If I Could Buy Only One – September 5th 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?”.

David LawrasonFerraton Père & Fils La Matinière Crozes Hermitage 2017, Rhône Valley, France
$26.95, Family Wine Merchants
There were a handful of wines in the Sept 5 release that I might have picked here. A great NZ Pinot Noir from Cloudy Bay, Mondavi’s very fine Reserve Chardonnay and the intriguing Bachelder single plot Wismer Pinot and Chardonnay. But sometimes, if rarely, true authenticity lines up with impeccable balance and detail, at a shockingly fair price. This wine is everything I want in a northern Rhone syrah, with poise, complexity and length. You can read the review for the profile. As a Flagship Store Exclusive it will not be easily found, especially with the glowing reviews from WineAlign. To temper your disappointment if you can’t get it, try the lovely Ferraton Cotes du Rhone-Villages, also on this release. This house is making fine wine.


John Szabo – Paolo Conterno Anforti 2016, Igt Toscana Tuscany, Italy
$24.95, Lifford Wine & Spirits
This is my first look at Piedmontese producer Paolo Conterno’s Tuscan offerings from the Tenuta Ortaglia overlooking Florence, and it is impressive. Anforti is a blend of merlot and sangiovese from the excellent 2016 vintage, and I love the nose off the top, that classic Tuscan dusty road and wild resinous herbal character, more sangiovese than merlot, save for the adjunct of darker, plummier fruit brought by the latter. All in all, a really well-made, table friendly bottle that will make many friends no doubt.


Michael GodelBachelder Wismer Wingfield Ouest Vineyard Chardonnay 2017, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario $47.95, Lifford Wines and Spirits
Wismer’s 300 acres in Vineland is the opposite paradigm of let’s say Clos Vougeot in Bourgogne, where 80 so odd owners are brought together in one large vineyard. “Same owner, every five rows, which is why we take our rows very serious. The one with the most distinct and definable character, so that we can follow it,” tells Thomas Bachelder. At first he bottled in 2010 and 2011 as “Wismer,” then the interim “Wingfield” and by 2015, “Ouest. “Bachelder Wismer Wingfield Ouest Vineyard Chardonnay 2017 is everything you could hope for at the top end of Ontario chardonnay. This is the one to include in a line-up of Premier Cru and Grand Cru chardonnays. “What separates this from Foxcroft, Parke, and Lakeview? No Burgundian map delineation, not yet, but a paradigmatic shift is in process. Not as round and stonier (French) than the eastern section, and Bachelder champions the altitude (163m) and relative proximity (8.6 km from the lake). As for winemaking, flavour and minerals are drawn, but low and slow, not like it might be in haste closer to the lake. We’re not making Montrachet and so silky smooth is the order of the feel and one more year will really pull out to nuance maybe missed right now. Only eight to ten barrels for 1,200+ bottles produced.


Sara d’AmatoDomaine Ott by Ott Rosé 2019, Provence, France
$30.95, Authentic Wine & Spirits Merchants
“There’s no place like Provence, there’s no place like Provence, there’s no place like Provence.” If that heel-tapping affirmation yields no results then this premium rosé from Domaine Ott is likely to do the trick. I am also convinced that a bottle may just extend summer for another day or two. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but this sophisticated assemblage crafted at the new cellars of Ott’s home estate in Taradeau, Château de Selle, yields a classically pure, fresh, mineral wine with elegant notes of rose, pomegranate and licorice. At this price, you’ll have to be inspired to treat yourself but you’ll come out the other end satisfied and refreshed.


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