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V-Day Wine Picks, by An Actual Wine Expert

What could be better than a gorgeous Italian man helping us (and therefore, you) select the most sensual wines for Valentine’s Day? Um, not much. Not much.

Here, you will find our conversation with legendary wine critic and Vinous founder Antonio Galloni, where he advised us on the most enchanting wines for V-day, all rated over 90 points (wine-speak for the best of the best A++ rating). We had to share it with you. Some are easier on the wallet than others, but because if there were ever a time for fancy wine... 


2010 Deutz Rosé -- $62, 91 pts

Antonio Galloni: “Rich, vinous and deep on the palate, yet with terrific freshness and verve, the 2010 is wonderfully complete and expressive from start to finish. Deceptively light in color, the 2010 is impeccably balanced and harmonious. Hints of cranberry and mint inform the bright, floral finish.”


2002 Billecart-Salmon Rosé Cuveé Elisabeth Salmon -- $249, 96 pts

AG: “Above all else, the Cuveé Elisabeth is a Champagne of finesse, even in 2002. Crushed rose petals, cinnamon and spice gradually open up in the glass, but the 2002 is slow to reveal all of its charms. Readers lucky enough to own the 2002 can look forward to another 20 years or so of fine drinking.”


2012 Vietti Langhe Nebbiolo Perbacco -- $25, 92 pts

AG: “Floral and lifted, the 2012 is one of the more refined editions of Perbacco I can remember tasting. The flavors are bright, focused and beautifully articulated throughout. Chalky notes support a sculpted, brilliant finish laced with hints of orange peel, white pepper and crushed rocks.”


2013 Giacomo Conterno Barbera d’Alba Francia -- $56, 95 pos

AG: “Sweet red cherry, pomegranate hard candy, rose petal and wild flowers all flesh out effortlessly. The 2013 has the energy of a cool, late-ripening vintage, but with striking inner sweetness and depth. Elegant, restrained and sophisticated, the 2013 is another real gem from Roberto Conterno.”


2012 Domaine Dauvissat Camus Chablis -- $50, 91 pts

AG: “Menthol and lemon on the nose. Dry, saline and serious in the mouth, with a point of austerity to the incisive flavors of citrus peel, minerals and jasmine. Finishes with terrific lemon-limey cut and noteworthy length.”


2012 Ramey Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard -- $65, 93 pts 

AG: “Ramey’s 2012 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard impresses for its freshness and verve, but at the same time, there is plenty of texture, raciness and body, all signatures of this renowned Carneros site. I imagine the 2012 will still be fabulous at age ten.”


2011 Mount Eden Pinot Noir -- $70, 94 pts

AG: “Savory herbs, mint, licorice and smoke meld into a core of expressive dark red fruit in the 2011 Pinot Noir. The 2011 doesn’t quite have the power of the 2009 or 2010, but in exchange it should offer a more complete drinking experience earlier than those wines.”


2012 Blankiet Estate Prince of Hearts -- $79, 92 pts

AG: “Racy and perfumed, the 2012 impresses for its balance, class and overall symmetry. Sweet floral and spiced notes add lift on the finish. Best of all, Prince of Hearts remains one of the very finest values in handmade, artisan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.”


Sidenote: (and this is pretty gratifying...) Vinous has a new app, appropriately named Vinous, where you can scan wine labels (from any store) to pull up reviews, tasting notes, and scores from the world’s top critics. Therefore, in the event that you can’t seem to locate any of the above, just whip out said handy dandy app inside of said liquor store, and go from there. I tried it last weekend. Got a new Cab…really enjoyed it. Tasted like blackberries (or, so the review said).

What are some of your favorite celebration wines? Have you tired and paired any of the above?

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