Wedding Gifts Champagne Rioja Châteauneuf-du-Pape Sparkling Wine Red Wine
1 x 2004 Pommery Grand Cru Champagne
1 x 2006 Artadi Pagos Viejos Rioja
1 x 2009 Domaine Grand Veneur Châteauneuf-du-Pape
You have two choices when it comes to wedding gifts: Settle for one of the registry gifts that the couple is likely to misplace the first time they move to a bigger living space – or send a memorable gift that'll bring enjoyment for a long time to come.
With these three wines – a bottle for the bride and groom to open on their first, fifth and tenth anniversaries – you're sending the recipients something to look forward to, and perhaps starting them out on their own discovery of great wines. Of course, they'll actually use and enjoy your gift – and remember who gave it to them.
First Anniversary: 2004 Pommery Grand Cru Champagne
The Pommery 2004 Grand Cru, composed of 60 percent Chardonnay and 40 percent Pinot Noir, is a terrific example of vintage Champagnes, which are made only in excellent, ripe years. Vintage Champagnes are rich, full-bodied and concentrated, and this one, made from a selection of grapes from seven of Pommery's Grand Crus, has notes of beeswax, honey, white flowers and golden apples. This is a wine to savor over a lavish dinner. This wine has a creaminess that would make it a perfect partner for lobster tail and melted butter, or chicken in a mushroom cream sauce.
Fifth Anniversary: 2006 Artadi Pagos Viejos Rioja
This impeccable old-vine selection Rioja is the flagship of Juan Carlos López de la Calle, who owns three estates in different regions of Spain. The wine comes from grapes grown at extremely high elevations, making for a light, aromatic, yet profoundly layered red. Sourced from 50- to 80-year-old Tempranillo vines that produce only a tiny amount of fruit, the Pagos Viejos is aged for 18 months in French oak barrel and displays gorgeous depth, complexity and finesse. It's a beautiful, inky wine that opens with a distinct savory character of cured meat and leather, followed by blueberry, plum, vanillin and sage. The palate is silky and balanced with fine tannins that emerge quite gently. It's the perfect pairing for cured olives and hard cheeses or meat dishes such as lamb shank or Serrano ham.
Tenth Anniversary: 2009 Domaine Grand Veneur Châteauneuf-du-Pape
This intense red blend is from a producer that receives praise from every corner for its powerful and meticulous wines. This is a blend of 70 percent Grenache, 20 percent Syrah and 10 percent Mourvèdre, from vineyards that include 70-year-old vines. And the 2009 vintage was stellar, having produced ripe, richly fruited wines with firm tannins that will integrate nicely with age. It's exuberant and expressive on the nose, with fresh ripe raspberry, maraschino cherry, garrigue, cedar and earth – a great introduction to a full-bodied palate that's velvety in texture with silky, fine tannins. More plum and cherry flavors follow, and quite a bit of oak still comes through, with a long sandalwood finish, making this wine perfect to pour alongside game such as venison, braised lamb shank or roast duck.
The 2009 Veneur is exuberant and expressive on the nose, with fresh ripe raspberry, maraschino cherry, garrigue, cedar and earth, a great introduction to a full-bodied palate that's velvety in texture with silky, fine tannins. More plum and cherry flavors follow, and quite a bit of oak still comes through, with a long sandalwood finish. This wine will satisfy you now, but will be better after 2012. It will continue to improve in the bottle through 2020. Enjoy with venison, braised lamb shank or roast duck.
"The Grenache (70% of the blend) really sings on the nose: very pure and lifted with touches of Italian salami and over-ripe oranges. The palate is fleshy and weight on the entry, good acidity, firm grip towards the finish with touches of white pepper and cooked meat. This is a long-term Châteauneuf though it perhaps misses a little finesse."
—Neal Martin (Aug. 2011)
"The 2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (a blend of 70 percent Grenache, 20 percent Syrah and 10 percent Mourvèdre from nearly 70-year-old vines) exhibits abundant notes of sweet cassis, licorice, kirsch, garrigue and tobacco leaf in a full-bodied, layered, opulently textured style. This hedonistic turn-on should continue to drink well for a decade or more."
—R.P. (Oct. 2011)
"An outstanding Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the 2009 Domaine Grand Veneur is loaded with spice, garrigue, violets and underlying minerality that's backed up by perfectly ripe black cherry and pit-like fruits. Silky and polished on the palate, with medium to full body, a full, concentrated mid-palate, and ripe tannin that shows on the finish, this is a solid wine that should please any Châteauneuf lover. Given the balance and fruit, it's delicious and approachable now, but should continue to evolve and drink well for 12-15 years."
—Jeb Dunnuck (June 2011)
"Still showing some grip up front, with a firm, raisined edge of plum skin that's holding the core of crushed raspberry and blackberry fruit at bay for now. Additional licorice and spice notes hang in the background. Needs a little time to soften. Best from 2012 through 2018."
—James Moleworth (June 2011)
Though still youthful and fresh, there is an underlying richness to this wine, from its elegant gold color to its concentrated nose to its long, lingering finish. Marked by aromas and flavors of white flowers, honey and lemon zest, as well as hazelnut and freshly baked bread, this wine has a creaminess that would make it a perfect partner for rich meals. Try it with a lobster tail and melted butter, or chicken in a mushroom cream sauce, and enjoy it now through 2023.
"A fruity style, full of soft grapefruit, touches of citrus and apple. Under the fruit, there is a more yeasty character, adding richness. It could well be even better if aged for several years."
—Roger Voss (July 2011)
The 2006 Pagos Viejos, a beautiful inky wine, opens with a distinct savory character of cured meat and leather, followed by blueberry, plum, vanillin and sage. The palate is silky and balanced with fine tannins that emerge quite gently. The French oak is present but subtle and impressively restrained, while dark fruits with leather notes, and a wide breadth contribute to a long, elegant finish. Decant for at least an hour before serving with cured olives and hard cheeses or meat dishes such as lamb shank or Serrano ham. This is drinking nicely now but will continue to improve for 10 years.
"The 2006 Pagos Viejos is sourced from Tempranillo vines over 75 years of age and aged for 18 months in new French oak. The wine is inky purple with a sublime nose of pain grille, graphite, black cherry, wild blue fruits, and blackberry. This leads to a dense, plush, remarkably elegant wine, which is already exhibiting some complexity. While rich enough to be enjoyed now, it will improve for 5-7 years and be at its best from 2015 to 2030."
—Jay Miller (Feb. 2008)
"Inky ruby. Spicy red and dark berry aromas are complicated by smoky minerals, anise and fresh rose; smells like a great Barolo. Juicy black raspberry and cherry flavors are impressively deep and pure, taking on weight with air while maintaining focus. This hits every nook and cranny of the palate and betrays no rough edges. Spiciness builds on the finish, which is long, nervy and gently sweet."
—Josh Raynolds (Sept./Oct. 2008)
This product ships to the following states:
Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Wyoming