Tasting Notes: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006

Tasting Notes: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006

Welcome to Tasting Notes – a place to explore and discover your new favorite wine. Together we’ll taste with curiosity and attention, and hopefully learn a thing or two in the process! Check back with WineBaskets.com’s Uncorked blog regularly for new installments of Tasting Notes and so much more.

7071g_Veuve-Clicquot-La-Grande-Dame-ChampagneTaste and Discover: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Champagne

Vintage: 2006

Ratings: 94 Points by Robert Parker, the Wine Advocate

Acclaim: Veuve Clicquot’s Prestige Cuvee, La Grande Dame, is a great wine which pays homage to a very “grande dame de la Champagne,” Madame Clicquot. The incomparable finesse of this cuvee results from a blend of eight of the House’s traditional Grands Crus. This wine has a fine, complex fragrance, blending sweetness and nobility. It is smooth and silky in the mouth, with considerable substance and structure. A remarkable balance, with a fresh, harmonious finish, and a unique aromatic aftertaste.

Tasting Notes: Veuve Clicquot’s prestige cuvee is named after the widow Clicquot, the great lady who built up the house in the early 19th century. This latest incarnation is just showing signs of ripe toasty maturity. It is rich and soft with a high dosage, in the house style, with a full panoply of lime, red apple and apricot.

Blend: 47% Chardonnay and 53% Pinot Noir

Cellaring: Drink now through 2030

WineBaskets.com is delighted to offer the 2006 Veuve Clicquot La Grand Dame in a number of different beautiful presentations, including crates, baskets and sets.

Tasting Notes – 2010 Penfolds Grange

Tasting Notes – 2010 Penfolds Grange

Welcome to Tasting Notes – a place to explore and discover your new favorite wine. Together we’ll taste with curiosity and attention, and hopefully learn a thing or two in the process! Check back with WineBaskets.com’s Uncorked blog regularly for new installments of Tasting Notes and so much more.

Taste and Discover: 2010 Penfolds Grange

Vintage: 2010

Ratings: 99 Points by Wine Advocate

Acclaim: “Penfolds Grange 2010 is… the greatest young Australian wine I have ever tasted.” – Tyson Stelzer, International Wine & Spirit Communicator of the Year 2015.

Tasting Notes: The 2010 Grange is a blend made from Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Magill Estate fruit that was aged 17 months in 100% new American oak hogshead barrels. Very deep purple-black in color, this is classic Grange – amongst the finest produced – replete with fresh, vibrant and youthful black fruit notes showing blueberry aromas and accents of camphor, anise and the slightest floral hint, plus a trace of oak in the background to lend a cedar-laced lift. Medium to full-bodied in the mouth, with a balsamic liveliness and an additional film of dark chocolate. This wine is very taut and finely constructed showing typically firm, grainy, uniform tannins, great concentration and wonderful persistence on the finish.

Blend: 96% Shiraz, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon

Cellaring: Peak drinking 2018 – 2060.

 

WineBaskets.com is delighted to offer Penfolds Grange 2010 in a number of different beautiful presentations, including crates, baskets and sets.

Which Glass is Right For My Wine?

Which Glass is Right For My Wine?

Picture a wine glass in your mind. You probably envisioned the standard ‘restaurant-style’ wine glass used almost ubiquitously across the United States. But, did you know that there is actually a specifically sized and shaped glass for almost every type of wine out there? Each one is designed to extract the flavors and aromas unique to each varietal of wine, while maintaining the ideal drinking temperature. If you’ve seen some of the interesting shaped glasses available and are wondering “Which glass is right for my wine?”, read on for our beginner’s guide to selecting the right glass for your wine, and turn your next wine drinking experience to an elegant and well-informed affair!

Material: Glass or Crystal?

