If I Could Buy Only One – August 22nd VINTAGES Release

Back by popular demand: We asked the writers, “If you could buy only one wine from this release, which one would it be and why?”.

John Szabo – Watch my 5-7 Winedown JGTV video featuring this wineLa Tremenda Monastrell 2017 by Pepe Mendoza, one of the leading lights in Alicante, who has unlocked the secrets to creating balanced, fresh, but still sun-filled expressions of monastrell (aka mourvèdre). The secret is high-elevation, precision-farmed, balanced, old vines, in this case 30 year-old plants from the La Tremenda vineyard (some of Mendoza’s youngest vines). A gem of a wine at the price.

Michael Godel: If you like big reds but don’t like big red prices than look to the south-eastern corner of Spain, bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Alicante in Valencia will help you out. Quite certain of itself is this La Tremenda Monastrell 2017, of firm-fleshed plum fruit and even firmer youthful structure, while a reductive attitude keeps it safe in shell. Expressive more so to taste with peppery accents piquing the fruit. Crunchy and delicious but will hold and emerge in a year’s time with another level of value-added complexity. How that’s for $17?


David Lawrason – I would buy the López De Heredia Viña Tondonia Viña Gravonia Crianza 2011 from Rioja, Spain, if only because it is a rarity that seldom crosses our threshold, and almost a museum piece in the modern wine world. This classic house in Haro is renowned for its aged wines, whites and reds. They seem to be a bit of lost art, or the taste from another era. But I am so impressed. This pours gold-amber. It has a generous nose of dried apricot, macadamia nut, nougat and spice, with a slightly dusty/burlap oxidative note. It is mid-weight, firm and bone dry with stony, mouth-watering acidity. There is a rancio nutty bitterness on the finish. The length is excellent to outstanding.


Sara d’Amato: Arnoux Père & Fils 2017 Les Beaumonts Chorey Lès Beaune is a top notch pinot from a small, lesser known appellation outside of Beaune. Careful winemaking guidance and perfectly timed harvest have resulted in an impressively complex, lyrical wine that tells the story of its upbringing. On top of it all, it’s ready to drink right away.


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