If I Could Buy Only One – Dec 10th, 2016 VINTAGES Release

As part of our VINTAGES recap for December 10th, 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 December 10th VINTAGES release:

David Lawrason – I am always on the scent of pinot noir that over-delivers. And I am very pleased to find the Louis Latour 2013 Domaine de Valmoissine on this release. It is both priced well and sophisticated enough to enjoyed liberally over the holidays. I would have no qualms setting as many bottles of this as needed alongside the Christmas turkey, with a couple in reserve for turkey sandwich leftovers on Boxing Day or beyond. Behind the value there is an experienced pinot winemaking house working some magic with cheaper fruit grown in the warmer, less well known Var zone southeast of Burgundy. May lack just a bit of Burgundy finesse and restraint, but I love it is exuberance and flavour precision, with cherry pie fruitiness, cinnamon, herbs and wood vanillin. I also like the price a great deal.

Louis Latour Domaine De Valmoissine Pinot Noir 2013

Michael Godel – It’s December and the LCBO is buzzing with indiscriminate buyers everywhere, snapping up product as if the apocalypse might happen at any moment. You are a discerning kind of consumer who won’t buy just anything but you need a good red and you need it now! Here’s the ticket. Quinta Das Setencostas Alenquer 2012 is different, it’s delicious and it’s inexpensive. It’s a flat-out juicy, come and get me Portuguese beauty from Alenquer (where??), true to its firm, gritty and powerful roots. It’s made from local grapes you’ve likely never heard of; castelao, camarate, tinta miuda and pret-martinho. Floral too and with a few years of age not showing any signs of slowing down. This shows off the greatness and usefulness of value-driven winemaking. Acidity is spot on and even a shot of tannin comes out like a cannonball. Did not except this epiphany. Bring on the Barque-crusted slabs of back ribs.

Quinta Das Setencostas Alenquer 2012

John Szabo, MS – When it’s time for a special bottle to hit the table, I’ll be looking at Elisabetta Gnudi’s Caparzo 2011 Brunello di Montalcino. This vineyard from the north side of Montalcino yields such a lovely wine, fragrant, pure, balanced and polished, while still retaining that lovely savoury-floral sangiovese character. It has the class and elegance, and brand name recognition one counts on for special occasions, and in the rarified world of Brunello, it represents terrific value – one of the best in the 2011 vintage. Tannins are smooth and acids are balanced, making this a wine for the short or mid-term, but it will be a wine of great hedonistic pleasure in the meantime. Best 2016-2023.

Caparzo Brunello Di Montalcino 2011

Sara d’Amato – I cannot recommend a better value in this release than the Douloufakis Femina 2015 produced from an indigenous version of the malvasia grape variety to Crete that offers intense aromatic qualities. A top producer on Greece’s largest island, Douloufakis farms exclusively organic. Compelling and idiosyncratic, the wine pours a deep golden hue and the aromas that waft from the glass are a mix between a sea breeze and tropical fruit. The floral, muscat like character is typical of the grape adding notes of jasmine, orange blossom and a hint of ginger. The palate is completely dry and offers a surprising touch of tannic texture which balances its unoaked opulence. A conversation starter and highly versatile with food.

Douloufakis Femina 2015

From VINTAGES December 1oth, 2016:

Szabo’s VINTAGES Preview – Top Scoring & Premium Buys

Buyers’ Guide to VINTAGES – Grab and Go Values

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 December 10th 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!


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