High-End Wines for an Upscale Father’s Day, Grape-by-Grape | Wine Enthusiast
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High-End Wines for an Upscale Father’s Day, Grape-by-Grape

For Father’s Day this year, go big. These high-quality bottlings are all $50 and more, and the best way to show your gratitude. Broken down by grape and style, here are top-tier pours that won’t disappoint this holiday.

The Best Bottles for Father’s Day

Pinot Noir

Louis Jadot 2016 Clos de Vougeot; $238, 96 points. Jadot is one of about 80 owners of tiny parcels in this walled, five-acre vineyard. This wine is as much about rich, generous opulence as about structure. An ethereal fragrance moves into the powerful black fruits and velvet tannins. The wine will develop slowly and surely, ready to drink from 2027. Kobrand. —Roger Voss

Domaine Serene 2015 Mark Bradford Vineyard Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills); $130, 95 points. This is sourced from the oldest vineyard on the estate, a high-elevation site now reaching optimum maturity. The flavors are a deep, densely textured mix of black fruits, cocoa powder and baking spices. It’s a stunning bottle, delicious now and a choice cellar candidate through 2030. Cellar Selection. Paul Gregutt

Storm 2015 Vrede Pinot Noir (Hemel-en-Aarde Valley); $50, 95 points. There’s an herbal edge right upfront on the nose of this wine, with some earthy foliage, raw cocoa nib and fresh-tilled dirt aromas that are amply supported by a fruity core of red cherry flesh, plum, wild strawberry and raspberry. The bright palate offers beautiful minerality, as pristine, pure red-fruit flavors are coupled with a saline burst on the midpalate and through the close. Fine tannins lend a subtle structure. It’s well balanced, focused and precise, a gorgeous wine that is hard to resist now and should evolve well through 2028. Broadbent Selections, Inc. Editors’ Choice.Lauren Buzzeo

Cropped hands of male friends toasting wine at tasting room

Cabernet Sauvignon

Turnbull 2016 Black Label Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville); $150, 97 points. This is a head-turning wine, especially at the price—an impressive study in cohesive elements of black currant, lavender and licorice melded with meaty, lengthy tannin. The black currant gives way to more sumptuous flavors of blueberry and cocoa powder, offering balanced body weight and complexity. Editors’ Choice.Virginie Boone

Daou 2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles); $56, 94 points. Inky in the glass, this rich and structured bottling offers a plump black-currant aroma, along with pinches of pepper and tightly woven oak. The palate lands softly and then the tannins rise up, offering savory flavors of charred beef, dark chocolate and black cherry. Drink 2020–2036. Cellar Selection.Matt Kettmann

Passing Time 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Horse Heaven Hills); $80, 94 points. Predominantly Discovery and Champoux vineyard fruit, the aromas intrigue, with notes of scorched earth, cassis, cherry, bay leaf and whiffs of green pepper. There’s an exquisite sense of balance, intensity, density and granularity to the palate, with chocolaty flavors on the finish. One of the wines of the vintage, it has a long life in front of it. Best from 2025 to 2030. Cellar Selection.Sean P. Sullivan

Syrah / Shiraz

Delas Frères 2015 La Landonne (Côte-Rôtie); $280, 97 points. Smoky tones of charcuterie and dried garrigue meld into ripe, luscious black plum and cassis here. A rich, densely concentrated Syrah, it’s keenly balanced by crisp acidity and firm mineral tones. The finish is endless and unctuous, cushioned by sweet spice and silky, supple tannins. Gorgeous already it will only improve through 2027 and hold further. Maison Marques & Domaines USA. Cellar Selection.Anna Lee C. Iijima

Henschke 2013 Mount Edelstone Vineyard Shiraz (Eden Valley); $225, 95 points. From a 106-year-old vineyard, this is a dense wine but it nevertheless walks a seamless line between power and grace. Tangy plum, blueberry, dark chocolate, coffee, wild herbs and grated nutmeg glide together on the nose. The palate is full and concentrated, silken in texture and intricately woven with sinewy tannins. Its best is yet to come. Drink 2020–2035 and likely beyond. Negociants USA–Winebow. Cellar Selection.Christina Pickard

Gramercy 2015 Forgotten Hills Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley); $60, 92 points. The winery’s estate vineyard is a special spot in the valley for Syrah. Locked up on first pour, this wine opens to reveal aromas of raspberry, fresh chopped parsley, black pepper, cigar box, orange peel, violet, smoked meat and dried stem. The palate is light on its feet, fresh and focused, with herb and olive flavors along with firm, very tightly wound tannins backing it up. It brings a pleasing sense of freshness, requiring food to be fully appreciated. Enjoy after 2022, but it will thrive way beyond that. Cellar Selection.S.S.

Side view of man exploring assortment on shelves of winery shop and making choice.

Red Blends

JCP Maltus 2016 Le Dôme (Saint-Émilion); $235, 100 points. This 80% Cabernet Franc wine may be massive, but it is also perfumed with swathes of opulent black fruit. It comes from a great year for Cabernet Franc, which forms 75% of this vineyard. Juicy acidity gives the wine a velvet character that is enticing. It needs time, so wait to drink from 2026. World’s End LLC. Cellar Selection.R.V.

