Dirk Smits

Best Wines for Father’s Day

Paramount 2017, Red Wine | Gamble Family Vineyards, Napa Valley

Origin: Napa Valley, California, USA
Varietals: 33% Cabernet Franc, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot
Price: $90.00
ABV: 14.1%

Founded in 2005 by third-generation Napa farmer Tom Gamble, Gamble Family Vineyards farms approximately 175 acres of prime estate vineyards from Napa Valley’s most respected AVAs — Oakville, Yountville, Mount Veeder and Rutherford. Set in an isolated nook off of Highway 29 in the heart of Napa Valley’s Oakville District, the winery, open to guests by invitation, has a quiet and bucolic presence. Tom Gamble’s mission is to carry on the heritage of quality farming that his ancestors sowed when they came to Napa as farmers and ranchers in 1916.

The wine shows a deep garnet color. It flashes aromas of ripe red stone fruit, rose petals and a touch of toast and vanilla. The mouth is well-balanced with lush red fruit and exotic spices framed in with ripe tannins and juicy acidity.

For more information, visit Gamble Family Vineyards official website. Uncover the facts. $1 a week. Save now on groundbreaking journalism from experts in the field. Ad by The New York Times See More

“Julia” Rosé 2020 | Hearst Ranch Winery, Paso Robles

Origin: Paso Robles, California, USA
Varietal: 27% Syrah, 27% Malbec, 26% Grenache, 13% Tempranillo, 7% Zinfandel
Price: $20.00
ABV: 13.4%

Hearst Ranch Winery was established in 2010. The winery was a brainchild of Steve Hearst, W. R. Hearst’s grandson and Vice President and General Manager of the Hearst Western Properties, and Jim Saunders, owner of The Saunders’ Vineyards. They met when Mr. Saunders went on a tour of the Hearst Ranch. Jim already owned Saunders’ Vineyards which he and his wife had purchased in 1994. Mr. Hearst, on the other hand, had the love for wine ingrained in him by witnessing firsthand his grandfather’s passionate wine collecting habit.

The 2020 Julia Rosé has a beautiful pale salmon color. The nose shows aromas of daisy flowers and raspberry. The palate is bright with flavors of strawberries and blood orange, finishing with briny minerality and zappy acidity.

>For more information, visit Hearst Ranch Winery official website.

Champagne Pierre Gerbais, l’Osmose, Extra Brut | France

Origin: Champagne, France
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Price: $58.00
ABV: 12%

Champagne Pierre Gerbais is a fourth-generation domaine in the Aube region of Champagne. It is spearheaded today by Aurélien Gerbais, a hipster winemaker who is soft spoken and humble. At Gerbais, there are old vines, organic vineyard management, intelligence, respect, passion, relevance, training and drive enough to take this house to the very top of a small band of visionary Champagne makers in the Aube who include Aurélien’s friend and neighbor, Cédric Bouchard, and the small houses of Marie Courtin, Jacques Lassaigne, Ulysse Collin, Horiot, Vouette et Sorbée, etc.

Although not labeled as such, this is a Blanc de Blancs produced from two old-vine vineyards of Chardonnay, one facing north, the other south. That in itself helps the balance of this dry wine. It has a light golden color with aromas of mature fruit such as pineapple, mango, lemons and limes, pears and baked apples. The palate shows a flinty minerality and flavors of apple and grapefruit. The wine has a dosage of 2 grams per liter.

For more information, visit Champagne Pierre Gerbais official website. Support the journalists who seek the truth. Benefit from expert reporting with this special offer from The Times. Ad by The New York Times See More

Harvey & HarrietRed Wine Blend 2019 | My Favorite NeighborSan Luis Obispo

Origin: San Luis Obispo, California, USA
Varietals: Cabernet SauvignonSyrah
Price: $30.00
ABV: 14.3%

Eric Jensen of Booker Vineyard and My Favorite Neighbor created this wine in honor of his parents, Harvey and Harriet. In a world of expensive, overpriced wines, Eric’s hardworking, plain-spoken parents would have never been able to taste a good wine. Eric made this wine to be opened every day, whether it’s for takeout food, a neighbor’s potluck or Sunday family dinner.

