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It's time for a little vino indulgence

Bill Daley
Given the sour economy, one could be forgiven for buying only bargain wine, boxed wines even, for holiday meals and celebrations. But let's say there's a last-minute miracle: Your Scrooge of a boss turns wildly generous; Auntie Mame turns up in the guise of your free-spending Uncle Joe; you win the lottery. Look, it can happen.

So with a pocket full of cash ready to burn, head to your nearest wine store and treat yourself to a splurge. The downturn in the economy and a sagging market for superpricey wines may mean you'll get a bargain as well.

Consider these six premium California reds recommended by our tasting panel.

Whether the bottle is meant for Christmas present or Christmas future, these Napa Valley wines combine a fruit-forward friendliness with the tannic structure needed for aging. All are cabernet sauvignon or Bordeaux-style blends.

Go big and bold!
2006 Bennett Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve: This cab has a bright, perfumy nose, a velvety texture and a big, deep flavor of berries with notes of chocolate, black pepper and spice. Serve with beef Burgundy, flank steak roulade, roast goose. ✭✭✭ $95


Welcome to Bennett Lane Winery  - Home of 36 90+ Point Wines from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


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