13 American Red Wines Great for Holiday Sharing from 13 American Red Wines Great for Holiday Sharing

13 American Red Wines Great for Holiday Sharing

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13 American Red Wines Great for Holiday Sharing

Kristen Hom

13 American Red Wines Great for Holiday Sharing

While we love celebrating the winter holidays with lots of sparkling wines, when it comes down to the wines we drink with festive dinners that we host or to which we are invited, we reach for our reliable, sturdy reds.

For celebrating the end of an old year and the start of a new one, we’ve chosen an American cross section, ranging from pinot noir to merlot, cabernet sauvignon to zinfandel. Most of these 13 wines are from the West Coast, and many of the names are familiar ones — Paul Hobbs, Martinelli, Mount Veeder, Franciscan, and Gary Farrell. But we have also included relatively newer ones such as Frank Family, Anaba, and Albatross Ridge.

Here are 13 wines that you can give as a gift this holiday season, or enjoy on your own.

 

Franciscan Napa Valley Merlot 2013 ($20)

Franciscan Napa Valley Merlot 2013 ($20)

Plummy with dark flavors, hints of chocolates, good acidity, and nice balance.

Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($26)

Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($26)

Enjoyable, though not very complex — straightforward tastes of ripe cherry with integrated tannins.

Vanderbilt Dry Creek Valley Reserve Merlot 2013 ($27)

Vanderbilt Dry Creek Valley Reserve Merlot 2013 ($27)

Mount Veeder Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($35)

Mount Veeder Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($35)

Moderate body and somewhat lean, savory, and tannic with dark cherry flavors.

Gary Farrell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2013 ($36)

Gary Farrell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2013 ($36)

Lots of bright fruit, good acidity, and a finishing tang. Mostly likely will improve over the next few years — if you can keep it.

Flora Springs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ($40)

Flora Springs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ($40)

A complex wine with tangy blackberry flavors, good tannins, and acidity; lean but not thin. It is quite good either sippin’ or with food.

Bennett Lane Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ($49)

Bennett Lane Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ($49)

Rounded, big-fruit flavors of blackberries and dark cherries with hints of anise and chocolate. Good structure and integrated tannins.

Ehlers Estate Napa Valley Merlot 2012 ($49)

Ehlers Estate Napa Valley Merlot 2012 ($49)

Quite nice flavors of dark cherry, light caramel, some smoke, and earthiness, but it could perhaps use a stronger backbone.

Paul Hobbs “CrossBarn” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ($49)

Paul Hobbs “CrossBarn” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ($49)

A very enjoyable wine with rounded fruity flavors and a pungent, buttermilky finish. As with many of Hobbs’ wines, the oak flavors are quite apparent.

Albatross Ridge Carmel Valley Pinot Noir 2012 ($55)

Albatross Ridge Carmel Valley Pinot Noir 2012 ($55)

Warm, plump cherry flavors that are fruit-forward, although not over the top — truly a generous wine.

Frank Family Chiles Valley Reserve Zinfandel 2012 ($58)

Frank Family Chiles Valley Reserve Zinfandel 2012 ($58)

Complex and intriguing and not your typical zin — lots of savory smells and tastes of wild cherry, dried herbs, and smoke, but also pastry cream in the finish.

Martinelli Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012 ($65)

Martinelli Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012 ($65)

A big wine, but still very much a pinot with cola, tobacco, and root flavors integrated into rich, black cherries. Just a lovely wine — a tad hot, but that element adds to its charms.

Macari “Alexandra” North Fork of Long Island Red 2010 ($85)

Macari “Alexandra” North Fork of Long Island Red 2010 ($85)

Merlot-dominated (82 percent) with rounded, cherry flavors and hints of walnut and sweet chocolate. Very good food wine with integrated tannins — fruity, but not too fruit-forward.

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Gary Farrell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2013 ($36)

13 American Red Wines Great for Holiday Sharing