Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Seven Wines for Gifting

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Christian Moreau Chablis Premier Cru Vaillon (2009)
Previously available for $39.99
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2 Selvapiana Chianti Rufina DOCG (2006)
Previously available for $34.99
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3 Thomas Fogarty Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains (2009)
Comments: A little dark and musky, with great liquory black cherry fruit, a hint of cola and some well-integrated wood spice are presented with surprising freshness on the nose. This is taut and sinewy, almost muscular in the mouth. The tension here is very attractive. While this is a big wine, its bright, clear black raspberry and cherry fruit is well restrained by the fine tannins and supporting acids. There’s some wood spice on the back end that adds a really nice sweetening top note to the fruit, which takes a medicinal turn. That might be off putting to some, but the fruit comes back with excellent clarity and length on the long, slightly chewy yet fresh finish. This can stand some age. There is a little heat here, but there’s so much going on, including some lovely developing inner mouth perfumes, that I can handle the heat. 92pts
Previously available for $27.99
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4 Hidden Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County Hidden Ridge Vineyard (2007)
Comments: Dark and earthy with some saddle leather early on the nose, then notes of cooked vegetalness, celery and peppers, adds some nice underlying complexity to the core of black cherry fruit. The oak is well judged and adds some framing spice and a top note of vanilla. This explodes in the mouth with bold yet fresh tobacco, herb and earth tinged black cherry fruit. There’s a long vein of a slightly medicinal aspect that drives through the backend with some gingerbread and toasted almond oak. This is big and full flavored but its intensity does not come with thickness or excessive weight on the palate. Beautiful Cabernet, this is bold, structured with super fine yet firm tannins, solid length and emerging complexity. 94pts
Previously available for $39.99
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5 La Rioja Alta Tempranillo Blend Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial (2001)
Comments: Light and elegant on the nose. Vanilla oak topped layers of leather, medicinal, minty, chalky and teriyaki dried beef elements accent a bright core of wild cherry. Smooth and rich in the mouth, this is powerful yet not that large. The berry fruit, both fresh and dried, is accented by earth and spice notes. A fine bitter cherry element drives the moderately long finish. This is brilliant, layered, structured, faceted and transparent. It’s about as good as it gets. 94pts
Average price: $164.99 from 2 stores
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6 La Follette Chardonnay Mendocino Ridge Manchester Ridge Vineyard (2008)
Previously available for $47.99
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7 Vouvray le Mont Moelleux Premiere Trie Domaine Huet (2009)
Average price: $55.03 from 1 store
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