By Bob Hosmon
If you’re like most of us, you usually drink modestly priced or even budget priced wines. But the next time you’re shopping for a wine to complement an especially special meal, consider practicing “p.i.n.o” (or “price is no object”) and treat yourself to something special in a bottle. Look for some of these options to give you a taste treat that, at least every so often, you deserve.
I am always concerned when someone tells me they didn’t know that Spain produces great wine. If that applies to you, treat yourself to a bottle of 2008 Bodega Numanthia-Termes “Termanthia” from the Toro region of Castilla y Leon in northwestern Spain. Chief winemaker Manuel Louzada has created an impressive wine that shows fruity aromas on the nose and silky texture on the palate. Suggested retail: $200.
There are more expensive wines from California, but none is better than the 2009 Shafer Vineyards Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon. I also believe the 2009 vintage is the best Hillside Select Shafer has ever made. Produced from grapes grown in the coveted Stags Leap District of Napa, this red, full-bodied cabernet makes me think of rich liquid velvet with every sip. Suggested retail: $300.
Like the wines of Spain, few Americans have sampled the very best wines produced in Australia. And most agree the best wine from the Land Down Under is Penfolds Grange Bin 95, vintage 2008. Although it’s produced from Australia’s best-known grape, this is not like any other shiraz you’ve ever tasted. It is magnificent, deliciously rich and assertive — and capable of being bottle aged well into the 2030s. Suggested retail: $750.
If you’ve got a thirst for something from France, then look to Burgundy, where the highly coveted Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is produced from pinot noir grapes grown in a vineyard that measures only 4 acres. Bottles of Romanée-Conti can be found only in the finest wine shops or online and can set you back around $13,000. Want something in white? Then consider the 2011 Joseph Drouhin Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru Montrachet from Burgundy, arguably the best Chardonnay money can buy. Suggested retail: $500.