The temperatures have started to drop and being able to gather with friends and family again to celebrate each other and the beginning of the holiday season has many of us eager to open a great bottle of our favorite red wines. There will always be a place for the white and rosé wines even into the cooler weather months, but a rich red just does wondrous things for the taste buds during this season. LuxeGetaways has gathered five of our favorite red wines that are perfect for you to enjoy at home or when you need the perfect host gift when celebrating with friends and family. Cheers, and here’s to a fantastic season!
Gary Farrell 2018 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, $45
A classic Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, this wine comes from grapes grown in some of the top vineyards in the region, including Hallberg, Rochioli and Martaella. It’s a beautiful expression of the appellation’s unique terroir, with richness, purity and elegance that are the winery’s hallmarks. Showing multiple layers of complex aromas and flavors, it opens with hints of cherry and raspberry, while the palate follows with delightful notes of cranberry, hibiscus and vanilla. A pleasing vibrancy and silky tannins complete the wine.
Fort Ross 2015 Pinotage
Fort Ross-Seaview, $58
An unusual and distinctive wine, Pinotage is a cross between Cinsault and Pinot Noir that was first developed in South Africa. Fort Ross Vineyard has been growing Pinotage since the 1990s and enjoys a devoted following for the wine. Owners Lester and Linda Schwartz are originally from South Africa and planted Pinotage at their estate vineyard on the Sonoma County coast early on as a nod to their heritage. The Fort Ross Pinotage has heady aromas of dark berries with hints of leather and spice, and it is notably complex on the palate with bold flavors of cassis and plums.
Three Sticks 2019 Pinot Noir
William James Vineyard, Russian River Valley, $75
This single-vineyard bottling comes from a cool-climate site in the Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley – a premier growing region for Pinot Noir. Planted on a former apple orchard, the William James Vineyard produces outstanding wines with expressive spiciness and rich texture. Fragrant aromas of tea and raspberry are followed by enticing flavors of black cherry and red currant. This captivating wine has a smooth palate and a long, balanced finish that invites another sip.
Stone Castle 2017 Gecaj Estate
Rahovec Valley, Kosovo, $80
For a truly unique wine, try this proprietary red blend from Stone Castle Vineyards & Winery, the leading winery in Kosovo. While Kosovo is a relatively young country, the region has a long winemaking history, and the Rahovec Valley is its top appellation. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that comes from the Gecaj family’s best vineyards, which are at higher elevations. Bold and full-bodied, it has lovely aromas of fig, currant and blueberry with a richly-textured palate and fine tannins. Available in the U.S.
Stinson Vineyards 2019 Merlot
Monticello, Virginia, $27
Virginia has emerged as a premier wine region, and its Monticello appellation in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is home to Stinson Vineyards. This family-owned, estate winery specializes in wines with a distinct French influence, which is on display in this beautiful Merlot. Made from 100% Merlot that is whole-berry fermented, the wine is aged in French oak for 17 months. Subtle yet complex, it shows lovely aromas of dark cherry, raspberry and plum fruit, which are balanced by nice textures and tannins.