If I Could Buy Only One – April 1st, 2017 VINTAGES Release

As part of our VINTAGES recap for April 1st, we asked our critics:

“If you could buy only one wine from this release – which one would it be and why?”

Our picks from the April 1st VINTAGES release:

John Szabo – I recommend this wine with a caveat: it will surely not be a crowd pleaser. It’s dense but surprisingly lean and firm, with almost tart acids, and relatively low alcohol, just 13.5% declared – definitely not a plush, smooth, easy drinking wine. But what the Domaine Puig-Parahy 2013 Carignane De La Perpignane offers is one of the most minerally expressions in a red wine that I’ve come across in a while. (The term is notably ambiguous, denoting a nebulous range of flavours reminiscent of wet rock and the like, which is more often applied to white wines.) This example is like pure graphite and iron, an extreme reflection of the limestone and schist terroir climate. If minerality in reds remains a mystery to you, or if you’re a rock fanatic, this is a must-try. Best 2017-2025.

Domaine Puig Parahy Carignane De La Perpignane 2013

Sara d’Amato – Even if malbec isn’t your thing, I encourage you to taste Catena’s sub-appellation series Paraje Altamira Malbec. This lighter incarnation of the grape variety is sourced from the sandy soils of Altamira in the high elevation appellation of the Uco Valley. It is fresh as well as fruit forward and has been judiciously treated with oak. It offers wild herbal notes, purple flower and black pepper – a direct effect of this special site that encourages slow maturation of grapes on the vine. I give you my assurance that you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Catena Paraje Altamira Malbec 2014

David Lawrason – I am not a huge fan of Gaja’s lording prices and reputation, but when they can bring their considerable savoir faire down into the realm of mere mortal consumers and offer a $50 wine like the Gaja 2014 Ca’marcanda Promis, I might consider buying it myself. This is a very refined, sleek and taut wine with gorgeous aromas.

Gaja Ca'marcanda Promis 2014

Michael Godel – My cellar is still replete with terrific Rhône Valley wines produced during a ten year period, from 1995 to 2005. I continued to purchase a select few over the proceeding 10 years but will admit to having basically ignored the rest. We live in an age of bone chilling ripeness, gaslighting high alcohol and seemingly inevitable Rhône richesse. We are often faced with wines that seem to know no bounds so it is balance that turns the key to the grand galets machine. The balance in this Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils 2013 Châteauneuf Du Pape is impeccable. You hardly notice the heat and the aromatics are off the charts. Blooming Rhône flowers, cooled by night wet stones and the parity of prevail by perfectly phenolic fruit allows this blend to glide along with sweet grains of tannin. In the context of purity and modernity, this is simply fantastic Châteauneuf-Du-Pape.

Domaine Pierre Usseglio Et Fils Châteauneuf Du Pape 2013

Use these quick links for access to all of our Top Picks in the New Release. Non-Premium members can select from all release dates 30 days prior.

Szabo’s Smart Buys
Lawrason’s Take
Sara’s Sommelier Selections
Michael’s Mix

New Release and VINTAGES Preview


Catena Paraje Altamira Malbec 2014