If I Could Buy Only One – Nov 12th, 2016 VINTAGES Release

As part of our VINTAGES recap for November 12th, 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 November 12th VINTAGES release:

David Lawrason – In a release groaning with so many tempting wines, it is extra difficult to focus on one. I would love to assemble, for example, the second and third labels from the famous estates of Bolgheri, Italy. But this exercise is about one wine, and I would go to Hidden Bench 2012 Terroir Caché Meritage. It is simply one of the finest, most promising Niagara “Bordeaux” reds to date, and I would buy a case or more to demonstrate to future students of the Canadian Wine Scholar course, just what can be achieved in Ontario when the impeccable quality focus of owner Harald Thiel and winemaker Marlize Beyers are brought to bear. There is a tight handful of consistently excellent Niagara wineries, and Hidden Bench is the index finger. Here, the lavish (for Niagara) fruit and impeccable barrel treatment has created as fine, and well structured Bordeaux red as yet produced in Ontario. Can’t wait to taste the even more expensive 2012 Brunante.

Hidden Bench Terroir Caché Meritage 2012

Michael Godel – The wines of Quintarelli are certainly iconic and often polarizing. Quality is never in question but the rift is a question of a portfolio of wines that cost more than from other producers of Valpolicella and in the Veneto. Whatever your take may be, who could argue that the dubious house’s first to bottle and to market Quintarelli 2012 Primofiore, is a wine that offers great value. If follows the rule of Quintarelli; blessed with naturally curated character, of exotics, salumi, and a remarkable resistance to astringency. Here’s the thing. Everyone should taste, own and gift a Quintarelli in their lifetime. Here is the perfect opportunity to mark x’s in all three of those bucket list boxes.

Quintarelli Primofiore 2012

Sara d’Amato – Kiona is a Yakama Nation word meaning “brown hills” and refers to the appellation we now know as Red Mountain, a small AVA located within Yakima Valley. It is heaven for cabernet sauvignon and receives more sunshine than most of Napa. Its chilly evening temperatures ensure a great deal of structure and vibrancy in their lauded cabernets. Kiona is one of the first to plant in this premium spot and now owns over 250 acres. The Kiona Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is a spot-on example of these highly structured Red Mountain cabernets that also offer delicacy on their mid-weight palate. You can tuck this away for 5 years or more or enjoy on its own with a short decant.

Kiona Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

John Szabo, MS – If you’re a fan of firm, savoury reds, then you’ll want to buy a few bottles of Thymiopoulos 2013 Young Vines Xinomavro from Naoussa in Macedonia, northern Greece. Thymiopoulos is one of the region’s young, up and coming stars (in fact already quite established) making some of the most compelling and progressive wines from several terroirs. Xinomavro is one of Greece’s finest red varieties, stylistically along the lines of nebbiolo or sangiovese, which is to say a lovely, fresh, savoury, herbal-tinged, red berry fruit-flavoured wine, juicy and succulent, infinitely drinkable. This hits all of the right notes in the price category, a great introduction to the grape.

Thymiopoulos Young Vines Xinomavro

From VINTAGES November 12th, 2016:

VINTAGES Preview – Szabo’s Quality-Price-Pleasure Picks

Buyers’ Guide to VINTAGES – Under $25 Value finds at VINTAGES

Use these quick links for immediate access to all of our Top Picks in the New Release.

Lawrason’s Take
Sara’s Sommelier Selections
Michael’s Mix
Szabo’s Smart Buys
All November 12th Reviews

New Release and VINTAGES Preview

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!


Dog Point 2015 Sauvignon Blanc