John Szabo’s VINTAGES Preview – Nov 24, 2018

Best of the New World, Including Washington State; Plus Special Beaujolais Report

By John Szabo, MS, with notes from David Lawrason and Michael Godel

John Szabo, MS

John Szabo, MS

It felt a bit this week like panning for gold: lots of rocks amongst the nuggets, not so much rush. The New World selections from the November 24th release are largely overpriced and ordinary, with the notable exceptions the WineAlign crü has sifted out for you below. Washington State, the mini theme, bucked the trend, with daring and atypical, mostly successful wines. Kudos to the LCBO on that; top picks below. And finally, it’s also Beaujolais Nouveau season. The selection is predictably poor, though if you insist, I have one option for you. But honestly, if you want real Beaujolais, read my recently-published special report for some background on why it is truly an exciting region, and sip on the buyer’s guide of serious (non-nouveau) stuff. David covers the Old World next week.

Brindisi Rosso DOP


November 24th Buyer’s Guide: Nouveau/Novello

The year’s annual Nouveau/Novello release was predictably pedestrian, a motley collection simple, grapey wines rushed to market like a gooey, under-baked muffin. The best of the lot is the Joseph Drouhin 2018 Beaujolais Villages Nouveau ($17.95), a wine with adequate structure and depth, though hardly a sharp value – it’s also the most expensive of the bunch. But if you really want to join the dwindling number of worldwide Nouveau partiers on the Third Thursday of November (sorry, that was yesterday), this is your best bet.

Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau 2018

November 24th Buyer’s Guide: Washington State

Hedges Family Estate Red 2013, Red Mountain, Washington, USA ($38.95)
John Szabo – I’m a big fan of the edgy, atypically elegant and refined Washington State wines of Hedges, here delivering a high-toned, red fruit-driven Bordeaux blend. The palate is vibrant and succulent to be sure – I love the juiciness, the fine-grained, light tannins, dusty and grippy, and the long finish. Original stuff, best 2018-2023.
David Lawrason – This is a solid, complex and compact red that oozes New World opulence but in a nicely contained somewhat Euro fashion. The nose is complex and generous with blackcurrants, …

There are eighteen VINTAGES Release recommendations this week that are currently only available to our premium members. This complete article will be visible to all members 30 days after publication. We invite you to subscribe today to unlock our top picks and other Premium benefits.

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That’s all for this report. See you around the next bottle.

John Szabo, MS

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

New Release and VINTAGES Preview

WineAlign Exchange One-Time Gifts