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Prada For The Holidays (and a bit of Willy Nilly, but who gives a Schist…)

Before you all rush to the bank to take out a second mortgage, we are not talking about a Prada leather wine carrier nor the $1000 wool gloves in wine/sage on Prada’s homepage, but we do have a wine this week made by a family named Prada in northern Spain from the oldest Godello grapes on the planet. In fact, this week’s wine selection, in our opinion, is one of the best holiday lineups we’ve ever had, and should give you plenty of choices for those wonderful occasions with family and friends.

Wine Friends hard at work making sure we bring you the best-ever holiday wine selection to help you celebrate the season and savor the special moments with your loved ones.

Let’s start with a new bubbly we discovered that had us shrieking ‘Eureka, Eureka!’ at first sip:

Bohigas Brut Cava Reserva NV ($18) is simply one of the best sparkling wines I have had for yonks. This is like looking across the room at your person and feeling that electricity of connection. I was sold on the nose alone – sexy, sultry, bready, and with a lemony yumminess. A trillion fine bubbles deliver that all into your mouth, and as you start to dance with joy, everything in the world seems right. At this price, there is no choice, you must buy a case.

Then on to some mouthwatering whites:

Valdesil Godello Sobre Lias 2019 ($28) made by the Prada family – no, not the fashion dynasty – from incredibly old vines that grow on steeply terraced vineyards. This is a hard, yet beautiful landscape, which creates vibrant slate-soaked wines. The nose reminds me of the complexity and freshness of a Chablis, but the schist imparts an almost talc-like nose balanced with bright citrus and light jasmine. It dives into your palate, sending ripples of flavor through your mouth. So interesting and complex, it is screaming for a roast chicken rubbed with dried fennel and basted in lemon juice.

Kolfok Welschriesling ‘Nolens Volens’ 2018 ($34) Austrian for “Willy Nilly,” natural wine maker Stefan Wellanschitz makes this wonderful unfiltered white from his schist-filled vineyards on the border of Hungary and Austria. He presses the grapes on the cluster and leaves some of the juice to ferment on the skins. Very brave with the stems indeed, but by golly it works. As in the Godello, the schist just shouts at you through the nose, and then there is this wonderful ripe grapefruit, tarragon and fennel as you take a sip. This wine calls for a lovely roast white fish like halibut, seared and drizzled with herbed butter.

Finally, for this week’s outstanding reds:

L’Alleu Clot de L’Abella 2019 ($28) from Monsant, on the east coast of Spain, this blend of Carignan and Garnacha has a warm and perfumed richness of ripe black raspberries, which in many wines might lead to a soft fruit-forward taste, but here it is pure and bright and surrounded by some lovely green leafy notes. Winemaker Josep-Maria is already making a name for himself after just four vintages, for his meticulously made and authentic wines in a region known more for high-volume, manufactured wines. Pork or lamb are the pairing for this. If you are looking for something different for the holidays, a slow roast shoulder of lamb with our homemade De Angulo Red Crabapple Jelly and a glass of this would be festive and fun (let us know if you’d like us to throw in a pot - $10).

I know we are spoiling you, but our final wine just has to be talked about…

Vajra Kye Langhe Freisa 2016 ($49) Fresia is one of the oldest purebred varieties of vines that has never been crossed and is found in the Piedmont area of Italy. It nearly became extinct before Vajra saw its potential and rescued it in the 1970’s. This is a stunning and supple wine, with hints of underlying strength that are not overt in the same way a rugby player might gently, but firmly, shake your hand. This is either a fireside wine with a lump of gorgonzola and crusty bread or one for a rich ragu with lots of shaved parmesan.

Friendly reminder: There are just two more delivery dates before Christmas! Make sure you have sufficient supplies to last you until the new year.

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