If you’ve been shopping for wine glasses, you probably noticed a huge price discrepancy between standard glass and crystal wine glasses. But why the difference? Crystal glasses maintain a more consistent temperature in wine, and their strength allows for thin non-lipped edges that feel more natural when sipping wine, as well as for intricate engravings and etchings not possible on glass. Historically, crystal wine glasses were (and many still are) made with lead oxide. Today’s unleaded crystal contains barium carbonate and zinc and titanium oxides, but results in the same heavy, high-quality stemware. Crystal wine glasses have higher refractive index than plain glass, making the glass, and the wine inside, appear to sparkle in the light. While crystal glasses such as the Riedel glasses found in our Private Cellar Gift Set are an elegant choice that offers benefits to the wine tasting experience, standard glass stemware is a perfectly fine choice as well.

Selecting the Perfect Shape

Red Wine Glasses – Red wines such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Shiraz and Zinfandel are served in large wine glasses with full, round bowls. These glasses should have larger openings than wine glasses of similar capacity, to allow the drinker to dip their nose into the glass and detect all of the aroma. The large bowl style also allows for more air to come in contact with the red wine, releasing complex flavors and aromas.

Bordeaux glasses are specifically taller than most traditional red wine glasses but have slightly smaller bowls, designed for full bodied, heavier red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The height of the glass allows the wine to tilt directly to the back of the mouth, maximizing its flavors. Burgundy glasses are made for medium-to-light-bodied wines such as Pinot Noir or Grenache. While not as tall as Bordeaux glasses, the bowl is larger to direct the wine to the tongue.


White Wine Glasses – White wines, like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Chenin Blanc should be served in a tall glass with a bowl that is more U-shaped, compacted and upright than a red wine glass. Because white wine is traditionally served chilled, a white wine glass maintains the cool temperature of the wine while still allowing the flavors and aromas to be released. For younger white wine, the glass should have a slightly larger opening to release the wine’s sweetness, while mature white wines should be served in a straighter glass with a narrower opening that dispenses the wine to the back of the tongue, to taste the boldest flavors of the wine.


Champagne and Sparkling Wine Glasses – Sparkling wines, such as Champagne, Cava or Prosessco, are traditionally served in upright, narrow, tall glasses to retain the carbonation and capture the many subtle flavors of the wine. However, in recent years, sommeliers, cellar masters and glass makers have argued against this tradition and recommended using white wine glasses. Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, cellarmaster at Champagne House Louis Roederer, said: ‘Our Champagne style needs aeration to fully demonstrate its potential, so we often use white wine glasses. Some 25 years ago we even developed our own tulip glasses, which were larger than the flute.’ The argument for the tulip-shaped glass is that each bubble carries the aroma to the surface, following the curve of the glass, favoring a stretched ascent. At the widest point of the tulip-shaped glass, it bursts – freeing its flavors and aromatic subtlety. The tapered, narrower rim captures these aromas and delivers them directly to the nose.


Dessert and Fortified Wines – Dessert wines, like Port, Sherry, Ice Wine, Muscat or Madiera, generally have a higher alcohol content, making small dessert wine glasses perfect for a smaller serving. The same rule of thumb applies to cordial glasses. Dessert or fortified wine glasses should be smaller to direct the wine to the back of the mouth so the sweetness doesn’t overwhelm.

 

 

Comment Below: Do you have specific stemware for various types of wine? It’s definitely a fun collectible for the discerning oenophile!

Tasting Notes: Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Tasting Notes: Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Welcome to Tasting Notes – a place to explore and discover your new favorite wine. Together we’ll taste with curiosity and attention, and hopefully learn a thing or two in the process! Check back with WineBaskets.com’s Uncorked blog regularly for new installments of Tasting Notes and so much more.

