The twelve wines of Christmas

Posted on: 08 December 2009 by Mark O'haire

What better time of year to pop a few corks and enjoy some of the world’s finest wines? Sam Gleave, sales director at fine wine merchant Bordeaux Index, suggests the perfect mixed case of wine for Christmas and New Year.

There is nothing like sharing a great bottle of wine with friends and family, particularly at Christmas when it’s time to really ‘push the boat out’ and celebrate with something extra special.

The beauty of a mixed case is the anticipation and excitement of selecting each bottle beforehand and forecasting when it will be opened to complement different meals or occasions.

So here is the case I have selected for myself this Christmas which I believe offers both quality and variety as well as true value for money.

3 bottles of red Bordeaux…

Faugeres 1998, St Emilion

Abundant quantities of black fruits infused with notions of new oak and graphite, medium to full body, sweet tannin, admirable elegance, and beautiful richness.

90 points – Robert Parker

Domaine de Chevalier Rouge 1999, Pessac Leognan

Scorched earth, tobacco, and red currant aromas along with rich, elegant, savory flavours, sweet tannin, and better integrated oak than previous vintages have exhibited.

88 points – Robert Parker

Langoa Barton 2001, St Julien

Tobacco, spice box, cedar, and black currants offer a perfumed, complex introduction to this structured, beefy, muscular St.-Julien.

88 points – Robert Parker

1 bottle of white Bordeaux…

Lafaurie Peyraguey 2001, Sauternes

A full-bodied, opulent, enormously endowed, moderately sweet offering with plenty of pineapple, peach, caramel, and smoky new oak characteristics.

96 points – Robert Parker

2 bottles of red Burgundy…

Bourgogne Rouge 2004, Meo-Camuzet

An attractive nose of pretty if decidedly earthy red pinot fruit aromas combines with sweet, round and supple flavours that do not offer great depth but this finishes with a flourish and is utterly delicious.

Allen Meadows –

Volnay Santenots 2001, Nicolas Rossignol

Characteristic animal, gamey nose and plenty of medium bodied black fruit underpinned with rounded tannins and pleasing minerality on the palate.

91 points – Bordeaux Index

2 bottles of white Burgundy…

Puligny Montrachet 2006, Louis Carillon

A moderately exotic yet very fresh nose features ripe melon and white flower aromas that complement nicely the rich, full and voluminous flavours.

89 points – Allen Meadows –

Petit Chablis 2005, Dauvissat

The botrytis here is extremely subtle and really more of a background nuance with prominent citrus and a touch of lactic aromas leading to nicely complex and delicious flavours that possess real vivacity.

87 points – Allen Meadows –

1 bottle of red from the Rhone valley…

Gigondas Haut Garrigues 2004, Santa Duc

Full-bodied with phenomenal intensity, an inky bluish purple colour, and hints of asphalt, black truffle, blueberry, black cherry, and flowers with a hint of subtle oak.

94 points – Robert Parker

1 bottle of red from Italy…

Brunello di Montalcino 2001, Altesino

Loads of strawberry and fresh herb character, including mint. Full-bodied, with soft tannins and a long, fresh finish. A bit jammy but all there. Best after 2007.

90 points – Wine Spectator

1 bottle of red from Spain…

Alonso del Yerro Cuvee Maria 2004, Ribera del Duero

A deep purple colour is followed by scents of espresso, creme de cassis, scorched earth, and pain grille. Full-bodied and rich, but light on its feet, this beauty can be drunk now and over the next decade.

96 points – Robert Parker

...and a bottle of Champagne

Pol Roger Non vintage, Champagne

A particularly good value.

90 points – Robert Parker

This mixed case is available from Bordeaux Index at £250 per case in bond (£309.65 including duty and VAT).

Bordeaux Index – wine selection simplified

Bordeaux Index is one of the largest fine wine merchants in Europe, and prides itself on its no-nonsense, unstuffy approach to wine selection.

Passionate about only the finest, high-quality wines, Bordeaux Index has excellent contacts throughout the world, and can source the rarest, most sought-after wines. Every client receives a first-class, personalised service, from recommendations on the best wines for drinking, to in-depth market analysis and advice on investment.

Always keen to look to the future, Bordeaux Index has recently launched a revolutionary two-way trading platform - LiveTrade, a first in the world of fine wine trading. 

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