Holiday Gift Picks // 2018

This year Jon, Julie & Jens are picking the wines they’d like to get this holiday season. Here they are with a little tidbit as to why:

Holidays 2018_paper_10_pointsettas_JENS
JENS:  There are a lot of wines that I would happily drink this holiday season, but these would be top of my list:

Holidays 2018_Philippe Charlopin_square
This wine is a splurge, but it’s without a doubt the best wine I’ve tasted in the last several years. We originally got 24 bottles in from France in August. We have 15 left:
Philippe Charlopin 2013 Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée Vieilles Vignes
Burgundy, France // Reg $139.99 | Mixed Case $111.99

Holidays 2018_Seehof Riesling_square
Weingut Seehof 2016 Riesling

Rhein-Hessen, Germany // Reg $21.99 | Mixed Case $17.59
Easy drinking, great food wine. Citrus, stone fruits, chamomile, terrific acidity. What a great combo. Great price, too!

Scopone 2012 Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Tuscany, Italy // Reg $52.99 | Mixed Case $42.39
Great value for small production Brunello. Ready to open & drink.

Bethel Heights 2015 Estate Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, Oregon // Reg $36.99 | Mixed Case $29.59
Family-owned. Low-key. Old vines. Fuller-bodied, smokey notes, lush red & black cherries.

Holidays 2018_Lubanzi_square
Lubanzi 2017 Chenin Blanc
Swartland, South Africa //  Reg $18.99 | Mixed Case $15.19
80% Old Vines. Both fresh & complex. “Sliced November figs, ripe nectarine and freshly peeled satsumas. In the background is the hint of rosemary.” Round and fleshy in the middle. Creamy on the finish. A big yes!!

Bodegas Langa 2016 Frenesi Red Blend
Calatayud | Aragon, Spain // Reg $15.99 | Mixed Case $12.79
A certified organic blend of Merlot, Garnacha, Cab and Shiraz. Darker fruit flavors, with a minerally character & spicy overtones (vanilla, cinnamon, pepper, clove). Silky tannins on the finish. This wine can run with the big boys!

Abeja 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley, WA // Reg $59.99 | Mixed Case $47.99
Pretty much every year I list this wine as my pick from WA State. That’s because I think it’s the best one out there… still.

Holidays 2018_paper_10_pointsettas_JULIE
JULIE:  Here’s my list. Hope you enjoy:

Holidays 2018_Franchetto Ripasso_square
Franchetto 2015 Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 

Veneto, Italy // Reg $28.99 | Mixed Case $23.19
This wine sold out so quickly last year, that I hardly got to enjoy it. Thus the wish… Cured cherries, black pepper, spices, bodacious summer fruit (blackberries, cherries). Lush. Delicious.

Kevin White 2016 Fraternité
Yakima Valley, Washington // Reg $34.99 | Mixed Case $27.99
I’m a Southern Rhône girl, and so this Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah blend has a lot of appeal. Medium-bodied, good red fruit (“strawberries, raspberries, kirsch, violets, spice”). Smooth. Great with food, but not necessary.

Château des Eyssards 2016 Cuvée Prestige Sec
Bergerac, France // Reg $19.99 | INSIDER $16.99 | Mixed Case $13.59
Beautiful winter white blend. Jasmine & ripe stone fruits on the nose. A full, richer style with spicy notes on the finish from the Muscadelle which adds a lovely complexity & character to the traditional blend of Sauvignon Blanc & Sémillon.

Holidays 2018_Mas Velo Priorat_square
Bodegas Maset 2016 Mas Viló
Priorat, Spain // Reg $29.99 | Mixed Case $23.99
Elegant, complex red blend of Garnacha and Mazuelo (Carignan) from old vine vineyards outside of Barcelona. Ripe raspberry and blackberry fruit aromas with soft minerals and a touch of balsamic with fine tannins on the finish. Wonderful food wine.

Penner-Ash 2015 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, Oregon // Reg $53.99 | Mixed Case $43.19
Big, full-bodied Oregon Pinot. Ripe summer plums, figs, black cherry & baking spice. Not for the faint of heart.

I have many other delicious wines tagged in the shop… Pomerol, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Bandol Rouge, Ruchè from Monferrato in Italy’s Piedmont, Merlot from WA State, Cab Franc Crémant from the Loire Valley & more. Stop by!

Holidays 2018_paper_10_pointsettas_JON
JON:  I’d be happy with any of these wines on my table this season:

Ridge 2016 Lytton Springs 
Sonoma, California // Reg $49.99 | Mixed Case $39.99
Blend of Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Carignan & Mourvedre. Winemaker’s notes say it all: “Jammy raspberry fruit with pepper, mint and sweet toasted oak. Brambly fruit on the palate, sensuous, well defined tannins and balanced acidity.”

Holidays 2018_W.T. Vintners Mourvedre_square
W.T. Vintners 2014 Mourvèdre

Yakima Valley, Washington // Reg $52.99 | Mixed Case $42.39
I think WA State Mourvèdre is nice, rich, full-bodied red for the holidays – “pure plum, red fruit, game, black pepper, fresh green herbs, cranberry”. 70 cases produced.

