Best wines, spirits to toast to 2020

Cahors, France is reasserting itself as a world-class producer of fine, dark, rich reds. And we are drawn to these fine wines:

2015 Malbec Du Clos Triguedina from Jean-Luc Baldes in Cahors, a dashing wine with generous aromas of red berry and sweet plum, subtle and easy to drink. Dark fruit notes with dry spices, a smooth and round example of Cahors excellence. Clos Triguedina Au Coin du Bois 2013 Cahors Malbec again from Baldes which shows ripe plum and red fruits on the nose, rich and full-bodied palate with round and smooth tannins and long finish.

Baldes’ Clos Triguedina “Les Galets” 2013 Cahors Malbec, a single vineyard wine aged 12 months in oak with a rich nose full of plum and spices, opulent texture with mouth-filling silky tannins, ripe fruits, fig with a long finish.

Clos Triguedina Probus 2008 Grand Vin De Cahors by Jean-Luc Baldes, prestigious vignerons since 1830, a pure Malbec from century old vines. Rich, dense and elegant, a landmark cuvee from the Southwest of France.
Intense with savory dark fruits, concentrated with splendid fruits and spice flavors. Perfect balance with velvet tannins, the result of 12 months of oak aging.

The New Black Wine 2012 Malbec from Clos Triguedina, Cahors, a revival of the medieval practice of gently heating the grapes to create a very unique wine. Intense with black and dried fruit aromas, a pure Malbec that shows great complexity and silky tannins. Best decanted to reveal its true depth. A triumph for vintner Jean-Luc Baldes. Imported by Vineyard Brands,

You cannot beat a good Rioja–Spain in a glass of red wine. Riojas are known for structure and tannins, similar to Cabernet Sauvignon, but they also have a fruity characteristic. We praise Marques de Caceres Reserva 2014 Rioja, made only in the very best vintages with Tempranillo grapes selected by hand from old vineyards. Aged for 15 months minimum in new French oak and then in bottle to enhance its structure, balance and finesse. Luscious and complex.

Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky, aged 12 years, born in the port of Wick Caithness, matured over fine American oak. Robust yet smooth, with a delicate hint of tangy sea air. Traditionally crafted using techniques that other distillers have long abandoned, this winner of numerous gold medals at the most prestigious international competitions is a high water-mark of quality spirits.

Speyburn Arranta Casks Single Malt Scotch Whisky, a limited release, uses first fill ex-bourbon casks in American oak for a bold flavor profile. Rich golden color, with flavors of toffee, vanilla, honey, and coconut plus walnut and almond with a long-lasting spicy finish. Arranta means bold, daring and intrepid in Gaelic and this whisky is a hell of a bargain at $40.

Caorunn Small Batch Scottish Gin. Yes, we said Scottish. Depth in every drop. An invigorating, clean and crisp gin handcrafted with 6 traditional and 5 local botanicals from the Seyside hills in the world’s only working Copper Berry Chamber from the 1920s. Fresh, floral, citrus and slightly spicy, it is full-bodied, refreshing and long lasting. Crystal clear Scottish water helps make up its appeal.

2015 Clarence Dillon Wines, Clarendelle Bordeaux, is in the pure tradition of the Domaine Clarence Dillon estate wines that the oenologists at their family-owned company elaborate Clarendelle. This Bordeaux wine, a blend of three grapes, is aged and only introduced to the market when considered to be mature and able to fully express the fine balance, elegance and complexity of its bouquet,

2017 San Pedro 9 Lives Malbec Reserve is made in Mendoza, Argentina and has intense fruit flavors with floral notes that complement heavy South American dishes life bife de chorizo, steak and mature cheeses. This Malbec is smooth and has a delicate, persistent finish,

2018 Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir, and 2018 Chardonnay, from the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, are made from naturally low-yielding vines grown on maritime-influenced, northeast facing, stony, clay-rich slopes. All grapes are selectively hand harvested at optimal ripeness and traditionally vinified with minimal handling, to express both their origin and the character of the village,

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