There’s really never ever been a more appropriate end of the year to celebrate with a great drink… or five. Wade Bales gathers the gifts that everybody really wants (and deserves) this festive season.
1. BOSCHENDAL JEAN LE PRESTIGE CUVÉE 2009
Celebrate the season with a festive flourish of bubbles. Made exclusively from chardonnay grapes, this Boschendal bubbly brings to mind lemon creams, beeswax, and toasty brioche, with a tinge of salty minerality.
2. VEUVE CLICQUOT VINTAGE 2012
Celebrate in real style with single-harvest vintage champagne. Veuve Clicquot’s Vintage 2012 is golden in colour and class. Complex, juicy, and decadent, it’s best paired with sophisticated gastronomy, good friends, and really good times.
3. RÉMY MARTIN 1738
A truly distinctive cognac displaying remarkable smoothness, mellowed butterscotch, baked spices, and hints of dark chocolate.
4. LIMITED EDITION COURVOISIER VS BLACK PACK
Forget the little black dress, this little black bottle should be on every proudly South African cognac collector’s gift list. Designed by a trio of South Africa’s freshest artists, this all-black bottle is as good to look at as it is to drink. Blended from several crus, the fusion of younger and older cognac produces a fruity, delicate taste and a bouquet of flavours.
5. HENNESSY VSOP LIMITED EDITION BY UVA
Inspired by the blending process of Hennessy’s VSOP Privilège, the design (created in collaboration with United Visual Artists) of this exclusive limited edition reflects the dynamics of the immateriality of light and time.
6. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE
Tired of all the green, red, and gold this festive season? In its distinctive blue bottle, this world-famous gin offers a refreshing respite from the usual. Every drop contains 10 hand-selected botanicals from exotic locations around the world — each one vapour-infused then blended together in flawless balance.
7. INVERROCHE PIONEERS COLLECTION GIN
As the winner of the first Inverroche Pioneer Bartending Competition, Travis Kuhn got to collaborate with Inverroche to produce his very own single-batch, limited-edition gin (only 2 800 produced) — the Inverroche Pioneers Collection #1. The end result is a crisp and classically styled gin. It radiates freshness and warm, spicy notes and is the perfect gift for any fellow pioneer.
8. KNORHOEK GIN
Juniper berry, lemon zest, chamomile, cassia bark, angelica root, calamus root, and orris root. With these seven humble botanicals, Knorhoek has succeeded in creating a really smooth and complex premium gin.
9. TANQUERAY NO. 10 GIFT BOX
This much-loved small-batch gin is crafted using fresh citrus and is best enjoyed with premium tonic water and a slice of pink grapefruit.
10. QOUIN ROCK SAUVINGNON BLANC HUSK SPIRIT
Once the juice of this premium estate’s vine-dried sauvignon blanc dessert wine has been extracted, the fermented skins are promptly used for distillation. These skins (also known as husks) produce an exceptional small-batch grappa, capturing the essence of sauvignon blanc and the spirit of Quoin Rock too.
11. CAPE CLASSICS, CURATED BY WADE BALES
Rust & Vrede Estate 2017, Rustenberg Peter Barlow 2018, Thelema Shiraz 2016, and Vergelegen Reserve Merlot 2015.
12. THE SAVVY SUMMER COLLECTION
A trio of superb sauvignon blancs to enjoy this summer, all offering exceptional bang for your buck. Includes Boela Gerber Sauvignon Blanc 2020, David Finlayson Sauvignon Blanc 2020, and Cape Point Sauvignon Blanc 2020.
12. THE ULTIMATE WINE COLLECTION
Chosen for their uncanny ability to generate cult-like followings, this collection of extremely rare and sought-after wines is sure to elicit praise and adoration far and wide. Each case includes a bottle of Beeslaar Pinotage 2018, Delaire Graff Reserve Merlot 2018, Giorgio 2018, Porseleinberg Syrah 2018, Vilafonte M 2017, and Wade Bales Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2017.
WHISKEYS AND WHISKIES
13. TEELING IRISH SINGLE MALT WHISKEY
Made with Irish whiskeys distilled from 100% malted barley, this single malt is matured and finished in casks that impart the influence of five wine casks (sherry, port, madeira, white burgundy, and cabernet sauvignon). A unique fruit-forward flavour profile abounds — complex, balanced, and bursting with flavour.
14. WOODFORD RESERVE GIFT BOX
Woodford Reserve is more than a spirit. It’s a spectacle. With more than 200 flavour notes (212 to be exact), it wows the senses and elevates an evening to an event. Packaged in a classy gift box, it’s also the ideal bourbon to bequest a beloved.
15. THREE SHIPS MASTER’S COLLECTION
Three Ships’ fifth Master’s Collection is a superb 11-year-old single-malt shiraz-cask finish. First matured for eight years in American-oak barrels, the whisky was then finished in seasoned shiraz-oak casks for three years. The result: a harmonious interplay of cherries, roasted nuts, Christmas cake, subtle orange and smoky undertones. With a very limited number of bottles available, you’ll have to move fast to secure yours.
16. MACALLAN 12 YO TRIPLE CASK
Lauded for its unique taste and uncompromising quality, The Macallan 12-Year-Old Triple Cask Matured will make the ideal gift for whisky lovers who enjoy that taste of real luxury.
17. SINGLE MALT 6 YO LIMITED RELEASE
Distilled from straight-neck stills and then matured in refill- bourbon barrels for six years at Loch Lomond, this whisky is then finished in a combination of red-wine barrels for a further six months from Buitenverwachting Wine Estate.
18. MONKEY SHOULDER GIFT PACK
A festive season gift pack that’s far better than socks! Famed for its versatility, Monkey Shoulder is the world’s first 100% malt whisky made for mixing. This gift pack includes some great cocktail recipes too.
19. GLENMORANGIE THE CADBOLL ESTATE
Glenmorangie’s first single-estate whisky is a limited-edition, deep and creamy dram. It was created at the famous distillery itself and overseen by its acclaimed whisky creator every step of the way. Aged for 15 years, this bourbon-cask single malt is bound to win the heart of any whisky lover.
20. KRAKEN COLLECTOR’S GLASS GIFT PACK
The Kraken is a unique Caribbean black-spiced rum. It is distilled in Trinidad and Tobago and enriched with an exotic blend of 13 secret spices. The rich black colour comes from the mysterious ink with which, as legend has it, the kraken, a squid of epic proportions, covered its prey. The tall glass is perfect to make a Kraken highball!
21. EL JIMADOR REPOSADO TEQUILA
This limited-release gift pack includes a 750ml bottle of el Jimador Reposado, made in Mexico itself from 100% agave.
• With over two decades of experience in the luxury-drinks market, Wade Bales’ passion is sourcing really great drinks and sharing them with really great people.
• From the December issue of Wanted 2020.