The Father’s Day Wine 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! 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 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 Stein 1 ÖTW Kamptal DAC Grüner Veltliner, Ott

Per Wine Advocate, which awarded this wine 92 Points:

This intensely yellow colored wine opens with a deep, ripe and complex nose. The palate is lush and fruity but tight, fresh and citric, with lovely mineral tension. Impressive.

GRAPE VARIETY: Grüner Veltliner

VINEYARD/S: Stein is actually a vineyard that Bernhard farms that’s in the Kamptal, specifically the village of Engabrunn. Stein means stone and as the name would suggest, this vineyard is loess with a lot of gneiss. Respekt certified Biodynamic.

VINIFICATION: Long maceration here in the press prior to natural fermentation in steel.


 

Chassagne Montrachet, Joseph Colin

The Colin family are royalty in Chassagne-Montrachet, owning some of the finest vineyards in the entire village. After working and making wine at his family domaine for almost twenty years, Joseph Colin took his vineyard inheritance and established his own namesake domaine in 2017. Today he is considered one of the most exciting figures in Burgundy, making the kind of edge-of-your-seat lightning bolts of Chardonnay energy that has caused collectors and enthusiasts alike to scoop up every last bottle with each release.

His balanced, textured, mineral-laden, downright delicious Chassagne-Montrachet village 2018, which comes from three vineyards that either border Grand Crus or 1er Cru Chassagne, will show you exactly why his wines have become so hard to come by.

GRAPE VARIETY: 100% Chardonnay

VINEYARD/S: From three lieu-dits in Chassagne that border either 1er Cru or Grand Cru: Les Meix Goudard, Blanchot Dessous, En Journoblot

VINIFICATION: 70+ year old vines. Fermented and aged in 350L barrels (25% new)


REDS

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.


 

Pinot Noir ‘Garys Vineyard’, Capiaux

Sean Capiaux is one of those rare individuals who knew his path into winemaking before even heading off to college. With three decades of experience under his belt, Sean has established an extremely impressive winemaking career and has worked with several prominent wineries around the globe.

The 2016 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard is one of the more open, giving wines in this range. Super ripe red cherry and plum fruit are pushed forward. Sweet floral and citrus overtones develop in the glass, adding attractive aromatic top notes, but this is a decidedly overt, racy style that can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring. Drinking window 2018-2024.92 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous

GRAPE VARIETY/S: Pinot Noir

VINEYARD/S: Garys’ Vineyard is a highly acclaimed and storied site owned by two Garys. It was planted in the mid ’90’s to Pisoni clones in Santa Lucia Highlands sandy loam soil.

VINIFICATION: All the wines are naturally fermented and unfined and unfiltered to preserve their innate flavors and aromas.100% aged in French Oak and 40% of that is new.


 

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 tuff 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.


 

Zinfandel, ‘Vigneto di Evo’, Martinelli

The Martinelli family has been growing grapes in the Russian River Valley since 1887. At the ages of 19 and 16, Giuseppe Martinelli and Luisa Vellutini left their small village in the Tuscany region of Italy and made their way to California looking for land to farm and start a winery. 100 years later, the historic Martinelli Estate vineyards are farmed by Lee Martinelli, Sr., and sons Lee, Jr. and George Martinelli.

The grapes for this wine are grown in cool regions of the Russian River Valley, allowing the deeper, dark flavors to develop in the grapes versus black pepper, characteristic of warmer vineyard sites.

GRAPE VARIETY: Zinfandel

VINEYARD/S: This wine is a barrel-blend from select Martinelli single vineyard zinfandel sites: Jackass, Vellutini, Lolita and Giuseppe & Luisa. Our Vellutini, Lolita and Giuseppe & Luisa vineyards were planted with cuttings from our 135 year-old Jackass Zinfandel clones.

VINIFICATION: A hands-off approach during the winemaking process, allowing the wine to go through a set of natural processes with minimal intervention. Wines are fermented with naturally occurring yeasts.

