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wine-bottles-4_l

The Holiday Season is inevitably a hectic time of year. With the running around shopping and social occasions, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is what wine to serve guests. So, we thought we’d help.  Here are some brands & bottles that aren’t too expensive, are rather easy to find, and are consistently pleasing.  Hope you enjoy! 

 

2012ChardonnayFront

Robert Hall 2012 Chardonnay

Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of peach and tropical fruits are accented by hints of creamy oak and caramel on the nose. Flavors of pear, peach, and pineapple meld with suggestions of vanilla and butter on the palate. A Chardonnay that’s not too crisp and offers a nice amount of creaminess, it’s a solid buy for any casual holiday gathering.

Rating: 87

 

 2011SyrahFront

Robert Hall 2011 Syrah

Grape(s): 80% Syrah, 17% Grenache, & 3% Petite Sirah

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of blackberries, currants, and blueberries meld with suggestions of anise, dark chocolate, and toasty oak on the nose. The palate delivers flavors of blackberry, cherry, and blueberry accented by nuances of licorice, pepper, and cola. A rich, fairly hearty red with supple tannins, it will work nicely with roast beef or brisket.

Rating: 88

 

RH

 

Robert Hall 2012 Cuvee de Robles

Grape(s): 37% Grenache, 24% Syrah, 17% Petite Sirah, 13% Cinsaut, & 9% Counoise

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of blackberries, raspberries, leather and spice greets the scenes.  A sip delivers flavors of bramble fruits that unfold into notes of pepper, game, and minerals.  A hearty Rhone-Style blend that’s rather lively on the palate, if you’re serving lamb or other gamy meats during the holiday season, this bottle will make for a very nice pairing.

Rating: 89

 

2011CabernetFront

Robert Hall 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s):  88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 5% Petite Sirah & 2% Cabernet Franc

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Notes of blackberries, currants, and cherries come together with hints of cedar and dark chocolate on the nose. The palate delivers flavors of black cherry, baked currants, and blackberry with accents of minerals, toasty oak, and spice.  A lighter Cab with plush tannins, it’s easy-going and a fine match for roast chicken.

Rating: 88

 

2011MerlotFront

Robert Hall 2011 Merlot

Grape(s):  79% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petite Sirah & 2% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of black cherries, plums, and blackberries mingle with suggestions of earth and cedar on the nose. Flavors of cherry, plum, and raspberry open up into hints of minerals and oak on the palate.  A smooth Merlot with soft tannins, fans of easy-going reds will enjoy this bottle.

Rating: 88

 

 12HESB Front Label

Shannon Ridge “High Elevation” 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Grape(s): 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Region: Lake County

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of grapefruits, guavas, and lemons rises up from a glass. The palate offers flavors of lemon, lime, and pineapple with just a hint of minerals.  A supple white, with a welcoming acidity, it will compliment a first course of shrimp cocktail nicely at any holiday dinner.

Rating: 87

11HECS Front Label

Shannon Ridge “High Elevation” 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 92% Cabernet Sauvignon & 8% Petite Sirah

Region: Lake County

Price: 20-25

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of black cherries, boysenberries, and blackberries mingle with notes of creamy oak and earth on the nose. A sip delivers flavors of cherry, raspberry, and blackberry that unfold into nuances of cedar and spice.  With plush tannins and bright fruit flavors, it’s a Cab that will pair well with roast beef or lamb at a holiday table.

Rating: 88

12HECH Front Label

Shannon Ridge “High Elevation” 2012 Chardonnay

Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay

Region: Lake County

Price: 20-25

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of Asian pear and golden apple are accented by hints of vanilla and buttery oak on the nose. Flavors of pear, apple, and peach come together with suggestions butter and creamy oak on the palate. Smooth and fairly round, it’s a very approachable wine that will make a fine aperitif at your holiday gatherings. 

Rating: 88

 11HEWR Front Label

Shannon Ridge “High Elevation” 2011 Wrangler Red

Grape(s): 45% Zinfandel, 38% Syrah, 10% Petite Sirah, & 7% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Lake County

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of bright red berries, spice, and creamy oak rises up from a glass. On the palate, flavors of black cherry, raspberry, and blackberry emerge, along with notes of all-spice, white-pepper, and cedar. A smooth red with a few lively, spiced highlights, it’s a likely to please a crowd.

Rating: 89