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Vail Wines: Wines add flavor to holidays

Sean Razee
Masterful Picks
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – As I mentioned in my last column, the perfect wine can create a truly memorable experience in Colorado’s Vail Valley. Ideal for winter get-togethers , these selections will help create a wonderful holiday memory. Below, please find the last five of my “go-to” wines for the holiday season, in ascending order by price. Cheers.

Colome “Estate” Malbec, Salta, Argentina

Colome is the highest-altitude designated vineyard in the world: If that doesn’t strike up conversation at your next wine party, I don’t know what will. It’s no secret that Argentina produces wines of great value and heritage, and Colome is no exception. This Malbec is blended with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat to produce a deeply colored wine with rich blackberry fruit, ripe tobacco leaf, and subtle mineral notes. Retails around $25



Bergstrom “Cumberland Reserve” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Pinot Noir seems to be the gold standard of wines these days, and I suggest the Oregon versions for food pairing. “Cumberland Reserve” is sourced from great vineyards and made with a touch of whole clusters during fermentation, which lends complexity and softness to the wine. Luscious red fruit, strong perfume, sweet vanilla and baking spice notes fill this wine’s luxuriant tasting card. Retails around $54

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Andrew Will “Champoux Vineyard,” Horse Heaven Hills, Washington

Washington state is the fastest-growing wine region in the country, and when you taste Andrew Will’s wines, it’s not hard to grasp why. This Bordeaux-style blend from the renowned Champoux Vineyard (pronounced “shampoo”) is consistently one of my favorite wines of the region. Luscious and rich, the wine exudes strong cherry and chocolate flavors balanced by sweet French oak. Retails around $59

Paolo Scavino “Cannubi” Barolo, Piedmont, Italy



The intense perfume of ripe cherry and rose petals of a good Barolo will turn heads at any soiree. Scavino makes his in a modern style, using intense fruits and small, French-Oak barrels for aging. Cannubi is considered one of the Grand Crus of the Barolo region and boasts the complexity and length of a truly classic wine. Retails around $95

Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Tuscany, Italy

For full effect when presenting this wine, you’ll need to flaunt your recent photos taken on the striking hilltop of Montalcino. By virtue of their sheer beauty, the vineyards that surround the ancient Tuscan city seem destined to produce greatness, and the wines of Conti Costanti certainly strengthen this notion. His wine has a complex perfumed nose of cherries, raspberries, mint and rose petals, and the palate reveals racy acidity, finishing with flavors of anise and tobacco. Retails around $110

Sean Razee is the beverage director and sommelier for Spago at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch on Beaver Creek Mountain. He currently holds the Master Sommelier diploma from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Razee is one of 96 Master Sommeliers in the United States and the only person in the Vail Valley that holds the distinguished certification.


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