Christmas Day wines

On Christmas Day my family has an old tradition of having a massive feast. Together with all the food we usually try a few wines. Below you find what we’ve tried on Christmas Day. Some of the wines we tried on Christmas Eve.

The Evening started with a Calfironian Cabernet-Sauvignon. Followed by a Brunello from Castello Banfi and by a red wine from the Veneto. We also uncorked a Spanish Rioja and a few others.

2009 Beringer Knights Valley Reserve

Interesting wine which is listed on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list. Produced with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Ruby red color. Nose consists of ripe dark cherry, cocoa, tobacco, and smoke.  Blackcurrant on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied. Fine tannins. Long finish. Retail price 45$. Was a good starter but the wine needs more time.

2006 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino


Great Brunello made with 100% Sangiovese grapes. The wine aged in Slavonian and French oak. The wine has a bottle listed ABV of 14%. Intense ruby red color. A bit closed on the nose but after some time in the decanter there were strong aromas of licorice, blackberry and hints of cinnamon. Tannins were too aggressive for my taste. Wine was very full-bodied. Finish was of medium length. Was a good start but we drank better wines throughout the evening. Retail price 49$.

2005 Trabucchi d’Illasi Dandarin

Dandarin is a modern wine from Italy’s Veneto region. Produced with Corvina, Corvinone, Syrah, Rondinella and Teroldego grapes. Wine ages 12 months in French oak and 24 months in the bottle. 14.5% is the label listed ABV. Dandarin has a ruby red color. Well-balanced, big-bodied wine. Mellow tannins and some fruit notes on the palate. Aromas of red berries, caramel, spices, chocolate and more on the nose. Persistently long finish. Very much recommended. Retail price 42$. You can find a second opinion of this wine on Vino in Love.

2005 Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle

Another red wine from the old world. This time one from St-Emilion, Bordeaux, France. La Tonnelle has a label listed ABV of 14.5%. The wine aged in old and new oak. It’s a big and bold wine. Nose has aromas of tobacco, ripe red fruits and herbs. On the palate the wine is dry and well-structured. La Tonnelle is rather tannic and has a finish somewhere between medium and long. Retail price 51$.

2004 La Rioja Alta  Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial 

La Rioja Alta has a long tradition of producing stunning red wines. The Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial has a label listed alcohol by volume of 13.5%. The wine’s appellation is Rioja DOC. Vina Ardanza is produced with Tempranillo (80%) and Grenchae (20%) grapes. The wine ages in American oak for 36 months. Cherry red color; full-bodied; very aromatic on the nose (blueberry, cinnamon, tobacco and leather). Dry with silky, aggressive tannins on the palate. Long aftertaste. Fantastic wine. Talk-A-Vino wrote about the 2001 vintage of this wine. Retail price: 35$.


We all agreed on that La Tonnell was the “worst” of the wines we uncorked. It’s not bad but the we liked the other wines a lot more. I personally liked the Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial and the Dandarin the most. Two really great wines. That said I hope you had a great Christmas as well!


One thought on “Christmas Day wines

  1. I have a bottle of 2001 La Rioja Alta – Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial in my cellar. Looking very much forward to try it. Also have a a bottle of Banfi Brunello di Montalcino but I’m not that big of a Brunello drinker

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