Taste and Discover: Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

In 1876, brothers Jacob and Frederick Beringer established Beringer Vineyards with a dream of making wines that would rival the finest in Europe. Today, Jacob’s great great-grandson, Chief Winemaker Mark Beringer, guides what is now California’s longest continually operating winery and one of Napa’s finest producers. With over 1,600 acres farmed across Napa’s best appellations, as well as Sonoma County and Paso Robles, Beringer is recognized as one of the region’s preeminent producers with a rich portfolio of wines, of which their Private Reserve collection represents its pinnacle.

Former Chief Winemakers Myron Nightingale and Ed Sbragia created the Private Reserve program in 1977 with the goal of crafting Napa’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon. Of the 2012 Cabernet vintage, Chief Winemaker Mark Beringer writes, “My great-great grandfather, Jacob Beringer, founded Beringer Vineyards with his brother in 1876 with the simple but audacious goal of producing world-class wines rivaling those from their home country of Germany. Today, I have the great honor of being Chief Winemaker at Beringer Vineyards and continuing the unique winemaking legacy of those that came before me including Myron Nightingale, Ed Sbragia, and Laurie Hook. As such, it is a pleasure for me to share the 2012 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that was made by now Winemaker Emeritus Laurie Hook, and is the 35th vintage of this iconic Napa Valley Cabernet. Long the flagship wine for Beringer Vineyards and a bottle that has always had a place at my family table for special occasions, the Private Reserve remains an expression of the best of each vintage. In the case of 2012, the vintage was a particularly strong one – a long, even growing season and minimal weather challenges resulted in a harvest of great quality and quantity. The vineyards that comprise the blend of Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon represent one of the primary reasons I came back ‘home’ to Beringer – spanning elevations and appellations that are the very best of Napa Valley. The 2012 Private Reserve has a core of Howell Mountain fruit which will lend the blend great ageability, and a quarter of the blend comes from the St. Helena Home vineyard on the estate originally purchased by the Beringer brothers over 140 years ago. As a winemaker, there is no greater thrill than working with exemplary vineyards and contributing to a tradition that is as rich and important as that of Beringer Vineyards. Thank you for your continued support of Beringer, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the years to come.”

Rated 96 points by Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate, the sensational 2012 boasts an opaque purple color along with abundant aromas of charcoal, burning embers, creme de cassis, chocolate, blackberries and licorice. The long, complex, compelling, full-bodied texture along with terrific purity and a savory, rich mouthfeel result in a classic, quintessential Napa Cabernet Sauvignon to drink now and over the next 20-25 years.

WineBaskets.com proudly offers the Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon in a number of different presentations, including two opulent baskets in which the wine is joined by two more bottles of companion wines and gourmet pairings, creating a generous gift that’s perfect for any monumental occasion.

 

 

Martha’s Vineyard Luxury Wine Basket

Handmade Wooden Wine Vase

Cape Cod Luxury Wine Basket

Tasting Notes: Decoy Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Notes: Decoy Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

Decoy Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

Decoy Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

Welcome to Tasting Notes – a place to explore and discover your new favorite wine. Together we’ll taste with curiosity and attention, and hopefully learn a thing or two in the process! Check back with WineBaskets.com’s Uncorked blog regularly for new installments of Tasting Notes and so much more.

Taste and Discover: Decoy Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

Co-founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has spent almost forty years establishing itself as one of North America’s premier producers of California wines.

Since the inaugural vintage of Decoy Napa Valley Red Wine more than thirty years ago, Decoy has taken an important place in the Duckhorn Wine Company family of wines. With a reputation for delivering great quality at an affordable price, Decoy has established a loyal following for its distinctive style which emphasizes ready-upon-release wines that are capable of expressing their full charm and complexity in their youth. Building on this foundation, Decoy has evolved from being a single wine that supported the Duckhorn Vineyards brand to being a renowned winery in its own right. All of Decoy’s wines are Sonoma County appellation-designated, and highlight their commitment to producing attractively-priced wines made from exceptional vineyard sources. Today, the Decoy lineup includes a Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and the subject of today’s Tasting Notes — a Cabernet Sauvignon that is full of character and complexity.

