If I Could Buy Only One – January 23rd VINTAGES Release

We asked our writers, “If you could buy only one wine from this release, which one would it be and why?”


Monte Del Frá 2019 Bardolino, Veneto, Italy
$16.95, Signature Wines & Spirits Ltd.
Sara d’AmatoWhy am I not drinking Bardolino more often? is the first thing that comes to mind with a sip of Monte del Frá’s delicious 2019 offering. A sure fire happiness trigger to help in these chilly, wearisome lockdown days. Light but flavourful, made from a mix of the local corvina, rondinella and just a hint of sangiovese from the shores of Lake Garda.

Rustenberg Stellenbosch Shiraz 2018, WO Stellenbosch, South Africa
$16.95, Woodman Wines and Spirits
Michael Godel – As if supporting our friends and colleagues in South African wine were not justification enough while watching as they suffer through yet another industry wide lock down, along comes reason number two in this great value Rustenberg Stellenbosch Shiraz 2018, WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (399246, Woodman Wines and Spirits). Always one of the purest, cleanest and direct to consumer shiraz from Stellenbosh and in the style unrivalled for the price. That it spends 15 months in cask and comes away with so much fruit forward, dark clarity is a thing of berry beauty. Own the confidence to see this through to 2025 or further.

$24.95, The Living Vine
David Lawrason – This is a delicious, firm and generous young organically grown southern Rhone red. It’s a blend of 70% old vine, head pruned grenache with 20% syrah and 10% carignan – aged nine months in concrete. It is the absence of wood that is giving this wine its great sense authenticity. So complex with well integrated notes of sour plum, cherry, pomegranate, fresh herbs de Provence, poppy and sesame seed – like a finally assembled spice blend. It is medium bodied, fleshy, warm and firm with great focus and length. Some sense of minerality on the finish. So much going on, great energy.

$17.95, Rare Earth Wines
John Szabo – My “only one” this week is a discovery wine to be sure, from a little-known grape but crafted in a familiar style. The INDOMITA OLD VINES DRY FARMED GRAN RESERVA CARIGNAN 2018 from the Maule Valley in Chile brings together a number of things I like. For one, these older vines with their established roots systems, grown in the less extreme sunny and dry Maule Valley, require no irrigation, so are more sustainable to farm. Then there’s the rustic charm of the variety itself, which grows vastly more interesting with age. The treatment in the winery is simple, without exaggerated extraction or oak flavour, yielding a wild and savoury wine, juicy and appealingly herbal, with more acids than tannins but fine balance overall on the livelier side. And finally I like the fair price, making this suitable for mid-week sipping. Indeed, if Chileans specialized in pizza, this would be their classic Tuesday night pizza 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.

Lawrason’s Take
John’s Top Picks
Michael’s Mix
Sara’s Sommelier Selections

New Release and VINTAGES Preview

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