Domaine Savoye, Morgon á la Côte du Py, 2001, $70 (magnum)
A complex and structured gamay with dark berry and anisette flavors, truffle on the nose and fine drying tannins.
Cain Vineyard & Winery, Cain Five, Napa Valley, 2006, $160
In this deep ruby-colored wine, aromas of lilacs, dried leaves and flint are fully integrated with firm tannins and flavors of strawberries and plums. A wine of power and restraint.
Vallana, Gattinara, 2007, $29
This full-bodied, mature, traditional nebbiolo from northern Piedmont shows clarity, complexity, persistence and the benchmark notes of tar and roses.
R. Lopez de Heredia, Viña Tondonia Reserva, 2004, $44
A ruby colored wine that tastes of wild berries from the forest floor laced with vanilla, dried tobacco and smoke. Highly perfumed on the nose, the flavors are harmonious and the texture bright and nimble.
Champagne Henriot, Cuve 38 V2, Blancs de Blancs, NV, $600 (magnum)
A fascinating wine made with 100% Grand Cru chardonnay from the last twenty-six vintages. White flowers and minerals mingle with flavors of stone fruit and brioche in this richly textured Champagne.
Chateau Meylet, Esprit Meylet, St.-Emilion, 2011, $75
This biodynamic wine is a blend of merlot and cabernet franc with flavors of wild blackberries, mint, tobacco and fresh plums. The wine is generous and silky with firm integrated tannins but still very much in its youth.
R. Lopez de Heredia, Viña Tondonia, Rioja Blanco Reserva, 2004, $35
This beguiling golden-hued dry white wine is at once fresh, complex and opulent.
La Rioja Alta, Viña Ardanza Reserva, 2004, $34
A full-bodied tempranillo garnacha blend with notes of plums, blackberries and flint. Its weight is offset by generous acidity and firm tannins. Ample barrel and bottle aging produce a wine that is integrated and showing maturity upon release.
Champagne Charles Heidsieck, Millésime Brut, 2005
A creamy and expansive Champagne with aromas of strawberries and almonds. The wine is delightfully frothy.
Star Lane Vineyard, Santa Barbara, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012, $40
Santa Barbara County’s Star Lane Vineyard holds much of its cabernet sauvignon for the Japanese market, which generally prefers aged cabernet in part because it pairs better with their cuisine (umami gathers in wine as it ages). Limited amounts of back vintages are available directly from the winery.
Life with Wine is about taking all the tastings notes, winemaker interviews, seminars, recommendations, photography, travels and recipes and putting them in the service of storytelling. It is about the way wine connects us to our senses and to the rhythms of the natural world, marks time and goads us to know other cultures.