Don’s January Collector’s Series Top Picks

With Rhône wines on my mind and a plethora of splendid wines from the Rhône Valley from which to choose, my first Top Pick this month is a no brainer.  Domaine du Vieux Lazaret’s 2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape covets the first spot.  It’s a wonderful Châteauneuf-du-Pape from an outstanding vintage.  Enjoy it now or lay it away for a couple more years to gain further depth and complexity.  The second Top Pick is a bit more challenging.  Why?  Caggiano’s 2011 Fiagre is a unique wine that offers tremendous personality as well as pleasure, but then there is Château St. Eulalie’s splendid 2009 cru Livinière La Cantilène from the finest area of the ancient appellation of Minervois.  So, my second Top Pick depends upon whether I am hankering for a delicious white wine or an equally satisfying red wine.  In an ideal world, one serves both wines on the same evening with respective courses, and both become Top Picks.  Come to think of it, that’s my plan, and I’m sticking to it.  Why not try it, too?  A votre santé.