Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc ‘Les Setilles’ ($26.99): A subtle but not invisible touch of wood sets off the pretty and fresh aromas of various orchard fruits, and in particular white peach and pear. There is fine volume for a wine at this level to the round and seductively textured flavors where a hint of citrus adds a bit of lift to the acceptably complex and persistent finale.
Bethel Heights Estate Pinot Noir ($29.95): James Suckling 93 pts / Robert Parker 92 pts / Wine Spectator 92 pts
Floral black pepper and warm Christmas spice frame red fruit aromas of currant and pomegranate. The palate enjoys volume without heavy weight, and the punchy red fruits carry a savory depth that fills the front, mid, and back palate. The finish is lengthy and high toned.
Pol Roger Brut ($46.99): Wine Spectator 92 pts / Robert Parker 92 pts.
An elegant Champagne, with a smoky, minerally underpinning and subtle flavors of poached pear, toast, candied lemon zest and ginger riding the finely detailed bead. Harmonious, and hard to stop sipping.
Pol Roger Winston Churchill 2004 ($259.99): Wine Enthusiast 97 pts / Robert Parker 95 pts.
An intense golden-yellow color dresses the Pol Roger prestige cuvée 2004 Sir Winston Churchill, which opens with a clear, deep, dense, ripe, fresh, pure and elegant bouquet of matured apples, apricots and lemon flavors along with exciting spicy flavors. Although this Brut is already more than 11-years-old, it is dew-fresh and still developing–slowly. This Champagne is highly complex and well structured on the palate, with grapefruit flavors; it is a full-bodied and intense, yet very firm, persistent, fresh and very elegant assemblage of unnamed Grand Cru Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. It reveals a very long and complex, powerful but stimulating finish, and obviously, an eternal youth. The finish is powerful and stringent, and reveals a great, great aging potential.