Buyers’ Guide to VINTAGES – Oct 1st, 2016
by David Lawrason, with notes from Sarah d’Amato and Michael Godel
Welcome to October, already. At VINTAGES this marks the beginning of the surge of wines with steeper prices – the first tranche that might be considered for holiday gifting. And given the craziness of the buying in late November and December, you might be well advised to shop early, even if you are not quite in the mood.
And of course there is always next weekend’s Thanksgiving dinner, which in itself is worthy of higher quality wines – bottles with the flavour intensity, complexity and length to stand up to Big Bird. This might be the year to branch out and try a Garnacha from Spain, a pinot from South Africa, a white Rhone blend from California, an oily sylvaner from Alsace, or even a great Chianti Classico Gran Selezione.
In case you missed it, last week John presented a great perspective on Spanish wine through the lens of an outspoken and perceptive Telmo Rodriguez. (Rioja is featured in this release, there is a VINTAGES Rioja walkaround October 5). If you were among the lucky who attended the Spanish Wine Fair on Sept 19, you know that the somnolent giant of Iberia is indeed in break-out and discovery mode. But at the fair I was so frustrated by the number of intriguing wines that are actually not easily available. Is anyone else getting really upset by this entrenched situation? Hopefully the arrival of the LCBO’s e-commerce site, with its promised tripling of offerings to 15,000 within a year, will finally begin to alleviate the problem.
But back to the here and now. Sara, Michael and I have assembled an intriguing group of recommendations that are hitting the shelves as we speak. There are some lower priced gems, some very good mid-priced buys and more expensive wines that are still decent value. You can quickly access even more of our favourites by clicking on the quick links to Critics’ picks below. We begin with a very classy Italian white on which we three have aligned.
Our Top Picks from the Oct 1st VINTAGES release:
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Our VINTAGES Preview selections are only visible to our paid subscribers (Premium Members). Non-paying members will see the recommendations 30 days after publication. We have implemented changes around our VINTAGES content including a reduction in our annual Premium Membership rate, and the introduction of a new three-month rate. We would ask you to take a moment to understand why we are making these changes and invite you to subscribe today to unlock our top picks.
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And that’s it for this week. Having already begun tasting for the large October 15 release I can tell you there are many more good wines en route. Meanwhile I look forward to seeing some of you Monday night at the sold out Concha Y Toro dinner.
VP of Wine
From VINTAGES October 1st, 2016
Use these quick links for immediate access to all of our Top Picks in the New Release.
Editors Note: You can find complete critic reviews by clicking on any of the highlighted wine names, bottle images or links. Premium subscribers to WineAlign see all critics reviews immediately. Non-paid members wait 30 days to see new reviews. Premium membership has its privileges; like first access to great wines!