Don’t pay big for celebrity wines; stick with the classics

It is likely that by the time you read this, your vacation will be over. In any case, you have my best wishes that yours have been excellent and a wonderful 2023 will follow.

The following is a link that everyone who enjoys French Burgundy should read. Acker Wines, the world’s greatest auction house, sponsors La Paulée, the world’s largest Burgundy event. La Paulée week is an incredible celebration of wine. Burgundy lovers meet in New York or for a simultaneous auction party. The wine market continues to perform well and Burgundy prices continue to rise significantly in recent years. Those with a great burgundy in their cellar who want to slim down a bit and make some cash should contact Samantha at [email protected] while there is still room in the March 3 auction. Deadline for the property is January 27th, there is still plenty of time to work on logistics and appraisal as your schedule allows. The concern is to reserve space before the book fills up. So let Samantha know if she has any interest sooner rather than later. Those who wish to bid, watch and learn, or just want information, please go to

A Chardonnay Christmas present for big oak and butter lovers would be Patz and Hall Hyde Vineyard, any year between 2016 and 2019; 2018 is excellent. All four vintages are 92 McD. Buyers can find some for under $60. Their Sonoma Coast 2019 Chard is their best recent version, at 93 McD and under $40. It will appeal to those who prefer a crisp, cool-climate Chardonnay. It opens to apple, lemon and pear backed by vibrant acidity with a hint of nutmeg on its long, clean finish. If you see any of their 2018 Bootlegger Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 95 McD, or the 2019, 93 McD, pick it up for less than $80. Jeff asked about The Pinot Project, a No. 40, top 100, best buy 2022, 91 WE. Another fruity Nouveau Beaujolais type. But it’s under $13, a weak 87 due to 2 McD price points. In this market, Cline or Bogle is the way to go.

Dom Perignon x Lady Gaga 2008 Brut Rosé reminds me of the celebrities who supported Sammy Crypto. I love Gaga’s music and DP, but for sale at $500, no way. The good friar turns in his grave to the sound of ripping the shelves of the wine shop. They attached the names of big-name celebrities who want to drink “the new, no more of that old wine” and added about $100. How about a 1975 Dom P P3 Plenitude for just $15,635? For comparison, the 1975 Dom P. Brut is $1,038; 2012 at $265. Best buy in the category, Louis Roederer Brut Rosé Millesime 2008, 95 McD, $150. With 66% Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, a coppery salmon color, it opens with a beautiful bouquet of raspberry, orange, orchids, toasted pistachio and cask spices. Although it had excellent body on the palate, the mousse kept it light and allowed some cherry and toasty flavors to linger through a long, clean finish backed by saline acidity. Still young but coming together beautifully.

An iconic label from Spain was originally CVNE (the company’s initials, Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España), but a misspelling on the label gave rise to the iconic Cune. Cune Imperial Rioja Gran Reserva 2015 is wonderful, 95 McD under $60. Accessible now and will be on cellar through 2030. As a bonus for those without a cellar, there is inventory in the $80 range of 2012. It will take a little work for your wine shop friend, but well worth it. . The 2012 is dark cherry in color, opening up to aromas of cherry, cassis, vanilla and cocoa. On a dry palate, brisk mineral acidity supports cherry, plum, hints of mocha, vanilla, and a sachet of spices. Very long finish full of fruity sweetness (not sugary), well integrated tannins and floral notes.

May the blessings of the season bring peace to all.