Happy Valentine’s Day! As you toast with your love today, enjoy a little something special, something out of the ordinary, something elegant, elevated, and completely spectacular, like one of these beauties.
And be sure to tell your sweetheart how much you love them today and every day!
A special Valentine’s night deserves a special bubbly, but not every bubble has to be expensive. Crafted in the traditional method from 100% organically grown fruit in the heart of Penedes, Spain, Vilarnau Brut Reserva Trencadís Edition ($15) was created by the historic Vilarnau Winery wrapped in Trencadis imagery symbolizing the mosaic ceramic tiles used by modernist artists in Catalonia, like celebrated Catalan avant-garde architect Antoni GaudÍ. Produced from a blend of 50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada, and 15% Xarel·lo, the three classic varieties for Cava, creating a luscious sparkler with layers of aromas of lemon blossom, ripe apple, and fresh biscuits, leading to flavors of blanched almond, green apple, citrus, and a hint of spice.
Vibrant, fresh, and inviting, like sunshine in the glass, Rustenberg Wines from Stellenbosch, South Africa has a history dating back to the late 1600s when the rural farm produced its first brandy wines. Nestled in the foothills of the Simonsberg Mountain with varying slopes and elevations, ensuring vines are able to ripen fully while retaining freshness. Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc ($14) is juicy and zesty, opening with ripe lemon-lime and grapefruit citrus with notes of ripe mango, lychee, and pineapple. A perfect wine to enjoy with seafood, grilled vegetable salads, or light pasta dishes.
Like your love, you want a wine that will last for many years to come. Look no further than Bodega Beronia. I am a huge fan of the Riojan winery, having tasted both recent releases and very old vintages through the years (including their very first vintage, 1973 Gran Reserva filled with layers of dried fruit, balsamic, and toasted spice,) and have never been disappointed. Tempranillo has an inherent ability to age well. The medium to full-bodied wine, when aged for an extended period in oak and then in the bottle, as is the tradition for Reserva and Gran Reserva Rioja, displays a structured complexity with refinement, ideal for enjoying with food, especially on special occasions.
The current 2017 Beronia Rioja Reserva DOCG ($25) opens with layers of blue and black fruit, roasted hazelnut, toasted cedar, and chocolate. Over time, these flavors will soften, bringing more dried fruit and subtle spice to the forefront, with delicious savoriness. My suggestion is to purchase a few bottles. Enjoy one with your sweetie tonight and then again for Valentine’s Day in a year or two, and then a few years later and take note of how the wine changes, develops, evolves, gracefully ages through the years, just like love.
Gary loves a Napa Valley Cabernet, so it is only fitting to recommend one of the best for this Valentine’s Day! Powerful, rich, and luscious, Shafer Vineyards showcases the elevated refinement of Cabernet Sauvignon like few others. Blending a touch of Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot into its Stags Leap District AVA grown Cabernet Sauvignon, ($110) is concentrated, structured, and beautifully textured. Honoring the relationship between Shafer founder, John Shafer, and his son, Doug, the wine shows an earthiness with woody thyme, dried sage, and bay, indicative of the region, melding with red fruits and wild berry. Suave, round, and inviting, the full-bodied wine consistently reveals why Napa Valley is so ideal for producing quality Cabernet Sauvignon.
I love you, Gary!