Buyers’ Guide to VINTAGES November 14th, 2020

Review of Vintages Nov 14 Release

Here Comes Gifting Season 2020
by David Lawrason, with notes from John, Michael and Sara

The Christmas season is apparently upon us. I am not feeling it, but Vintages is featuring Gifting Wines, which is all the proof I need.

In 2020 there is even more reason to gift and make people happy, but we also need to look at this year differently in terms of our holiday interactions. Not getting together may be the greatest gift. And maybe skipping some of the Holiday rituals might actually be refreshing, and provide opportunity to do things differently.  It is just one Christmas after all, not the end of Christmas.

There are many excellent wines on the Nov 14 release, that I would love to receive as gifts.
Of note for Champagne lovers is the release of Roederer Brut Premier, one of my go to Champagnes, in four formats depending on the size of your gathering – the 375ml half bottle to celebrate just about anything anytime even by yourself, the ‘regular’ 750ml for a romantic interlude, the 1500ml magnum for a Christmas meal within your bubble, and the 3000ml double magnum, which I suggest be saved for your COVID’s OVER bash.


In all, the WineAlign team has tasted over 80 of the wines on offer, with some focus on the more expensive wines and, as always, finding values and smart buys in the more affordable $20 to $40 range.  More and more agents are getting samples to us, or allowing us to purchase on their behalf upon release with reimbursement to follow.

One problem for us this year, because we are reviewing a week after release date, is that many of the most highly prized, trophy wines – like Italy’s Quintarelli Valpolicella and Luce Brunello – may by now have disappeared from the shelves.  I am also aware that Vintages is in the midst of issues that might make availability in a given store less reliable. Uncertain times here as well.

But we have put together a super solid list of recommendations

Premium Gifting Wines

Pieropan Vigna Garzon 2015 Amarone Della Valpolicella DOCG, Veneto, Italy
$63.95, Vonterra Enterprises
John Szabo – A perfect wine for collectors, with terrific ageing potential, comfortably into the ‘30s, and in need of at least 3-5 more years. Pieropan are leaders not only in Soave, but in Valpolicella as well, with grapes here from their Garzon vineyard, purchased as a virgin parcel high up in the Val d’IIlasi at near 400m, and planted in 2000 on pure limestone. This is a classic in the genre.

Paid ContentThere are 22 other VINTAGES Release recommendations this week that are currently only available to our premium members. This complete article will be free and visible to all members 30 days after publication. We invite you to subscribe today to unlock our top picks and other Premium benefits.

Unlock our Top Picks

Please take a moment to understand why we charge for this service.

“For the cost of a good bottle of wine we’ll help you discover hundreds of great ones.”

Paid Content

And that’s a wrap for this edition. There are two more Vintages releases before Christmas so we will be back with many more recommendations. Cheers!

David Lawrason
VP of Wine

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.

Sara’s Sommelier Selections
Michael’s Mix
Lawrason’s Take
Szabo’s Smart Buys

New Release and VINTAGES Preview

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the latest WineAlign recommendations, tips and other interesting wine information.