6 Magnum Wines for the Holidays
There’s nothing that screams “celebration” more than pouring wine from a king-size bottle. The classic is the magnum, which is twice as big as a standard 750 milliliters (we’ve selected six of our favorites, below). A little hunting at your local wine shops may also yield even more impressive double magnums (four regular bottles)—or, rarely, imperials (eight)—though collectors tend to snatch those up. But if you do luck into one, here’s a tip: Be sure to invite a weight-lifting friend to help you pour it.
Spain’s Torres family is primarily known for its vineyards in the Penedès region, south of Barcelona, but they ventured west to Ribera del Duero to create this lush, smoky red.
Barolos in regular-size bottles often sell for more than this; finding an impressively good, polished version such as this one, in a magnum, at under $100? That’s a rarity.
2009 Castello di Monsanto Il Poggio Chianti Classico ($125)
Back in 1962, this long-aging, complex red was the very first single-vineyard Chianti Classico, and it’s still one of the best.
Winemaker Marcus Notaro sources grapes from vineyards throughout Napa Valley for this layered, elegant Cabernet; the 2013 vintage is particularly impressive, thanks to the spectacular weather during harvest.
Bordeaux third-growth Château Palmer’s second wine, Alter Ego, is more velvety and aromatic when it’s young than the château’s longer-aging (and far more expensive) grand vin. There are multiple vintages on the market—look for the ’09 and the ’10.
2011 Nino Negri 5 Stelle Sfursat di Valtellina ($205)
In Valtellina, the Nebbiolo grapes grow on hillsides so steep, they sometimes have to be harvested by helicopter. The resulting wines—dense, dark and spicy— gain even more intensity from the sforzato technique, in which the grapes are dried before fermentation.