Angelo Bonati describes luxury as “attention to detail, originality, exclusivity and above all quality.” With these words in mind, along with the assistance and pairing notes from one of my favorite sommeliers, Blake Parrish, I have compiled my top four go-to vinos exclusively for you. I have tasted, paired, enjoyed and gifted these selections, and I encourage you to do the same. As you by now know, it is indecorous to attend a party empty handed, but taking the time to find the perfect spirit to accommodate your host’s taste can be daunting. For your future soirées, I have taken the guesswork out of giving and would recommend presenting any of these four bottles to the host or hostess.
2013 Ken Wright Cellars Abbott Claim Vineyard
100 % Pinot Noir from arguably the best domestic Pinot winemaker, Ken Wright. The Abbott Claim vineyard boasts blueberry pie and soft vanilla oak notes. The great acidity from the cooler climate of the Yamhill-Carlton appellation means this wine will pair well with a wide range of dishes, from fish to a pork chop.
2012 Ramey Platt Vineyard Chardonnay
Ramey changed the way I look at Chardonnay! The rich tropical fruit is perfectly balanced with the compliment of new oak and full malolactic fermentation. An elegantly structured Chardonnay that will play nicely with rich seafood like lobster bisque.
2009 Levendi Sweetwater Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon
This boutique Napa winery spares no expense in crafting this 100% Cab. Low yielding vineyards and 24 months in new French oak produces a powerful, brooding wine with blackberry, cassis, anise, and cedar notes. This requires a big, bold dish like a red-wine reduction over flank steak to match up to this intensity of the Cabernet.
2012 Fess Parker Viognier
Fess Parker (the actor who portrayed Davey Crockett for Walt Disney) dove into the wine world several years back, and this very aromatic Viognier is a testament to his dedication. A rich, floral nose gives way to a slate minerality and creamy texture. This wine would pair well with a heavier fish dish, such as salmon, but is big enough that it would dance nicely around chicken or pork as well.