Richard Jennings' Wine Gift Guide

Top wine gifts as recommended by Richard Jennings

 


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Rhone

Many of my friends love Rhone wines, and when we do wine dinners, Rhone is one of our most popular themes. Add to that the high quality of the 2009 Northern Rhones and 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Papes and I knew I just had to include a Rhone category on my gifting list.

My under $100 Rhone selection comes from a producer who is regularly at the top of my list for the Northern Rhone, Thierry Allemand. His 100% Syrah wines from the tiny Cornas appellation are complex and pure. In the 2009 vintage, I slightly preferred his younger vine bottling, the Chaillot, to the Reynard, at least for drinking in the near term.

It is very tough to find a Châteauneuf-du-Pape for under $50 these days. I am therefore delighted to be able to recommend one from a traditional producer that often flies under the radar, Château de la Font du Loup. The winemaker/proprietor (with her husband) is the very engaging Anne Charlotte Melia-Bachas.

Under $50

2010 Château de la Font du Loup Châteauneuf-du-Pape - Dark ruby color; tart berry, herbs, ripe berry, redolent nose; tasty, structured, tart berry, tart black fruit, anise palate; medium-plus finish 93+ points

Under $100

2009 Thierry Allemand Cornas Chaillot - Very dark red violet color; charcoal, tart black fruit, incipient bacon fat, tar nose; lovely, charcoal, tar, tart black fruit, pepper, mineral palate with balance; long finish 96 points

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Comments

  • Did Richard Jennings ever live in Roswell New Mexico?
    Thanks,
    John

    Dec 06, 2012 at 1:51 PM


  • Snooth User: Richard Jennings
    Hand of Snooth
    780161 112,966

    Hi John. No, I never had the pleasure of living in Roswell.

    Dec 06, 2012 at 1:58 PM


  • Snooth User: Russ Beebe
    1100415 1

    An outstanding lineup, Richard - most especially in the way you presented it as gifts you would enjoy receiving yourself. A very practical (and delicious) viewpoint!

    Dec 06, 2012 at 3:55 PM


  • Snooth User: PFBG
    454785 1

    The picture shows a Rosso not a Brunello. Altough you can have very good Rossos, they don't compare to the simplest Brunello. Don't you agree?

    Dec 06, 2012 at 5:55 PM


  • Snooth User: Richard Jennings
    Hand of Snooth
    780161 112,966

    Russ, thank you for the kind words. I always try to select gifts for people that I would be happy to receive myself, and that philosophy has served me well.

    PFBG,
    I totally agree that it would be the very rare Rosso that would hold a candle to most Brunellos, but there are also some lousy Brunellos out there, so we'd have to make rare exceptions. Good catch though.

    Dec 06, 2012 at 6:26 PM


  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 1,004

    I have always gave the RAMOS PINTO 20 yr. tawny for gifts. Is the Taylor Fladgate just as good?
    Frank

    Dec 09, 2012 at 8:52 AM


  • How about a muscat?

    Dec 09, 2012 at 11:34 PM


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