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If there was ever a year to get proactive with your holiday shopping, it’s looking like this one, y’all. Some of your gift ideas may be subject to the chaos of 2021 logistics, but we’ve got a solid stock of high quality wines that are sure to impress without breaking the bank. For a gift that says, “Thanks for surviving on this planet with me,” (even if you’re gifting you-to-you) these are the bottles that scream appreciation, love, and darn delicious quality.

Marine Layer ‘Lyra’

Sonoma Pinot Noir

A study in impeccable Sonoma Coast style, Marine Layer blends choice, sustainably-farmed Pinot Noir from five AVA’s along California’s rugged Sonoma Coast, exhibiting the powerful influence of its eponymous Marine Layer fog on Pinot’s nuance and complexity. While the fruit character is ripe and deep with black cherry, orange blossom, and black raspberry, a pristine bolt of fresh acid comes through on the palate with wild strawberry tang and warm cedar. Transporting with its clarity of fruit and mineral freshness, you might feel the dewy marine mists from beside your holiday hearth.

Clos de Napa

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa is at the center of a modern debate over balance in California Cabernets. Stretched like taffy over the years into bombastic ripeness, heavy-handed oak, and extravagant booze, even Napa die-hards have been left wondering, what is Cabernet supposed to taste like anymore? The Clos de Napa Reserve has all the things we love about Napa Cab — a robust 14.6% alcohol, 24 months’ French oak aging, and plenty of ripe fruit and tannin. But there’s a balance framing this Cab’s richness that we don’t find often enough. In the Bordeaux style, its Cabernet Sauvignon is boosted with 25% Merlot, rounding out the ripe cassis, boysenberry, and black cherry with elegant florals, graphite, and a lifted minerality.

Evesham Wood ‘Le Puits Sec’

Pinot Noir

If you face the intimidating prospect of gifting to someone who’s “Into Wine”, this bottle will not only fit the bill, it might just win you the Best Gift award. Evesham Wood is an iconic producer within the Eola-Amity region of the Willamette Valley, Oregon, its winemaking philosophy focused on low-intervention quality that speaks for itself. Wonderfully layered with pomegranate, lush cherry, violets, smoky spice, and savory Willamette earthiness, its silky tannins are drawn out on a long, compelling finish. Get all the credit for gifting generously, without paying a premium.

-Aimee Hutchinson | Wine Manager Top Ten Liquors

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