Duckhorn Vineyards has been exploring the character and complexity of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and drawing on their winemaking team’s expertise working with this varietal, Decoy Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon offers a rich and appealing expression of the varietal crafted to be ready upon release. Consisting of 95% Cabernet, 3% Merlot and 2% Cabernet grapes, Decoy is aged for 10 months in French oak barrels and the finished product is nothing short of extraordinary from the first sip to the last. From its first aromatic impressions, this lovely wine delivers classic Cabernet Sauvignon character, with ripe blackberry and boysenberry notes complemented by hints of toasty oak, sweet cocoa and baking spices. On the palate, beautiful structure and supple, mouth-coating tannins underscore the fruit and add to the long, layered finish.

You can send a bottle of lush Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon in the Premium Version of our A Tour Through Wine Country – a bountiful wine chiller filled with two more bottles of lush wine – Sterling Vintner’s Chardonnay and Hahn Saint Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir. Paired with many delicious offerings, this basket is truly a wine tasting for the ages.

 

 

Tasting Notes: Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages

Tasting Notes: Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages

Louis-Jadot-Combe-Aux-Jacques-Beaujolais-Villages-2008-Label

Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages

Welcome to Tasting Notes – a place to explore and discover your new favorite wine. Together we’ll taste with curiosity and attention, and hopefully learn a thing or two in the process! Check back with WineBaskets.com’s Uncorked blog regularly for new installments of Tasting Notes and so much more.

Taste and Discover: Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages

Nestled in the rolling, mostly granite-soiled hills of Southern Burgundy, north of Lyon in the Rhône Department lies Beaujolais-Villages, an historic province and wine-producing region in eastern France. The warmer-climate Beaujolais region is located south of Burgundy, where Pinot Noir flourishes. Because of the difference in these regions, Pinot Noir grapes that thrive in Burgundy don’t do so well here, so nearly all of the wine produced in Beaujolais is red wine (of the same name) from the Gamay grape, making a light-bodied, easy drinking, and berry-forward wine that is best enjoyed young and not left to age, unlike Pinot Noir.

Founded in 1859, the Louis Jadot label has been producing wines from the grapes of Beaujolais’ many renowned appellations. Louis Jadot practices the quality-driven “replis” method, where grapes of high classifications from the 10 famed Beaujolais Cru villages are added to elevate the blend. Grapes are handpicked in whole bunches and the method for vinification is called carbonic maceration, where the grapes are not crushed as is common practice, but piled uncrushed into large vats. The fermentation takes place inside the still-intact grape, although the fruit at the bottom of the vessel gets crushed by gravity and undergoes the conventional fermentation. The resulting wine is soft, fruity, and very low in tannins.

Ruby-purple in the glass, this is a light-bodied, straight-forward wine with expressive aromas and flavors of ripe berries and a nice weight in the mouth. With its juicy red fruit, Beaujolais-Villages is the perfect accompaniment to the rich, fatty cuisine of Lyon, where it is commonly served in bouchons, a common type of restaurant that serves traditional Lyonnaise cuisine in a convivial atmosphere.

When wining and dining in Lyon just isn’t an option, Beaujolais can be easily found in the US, and best served right at home with light red meats, roasted chicken or duck, and grilled vegetables. Opening a bottle of Beaujolais-Villages an hour or so before dinner to let it breathe in a decanter the acidity to develop is a good idea. We wouldn’t recommend chilling the wine, although it should be stored in a cool place until you’re ready to enjoy.

We think Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages is a wine to fall quietly in love with rather than be showily impressed by – and a prime example of what an exceptional Beaujolais should be. Try it in our A Taste of Europe gift basket – paired with a bottle of Tormaresca, a brilliant Italian ruby-red blend with floral aromas of violet and rose, along with notes of red plums and spice. When both of these wines are joined together in a keepsake chest, it’s a European escape.

A Taste of Europe

A Taste of Europe