If I Could Buy Only One – February 4th, 2017 VINTAGES Release

As part of our VINTAGES recap for February 4th, 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 February 4th VINTAGES release:

Sara d’Amato – Chenin blanc has become fashionable for the good reason that it has the potential to produce exhilarating wines across the globe that express a true sense of place and time. The region of Savennières in the western Loire Valley is perhaps now best known for the polarizing style of biodynamically produced chenin made by Nicolas Joly. The slightly less esoteric but still wild and compelling Savennières of Domaine F L caught my attention this past week. It is a demanding wine but ultimately rewarding, goosebump-enducing and thought provoking.

Domaine F L Savennières Chenin 2012

Michael Godel – Named for the young ducks and their voracious appetites for snails on which they go to town in the vineyard, Avondale Jonty’s Ducks Pekin White is one of South Africa’s great perennial values in appellative white blends. Chenin Blanc driven, with some white muscat, semillon and roussanne. Why Ducks? In his organic approach to farming, winemaker Johnathan Grieve says “for each problem there is a natural predator available to do the job.” The holistic approach applies to the winemaking as well. Jonty’s Ducks is a bit leaner in 2015 so I sense a bit more chenin austerity than the last vintage but also more potential complexity.

John Szabo, MS – I’d almost think this was being sold at 50% off the regular price: the Avondale Jonty’s Ducks Pekin White ($15.95) from Paarl is another lovely, fullish, flavourful, ripe but balanced, seriously stony and fruity white from this staunchly organic producer based in Paarl. This has quite amazing depth and length in the price category, and lovely smoky minerality. Can you ask anything more of a wine at this price?

Avondale Jonty's Ducks Pekin White 2015

David Lawrason – The price of top notch Napa Valley cabernet has risen beyond affordability for many punters, who can only stand on the sidelines and watch (or drink Coonawarra cabs instead). But here is a chance to join in, with a delicious mountain cab that offers real value, especially if cellared for another few years. The Mount Veeder Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is from a truly great Napa vintage and it has the bones –without being austere and gruff – to age for a decade, probably a lot longer. And I just love those mountain aromatics of violets and blueberry/cassis fruit nicely nestled amid chocolaty and spicy oak. It’s like being out berry picking on the forested slopes of Mt. Veeder itself.

Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

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

Michael’s Mix
Lawrason’s Take
Sara’s Sommelier Selections
All February 4th Reviews

New Release and VINTAGES Preview


J. Lohr Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir 2014