That’s where I come in. I may not be the ultimate authority on any particular wine, but I am an inveterate wine shopper and I do know a thing or two about the grapes. One thing that I’ve come to appreciate is that as a general rule, almost no one thinks that spending more than $100 on a bottle of wine is a sane thing to do. Even that is a stretch.
But $100 is a nice round number and a price point where you can really find some outstanding wine, so take a look at these recommendations. There’s a little bit of something for everyone here; luxury wines that are sure to wow just about any wine lover.
Wine Gift image via Shutterstock
Ch Duhart Milon
Bordeaux is always a great gift. People just know “Bordeaux” for some reason. For those who know just a little bit more, 2000 is one of those awesome vintages that drinks relatively well young but that can age effortlessly. Duhart Milon produced a fine 2000 that is still fairly traditionally styled and rich and representative of the vintage, while being accessible. This could age another decade or two effortlessly.
Ch Beau-Sejour Becot
While Bordeaux is instantly recognized, not everyone realizes that there are significant differences between various appellations. Take this St. Emilion for example, a region renowned for its Cabernet Franc and Merlot blends rather than the more common Cabernet Sauvignon. Beau-Sejour Becot is mostly Merlot and is drinking perfectly right now; almost opulent, velvety and exquisitely balanced.
L Pira Marenca
Shooting for a 2000 trifecta, let’s go to Piedmonte, where the vintage was very successful if not classically structured. That means that Barolo, famed for its persnickety personality and preference for decades of slumber, is actually drinking well at the young age of 12 years. Luigi Pira is a producer in Serralunga, Barolo’s manliest appellation. The Marenca vineyard produces a slightly fruitier style of Serralunga than many vineyards there, perfect for drinking this year and for many years to come.
B Giacosa Barbaresco
Barbaresco is the more feminine expression of Nebbiolo in the Langhe, a counterpoint to Barolo. Giacosa is one of the greatest producers the region has ever seen. 1998 was a fine vintage, a bit soft, gentle even and early maturing. The wine snobs have passed it over, leaving a few bottles on the shelves at a discount price. This is a great opportunity to get the wine of one of the giants of Piedmonte that is both ready to drink and affordable.
While 1998 was a bit of a sleeper in Piedmonte, it was one of the great vintages for the Southern Rhone Valley, home of Chateauneuf du Pape. Never a wine that needs too much aging, the 1998 Chateauneuf wines are drinking so well today. They are still packed with ripe fruit but at the same time are soft and caressing in the mouth. A real hedonistic glassful from a producer of deep, complex and often savory old school Chateauneuf.