If I Could Buy Only One – Sept 16th, 2017 VINTAGES Release

As part of our VINTAGES recap, 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 Sept 16th VINTAGES release:

John Szabo, MS: Tuscan wines far overshadow those produced in neighbouring Umbria, but mainly for historic reasons rather than quality considerations. For the savvy buyer, this spells potential deals. Vineyards around the charming village of Montefalco have been producing fine wines for centuries, mainly from the local sagrantino grape, yielding well-structured, highly age worthy wines, now under the Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG. But for an earlier-maturing expression, Montefalco Rosso is the DOC to look for, made from a blend of mostly sangiovese with a splash of sagrantino and occasionally others. …Regional-leading producer Scacciadiavoli’s 2012 Montefalco Rosso is a superb example, nicely mature now, firm but polished by time, savoury, complex and complete. I also love the wet rock flavour in this example, unusually pronounced for a full bodied red wine. Best 2017-2024.


David Lawrason: My only one pick is an amplified northern Rhone syrah, and a great value if you are fan of the genre. And I am a huge fan of the genre. So I urge you to buy a bottle of Laurus Saint Joseph to find out if you are a fan or not. This has an intense, firecracker nose of cordite, black pepper, smoked sausage, dill and olive greenness. Very smoky; very intense and engaging. Excellent length. Boom!

Laurus Saint Joseph 2015

Michael Godel: Whether you want to believe the seven day weather forecast or not is entirely up to you but I see a near future filled with Rosé temperatures as good as it’s been all (what) summer long. A newer Languedoc appellation known as the IGP Côtes de Thongue carries with it some ancient sea fossil magic. Domaine Montrose Prestige Rosé 2016 is from Bernard and Olivier Coste, winemakers together in a recorded family lineage going back to 1701. Though the mineral-saline southern France idealism is captured in every proper and typical way it is the fantastic fruit that captures the heart and the imagination. The red carpet culminates at the welcome mat laid out in front of the open door, ready and willing to celebrate the return of fruit in Rosé.

Domaine Montrose Prestige Rosé 2016

Sara d’Amato: Like a cashmere throw, this enveloping Cahors from Château Haut Monplaisir is luxuriously comforting and is unlike the more typically edgy, meaty and herbal expressions of malbec from this southwestern French growing region. The impressive concentration and dark as night opacity is partially due to the use of 35+ year old sustainably farmed vines, a substantial maceration period and a process that does not include fining or filtration. Despite the wine’s intensity, it is balanced with restrained use of oak and no apparent sweetness. The tannins are fine ripe and hit that highly desired velvety mark. Buy a few, open one now and tuck the others away until well into the next decade.

Château Haut Monplaisir Pur Plaisir Malbec 2012

Use these quick links for access to all of our Top Picks in the New Release. Non-Premium members can select from all release dates 30 days prior.

Szabo’s Smart Buys
Lawrason’s Take
Michael’s Mix
Sara’s Sommelier Selections

New Release and VINTAGES Preview


J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay 2015