If I Could Buy Only One – September 19th 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?”.

Michael Godel – Viña Aquitania Lazuli Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Maipo Valley, Chile
$39.95, DB Wines & Spirits
Lazuli, as in the blue gemstone, a rarity that only Indiana Jones might know where to find. There are some important wine minds behind the partnership in this Viña Aquitania Lazuli Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Maipo Valley, Chile, including the late great Paul Pontallier of Château Margaux. This is dignified, concentrated, focused and complex cabernet sauvignon to be sure, with laser beams of acidity cutting fine lines through dark fruit and a calm demeanour that speaks to quality but also attitude. Pour this blind alongside Margaux and Pauillac at three to four times the price. Just for hits and giggles.

$13.95, Noble Estates Wines & Spirits Inc.
Glasses up for those who need something uncomplicated and easy-going in their lives right now? Cheerful, inexpensive, even better! A fine value, this bright, dry, salty rosé with crisp notes of cherry and raspberry should please widely. Sustainably produced, neatly packaged and ready to extend your summer time bliss.


Michelle Philipon Santenay 2017, Burgundy, France
$42.95, Family Wine Merchants
David Lawrason – By sheer happenstance this was the first wine of the tasting day, and it immediately brought me into focus, because it was so focused. And then I looked at the price and marvelled that it was showing this kind of quality under $50. It is everything I look for in modern Burgundy, a perfectly pitched pinot noir, capturing exact cherry ripeness inlaid with fine woodsy, spicy and smoky barrel notes. The aroma is not highly intense at this point and the finish feels a bit pinched and tannic, so I would give it two to three years in the bottle. The proportions are excellent, with fine acidity and balanced 13% alcohol. It feels voluminous on the palate yet restrained at the same time. Excellent length.


John Szabo MSBachelder Les Villages Gamay 2018, Ontario, Canada
$22.95, Bachelder Wines
A blend of fruit from the Escarpment area as well as down by Niagara-on-the-Lake, Les Villages’ is Thomas Bachelder’s representative blend of Niagara Gamay. Pale garnet in the proper spectrum, with appropriate peppery reduction, Bachelder has nailed this juicy and joyful 2018 gamay, delivering the necessary tart red fruit without excessive winemaking interference, though competence to be sure. Light tannins and bright acids make this a fun and vibrant red to enjoy with a chill over the short term. There’s nothing nouveau about the style; traditional vinification, including a small percentage of stems, and his typically oxidative handling yields a wine that is as much about fine-grained, firm and silky texture as it is about fruit. Indeed there’s considerable savouriness here playing an equal rope to classic tart red berry fruit. Overall it’s a sophisticated example, a fine prelude to his quite excellent single-vineyard bottlings.


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