If I Could Buy Only One – January 7th, 2017 VINTAGES Release

As part of our VINTAGES recap for January 7th, 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 January 7th VINTAGES release:

Michael Godel – Drinking sparkling wine in January is a contagious and contiguous must for any self-respecting wine geek but who can afford Champagne after the bank-rolling of the holiday season? Fear not for alternative fizz is coming your way. Cuvée Jean Philippe Blanquette De Limoux 2014 is under $15 and will not disappoint. There are some who would say if you can’t afford Champagne you should instead look for anything called Crémant. I would not sway you away from that advice but would suggest to add Limoux into the alternative mix. Fizz from the southern French Occitanie is also traditional method bubbles and highly capable with its near-always guarantee of suggestive oxidation meets preserved lemon and leesy notes of great texture. This example by Domaine Rosier is admittedly creamy and suggestively sweeter than some but balance is afforded through ripe acidity and lingering spirit. It’s toasty too, almost Chablis flinty and quite complex. Must have bubbles don’t get more affordable than this!

Cuvée Jean Philippe Blanquette de Limoux 2014

David Lawrason – As the world gathers in Wellington, New Zealand later this month for one of the world’s great pinot noir conflabs, there will be much discussion about the great pinots now emerging from sub-regions all over the country (see my article based on the 2014 event), but the real reason pinot is NZ’s number one variety, and the reason the world should be excited, is affordable pinot like this one from Giesen Wines. I didn’t quite score this 90 points as it missed some final depth, but everything else is just right. There is classic NZ cherry-raspberry fruit nicely fitted with oak spice and vanillin. There is a touch of evergreen freshness. There is just enough acidity to balance the sweet fruit on the palate, and just enough warmth to provide a sense of power. It drinks very easily. Thank goodness that buying two bottles remains affordable.

Giesen Pinot Noir 2014

Sara d’Amato – ‘Tis the season to tuck yourself in with a heartening class of syrah as the temperatures continue to drop and the season for celebration has come to an end. My top choice for winter hibernation is Marquis De Montferrat’s 2012 Saint Joseph from France’s northern Rhône Valley. This musky, peppery find with fresh cassis and dark berry fruit is wildly seductive and daydream inducing. Mouth-filling but not heavy, it offers savory garrigue notes and spot-on typicity.

Marquis De Montferrat Saint Joseph 2012

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 January 7th Reviews

New Release and VINTAGES Preview


Soprasasso Amarone della Valpolicella 2012