Many Game of Thrones fans are still reeling from the conclusion of season six. Deception, disasters and dragons ruled the day and, as has become the hallmark of the series, plenty of major characters didn’t make it through the episode alive. However, in a show that rarely gives reason for optimism and celebration, there was one high point that gave viewers something to hope for: the return of the King in the North (or is it Queen now?).
We celebrate this momentous occasion—House Stark’s resurrection and a season finally ending on a positive note—by offering a list of wines that honor the North. From the northern Rhône to Canada and Italy—including a Barolo that will certainly age much longer than any of the kings of Westeros—these bottlings all celebrate northern regions. We round out our picks with a Finger Lakes ice wine lest anyone forget… Winter is Coming.
Germano Ettore 2012 Prapò (Barolo); 94 points, $75. Aromas of licorice, dark berry, dried herb, leather and a balsamic note lead the way. The firm palate offers ripe Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, pipe tobacco and licorice while firm, velvety tannins lend finesse. This won’t need years to come around but it also shows staying power. Drink 2019–2027. —Kerin O’Keefe
E. Guigal 2012 Brune et Blonde de Guigal (Côte Rôtie); 91 points, $78. The 2012 vintage was reasonably warm, and this wine is ripe and creamy in texture, with ground clove and cracked pepper notes accenting plummy fruit. Vanilla and bacon notes chime in on the slightly dusty finish. Drink now–2025. —Joe Czerwinski
Township 7 2015 Sauvignon Blanc (Okanagan Valley); 91 points, $18. Opening with classic peavine aromas, this is a bright, fleshy and pungent wine that should delight fans of Loire Valley-style Sauvignon Blancs. Rich, cascading flavors of fig, pear, grapefruit and star fruit keep the mouthfeel lively. Just 10% was barrel-fermented, the rest in stainless. Editors’ Choice. —Paul Gregutt
Abbazia di Novacella 2015 Kerner (Alto Adige Valle Isarco); 90 points, $20. Intense yellow stone fruit, grapefruit, smoky flint and nutmeg aromas jump out of the glass. The bright, generous palate doles out juicy apricot, mature peach and orange zest notes, framed by tangy acidity. A mineral note lifts the lingering finish. —K.O.
Standing Stone 2014 Ice Gewurztraminer (Finger Lakes); $25, 92 points. Pristine white peach, lychee and honeysuckle notes are framed by a laser-edged strike of acidity in this vivacious ice wine. While its blossomy, perfumed exuberance is pure Gewürztraminer, its crystalline demeanor and wildflower-honey sweetness exhibits a classic ice-wine elegance. —Anna Lee C. Iijima