If I Could Buy Only One – June 9th, 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 June 9th VINTAGES release:

John Szabo, MS: Versatile reds are de rigeur in the summer, served with a light chill alongside anything from the BBQ, or a charcuterie, cheese and cold roasted chicken-picnic in the park. A wine that fits the bill perfectly this week is the Pelissero 2015 Munfrina Dolcetto d’Alba. It’s a ripe, fleshy, fullish yet firm Dolcetto, satisfying and chewy, deep and fruity. Wood is not a factor, and fresh blackberry fruit leads on the palate. Acids are lively despite the evident ripeness, in a nicely polished, modern style.

Pelissero Munfrina Dolcetto D'alba 2015

Michael Godel: The vineyard gains another year, the farming and winemaking too and so fumé blanc out of Rosomel gets better, as things often do with age and wisdom. ’Twas a great year for growing grapes on this amphitheatre of a vineyard block up on the Bench and no love lost for sauvignon blanc neither. There is tension, wound intensity and fierce competitiveness in the Hidden Bench 2016 Rosomel Vineyard Fumé Blanc, perhaps the most Sancerre and least Pouilly-Fumé it has ever been and so the declaration leans to saying it is “a mineral year.” Nothing against the fruit because the personality cult of lean, crisp and crunchy is in full order, though each sip after sip speaks in those Sancerre or Chablis by way of Saint Bris terms.

David Lawrason: I am a big fan of premium white Bordeaux, California Fume Blanc and any successful attempt to make top barrel-aged sauvignon blanc and semillon. The herbal, spice flavour profile of the Hidden Bench 2016 Rosomel Vineyard Fumé Blanc appeals to me, and in many cases the value is far better than barreled chardonnays at the same price. From old vines in the Rosomel Vineyard this was fermented and aged in equal parts of three vessels; small French oak, stainless steel and concrete egg. I am not sure if that has helped create the superb balance of this wine, but the firm yet elegant texture and very complex aromas are quite special. Expect well woven aromas and flavours of sub-tropical fruit, herbs, lime, wood spice and flinty minerality. It’s fresh yet rich with excellent length.

Hidden Bench Rosomel Vineyard Fumé Blanc 2016

Sara d’Amato: It’s hot and I’m thirsty! These are the overarching reasons for my selection of Chivite’s Las Fincas rosado this week. I love the fact that this rosé feels like Provence but is generously flavoured as opposed to austere and offers plenty of tongue-tingling texture. With less levity, I should point out that the wine’s notable versatility with food is due to a collaborative approach with chef Juan-Mari Arzak based in San Sebastién, a renowned rosé devotee. The relationship between Arzak and Julián Chivite is decades old and this wine is born from what I imagine were late night conversations over deliciously lengthy meals. A characteristic Navarra blend of garnacha and tempranillo pulled by both Atlantic and continental influences, this superbly drinkable rosé is so much more than thirst quenching.

Chivite Las Fincas Vino De La Tierra Rosado 2017

Baron de Ley


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.

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

New Release and VINTAGES Preview