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Oenophile-in-law. . .need help!

Looking for a unique bottle for a birthday gift. Criteria and notes on taster below:

1) Needs to be found at a Manhattan wine store, prefer downtown.
2) Taster loves Spanish reds, especially from Toro and Priorat also a Brunello DM drinker.
3) A fan of Spanish Brandy and Calvados too.

Any ideas come to mind given above criteria?

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    1. re: RicRios

      under $100 preferable but willing to go over for something special.

      1. re: chowcito

        Given your Brunello mention, you might want to go to Italian Wine Merchants - off Union Square.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Places link didn't work the first time - trying again:

          Italian Wine Merchants
          108 E 16th St, New York, NY 10003

    2. For spanish wines, try Tinto Fino in the East Village. 85 First Avenue, New York, NY 10003 T: 212.254.0850

      2 Replies
      1. re: oolah

        Thanks for that reminder - we keep meaning to check it out.

        Tinto Fino
        85 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

        1. re: MMRuth

          thank you both have been meaning to try both IWM and TF!

      2. Suggestions from Priorat would be Finca Dofi (Alvaro Palacios), Clos Mogador, Clos Erasmus and Clos Martinet...

        4 Replies
        1. re: vinosnob

          Oooh yes, very much second the Palacios Finca Dofi. Also, 2004 was a good recent vintage for Priorat.

          1. re: oolah

            Thanks for the suggestions. Would you hold or drink the 2004 Priorats?

            1. re: chowcito

              Well, I drank mine (and it was good!), but a few years in the cellar wouldn't hurt it. It's a very big wine with a good structure and a lot of fruit and flowers (blackberries and violets mostly) so it could stand up to some aging.

              ETA: Just to be super clear, this won't apply to ALL 2004 Priorats, but it's true of the the Palacios Finca Dofi.

              1. re: oolah

                Don't you just hate, when that happens? If we all only had 20K btl. cellars, and the $ to stock them well. How many times have I longed for a long gone wine - drank mine - and wished that I had put down 2 cases of it!

                Also, I go along with the Palacios Finca Dofi. Great wine, and one could enjoy it now, or cellar it.


        2. 2001 Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino @ Italian Wine Merchants for $72.86

          1 Reply
          1. 3a) Sanchez Romate Cardinel Mendoza Brandy de Jerez.
            3b) Famile Dupont Calvados -- anything by them is superb!

            1. 67 wine and spirits or sherry lehmann have incredible, knowledgable staff and store their bottles underground/climate controlled so nothing gets damaged by light/heat

              1. Easy....

                Either (or both):

                a 1997 Brunello and/or

                a 2001 Rioja Riserva

                These wines are both quite vintage-sensitive, IMO, and worth finding these best of the recent years. Which to buy ? The answer is the best of the above. If your wine merchant has a great Brunello but a so-so Rioja, get the Brunello... and vice-versa.

                1. For Brandy, Lepanto is the best Spanish one I've had. And it is good.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: hungry_pangolin

                    You're right, it IS good. But -- speaking just for myself -- if I am going to drink a Brandy de Jerez, I want it to taste like a Brandy de Jerez, and not like a Cognac or other type of alambic brandy. This is why the Cadenal Mendoza is my favorite.

                    1. re: zin1953

                      Interesting. I shall take a look for that one. Thanks for that.

                  2. I agree with the Finca Dofi in that price point. If you want to kick it up a notch and stay Spanish look for Palacios' L'Ermita... it's his top of the line, made from 100 year old vines... very serious and will impress any wine collector. Of course the other great Spanish wine for the serious collector is Vega Sicilia at about the same price point as L'Ermita... $250 per bottle on release.

                    1. While I think all the reccomendations for Dofi are great and it is one of the best consistent performers. Right now, imo, the best value on the market for Priorat is the 2001 Rotllan Torra Tirant. I don't know why it didn't fly off of shelves, but being a couple of years out since release, it will be a bit hard to find. Nonetheless, it is worth seeking out. It is special. (Park Avenue Liquor has it for $120 which is highway robbery. It shouldn't cost more than $75, $80 max.)

                      1. Due to time constraints I ended up going to a local wine merchant (Pasanella and Sons) and found a highly recommended bottle of wine from Lazio and a good champagne for another gift. Excited about my purchases I rushed to the airport for my trip. Unfortunately I arrived late to the airport, had to carry-on and had the airline (American) and TSA refuse to gate-check the two bottles. I was forced to leave them behind which was a HUGE disappointment. Any other wine travel stories/recommendations from you hounds??

                        Fortunately I had time to stop at a liquor store when I landed to buy another round of bottles. I found a Fuglini Brunello 1999 for $75 which I thought to be a good price considering they marked the 2000 at the same price. I also snagged a favorite table wine of mine -- a 2003 Laurona from Montsant and another bottle of champagne.

                        The Brunello drank very well but I couldn't help but think of the bottles I left back in New York. The good part of the trip was being introduced to an unbelievable Spanish red. A 2001 bottle of Vitis Terrarum. 100% Tempranillo and unbelievably good. Has any one else tried this or know where to get it in NYC?