Holidays 2018_Pavese Ermes_square
Pavese Ermes 2016 Blanc De Morgex et de La Salle

Vallee D’Aoste, Italy // Reg $36.99 | Mixed Case $29.59
100% Prié Blanc (indigenous grape, certified organic) from the highest vineyard site in the world. Amazing minerality.

Holidays 2018_Southern Right Pinotage_square
Southern Right 2017 Pinotage

Walker Bay, South Africa // Reg $31.99 | Mixed Case $25.59
Named after the Southern Right whales that swim off the coast of the vineyards. Pinotage is full of rich fruit and smokey, bacony flavors. This would be a great gift for someone who loves big reds but hasn’t yet branched out to South Africa.

Elderton 2014 Estate Shiraz
Barossa Valley, Australia // Reg $25.99 | Mixed Case $20.79
Huge wine. Black forest fruits, mocha & chocolate with a distinctive note of dried herbs. Great gift for someone who likes to tuck wine away for a few years.

Burgum Novum 2013 Lagrein Riserva
Alto Adige, Italy // Reg $46.99 | 25% OFF SALE = $35.24 (no volume discount)
Aged 15 months in French oak. Chocolate, coffee, vanilla & violets on the nose. Flavors of dark berry, plums with soft tannins.

Holidays 2018_Nottola Anterivo_square
Nottola 2011 Anterivo Toscana Rosso
Tuscany, Italy // Reg $45.99 | Mixed Case $36.79
50/50 blend of Prugnolo Gentile & Merlot. Bold, extracted rich black cherries, black berries with complex tannins. A hedonistic Super Tuscan.

Alvear 1927 PX Solera (375ml)
Montilla-Morilles, Spain // Reg $34.99 | Mixed Case $27.99
98 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate — ” The NV Pedro Ximenez Solera 1927 is non-vintage, but does have some 1927 material in it. This is totally dark brown/amber with notes of figs, toffee, caramel syrup, molasses and coffee. It is dense, super sweet, intense, rich and an amazingly, unctuously textured, thick beverage to consume slowly and introspectively after a meal. Drink now through 2050, or even longer.” (RP)

And the list goes on…. Check out our tasting schedule> as we’ll have fancy wines open throughout December to taste. It’s the benefit of shopping with your local wine merchant — our wines are hand-selected with you in mind. Hope to see you soon to help you with your holiday wine needs!

The Portalis Team
Jon, Jens & Julie



Portalis Staff Dreams Big for the Holidays

It’s a tradition! Every December we ask your lovely Portalis staff what they would like to drink for the holidays. Here’s what they said:

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Jens & Paul Reitz Vosne Romanee
Jens:  Ahhh, this year it’s Burgundy! I’d pick the Claude Nouveau Premier Cru or the Paul Reitz Vosne-Romanée, either one. Festive, beautifully-made wines. Cherry, dark fruit. They pair with everything. Always a class act!

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Rhiannon & Lagrein Riserva
RhiAnnon: You’ve corrupted me. My go-to was always my high-end Washington wines (which I love), but I’m going Old World this time: Burgum Novum Lagrein Riserva. When you take a sip of this wine, it will make you stop mid-sentence and think about what you are enjoying. Lesser-known varietal. It will knock your socks off!

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Travis & Stevenson Barrie PN
Travis: Stevenson – Barrie 2009 Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley! Great structure and acidity with lingering black cherry & cedar finish.

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Matt & Pelassa Barolo
Matt: This past year saw me get married in my personal life as well as learn to serve wine to the public in my professional life. In both cases, I’ve learned that patience is, in fact, a virtue. In this same vein, I would love to have  Pelassa’s 2007 Barolo, a wine beautiful now, and even more so in the years to come.

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Evann & Priorat
Evann: I’d choose the Bodegas Maset 2011 Mas Viló Priorat. The first time I tasted it I fell in love! It reminded me of cold weather and the holidays! A wonderful Christmas Dinner wine!

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Daniel & ferrer
Daniel: My pick for wine is Achaval 2007 Quimera. Because once opened up, it has lovely texture & complexity with a hint of plum, cinnamon & chocolate. This makes it an excellent winter wine!

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Tracey & Jean Veselle
Tracey: Same song, different year! Champagne! This year I’d go with the Jean Veselle Reserve if I had my choice. Cheers!

Dec 2013_Staff Picks_Julie & Rauda Musai
: Probably because I want to go there, I’d choose a deep, dark, well-aged Spanish Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero. Since I lived in Germany in the early 1990’s I’ve dreamt of a trip through northern Spain. Now 20+ years later, it would be a wine trip through northern Spain. Sounds good, huh? My friend Catherine Reynolds (you can find her at the Spanish Table) once described wines from this part of Spain as ‘hedonistic pleasure bombs’. I can’t wait to try mine: Bodegas Rauda 2009 Musai de Tinto Roa. Cheers!

From our house to yours, happy holidays!
Jens, Julie + the Portalis team