If I Could Buy Only One – March 18th, 2017 VINTAGES Release
As part of our VINTAGES recap for March 18th, 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 March 18th VINTAGES release:
David Lawrason – I have always had a fondness for fine white Bordeaux, those silky, exotic blends of semillon and sauvignon blanc usually given an extra richness and refinement thanks to fermentation and again in barrique. This example from the venerable Sauternes producer Château Guiraud, is not as rich as many, nor as expensive. It is 70% sauvignon and 30% semillon barrel fermented and aged in French oak for eight months. The oak just whispers in the creamy texture and vague spiciness. It is more about the guava fruit, fine herbs and sense of wet stone. A bit warming, fairly soft but not at all blowsy. Very classy white at a great price.
Michael Godel – The ability of Craig Wismer’s Foxcroft Block to gift fruit, regardless it seems of vintage, is one of Niagara’s great stories. Even more special is how it allows each producer to own it and create value from differentiation. I really think Kevin Panagapka’s 2027 Cellars Wismer Vineyard Foxcroft Block Chardonnay from this Wismer Vineyard block takes more risk than other Foxcroft efforts and they are numerous. The reward here is in the pudding, literally, in proofed fruit set up for unbreakable structure. This comes from a very good vintage, as good as the previous two I would say and creates even more buzz for what will come next. At $23 you will have to search the world over to find any similar opportunity to taste such high quality, cool-climate chardonnay.
Sara d’Amato – Snowdrifts and ski chalets, fondues and raclettes are the features associated with the alpine Savoie region of France. Despite what may seem like a cool climate region, the wines of Savoie are remarkably diverse and due to careful and disparate site selection, can be almost Mediterranean in warmth. Finely ripened reds are not a rarity. If you haven’t heard much about Savoie, bordering Switzerland and just south of the Jura, it is due to its relative small production. It is therefore a treat to discover a wine made out of the local “mondeuse” variety which is typically floral, peppery and is nicely structured. This example from Jean Perrier et Fils, who are a fixture of the region, offers a great deal of sensual appeal and spot-on typicity.
John Szabo -Despite the challenges of of the 2013 vintage in the southern Rhône, particularly with grenache for which yields were down considerably, I think the vintage will go down as one of those ‘sleeper’ years that turns out superb wines over time. Finesse and vibrancy are words to describe these wines, rarities in this part of the world to be sure, with silky tannins. This is true especially for the Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf Du Pape, a generously proportioned, complex and spicy wine, fullish but balanced, vibrant and zesty, with a definitive measure of finesse and elegance, and terrific length and depth. It’s one for classicists and hedonists alike, with genuine depth and complexity. Drink now, or better yet hold into the late 20s.
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