If I Could Buy Only One – January 21st, 2017 VINTAGES Release

As part of our VINTAGES recap for January 21st, 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 21st VINTAGES release:

Michael Godel – I am always on the lookout for wine off the beaten path. The term could actually be considered a metaphor for “authentic” and this is what winemakers and consumers, even if they need to be enlightened, really want. Winemaker Patricia Tóth’s Planeta Noto Nero d’Avola is such a wine, grown on the white Sicilian soils of Noto and please do think about this. The mineral is salinity and that saline infiltration tears into bright bred red fruit, fragments it like the rock it came from and brings a brightness of being to otherwise dense and cimmerian nd’a. Today, the production from lesser, even totally unknown grape varieties, despite the zealous search for them by hipsters and geeks, is still considered a marginal pastime and a financial risk. Terrific wines like these are not inexpensive to produce. All sorts of meat clinging to and wishing to fall or be teeth-torn off the smoked bone will work wonders alongside this varietal-defiant, return to how things going forward must be Planeta nero d’avola.

Planeta Noto Nero d'Avola 2012

David Lawrason – It’s no secret that the “Bin wines” from Penfolds have long received high ratings from me, and others. They are absolute classics; defining a nation of wine in terms of their ripeness, girth and depth, but made in a way that respects the Euro notions of restraint, complexity and structure. The Bin 2 Shiraz Mataro may be the lowest priced, and least well known of the group, and somewhat less structured, but it very much belongs in the line-up. There is a wonderful fragrance with perfectly ripened black fruit with signature Aussie mint and chocolate. It could be from nowhere else, and it is so nicely generous and warming. I would buy a handful of bottles for perhaps warmer weather sunset bbqs that feature high quality rare steaks or lambs.

Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz Mataro 2014

John Szabo, MS – Although I wasn’t able to taste much from this release, I was impressed, yet again, by the sultry and decadent Lavau Vacqueyras. Like previous vintages, the 2014 is an excellent, very spicy and complex Vacqueyras from the Lavau family, dense, dark, savoury and full, a blend of half grenache, with 40% syrah and the rest mourvèdre. Tannins are pleasantly grippy and acids in balance, while savoury dark fruit, pot pourri and spice linger nicely. This is your winter red, though if possible, I’d give it another year or two in the cellar to come round; in my experience, this wine ages very well.

Lavau Vacqueyras 2014

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
All January 21st Reviews

New Release and VINTAGES Preview


Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon