Wine Gifts: France

The Best Wine Gifts for 2013


It’s time to start buying gifts for the holidays and that means it’s time to get specific. I’m beginning here in France with recommendations for gifts from some of the country’s most popular wine regions.This is not supposed to be an all inclusive list, so forgive me if I’ve missed your favorite wines. This is simply supposed to be a rough list of fabulous wines that make great gifts at a variety of price points.  It is worth noting that for a variety of reasons the prices of many of these wines very widely, and I’ve included the range that each typically can be found at. I’m also trying to identify the best of the recent vintages that would prove most popular to the wine geeks while giving the average consumer the best bang for the buck. There’s so much to choose from it was hard to narrow down my choices to five wines per region but I’ve managed to do it! I present are the greatest French wine gifts for 2013!

The hot vintages are 2009 and 2010. Both are considered to be excellent vintages though in very different styles with the 2009s marked by abundant ripe fruit in a lower acid, richer style while the 2010s combine high alcohol with fresh acids and massive tannins producing a vintage for the ages. My suggestion is to go after the 2009s for gift giving, they will be plenty age worthy, and do not neglect back vintages which have not fully benefitted from the recent runup in Bordeaux pricing. 1999s are drinking well today and were always under-valued and consider the more precocious of the 2000s, a very fine vintage, are now drinking very well indeed.  

2009 Chateau Lyonnat $16-$35 A classic Bordeaux full of red fruits and rich tannins.

2009 Chateau Poujeaux $35-$50 A perennial overachiever, the 2009 is an amazing value packed with fruit and mid-term cellar potential.

2009 Chateau Sociando Mallet $45-$65 Classic, old school Bordeaux for the cellar with more of an attractive green edge to the flavors than one is accustomed to seeing these days.

2009 Boyd Cantenac 2009 $60-$80 Powerful, and deceptively simple and fruity in its youth, a Chateau that develops a velvety texture and complexity with age. 

2009 Grand Puy Lacoste $75-$100 A classic Bordeaux, it needs a decade in the cellar before it comes into balance and begins to reveal the layered complexity and elegance that sets Bordeaux apart. 

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