Get RED-y to Celebrate!: These bold bottles  will make the holidays even brighter

Get RED-y to Celebrate!: These bold bottles will make the holidays even brighter

By Alison Bailin Batz

This time last year, many of us were scaling down Thanksgiving and deciding on how to best go about ultra-small celebrations throughout the rest of the holiday season.

But that was last year. It is time to bust out a special bottle (or two) and toast with family and friends. Here to help you get the party started are some wonderful wines made to spread cheer, give cheer and for all of your impending “cheers”:

Head High 2019 Sonoma County Pinot Noir

Built by surfers and explorers and named for the slang term for the perfect wave, this ambitious pinot strives to be the perfect young red. Succeeding on many fronts, expect a bit of spice but some great red and black fruit in every sip. $24.99

Gary Farrell Winery
2019 Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley

The aromas of red currant and strawberry are so sublime here, tempered just slightly by hints of tobacco as the glass comes toward your lips. On the palate, expect to be similarly impressed with flavors of cola, jasmine, honeysuckle, fresh cherries and sweet baking spices. $45

2019 Post & Beam
Cabernet Sauvignon

Upon opening, be ready to be transfixed by the scent of wild raspberry preserves, clove and spices. Expect red fruit to the taste, with a lush roundness, followed by just the smallest hints of leather, cassis and elegant botanicals, followed by toasted espresso beans on the finish. $49.99

2017 Hestan Vineyards Grenache

Allspice is not just for cider and pumpkin pie. It is used in the dreamiest of ways here, sneaking up on you both on the bouquet and to the taste. The spice is complemented perfectly by white pepper and then some jammy red fruits that will knock your socks off. $60

2018 EnRoute Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

A jammy delight, blackberries take center stage here first before giving way to clove, preserves and, finally, a touch of spice. The aroma will linger in the air, with welcome notes of dried rose petals and berry-infused potpourri. $60

Medlock Ames 2018 Bell
Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

The perfect pairing with a good after-dinner cigar, this wine even has a hint of cigar box to the nose. The more rustic scent eventually gives way to a surprising combination of ripe berries, chocolate covered strawberries and even a bit of blue fruit. $60

Davies Vineyards Ferrington Vineyards Pinot Noir

There is so much to take in with each sip here thanks to the mature fruit with a strong acidic backbone that goes into each bottle. The aromas of Bing cherry, cranberry and raspberry are especially present, but so are cinnamon and sage. To the taste there is a plum, but there’s also coffee and even raspberry on the finish. $75

2016 Kendall-Jackson Stature Cabernet Sauvignon

Elegant and plush, this Bordeaux-style varietal is complex and alluring. Expect notes of tobacco leaf and black currants first, followed by this really unique sweet new oak — likely from the barrel — and, finally, a bold mix of spices. $100

2018 Nickel & Nickel State Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Make a statement with this approachable yet elegant offering, which showcases the best of the famed Yountville region. There are equal parts black currant, plum and cedar on the nose here, and then a juicy blast of black cherry and spicy clove notes. The finish is long and ultra-luxurious. $125

2018 J. Davies Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Named to honor Jack L. Davies, who revived the iconic Schramsberg property and established the preeminent American sparkling wine house nearly 60 years ago, this premier California cab is dense with bold black plum, vibrant blackberry and cocoa, followed by baking spice and mocha. $130

Ehlers Estate 2017 1886 Cabernet Sauvignon

Red and purple hues dance through the glass upon each pour of decadent varietal. Its bouquet bursts with wild blackberries, licorice, cedar and tobacco leaf. To the taste, enjoy chocolate, black pepper, cherries and a velvety finish. $140

Hamel Family Wines
2017 Nuns Canyon

The stark ruby color as this luscious varietal is poured will catch your eyes first. Supple and silky to the taste, there is a symphony of flavors — blackberry, cassis, lavender, sage, graphite, tea leaf, soy and crushed rocks — that explode from the glass. They give way to a structured minerality on the finish. $160

2018 Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford

The cherry on the nose here is incredibly intoxicating. The cherry continues when you take a sip, followed by beautiful berry notes and just a hint of raspberry mixed with cocoa. There is a bit of earth on the finish, which just whets the appetite for the next sip. $185

Larkmead 2018 Solari Cabernet Sauvignon

Sourced from the famed vineyard’s oldest cabernet blocks, this collector’s dream has a bouquet of red cherries, pomegranates, spiced rum, dark chocolate, molasses and even fresh pine. Each taste will entrance you, with red fruit, toasted spices, cocoa and orange blossoms. $200

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