Christmas Celebrations

CB Christmas Gift Guide: 3 magnificent red wines

The Christmas season is upon us! And to kick it off, Collectorbits is providing a Christmas Gift Guide series which offers gift recommendations for those who love both whisky and wine. Here are Collectorbits’ top 3 Christmas gift packages for those who want to gift a delightful bottle of red wine combined with an unforgettable experience.

Rioja bodegas and the architectural masterpiece

Bodegas in Haro, a small town about an hour away from Bilbao, are some of the absolute best in Spain. Located right next door to each other, all of them can be easily visited on foot: Muga, Rioja Alta, Lopez de Heredia, CVNE, Cruzado, and Roda.

The wine: With a relatively short maceration period of only two weeks, combined with unusually long ageing period in barrels and bottles, has made the Rioja from La Rioja Alta one of the best in the region. A wine surely not to be outdone is the “Gran Reserva 904.” This wine, first produced in 1904, is also an 85% Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo blend, that ages for at least four years in barriques and four years in the bottle. This is definitely an ideal wine for the most special occasions and celebrations. 

The experience: The Canadian-American architect, Frank Gehry, designed a museum of modern and contemporary art: The Guggenheim Museum, located in the Basque Country in Bilbao. The Guggenheim Museum is arguably the most important building of Wright’s late career featuring 250 exhibitions of contemporary works of art. The unique architecture of the space, with its spiral ramp riding to a domed skylight, continues to thrill visitors and provide a unique forum for the presentation of contemporary art. Only an hour from Haro, this day trip will be a worthwhile experience!

Round up your gift with a memorable guided tour and private dining experience at La Rioja Alta and enjoy the wines this winery has to offer. And make sure to check out the other famous wineries, immediately next door!

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Marques de Murrieta and grape-based treatments

The magnificent Cathedral of Santa María de la Redonda in Logroño features twin baroque towers that immediately catch the eye with its intricate facade and an image attributed to Michelangelo. The Cubo del Revellín fort connects to remnants of the old city wall which is one of the best preserved sectors of the 16th century walls of Logroño. The site offers both history and scenic landscapes. Take a walk through the Ebro Park with picturesque views of the River Ebro, its arched Stone Bridge and its 19th-century Iron Bridge. 

The wine: Highly praised with 99 points by James Suckling, the spectacular Rioja Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay is a very special gift originating from the Rioja region. Exclusively produced with the best years of the wineries from the most prized vineyard. Marques de Murrieta is an excellent example for “Old World” winemaking producing “World Class” wine. A definite hidden gem – some even say as good as any well known and priced Bordeaux!

The experience: Overlooking vineyards, this stunning 5 star century Chateau designed by architect Frank Gehry is located about 25 minutes from Logroño and only a few kilometres from the Iglesia de Santa María de los Reyes church, or the Chabola de la Hechicera stone monument. Some quarters in the Hotel have vineyard views, and suites with terraces. One highlight: The premium spa even features grape-based treatments! 

For an even more memorable gift, include a guided tour and wine tasting at Marques de Murrieta and make sure to go tapas bar hopping when in the idyllic town of Logroño.

Portuguese reds and a special wine picnic

The Symington family and Prats have combined their experience of port production and wine making to create a exquisite red wine which is sure to become a favourite of wine connoisseurs around the world. 

The wine: Chryseia is the masterpiece created by the Symington’s and Prats. A Douro field blend, the Chryseia is made from a careful selection of grapes sourced from the Prats and Symington’s two Upper Douro Valley vineyards, Quinta de Roriz and Quinta da Perdiz. Some of the best grapes from another property called Quinta da Vila Velha, which is privately owned by a member of the Symington family, also contributes to each vintage creation of Chryseia. The 2014 is a blend of Chryseia is 65% Touriga Nacional and 35% Touriga Franca aged for 15 months in 400 litre French oak barrels. As one of the great Portuguese red wines, Chryseia is  widely-recognised as the one of the pioneers of the revival of non-fortified Douro DOC wines. However, this wine holds true to its nature and reflects its name- which means “golden” in ancient Greek and Portuguese – with its excellent and sophisticated finish in the Bordeaux fashion.

The experience: Surrounded by vineyards and located directly at the Douro River, this charming 5-star vintage hotel is a great way to really experience the region. Only 20km from the winery Prats and Symington, it offers a great location for a wine tasting in the Douro Valley. Check out the hotel’s special programs, with an unforgettable picnic at the Quinta da Roêda winery.

How about a nice bottle of the Chryseia, combined with the Vintage House Hotel’s Douro Wine Lover program? A guaranteed special 2020 Christmas gift!

Check out Collectorbits blog articles about German Rieslings or Scottish Single Malt Whiskies, if looking for more Christmas gifts inspirations!