If I Could Buy Only One – Nov 25th, 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 Nov 25th VINTAGES release:

David Lawrason: Long time readers will know I am a huge pinot noir fan. Some of my earliest and best pinot memories are from California, indeed from this very region, so I have a deep fondness for the California approach to pinot.True, sometimes it can be too jammy and hot, but when a winemaker hits it right it is absolutely delicious. And this Fess Parker 2014 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir is truly delicious California pinot from a great site, with all kinds of lift, tension, richness and warmth. Love the intense cran-cherry fruit with herbs, gentle wood smoke and vanillin. It is medium weight with firm acidity, slightly green sappy tannin which supplies tension, and some alcohol heat. And the red fruit carries long on the finish.

Fess Parker Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014

Michael Godel: In a word, balance. Well two, balance and brilliance. Cave Spring CSV Riesling 2015 takes the reigns from itself and stands firm. The fruit is in charge, the mineral a support system unparalleled and the minor celebratory sweetness a mere afterthought when it comes to rounding out the complexity. CSV is pretty darn back in ancient dolomite time travel and escarpments high great in 2015, uplifting, serious but yet not so. The numbers trip the light fantastic, fooling like gold and bones dry are seemingly preserved in karst but impossibly not. The sensoria apprised reel from the finest acidity it can possibly carry in its veritable truth. Deep lemon intent and a new wax vernacular speak the clarity of a wine that listens to its own expert advice. Might as well have made itself. CSV 2015 is one of the finest rieslings ever made from Ontario grapes.

Cave Spring CSV Riesling 2015

John Szabo, MS: It’s tough to chose only one from this massive release, but if forced onto a deserted island, I’d be most tempted by the Petra Potenti 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. That is, of course, if it were a temperate-cool island, not tropical, for Petra is a dense and ripe, full bodied red, not for beach side sipping. Its from the Maremma-based (Suvereto) project of father and daughter team Vittorio and Fancesca Moretti, also owners of highly-regarded Bellavista and Contadi Castaldi in Franciacorta (better for the beach). Soils on the estate are mostly volcanic tufo, which I can only claim is at least part of the secret behind this exceptional cabernet. In the rarified Tuscan world, I would call this a very sharp value indeed, and it would make a fine “insider’s” gift, premium priced but not excessive, red, and from a well-loved region and grape variety – ultra safe and delicious. Just point out that although you can drink now, it’ll be better in the early-mid ‘20s.

Petra Potenti Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Sara d’Amato: The innovative Cave de Tain co-op has racked up serious critical admiration over the past decades and works with over 300 sustainable growers in the northern Rhône. Most of their energy is focused on the relatively large appellation of Crozes-Hermitage of which they produce 50% of the region’s wine. The Cave De Tain 2015 Grand Classique Crozes Hermitage is a pure Rhône syrah, textbook in the best of sense. Raised from granitic soils, this fresh, floral and peppery incarnation shows impressive finesse and depth of flavour.

Cave De Tain Grand Classique Crozes Hermitage 2015

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.

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

New Release and VINTAGES Preview