By Bob Hosmon and Mark Gauert
The 2012 Natura Sauvignon Blanc ($11), an organic white produced from grapes grown in Chile’s justly famous Casablanca Valley, is clean and crisp on the palate and one of the best value sauvignon blancs I’ve ever tasted. -B.H.
Produced in South Africa’s Cape region, the 2011 Simonsig Cabernet Shiraz ($12) is a uniquely delightful red blend. The recipient of such a gift may never have tasted a wine like this before, but will be glad he or she did, thanks to you. -B.H.
From California’s Monterey County I’d opt for the 2011 Wrath Ex Anima Pinot Noir ($30). The wine is first-rate and also comes with an interesting background: Dr. Michael Thomas, the winery’s proprietor, is an archaeologist and university professor. -B.H.
For those someones who are very special on your gift list I recommend the exquisite 2010 Nickel & Nickel C.C. Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon ($100). Its home is in Napa, but it’s one of the very best cabs produced anywhere. -B.H.
For anyone on an Especially Good List this year, a trio of 2010 Cabernet Sauvignons from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, notably the CASK 23 ($225), S.L.V. ($125) and FAY ($110) estate cabs, would impress, too. The S.L.V., from the vineyard that produced the epic “Judgment of Paris’’ victor in 1976, unwraps an especially tasteful gift of black cherries, blueberries, cedar and spice. -M.G.
And if price is truly no object, there’s the 2010 Chateau Mouton Rothschild ($1,200+). With its Jeff Koons label and its 97 rating from Robert Parker, who could hope for anything more? -B.H.