If I Could Buy Only One – March 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 March 3rd VINTAGES release:

John Szabo, MS: A terrific wine to buy in multiples this week is the Bastide Miraflors 2015 Syrah Vieilles Vignes Grenache. You’ll want several bottles on hand for those first BBQs of the season, yet another sharp value from the Mediterranean, and Domaine Lafage in the Roussillon in particular, whose wines are utterly over-represented on my top buys lists. This is a custom cuvee created for Eric Solomon of European cellars, a sappy, very ripe strawberry and raspberry-flavoured blend of old vine grenache with syrah, bold and satisfying, with evident density and old vine concentration. There’s a nice lick of scorched earth-schist and wild herbs to add complexity. Best 2018-2025.

Bastide Miraflors Syrah Vieilles Vignes Grenache 2015

David Lawrason: Mount Veeder to me always speaks of deep, ripe blueberry/blackberry fruit, and this The Hess Collection 19 Block Mountain Cuvée pours it on. It’s a creative blend of malbec, cabernet and syrah that oozes bright if slightly jammy fruit – along with stone and twiggy herbs nicely framed by oak. It is full bodied, concentrated, firm and herbal. Great power and length and composure.

The Hess Collection 19 Block Mountain Cuvée 2015

Michael Godel: I recently attended the most elucidative Australian wines seminar led by Mark Davidson during which he poured and discussed the OZ trend towards alternative varieties (like graciano, nero d’avola and dolcetto) made in a light, fresh and gulpable style. This ideal seems to be translating across and back to the grapes we are accustomed to knowing, like shiraz and grenache. A perfect example is the Hancock & Hancock 2015 Mclaren Vale Home Vineyard Shiraz/Grenache. Two Hancocks are better than one and the two salubrious meets symbiotically supportive varieties combine for simple, basic and understated pleasure. The spicy bite and ripe plum of shiraz joins the smoky culture and red cherry ubiquity of grenache. It’s just firm and grippy enough and needs no reason to sidle over into the tangent of multi-dimensionality. This is a terrific example of McLaren Vale transparency and is a perfect deal for light, refreshing and enjoyable drinking.

Hancock & Hancock Mclaren Vale Home Vineyard Shiraz Grenache 2015

Sara d’Amato – This fresh, high altitude white from the foothills of the Alps has a multi-purpose appeal. Use it as an easy-sipping aperitif, match it with raw seafood or, plan to pair it with rich fondues and savory raclette as do those from Savoie. The 2016 Sabot de Vénus Apremont is alpine fresh, this light and lively white from the local jaquère grape is distinctively mineral-driven with alluring notes of blossom, white pepper, evergreen and a touch of liquorice. Apremont wines are rare find in these parts so take advantage while you can.

Sabot De Vénus Apremont Savoie 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


WineAlign Exchange