There are times that we want bold red wines, but for those times that we are searching for that elegant red that pairs perfectly with a romantic dinner fireside, we have picked these six wines just for you. From gorgeous aromas of black fruits and cassis that are followed by hints of cloves, cedar and mocha; to an unforgettable sparkling red wine that leaves you with a lively fruit character on the palate… this collection will complete any pairing with style.
Masut 2016 Pinot Noir
Eagle Peak, Mendocino
$40 | www.masut.com
Masut is a small winery and vineyard in Mendocino’s Eagle Peak region, dedicated to small-batch Pinot Noir. Owned by brothers Jake and Ben Fetzer, whose grandfather founded the famed Fetzer Vineyards, Masut is a labor of love by the brothers, who do just about everything themselves. They make Pinot Noir the way they like it – a more rich and opulent style – and the 2016 Pinot Noir from their vineyards shows intense aromas with a silky, seductive palate. It’s a wine that demonstrates what can be achieved with Pinot Noir in the new Eagle Peak region.
Swanson 2016 Merlot
$32 | www.swansonvineyards.com
Swanson is one of Napa Valley’s leading Merlots, and the winery was among the first to specialize in the variety when it planted Merlot in Oakville in the mid 1980s. This wine is notable for its complexity, precise tannins and structure, which place it among the finest examples of the variety. A bolder style of Merlot, this Swanson has rich texture with full-bodied tannins and a palate with wonderful ripe plum flavors and hints of cassis and subtle oak.
Anaba 2015 Petite Sirah
Teldeschi Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley
$48 | www.anabawines.com
There is nothing petite about Petite Sirah’s notably hearty character, and this beautiful bottling delivers lip-smacking flavor. Sourced from the prized Teldeschi Vineyard in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley, a vineyard with a considerable pedigree for fine wine grapes, this Petite Sirah shows deep color and rich aromatics of blackberry, licorice and warm baking spice. On the palate, it is a full-bodied wine with generous mouthfeel and intense flavors that give way to a remarkably smooth finish. The ultimate fireside wine!
B.R. Cohn 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
Olive Hill Estate, Sonoma Valley
$58 | www.brcohn.com
This bold Cabernet comes from the best hillside blocks of B.R. Cohn’s sustainably-farmed Olive Hill Estate Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. This distinctive vineyard has an unusual micro-climate that is well suited to fine Cabernet, as it has an underground hot spring that helps prevent frost and volcanic soils that contribute to small grapes with concentrated flavors. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18-22 months, which adds complexity to this ripe, masculine Cabernet Sauvignon. Gorgeous aromas of black fruits and cassis are followed by hints of cloves, cedar and mocha, leading to a rich palate with complex tannins.
Fort Ross Vineyard 2013 Pinotage
$58 | www.fortrossvineyard.com
Pinotage is a delightful, but unusual variety that was first developed in South Africa by crossing Pinot Noir and Cinsault. The result is a rich, full-bodied wine with wonderful complexity and texture. Fort Ross Vineyard’s proprietors are natives of South Africa and decided to plant Pinotage on their ridgetop vineyard in the far reaches of Sonoma County near the Pacific Ocean. Over the years, the vineyard has proven ideal for Pinotage. This wine has deep, inky color and dense aromas of black cherry and cassis with beautiful spice complexity, smooth texture and a long finish.
Mumm Napa Cuvee M Red
$32 | www.mummnapa.com
For a red wine that’s completely different, Mumm Napa’s Cuvee M Red stands out. It’s a sparkling red wine from California made in the methode traditionelle style that is used in Champagne. Using primarily Pinot Noir with a touch of Syrah, the wine undergoes two fermentations, the first in French oak for spice and structure and the second in the bottle, which creates the bubbles. Cuvee M Red is deep ruby in color with effusive aromas of red plums and elderberries and lively fruit character on the palate.