The last two weeks, my inbox has been peppered with suggestions for the perfect Father's Day wine. Whether it's Father's Day or Mother's Day, my advice is essentially the same.
Mom and Dad know your budget and won't necessarily be impressed by a wine that is beyond your means. I suggest identifying a price range and choosing one of the best wines from that range. It's been my experience that most Father's Day wines are opened that day and consumed immediately. So, approachability is almost as important as affordability.
For your convenience, I've identified 10 wines priced from a low of $13 to a high of $90 that are sure to make Dad happy this Father's Day, and most of them are good to drink now!
Wines are rated on a 100-point scale. Wines are chosen for review because they represent outstanding quality or value, and the scores are simply a measure of this reviewer's enthusiasm for the recommended wine.
DeLoach Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay, Heritage Reserve ($13) — DeLoach built its reputation on creamy chardonnay more than three decades ago. Now part of the Boisset Collection of California wineries, DeLoach still has the touch with chardonnay. This vintage is bright and clean, with a light hand on the oak. Rating: 90.
Prophecy 2017 Rose, Vin de France ($14) — Prophecy's dry rose from France shows classic notes of strawberry, citrus and dried herbs, with good acidity and overall balance. It is excellent as a quaffer but has the stuffing to handle tapas and spicy Asian cuisine. Rating: 91.
Pavillon la Tourelle 2015 Bordeaux AOC, France ($30) — No, affordable Bordeaux is not an oxymoron. It does exist, and the Pavillon la Tourelle is an excellent example of a superb Bordeaux from a recent vintage. This wine shows the classic toughness of young Bordeaux but without bitter astringency. While it is certainly drinkable now, it would benefit from another year or two in the cellar. Rating: 91.
Matchbook 2014 Tempranillo, Dunnigan Hills ($15) — Tempranillo, the money grape of Spain's Rioja region, does exceedingly well in sunny California. It's arguably the basis for Matchbook's most consistent wine. This vintage shows ripe dark fruits and spice and an inviting floral note on the nose. It is well-balanced and shows impressive length. Rating: 93.
Martin Codax 2016 Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain ($15) — Martin Codax is among the finest wine cooperatives in the world, consistently producing excellent albarino with grapes sourced from dozens, if not hundreds, of small farmers in the Rias Baixas. The standards are high at Martin Codax, and it shows. This vintage combines richness with freshness. The wine is beautifully balanced, showing notes of citrus and stone fruit with a light floral touch. Rating: 94.
Rodney Strong 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley ($28) — For the money, Rodney Strong's estate cab from Alexander Valley is consistently one of the finest cabernet sauvignons made in California. The balance is exquisite. The wine exhibits rich layers of ripe red and black fruits, beautifully integrated tannins and a note of wood spice on the finish. Rating: 94.
Wagner Vineyards 2016 Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, New York ($15) — Wagner is an ace among aces when it comes to Finger Lakes riesling. This dry riesling from the 2016 vintage is a beautiful example of the genre, showing a strong note of minerality overlaying bright citrus fruit with a touch of brioche. Rating: 94.
Brys Estate 2017 Gewurztraminer Estate Reserve, Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan ($22) — Michigan's Old Mission Peninsula has proved to be an excellent spot to grow gewurztraminer, the spicy white grape most famously grown in France's Alsace region. This grape has been tricky for domestic wine producers and often produces light, uninteresting gewurztraminer that is a pale imitation of the wines from Alsace. This dry gewurz from Brys, however, exhibits the depth and richness you would expect to find in Alsace. Beautifully balanced, this wine delivers a nose of rose petal, spice and honeysuckle, impressive presence on the palate and a long, seductive finish. Rating: 95.
Moet & Chandon 2009 Grand Vintage Brut, Champagne AOC, France ($65) — At nearly 10 years of age, Moet's 2009 shows uncommon freshness and richness, notes of brioche and baked apple, a hint of citrus and outstanding length with an exquisite finish. It was a platinum award-winner at the 2018 Critics Challenge International Wine Competition. Rating: 95.
Archimedes 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley ($90) — This is one of the finest expressions of Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon you will ever taste. The massive, powerful wine is richly layered and borderline decadent without losing that most elusive element of elegance that separates great cabernet sauvignon from the merely very good. Showing aromas of blackberry and cassis with hints of cedar and graphite, it is a towering achievement for Archimedes. Rating: 97.
Follow Robert on Twitter at @wineguru. To find out more about Robert Whitley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.