Ottawa Magazine wine writer David Lawrason says this international selection of more expensive $25-to-$50 wines is fine to give as gifts, either to wine lovers intent on building up their cellars or to good friends who enjoy a fine bottle.
Cloudy Bay 2012 Sauvignon Blanc
$29.95 / Marlborough, New Zealand / 93 points
This is a very intense, complex, nervy young sauvignon blanc. But for all its exuberance, it retains a nice sense of control and rigidity. The nose sparks immediately with passion fruit, pepper, nettle, celery, wasabi, and grapefruit rind. It’s mid-weight and crisp, yet juicy, with a firm, dry, almost mineral finish. Outstanding length. Vintages Essentials 304469.
Sonoma-Cutrer 2010 Chardonnay
$26.95 / Russian River Valley, California / 89 points
The cool Russian River is a hot zone for winemakers who draw chardonnay inspiration from Burgundy, France. This one has complex, if subdued, peat smoke, toasted almond, pear, butter, and lemony flavours in a crisp yet generous texture. Very stylish, fairly slim, and long, with a mineral edge common to this region. Vintages Essentials 608653.