December 19th , 2013Large format wines, bigger is better The holidays are a season for celebrating with friends, family and of course a great bottle of wine. In the wine world, there’s nothing that speaks to a celebration more than a “big bottle.” You gather the troops, pop the oversized cork and know that you have a night’s worth of great glasses to cherish with those you love. A large format bottle adds a bit of romanticism to a dinner or cocktail gathering. There’s just something about pouring a great glass from that oversized bottle that makes it taste just a bit better. Also, many collectors believe that the big bottles age better and hold their character longer. Their ominous presence in the cellar also makes them a great gift or centerpiece. Big bottles carry their own fun to say, yet hard to spell, nomenclature as well. Many of the names come from ancient kings of Israel. Jeroboam (3L), Methusulah (6L), Salmanazar (9L) and Balthazar (12L) are a few that we get a kick out of. Balthazar was a Babylonian king who was partaking in wine while the Persian invaded and took power from the Babylonians. Fair warning, you may miss out a few things if you decide to indulge in a large bottle on your own… At Whitehall Lane, we bottle a handful of our wines into large format bottles. Let’s take a look at a few of our favorites from the bunch. The 2006 Leonardini Cabernet Sauvignon has been one of our favorite wines recently. In fact, we enjoyed the 2006 Leonardini Cabernet at Whitehall Lane’s holiday party this year. In a magnum, or 1.5 liter, bottle you get two standard bottles in one. That’s about 10 good glasses of this superb Cab to impress your guests with. Stepping up to a 3 liter double magnum, or Jeroboam, is our 2005 Reserve Cabernet. This magnificent wine is bottled in hand etched and painted glass so it has just as much beauty on the bottle as it does inside. And if you’re really serious about taking on a large format bottle you can’t pass up our 2005 Rutherford Cabernet in a 6 liter Imperial (also known as Methusalah). This rich Cab has all of that unique terroir that Rutherford is known for. Many call it “Rutherford Dust” as wines from the area show a lot of earth in their taste profile. Ours has plenty of black fruit and toasty oak to round it out as well. If Pinot Noir is more your style, grab a bottle of our 2012 Las Brisas Vineyard Pinot Noir in a 1.5 liter magnum. The Las Brisas Vineyard lies in Carneros where the chilly winds off of San Pablo Bay keep the Pinot Noir vines more than happy. As the holidays approach once again, take a look at opening a big bottle for your guests and give them a treat they’ll remember into the new year. You can find our selection on our website. Happy holidays from our family to yours!