated on the northern tip of picturesque Martinique amongst lush foliage, sea breezes, and pristine volcanic soil and water, Rhum J.M produces benchmark Rhum Agricole, distilled on a Créole Copper Column still from sugarcane juice pressed the same day of harvest.


 

Cognac VSOP, Cognac Park

Nothing feels fancier than a dram of Cognac, and far from the stuffy expressions we may associate with older generations of brandy drinkers, this combination of wine from the Fin Bois, Petite Champagne, and Grande Champagne terroirs of Cognac result in a spirit of vibrant structure, complexity, and character.

Made from 100% Ugni Blanc, this eau-de-vie is aged for 8 months in new, lightly toasted French oak before being transferred to used casks for 5–10 years. Excellent grip and acidity complement notes of green peppercorn, white flowers, and marzipan.


 

Barrell Dovetail, Barrell Craft Spirits

Originally conceived as a one-off bottling but now released in continued editions due to popular demand, Dovetail is the perfect introduction to one of the most exciting bottler-blender enterprises in the United States, coveted by whiskey connoisseurs the world over.

A blend of whiskies finished in a unique combination of rum, port, and Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Barrels, Dovetail is rich and buttery, with varying nuance from batch to batch.


 

McKenzie, Whiskey Gift Pack [3 x 200ml], Finger Lakes Distilling

The gift pack, which includes a 200ml bottle each of McKenzie Bourbon, Rye, and Pot Still Whiskey, serves as a tasting flight through some of the flagship bottlings from Finger Lakes Distilling, one of the most respected distilleries in New York State.

Roughly 95% of the ingredients used at Finger Lakes Distilling, located near Seneca Lake, are grown locally, including corn, rye, wheat, malted barley, grapes, apples, cherries, berries, pears, and maple syrup. Both the bourbon and rye are distilled on a Vendome column still, while the Irish whisky-inspired Pot Still expression sees double-distillation in pot.

Rye Whiskey, Bottled in Bond, New Riff Distilling

This Kentucky distillery’s attention to detail is reflected in their whiskies which continue to accumulate accolades. Made from an uncommon mash bill of 95% Rye and 5% Malted Rye, this bottling is an elegant and expressive representation of the rye category. If Dad doesn’t already know about this up-and-coming distillery, he’ll thank you for the introduction.

Adhering to the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, this rye is a minimum of four years old and non-chill filtered. Cinnamon and orange on the nose give way to an intriguing palate of grass and vanilla buttercream.


 

Bourbon Whiskey, ‘Vertical Series, Bourbon War – 4 Year’, Pinhook

Extremely affordable for a bourbon that begs to be collected, this is the first in Pinhook’s Vertical Bourbon Series, which will see the same batch of whisky blended and released at increasing age on a yearly basis.

Every year over the next 9 years, Pinhook will select 150 bourbon barrels from the same Indiana-distilled whiskey batch to be blended, proofed, and bottled, starting with this 4-year-old expression. A bright nose of butterscotch and tropical fruit leads to notes of cocoa, roasted peanut, and dried fig.


 

Single Malt Whisky, ‘Akashi’, Eigashima Shuzo [White Oak]

Guaranteed to be enjoyed, this bottling is a cornerstone expression from Japan’s smallest whisky-distilling team, which also holds the distinction of having the oldest whisky-distilling license in the country.

Located only 100 meters from Kobe Bay in Hyogo Prefecture, White Oak Distillery produces a refined and expressive single malt using a unique blend of sherry, brandy, wine, American oak, and ex-shochu barrels for aging.


 

Islay Single Malt Whisky, Samp. Pack Set ‘Machir Bay & Sanaig’ 200mL bottle/ea, Kilchoman Distillery

This gift pack offers the perfect introduction to Islay’s only independently owned distillery, allowing a thoughtful side-by-side comparison of flagship styles.

Both of these single malts, aged 5–7 years, are distilled and aged on site at the Kilchoman farm. Machir Bay is a vatting aged primarily in ex-bourbon barrels (sourced directly from Buffalo Trace) and ex-Oloroso sherry casks. While Sanaig undergoes the same production process as Machir Bay, the expression is comprised of substantially more ex-sherry-matured whisky.