Viña El Pisón, Bodegas y Viñedos Artadi

One of the world’s great red wines, Artadi’s ‘Viña El Pisón’ is spoken of in hushed tones by collectors worldwide. We have a very special and rare library vintage in magnum that’s just entering its peak drinking window but has years and years to go. Possibly the most kaleidoscopically complex wine produced in the Rioja district—although Artadi does not label the wine as Rioja.

GRAPE VARIETY: 100% Tempranillo

VINEYARD/S: From the legendary ‘El Pisón’ vineyard, a true clos planted in 1945 by the current proprietor’s grandfather. It’s dry-farmed and chemical pesticides and fertiizers are never used.

VINIFICATION: Fermented in old open-top wooden vats and raised for 10 months in 225-liter French barrels.


 

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.


 

Barbaresco, Borgogno Serio & Battista

S&B Borgogno is a fifth-generation, salt-of-the-earth Piedmontese winemaking family whose winery sits atop the famed hill of Cannubi in Barolo. Their exquisite Barbaresco, awarded 94 points from Wine Enthusiast, is 100% This wine is an incredible gift.

GRAPE VARIETY: Nebbiolo

VINEYARD/S: Nebbiolo sourced from the marl and tufaceous soils of Gaja Principe vineyard in the commune of Neive.

VINIFICATION: Traditional fermentation and large Slavonian oak aging allows the beauty of the 2016 vintage to really shine.


 

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 ‘Mt. Veeder’, Mayacamas

At the crest of Mount Veeder, a sinuous appellation that clings to the Mayacamas Mountains’ southern reaches, rests Mayacamas Vineyards – as it has for over a century. Here, at 2,400 feet, above the din of the Napa Valley’s floor, 50 acres of vines are planted.

Initially built in 1889 by JH Fisher, a German immigrant and pickle merchant in San Francisco, Since 2013, the Schottenstein family and winemaker Andy Erickson have rigorously attended to the identity of Mayacamas – not merely with the intention of preservation, but invigoration.

GRAPE VARIETY: Cabernet Sauvignon

VINEYARD/S: Sourced from sites in the Mount Veeder Appellation, a one-of-a-kind appellation with a cooler mountain climate and some of the lowest yields in Napa Valley. Grapes were harvested primarily from 20-to-30-year-old vines grown between 1,800 and 2,000 feet in elevation. Soils range from poor volcanic deposits to ancient seabeds; the grapes produced here retain high acidity and a clean, mineral character.

VINIFICATION: A combination of cement vat fermenters, open-top foudre, and stainless steel are used during fermentation. After approximately two weeks on skins, the grapes are gently pressed. The 2014 Cabernet aged 32 months in neutral oak: 20 months in large format foudre and 12 months in barrique. After bottling, the wine was cellared for 12 additional months before release.


 

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 ‘Alder Springs’, Cruse Wine Co.

Cruse Wine Co. was an opportunity for Michael to showcase fruit-driven and satisfying wines that are pleasurable, but seriously balanced and unapologetically California. He was the SF Chronicle’s Winemaker of the Year in 2016. He is known for making great sparkling wines along with his use of Valdiguie. One of the more limited wines that rarely makes it into the market is his Tannat.

GRAPE VARIETY: Tannat

VINEYARD/S: The Alder Springs block is planted at high elevation of 2,300 ft on a steep, southern slope of decomposed sandstone. The combination of elevation and distance from the coast creates a cool climate with enough hang time to fully ripen Tannat.

VINIFICATION: Fermentation occurs spontaneously after a few days. Grapes are punched down and pumped for twelve days. Elevage in used barriques. Malolactic proceeded naturally. The wine was racked once prior to bottling and was sulfured twice, once after primary and again prior to bottling.

The wine has not been filtered or fined and has no additions with exception of the small amount of sulfur used.


 

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.