If I Could Buy Only One – Aug 5th, 2017 VINTAGES Release

As part of our VINTAGES recap, 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 Aug 5th VINTAGES release:

David Lawrason: Barrel aged sauvignon – especially when done well – is one of my favourite white wines, going back many years to when I experienced some great white Bordeaux. But it is not a style that is done very well very often. Perhaps because it is more difficult – than with chardonnay – to get the oak flavours to fit within the nervy, high acid sauvignon flavour profile. But every once in a while along comes a great example. This Te Mata Estate 2014 Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc is from a top wrung producer in Hawke’s Bay. It has an intense, very complex nose of wood spice, green olive, avocado, lime, candle wax and some smokiness. It is mid-weight, very firm, brisk and even tart-edged with very similar flavours on the palate. It hits excellent length indeed. Great wine that stands against the best barrel-aged sauvignons in the world.

Te Mata Estate Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2014

John Szabo, MS: I’m willing to bet you haven’t tasted too many Armenian wines. Well, here’s your opportunity, with minimal risk. The 2015 Karas Red is a deep and satisfying blend of syrah, tannat, petit verdot, cabernet franc, montepulciano and indigenous Khndoghni grown in the volcanic soils of Mount Ararat at over 1000m elevation. Flying French winemaker Michel Rolland consults so you can expect modern styling and international polish, and indeed this is very dark and fruity, reminiscent of malbec from Mendoza. I like the generous and plump black plum, black berry, dark chocolate, and sweet oak-derived spice, though it’s not particularly woody. Tannins are likewise plush and velvety, while acids hold everything together. A tasty red, and conversation starter to be sure, from very likely the oldest wine growing area on earth. Best 2017-2022.

Karas Red 2015

Michael Godel: The grape (grüner veltliner) is not exactly a household name and that’s a shame because when it pleases, it really pleases. I can’t think of a recent example that does this with any more ability than the Hirsch Heiligenstein 2014 Grüner Veltliner. The fleshy nature and very fruit forward juiciness of this grüner veltliner is a bit of a Kamptal revelation but also highly unexpected. Rarely do things like peach, lemon curd and pineapple enter the varietal discussion, which could be very distracting, but they are not because white pepper, sweet herbiage and green apple bites are also part of the variegated mix. A salty mineral line also streaks on through. The extra few dollars spent will replay tenfold from Heiligenstein.

Hirsch Heiligenstein Grüner Veltliner 2014

Sara d’Amato – It is often the case with wine that you get what you pay for. Because there is a lot of great value in the category of rosé and we have come to expect refreshing simplicity from this style of wine, we have a tendency to gawk at a premium price tag. Conversely, price doesn’t always guarantee quality, however in the case of By Ott 2016 Rosé is case, you can be assured that you’ll enjoy the complexity and quality you should expect at this price. The “By Ott” label of Domaine Ott assembles wine from select growers in Provence to produce an assemblage of great synergy, elegance and polish that doesn’t fail to refresh.

By Ott Rosé 2016

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 Selection
Michael’s Mix

New Release and VINTAGES Preview


Arboleda Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014