The wine has a rich ruby color with opaque, inky edges. Dark black and blue spicy fruit dominate the nose with soft hints of vanilla. A deliciously smooth mouth feel mirrors the spicy blackberry aroma. Full bodied, this wine showcases textural elegance and an enjoyable, juicy finish.

>For more information, visit My Favorite Neighbor official website.

Decoy, Brut Cuvée, Sparkling Wine | Sonoma

Origin: Sonoma, California, USA
Varietals: 49% Pinot Noir, 47% Chardonnay, 4% Pinot Meunier
Price: $25.00
ABV: 13.5%

Co-founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has spent almost forty years establishing itself as one of California’s best producers of premier wines. From its modest inaugural vintage of a few hundred cases of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in 1978 to its addition of Sauvignon Blanc in 1982, Duckhorn Vineyards has created a tradition of quality and excellence that continues today. Gradually, other brands were created under the GoldeneyeParaduxxMigrationCanvasback and Calera labels with the final addition of Decoy sparkling wines.

Fine bubbles emerge in the light golden liquid. The nose shows white peach, lemon zest and white flower blossom with a touch of vanilla. The palate offers delicate fruit flavors balanced by juicy acidity.

For more information, visit Decoy Wines official website.

Allons Ensemble, Pinot Noir, 2019, Russian River | Wine Guy & Wine Gal, Sonoma

Origin: Sonoma, California, USA
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Price: $50.00
ABV: 14.2

Allons Ensemble (Let’s go together) is the brainchild of David Dees, a man fueled with a passion for wine and a goal to enhance the great times and memories it creates in bringing people together in perfect pairings. He and winemaker Bobby Donnell create two wines from the Sonoma Valley. Their Pinot Noir and Zinfandel come from historic sites in both the Russian River and Dry Creek AVA’s.

The wine has a nice garnet color with aromas of roses, sweet cherries and a distinctive minerality. The tannins appear silky and accompany the ripe red fruit, lively freshness and an elegant palate texture.

For more information, visit Wine Guy & Wine Gal official website.

The Paring, Syrah 2018 | Santa Ynez Valley

Origin: Santa Ynez Valley, California, USA
Varietal: 100% Syrah
Price: $25.00
ABV: 14.5%

Named after the paring knife, favored by chefs in kitchens around the world for its versatility, The Paring wines were created by winemaker Matt Dees to be the perfect complement to almost any food dish. They capture the exciting coastal vineyards of Santa Barbara County, CA. Fruit for the wines is sourced primarily from the Ballard Canyon, Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley AVAs from vineyard blocks that are either too young or don’t fit into the vintage style of the highly acclaimed Jonata and The Hilt wines.

The wine has a bright ruby color. Aromas of violets, blackberries and black pepper emerge on the nose. The palate offers dark fruit, a smidgen of oak, soft but present tannins and a long, well-balanced finish.

For more information, visit The Paring official website.

Balletto, Chardonnay 2017 | Russian River

Origin: Russian River, Sonoma, California, USA
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Price: $27.00
ABV: 13.6%

With its cool and foggy climate, the Russian River Valley produces wines of great depth and distinction. Grape grower John Balletto and winemaker Anthony Beckman create wines that showcase these diverse environments and soils of the region.

The wine has a straw yellow color. The nose shows aromas of ripe citrus and pear, floral and mineral notes. The initial attack reveals lemony fruit that develops in time to something a bit more tropical. Marked by a bit of oak spice that complements without drowning the nuanced fruit character, the texture is lush, but balance is retained thanks to the fresh acidity.

For more information, visit Balletto Vineyards official website.

Blandy’s 5-Year-Old Bual Madeira | Portugal

Blandy's 5-Year-Old Bual Madeira

Origin: Madeira, Portugal
Varietal: Bual (Malvasia Fina)
Price: $24
ABV: 19%

Blandy’s 5-Year-Old Bual Madeira is made from fermented Bual grapes and aged in American oak casks. This medium-bodied fortified wine, similar to a Port, entices with aromas of caramel, vanilla and dried fruit, along with flavors of hazelnut, fig and honey. It is best paired with dessert, fruit and cheeses.