If I Could Buy Only One – Dec 8th, 2018 VINTAGES Release

For the Dec 8th VINTAGES release, we asked: “If you could buy only one wine from this release – which one would it be and why?”

Michael Godel: Talk about benchmark, here is your guide to Ontario’s most prominent, knowable and classically styled sparkling wine. The Henry Of Pelham 2013 Cuvée Catharine Carte Blanche Estate Blanc De Blanc ($44.95) is from the cloud cover, top quality 2013 chardonnay vintage in pure blanc de blanc form.It’s as dry as you’d want it to be, full on intense and rendered through the conduit of low, slow and just right developed ripe fruit with supportive spice. Its track record is proven as being one of Ontario’s and for that matter, one of North America’s finest sparkling wines.

Henry Of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Carte Blanche Estate Blanc De Blanc 2013

John Szabo: A wine that answers a number of calls from this last release of the year is the Guerrieri Rizzardi 2012 3E Cru Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico Veneto ($53.95). Whether you’re seeking a failsafe special gift, planning to enjoy a rich and satisfying wine with friends and family this holiday, or building up your cellar collection, this 5-star vintage wine has you covered. A blend of three crus including the steep, rocky, terraced vineyard of Calcarole (Rizzardi’s top cru), as well as the gently sloping locations of Rovereti and Pojega in the heart of Negrar, it’s an intense, aromatic, classically chocolate-and-spice-tinged Amarone, complex to be sure, full, dense and rich, but also well balanced, with excellent length and depth. Decant several hours ahead if serving now, or open it to ring in 2031.

Guerrieri Rizzardi 3e Cru Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2012

David Lawrason: Given ‘tis the season, my ‘only one’ will be considered more as a gift purchase, rather than something I get to enjoy myself. There is a strong Champagne line-up in this release, but some of the big names didn’t perform to my expectation, whereas Ruinart R De Ruinart Brut ($85.95) surpassed. It pours pale lemon-gold with a nicely intense nose of vanilla, dried apple, hazelnut and gentle brioche autolytics – all nicely meshed. It is very cohesive, bright and energetic on the palate with firm acidity. Excellent flavour intensity and length. Hopefully I am present when the giftee opens it.

Ruinart R De Ruinart Brut Champagne

Sara d’Amato: At first nose, I could tell the Yalumba 2016 Wild Ferment Chardonnay ($24.95) was my kind of chardonnay: brimming with zesty citrus fruit, a comforting note of toasty, yeasty lees and minimal oak treatment. A range of intriguing flavours bloom on the palate in part due to a wild yeast fermentation undertaken after harvest. Orange blossom, sweet rosemary, elderflower and bergamot compliment the lemon and pear fruit. Yalumba is one of the few wineries with its own, in-house cooperage that fashioned the French oak barriques that were used for 38% of the blend. Holiday and vegan friendly.

Yalumba Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2016

Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 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
Michael’s Mix
Sara’s Sommelier Selections

New Release and VINTAGES Preview