5 Big Reds Over $50

Valentine’s Day is this week and if you’re like me, you’ll take any excuse to open a celebratory bottle! Yet choosing from the large selection of wine out there is nearly impossible, there are so many good options… These are 5 of my top picks over $50 right now. Cheers!


Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova Brunello di Montalcino 2011
Brunello di Montalcino is a red Italian wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino located in Tuscany. This is Sangiovese and a great big version. It’s full-bodied with fine tannins and silky-smooth, the 2011 release is still young with ample red fruit and classic Sangiovese spice, leather, herbs, and tobacco.



Orin Swift Papillon 2015
Dave Phinney’s take on a Bordeaux blend is aged 16 months in 40% new French oak. This is a proprietary blend of the classic Bordeaux varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. An inky dark pour with a with flavors of dark berries – raspberry, blackberry, and black cherry, and dark chocolate. Fleshy tannins and sleek acidity round out this big, rich Napa blend. You could drink this now or hold onto it for 10 more years.



Lioco Savaria Pinot Noir 2014
This was a winery I discovered on a tasting trip to Napa Valley about 3 years ago. We went to the Santa Rosa production facility and tasting room and sampled wines in the middle of the wine-making process happening around us. A very cool experience and a lot of memorable wines.

Lioco is known for their pinots and this one is from Savaria, their “hidden” vineyard, planted in the late ’90s on deep alluvial sand and marine deposits a few miles from the coast. It has a leafy raspberry aroma and flavors of rhubarb, strawberry, and a touch of orange tea. It’s clean, fruit-forward and ready to drink now.

W&S 96


Shafer Relentless 2014
Shafer Relentless is a classic wine and the 2014 Relentless is fabulous with 89% Syrah and 11% Petite Sirah. It is rich and dense, a dark ruby color and with meaty, smoky, black fruit aromas and tasting notes of of black licorice, bramble fruit, black pepper, mint, and all spice. Well-built and extracted with a long finish. This is build for long term aging and can sit for another 10 years or be decanted and drunk now.



Bodegas El Nido Clio

Clio is one of those wines that if you can find it, buy it, because it doesn’t last long. The winery is located in the Valle de La Aragona, in Jumilla, southeast Spain. Jumilla is famous for the robust and earthy, black-fruit dominated Monastrell (aka Mourvedre in France).  Quality combined with accessible price points have made this a hot region to buy from.

Clio is a consistently over-achieving, full-bodied red with 70% old vine Monastrell and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, barrel-aged for 24 months. This vintage has Clio’s signature opulence, with bold aromas and flavors, a thick, dense palate, and a long finish. A powerful wine that is just delicious!

And, for a little online wine shopping help 🍷:

New customers save $20 on an order of $100 or more with code FIRST20.


xx — BB

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