Epoch 2015 Ingenuity Red (Paso Robles Willow Creek District); $70, 96 points. Rich and yet focused aromas of black cherry and cassis are leveled by wet gravel and crushed slate on the intense nose of this blend of 51% Syrah, 28% Mourvèdre, 14% Petite Sirah and 7% Grenache. The palate is very structural at first with stand-up tannins, but they open the doors to lush floral and fruit flavors, from lilac and lavender to elegant plums and berries. —M.K.

Marchesi Antinori 2015 Tignanello (Toscana); $125, 95 points. Leather, cassis, cedar, black-skinned berry and exotic spice aromas slowly shape the nose. Polished and savory, the refined, structured palate boasts an almost weightless elegance while still delivering layers of juicy black cherry, blackberry compote, licorice and a hint of tobacco. Fine-grained tannins lend seamless support. It’s also surprisingly fresh and balanced for the hot vintage. Drink 2020–2030. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Cellar Selection.Kerin O’Keefe

Other Red Wines

CVNE 2011 Imperial Gran Reserva (Rioja); $88, 97 points. This is a fabulous gran reserva from a very good but lightly heralded vintage. Aromas of spiced plum, black olive, fig, tobacco and cassis come together like a puzzle. A deep, pure palate shows near-perfect balance, while this tastes of plum, berry fruits and earthy spice. Smooth, elegant and chocolaty on the finish, this delivers all one can ask for from Rioja. Drink through 2035. Arano LLC. Editors’ Choice.Michael Schachner

Produttori del Barbaresco 2014 Asili Riserva (Barbaresco); $68, 97 points. Fragrant and refined, this stunning red opens with captivating aromas of woodland berry, rose, violet, ground spice and a whiff of new leather. On the firm, elegantly structured palate, taut refined tannins intertwine with succulent red cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and chopped herb while fresh acidity lends balance. It’s already tempting but still young so give the tannins a few more years to unwind. Drink 2021–2034. Vias Imports. Cellar Selection.K.O.

Lamadrid 2013 Matilde Single Vineyard Malbec (Agrelo); $80, 95 points. A round, smoky nose with blackberry and cassis aromas offers a sultry entry to this wine. It’s tannic and resiny on the palate, but well integrated with the toasty oak flavors in front of cassis and chocolate notes. This Malbec from a lauded vintage is smooth and steady on the finish. Drink through 2028. Vino del Sol. Editors’ Choice.M.S.

La Jota 2015 Merlot (Howell Mountain); $85, 93 points. A mountain-grown wine blended with 10% Petit Verdot, this impresses in its ability to offer power and elegance in equal measure. Cinnamon, baked plum and dark cherry ride along a soft, structured and age-worthy wine, which shows a touch of reduction, espresso bean and dusty rock minerality. —V.B.

White Italian wine and glasses on a lunch table.

White Wines

Château Malartic-Lagravière 2016 White Pessac-Léognan; $85, 96 points. Beautifully wood aged, with subtle hints of spice, this is an elegant, textured wine, ripe with white fruit tones and layered with intense, fresh acidity. Its bright highlights are tempered by warm fruitiness and by the mineral texture that promises aging. Drink from 2023. —R.V.

Alzinger 2017 Loibenberg Grüner Veltliner Smaragd (Wachau); $56, 95 points. Notes of ripe Russet pear on the nose have a pleasantly earthy edge. On the palate, the ripeness and juiciness of the pear fruit is enforced, while a high-toned, zesty lemon freshness underlines savory, salty and herbal notes of yeast. This is concentrated, mouthwatering and totally moreish, especially on that long, appetizing finish. Skurnik Wines, Inc. —Anne Krebiehl, MW

Thomas Fogarty 2016 Damiana Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Cruz Mountains); $62, 95 points. From a vineyard planted in 1978, this bottling starts off quite subtle, with white flowers, lemon rinds, nectarine and wet white-rock aromas. The palate is extremely tense and chalky, with white flower, Asian pear and a light brush of vanilla. Drink now through 2036. Cellar Selection.M.K.

Rosé and Sparkling Wines

Schramsberg 2000 J. Schram Late Disgorged Sparkling (North Coast); $185, 98 points. Both delicate and flavorful, this exceptional wine defines elegance. It starts with a subtly spicy ginger-cookie aroma that leads to layers of citrus, baking spices and toasted bread on the rich palate. After 18 years since the vintage, this still offers persistent, fine bubbles, bracing acidity and a fresh mouthfeel. Editors’ Choice. —Jim Gordon

Ruinart 2007 Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut (Champagne); $179, 95 points. This is a beautiful wine with minerality, toast and tight acidity mingling with the citrus flavors that are still very present. The balance of the wine is impeccable, on the cusp between youth and maturity at the point when it has just become truly ready to drink. Moët Hennessy USA. —R.V.

Château d’Esclans 2017 Les Clans Rosé (Côtes de Provence); $70, 92 points. With an extra year of aging before release, this wine has both great fruit and a rich, spicy character. The concentration and the ripe berry flavors are smoothed by rounded tannins and given a bite from pepper flavors at the end. It’s ready to drink. Shaw-Ross International Importers. —R.V.