We suspect that many of you are wracking your brains for a brilliant idea for a Father's Day gift. Before you go out and buy the classic necktie or suspenders for the old man, we have an alternative suggestion that is obviously biased. Yep, it's wine.
Think about it: a good tie costs a ridiculous $80. How many does he have in his closet and does he really want another one? On the other hand, if he likes wine, imagine the appreciation for something ridiculously expensive that he wouldn't buy for himself but would appreciate getting. The response will be something like, "You shouldn't have..." But he's going to love the wine.
Yep, we know these 15 wines are expensive, but we're hoping you have some siblings who can chip in. And don't expect him to share the wine with you. You wouldn't wear his tie, would you?
Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 ($42). A complex blend of cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, petit sirah, and merlot, this balanced wine from some of Napa's top vineyards is an iron fist in a velvet glove. Delicious now, it offers great cellaring potential. Floral and dark berry aromas, layered blackberry and black cherry flavors with hints of vanilla, "Rutherford dust," mocha, cedar, and spice.
Ladera Reserve Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 ($100). Although most producers of mountain-grown grapes make their cabs big and tannic, Ladera throttles it back a bit with a more balanced, finessed wine that still has layers of rich fruit and is still big and complex. Generous blackberry and black currant notes with hints of dried herbs and chocolate.
Chimney Rock Napa Valley Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 ($99). Recent fires came very close to destroying this property, but good fortune allowed Chimney Rock to continue producing full-bodied cabernets in the Stags Leap District. The cabernet sauvignon (blended with merlot, cabernet franc, and petit verdot) has generous aromatics and dark, berry flavors. The supple tannins make it approachable for current drinking.
J. Lohr Cuvee PAU 2014 ($50). J. Lohr's Bordeaux-style cuvees are eminently drinkable upon release. If your father doesn't want to wait several years to enjoy his gift, these wines are sure to please with his next grilled steak. The PAU – symbolic of the Paulliac region -- from Paso Robles is a blend of cabernet sauvignon and malbec. Blueberry and plum notes.
Concannon Vineyards Clone 7 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 ($90). This sturdy wine made entirely from cabernet sauvignon grapes grown in Chalk Hill vineyards is rich and complex – like dad! Let him grill a steak, though, to complement this wine. Big tannins need beef. Dark cherry and wild blackberry flavors with hints of cigar box and cocoa.
Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 ($78). Merlot, petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec are blended in this full-bodied and richly textured cabernet sauvignon. Licorice notes add to the generous cherry and strawberry notes.
Le Serre Nuove Dell’Ornellaia Bolgheri DOC Red 2015 ($70-80). From the Bolgheri region where the Italians are planting French varietals, these grapes are from the younger vines from the Ornellaia Estate. A blend of 64 percent merlot, 17 percent cabernet sauvignon, 10 percent cabernet franc, and 9 percent petite verdot, this wine combines the best of Bordeaux and Napa California into a berry-and-cassis-flavored wine.
Chappellet Merlot 2015 ($45). About the time we're ready to give up on merlot, we come across a gem like this. Blended with some cabernet sauvignon, malbec, and petit verdot, it has substance and depth. Generous cherry and cedar aromas are chased by black cherry, cassis, chocolate flavors with hints of clove and vanilla. Very broad on the palate. We loved this wine.
Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 ($78). Winemaker Christopher Tynan shows what Stags Leap vineyards can produce in both power and finesse. Generous red and black fruit character with a bit of cassis, leather, and mineral.
Migration Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2015 ($68). This delicious pinot noir is a good expression of Russian River Valley. Winemaker Dana Epperson draws grapes from the cool Green Valley to make a textural, hedonistic blockbuster. Long, long finish and layered complexity.
Vinas del Vero Secastsilla Garnacha 2010 ($38). From a forgotten region of Somontano in Spain, this smooth, unctuous and oak-driven grenache is super delicious. Black cherry and blackberry notes with hints of vanilla and spice. Grapes are grown on 100-year-old vines.
Gamble Family Vineyards Paramount Proprietary Red Blend 2014 ($90). This Oakville producer makes outstanding and memorable wines ranging from sauvignon blanc to this exquisite Bordeaux-style blend. Dense and rich with red berry and tobacco aromas, black cherry and herbal flavors. Big wine with layers of flavors to keep you interested.
St. Supery Merlot Napa Valley 2014 ($52). This is merlot at it’s best! Enticing raspberry nose with a hint of oak. Bright cherry/berry fruit flavors in a full-bodied package with long length in the mouth.
Chappellet Cabernet Franc 2015 ($85). Not many producers can make a cabernet franc with this kind of depth and dimension. Although blended with cabernet sauvignon, malbec and petit verdot, it is the cabernet franc character that comes through. Made from mountain-grown grapes, it has great concentration with varietal blueberry, cassis and blackberry flavors. The 22 months it spends in French oak barrels adds smoke, vanilla, and clove to the profile. Wow, quite a wine.
Acumen Mountainside Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 ($60). This Napa producer makes a series of stunning, colossal cabernet sauvignons from vineyards on Atlas Peak. Founded by Eric Yuan only a couple of years ago, Acumen is showing great potential with mountain-grown grapes.