Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress

With the holidays coming, CBSBoston wanted to find a wine suitable to serve some of our most sophisticated dinner guests (box of wine wasn't cutting it). TJ Douglas, Mike Paquette, Kaitlin Alayan, Evonne Wetzner, Chelsea Bell, and Noah Feldman -- a.k.a. the expert staffers at The Urban Grape on Boylston Street in Chestnut Hill were kind enough to offer up a list of their favorites - and explain what they love so much about each one. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress With the holidays coming, CBSBoston wanted to find a wine suitable to serve some of our most sophisticated dinner guests (box of wine wasn't cutting it). TJ Douglas, Mike Paquette, Kaitlin Alayan, Evonne Wetzner, Chelsea Bell, and Noah Feldman -- a.k.a. the expert staffers at The Urban Grape on Boylston Street in Chestnut Hill were kind enough to offer up a list of their favorites - and explain what they love so much about each one. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A Bottle of Red: The Urban Grape's picks for Red Wines
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
(Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
A Bottle of Red: The Urban Grape's picks for Red Wines
Evonne's Pick: 2009 La Cartuja Garnacha, Mazuelo, Cabernet & Syrah Blend (Priorat) - $16
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
I am loving this totally affordable, everyday Priorat! Red fruit with a bit of minerality and balanced oak. It is super smooth, lush and delicious. It's a perfect introduction to the Priorat region, which tends to blend indigenous Spanish grapes with traditional French varietals.
Evonne's Pick: 2009 La Cartuja Garnacha, Mazuelo, Cabernet & Syrah Blend (Priorat) - $16
Noah's Pick: 2009 Bodegas Ateca “Atteca”, Old Vines Garnacha (Calatayud) -  $20
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
This insanely big Spanish Garnacha comes from 85 to 125 year old vines. It is dark purple, and inky, and on the palate it shows bold flavors of smoky plum, black berry fruit, cedar, lead, herbs, and spice. It's a 9R on the UG weight scale, so this divine bottle is a perfect companion for the cold winter nights ahead. This is undoubtedly the best $20 bottle of Grenache on the market!
Noah's Pick: 2009 Bodegas Ateca “Atteca”, Old Vines Garnacha (Calatayud) - $20
TJ's Pick: 2009 Sottimano Nebbiolo (Langhe)  - $24
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
Sottimano’s Langhe Nebbiolo is a serious bang for your buck coming in at $24 and rocking! This gem boasts red fruit, tobacco and vibrant mint and floral characteristics. It combines a smooth consistency with palate cleansing acidity and a finish that holds up to some of its more famous Piedmontese cousins!
TJ's Pick: 2009 Sottimano Nebbiolo (Langhe) - $24
Chelsea's Pick: 2008 Azienda Agricola Sottimano “Pairolero” Barbera D’Alba (Piedmont) - $27
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
Sottimano’s Barbera is seriously the smoothest Barbera or even light bodied wine I have had in a very long while. This Barbera benefits from aging 15-16 months in French Oak and combines red and purple fruits with mouth pleasing acidity.
Chelsea's Pick: 2008 Azienda Agricola Sottimano “Pairolero” Barbera D’Alba (Piedmont) - $27
Mike's Pick: 2000 Renaissance Cabernet Sauvignon (Sierra Nevada Foothills, CA.) - $38
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
The terroir is the reason this wine rocks and also that it’s small production. I just had a bottle with a Thanksgiving-themed dinner and it was out of this world. The wine is released when the wine maker deems it ready. The current release is the 2000 vintage and it drank unreal. I guarantee if aged a few more years its complexity would increase!
Mike's Pick: 2000 Renaissance Cabernet Sauvignon (Sierra Nevada Foothills, CA.) - $38
Kaitlin's Pick: 2008 Ghost Block Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville) - $62
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
Balance is the name of this bottle's game. With a nose of dried roses and cherry and a clove and chocolate finish, this Napa Cab won't punch you in the face, but it will make you sit down and stay a while. And that's just fine.
Kaitlin's Pick: 2008 Ghost Block Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville) - $62
A Bottle of White: The Urban Grape's picks for White Wines
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
(Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
A Bottle of White: The Urban Grape's picks for White Wines
Kaitlin's Pick: 2009 Clos de la Vierge Gros Manseng (Jurancon) - $20
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
Floral and spice and everything nice! This wine is 100% Gros Manseng and while you don't know it yet, you’ll love this wine. Refreshing and dry, yet rich and deep in flavor - there's a little something here for every white wine drinker.
Kaitlin's Pick: 2009 Clos de la Vierge Gros Manseng (Jurancon) - $20
Chelsea's Pick: 2009 Dalton Reserve “Wild Yeast” Viognier (Israel) (Kosher) - $25
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
I never thought I would be digging an Israeli Viognier, but its rich lusciousness has won me over and is great for full-bodied white wine drinkers who want to try something different. With nuances of honey and stone fruits, the Dalton Wild Yeast Viognier Reserve is like sipping a dream that you never want to end.
Chelsea's Pick: 2009 Dalton Reserve “Wild Yeast” Viognier (Israel) (Kosher) - $25
Evonne's Pick: 2009 Clos Blancheau Chardonnay (Paso Robles) -  $40
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
I am not typically a Chardonnay girl, but this is not your typical California Chardonnay. Drinking more like Chablis with crisp minerality and wet stone, along with green apple and lemon, Clos Blancheau is worth a try.
Evonne's Pick: 2009 Clos Blancheau Chardonnay (Paso Robles) - $40
Mike's Pick: NV Laherte Freres Champagne Brut Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay & Pinot Noir - $49
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
The thing I love most about this champagne is that it is made exceptional every year and drinks like it has been aged and picked to drink right now. The Brut tradition is a subtle blending of three Champagne varieties coming from the Côteaux sud d’Epernay, Vallée de la Marne and Côte des Blancs. A fine and complex blending!
Mike's Pick: NV Laherte Freres Champagne Brut Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay & Pinot Noir - $49
TJ's Pick: 2009 Patz & Hall “Hyde Vinyard” Chardonnay (Carneros) - $62
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
Patz & Hall, famous single vineyard producers of some of the finest California Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs strike again with “Hyde Vineyard” which offers nuances of citrus and orange peel fusing with pineapple, cinnamon and clove. Great integrated acidity and layers of cedar and smoke make this wine as complex as it is lip pleasing!
TJ's Pick: 2009 Patz & Hall “Hyde Vinyard” Chardonnay (Carneros) - $62
Noah's Pick: 2007 Hartford Court "Seascape Vineyard" Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast) - $70
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
I'm not even a chardonnay drinker, but Seascape I would drink any night, or day for that matter. Though sourced from a single vineyard, stylistically this wine oozes Meursault influence. Orange blossom and citrus oil aromas give way to flavors of fresh lemon, tangerine, minerals, and spice, balanced harmoniously by French oak woodiness. The acidity is crisp and zippy and vibrant. This is, simply put, a chardonnay for the wine drinker, even if you think you don't like chardonnay.
Noah's Pick: 2007 Hartford Court "Seascape Vineyard" Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast) - $70
(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Fall Favorites: Wines That Will Impress
(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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