France | Beaujolais | Régnié Savor it while you can, because your glass will be empty before you know it, leaving you only with the spicy, mineral-laden aftertaste of a bottle that went down way too easily.
Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe
France | Southern Rhône | Châteauneuf-du-Pape The wine is at once pleasure, richness, depth, and freshness. The body is velvety and not at all aggressive. You smell the stones, the minerality, a smokiness, the magnificent old-vines Grenache fruit.
Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup
France | Languedoc-Roussillon | Pic Saint Loup Its intense aromatics brazenly translate the Pic’s rugged nature, and an almost chewable minerality brings to mind slabs of shattered limestone incarnated as energy, drive, and uncommon length on the palate.
France | Loire | Chinon This cuvée comes from their highest vineyard, which rests on a plateau of gravel, sand, and limestone, and it is arguably their best entry point into the charm of Loire Valley Cabernet Franc, lithe and less dense than the bottlings from their clay-and-limestone terroirs.
France | Jura | Côtes du Jura A transformative process must have been at work here, with the dynamic freshness of the ouillé, or topped-up style, yet it still displays hints of caramelization and golden savoriness.
France | Alsace | Alsace Grand Cru Pfersig means “peach,” and the wine’s subtle whispers of white peach are adorable, and then the bouquet keeps growing more expansive, more intense, grander.
France | Languedoc-Roussillon | Languedoc A blend of Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc, Clairette, and Vermentino planted in the lieu-dit of Aupilhac, the little corner of the Larzac behind Sylvain’s winery.
France | Jura | Côtes du Jura A Chardonnay made with regular topping-off of the barrels, to avoid any oxidation, this delivers an exotic nose of candied lemon and spices, focused acidity and a sensation of beeswax and nuts on the palate.
France | Alsace | Alsace Light, citrusy, aromatic, and zippy on the palate. This crowd-pleaser can dance a jig on its own, but for the holidays, it pairs especially well with my family’s lineup of potluck-style appetizers: dad’s barbecued oysters, mom’s homemade dips, Aunt Terri’s broccoli salad, Grammie’s signature spicy Chex mix... Stock up, these bottles tend to disappear quickly.
Domaine Les Pallières
France | Southern Rhône | Gigondas If you’re familiar with the wines of Vieux Télégraphe, you know that grapes in the hands of the Brunier brothers are treated respectfully to coax nuance and finesse.
France | Alsace | Alsace Grand Cru Kuentz-Bas vinifies a glorious dry Muscat from grand cru Pfersigberg, an ample and fleshy white scented of ripe citrus, tropical flowers, and exotic fruits.
France | Languedoc-Roussillon | Languedoc Aged for two years in barrel and bottled unfiltered, this soulful Languedoc super-cuvée promises to age just as gracefully as top bottlings from Bandol and the Rhône.
A. & M. Quenard
France | Savoie and Bugey | Vin de Savoie Jacquère takes on an intensely mineral expression in these “soils” of lime-stone scree—rocks that have broken off the mountain over tens of thousands of years of erosion.
Domaine Pierre Guillemot
France | Burgundy | Corton Grand Cru Open now if you would like to taste its youthful magic, but don’t miss the transcendent reward of popping the cork in ten to fifteen years.
France | Loire | Chinon The comfort of settling in for the winter—that’s the feeling I get the minute I put my nose in a glass of Baudry’s Chinon Grézeaux. The very name suggests its gravelly terroir and earthy structure: a natural choice for this time of year.
France | Beaujolais | Côte de Brouilly Champagne may be considered the traditional wine for most celebrations, but what could be more spontaneously festive and happiness-inducing than juicy, bright Gamay?
Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe
France | Southern Rhône | Châteauneuf-du-Pape The majesty of the La Crau vineyard is encapsulated in this wine. I can't think of a grander expression of Southern Rhone terroir to be enjoyed this winter.
France | Loire | Chinon Matthieu Baudry makes his rosé from young Cabernet Franc vines on the gravelly banks of the Vienne, capturing both youthful fruit and energizing mineral textures.
France | Loire | Chinon Put a slight chill on it, pop the cork, and inhale its lively perfume: the floral fragrance and bright, juicy fruit—picture fresh-squeezed berries—are simply irresistible.
France | Burgundy | Aloxe-Corton This rouge—a blend of fruit from two parcels that abut premier cru vineyards—delivers such finesse and pleasure that it makes you wonder why this village isn’t mentioned more often in the same breath as Volnay, Gevrey-Chambertin, and Nuits-Saint-Georges.
André & Michel Quenard
France | Savoie and Bugey | Vin de Savoie With notes of mixed black and red fruit and a spine of minerality, Quenard’s Gamay is crunchier, more aromatic, and more succulent than most bottles you’d find in Beaujolais.
Catherine & Pierre Breton
France | Loire | Bourgueil There isn’t a spot in the world better suited for Cabernet Franc, and their old vines produce the raw material for one of the best reds in the Loire valley.
France | Loire | Coteaux du Loir This Chenin Blanc has a tart sweetness, or perhaps a sweet tartness—with neither overbearing—that epitomizes good balance and will have you greedily reaching for your glass.
Domaine de Terrebrune
France | Provence | Bandol This is my son’s birth year and what a handsome vintage that is for Bandol. This wine has such elegance, power, and a classy, lengthy finish. Tannins are well integrated and should be enjoyed this holiday season or any day with a roast leg of lamb!
France | Burgundy | Saint-Aubin The 2018 Cortons flaunts expressive, nutty aromas, followed by a well-balanced combination of Saint-Aubin zing and a richness reminiscent of neighboring appellations.
Lambert de Seyssel
France | Savoie and Bugey | Seyssel Made in traditional Champagne method with all of the complexity that would find in a quality Champagne, this wine is an exceptionally great value!
Domaine de Durban
France | Southern Rhône | Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise This lovely Muscat is full of fresh honeysuckle and ripe citrus fruit. Have an ice cream maker? This wine makes the best sorbet you’ll ever taste!
France | Loire | Vouvray Late-harvest Vouvray is legendary. It possesses sweet lusciousness and fresh acidity, a balance that makes it immediately appealing yet allows it to age magnificently.