If I Could Buy Only One – April 27th VINTAGES Release

For the Apr 27th VINTAGES release, we asked: “If you could buy only one wine from this release – which one would it be and why?”

David Lawrason: From winemaker Alejandro Fernandez of Pesquera fame, the Alejandro Fernández Dehesa La Granja 2011 ($21.95) is 100% tempranillo aged two years in American oak, from a large estate near Zamora that he purchased circa 2000. He built a modern winery atop an 18th Century cellar and planted tempranillo cuttings from Pesquera. So it is very much in the Pesquera mold with considerable American oak vanillin, coconut and spice, plus maturing leather, atop ripe dried cherry/berry fruit. It is medium-full bodied, softly Spanish and nicely balanced with sandy tannin. Very fairly priced given its pedigree and quality.

Alejandro Fernández Dehesa La Granja 2011

John Szabo, MS: The smart money this week is on the Château Sociando Mallet 2012 ($67.95). It’s of course in the premium price category, but relative to the ludicrously soaring prices around the world today, this hails from a region with an amply-proved vocation for a quality, also a château with a long track record of performance, and in the case of this 2012, a wine of undeniable class and composure, just hitting an ideal drinking window (but no rush, either). No fly-by-night speculative cult wine here, just premium quality.

Sara d’Amato:  If Bordeaux’s 1855 classification system were to one day be revised to take into account qualitative consistency, it would be likely to include Château Sociando Mallet 2012 ($67.95). Widely believed to be on par with many classified growths, this relative bargain from the less celebrated 2012 vintage, finds itself (surely in limited quantities) on the shelves of VINTAGES this week. Voluminous and bold with an explosive palate that is salty, savory, tannic and fresh. The stuffing for long term ageing is not lacking nor is its traditional swagger.

Château Sociando Mallet 2012

Michael Godel: It’s quite something for a wine appellation to gain the confidence of a liquor monopoly, the local wine writers and the consumer base, but welcome to the story of Côtes du Rhône-Villages. Maison Brotte was founded in Chateauneuf du Pape in 1931. Laurent Brotte, the founder’s grandson, now runs the estate. Domaine Grosset belonged to Alain Grosset, Laurent Brotte’s father-in-law. Grosset is in Cairanne, a village that gained its AOC (Rhône Valley) status in 1967. Grosset Création Cairanne Côtes Du Rhône Villages 2016 ($17.95) is all about florals, volatile acidity and fruit function. The great positive is that they do it aligned, as one, with relative seamless ease. A bit enigmatic but also heady, in fun and pleasure. Much in the way Campo de Borja is to Aragon, ‘tis a perfectly ripe and righteous entry into the rustic charm of modern day Cairanne. Two bottles, eight or nine plates of various sundry items plus three friends et voilà, Laurent and Alain are your uncles.

Grosset Création Cairanne Côtes Du Rhône Villages 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
John’s Top Picks
Michael’s Mix
Sara’s Sommelier Selections

New Release and VINTAGES Preview