Holidays demand much of us. I like to see them as an opportunity to treat yourself and those who deserve it in between the rest. When those moments do arrive, they demand something better. My choice this season for white and red leads us to France, of course.
For your ‘special’ holiday red wine specifically not for your family dinner I recommend Vincent Paris’ 2016 Cornas “La Geynale”. With 2015 obtaining most of the hype for Northern Rhone the last few years, it’s easy to feel fatigue when critics proclaim 2016 as another excellent vintage. In my view, while 2015 has longevity, ripeness, and power, 2016 is the better vintage, with its higher acid and more impressive aromatics. A top wine such as Paris’ La Geynale undoubtedly merits ageing, but opening one now in its vivacious youth is a joy. La Geynale is one of the most important and oldest parcels in Cornas, still hosting vines planted in 1910, that growers such as Allemand and Clape have tried to buy many times. Fortunately, Vincent Paris has kept it in the family, which means a far more affordable price than those other two names attract and a young vigneron at the top of his game. A true terroir wine, this is made with about 80-85% whole cluster with wild yeasts and cold maceration.
$111 + tax at Marquis Wine Cellars
My ‘go no further’ festive white this year is from another young vigneron making waves in an established region. Antoine Jobard inherited his well-respected father Francois Jobard’s estate, which includes top-tier Meursault parcels such as Poruzot, Charmes, Genevrieres, En La Barre, and their newest addition, Les Tillets. Antoine has steadily improved the wines and discovered a marriage of approachable, sensuous, deliciousness, with dialed in acidity and long-ageing potential. A balance between a linear, mineral driven style like Roulot, and the more opulent style of a Lafon, these are stunning wines priced well-below the region’s very best but getting closer to them every year. The wines are made in extremely small quantities and, until recently, were not in the B.C. market. The 2015 vintage is uneven for white Burgundy, but Jobard’s wines sing – this 2015 Les Tillets particularly so at a young age. Expect hazlenuts, lemon curd, a touch of white orchard fruit, a completely full mid-palate and a long, fresh finish. This wine is an upper echelon white Burgundy perfect for measured moments with close friends.
$140 + tax at BCLDB