If I Could Buy Only One – February 3rd, 2018 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 February 3rd VINTAGES release:

John Szabo, MS: In keeping with the Mediterranean theme, my ‘only one’ is the Feudo Maccari 2015 Noto Nero d’Avola. Not only is it a lovely smoky, lifted and savoury, liquorice-tinged leathery red that represents the island, and the Mediterranean well at a nice price, but Nero d’avola is also a variety you should be getting more familiar with. Given its heat and sun-loving nature, and natural inclination to produce balanced wines even in the warmest climates, nero is already being trialled in multiple new world locations (Australia is doing particularly interesting things with it). You might call it the grape of the future in a period of global warming.

Feudo Maccari Noto Nero d'Avola 2015

David Lawrason: Great value vintage port is rather hard to come by. One needs to go beyond the big names and top vintages (like 2011), which can command over $100 nowadays. My ‘Only One’ from this release is the 2014 Vale Meão Vintage Port. This smaller, very fine producer from deep in the upper Douro, has delivered a young port with a great sense of equilibrium, tension and refinement. Love the pure, ripe boysenberry/blueberry fruit plus fine fresh herbs/garrigue, so evocative of the Douro. Firm acidity resides here as well, and the finish nicely trails a sense of minerality. Into the cellar for about five years.

Vale Meão Vintage Port 2014

Michael Godel: True blue quality in Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon comes at a price that most of us just can’t afford. That is why the Girard 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is such a sure thing, the top bet for “if only one”, must try, best buy. Wines of such structure in Napa always cost two or three times as much. Girard’s is richer, gritty-grippy saltier and crushes with more hedonism because of the aridity of a drought vintage and from an intensity that is 2014. This cabernet sauvignon is simply a huge wine  and any decision to pop now before the end of this decade should be done so with aeration and some serious thought as to the marbled protein that will be served alongside. This is one of those deals you hesitate about mentioning because you want to keep the secret all to yourself but I’m pleased to share the story and the wealth.

Girard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Sara d’Amato: Cannonau, otherwise known as grenache, was likely to have originated in the isle of Sardinia where both human and vines alike are known for their extraordinarily long lifespans. This local diet of longevity consists of a good deal of cannonau and here is a great one from Audarya that might have you see a few more years, or very least, contribute to your overall happiness. Challenge your senses by digging deeper here to fully appreciate the subtleties of this ethereal wine. What is easy to appreciate is its saltiness, pure, sweet red fruit and the lively black pepper that lingers on your tongue.

Audarya Cannonau di Sardinia 2016

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

New Release and VINTAGES Preview


Parés Baltà Mas Petit Garnatxa Cabernet Sauvignon 2015