If I Could Buy Only One – May 1st VINTAGES Release

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

Michael Godel – Finding value in old world European regions gets increasingly harder every year. The key to understanding where to look lies in the “lesser” appellations located in near proximate vicinity to the highly regarded, sought after and most expensive tracts of terroir. Crozes Hermitage is such a place, near to the Northern Rhône’s Hermitage, St. Joseph, Cornas and Côte-Rotie. While these appellations have risen in quality and cost, the less heralded C-H has only joined in the former. More and more the bottles of Crozes-Hermitage arrive on VINTAGES shelves and if consumers have yet to get woke it’s more than high time they did so. The location for production of the J. Dénuzière Crozes Hermitage 2018 is Condrieu and the estate works with fruit there and in Cornas, but also with growers in Côte Rotie, St. Joseph and Hermitage. The essence of Crozes is captured right here in this glass. More than depth there is this enigma of what syrah is, not fully known but instead experienced, felt and accepted, if by intuition only. Floral but reserved, spiced and sweetly so, rendered, slowly developed, sure as day and night give way to one another. A perfect wine within context and one that just seems so right.

($29.95, Dbino Inc.)

Sara d’Amato – If you drink it, summer will come? Regardless, I’m in a rosé state of mind this weekend and I was particularly taken by the value of this elegant but not austere, dry rosé from the Veneto. Pasqua 11 Minutes Rosé 2020 is a flavourful blend of corvina, trebbiano di lugana and syrah and carmenère. Another glass please!

($19.95, Charton Hobbs)

John Szabo, MS – My only this week is a cracker of a wine, a pinot noir from Luna Estate in Martinborough on New Zealand’s North Island, maturing nicely now.  It’s an estate blend from two vineyards with diverse geologies in Martinborough, which captures the windswept, low-yielding nature of the region nicely in the concentrated palate and savoury fruit and resinous herbal flavours. Drink or continue to hold 2-4 years for a fully savoury experience. Pinot with this complexity and poise at this price is sadly all too rare.

($26.95, Noble Estates Wines & Spirits)

David Lawrason – I would actually pick two, but from the same winery – Trefethen of Napa Valley, which offers up a very smart pair of wines on this release. The Trefethen Estate Chardonnay 2018 and Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 are very well made, not overly ambitious, over extracted or over-priced examples of fine Napa winemaking. Is it ever nice to see this kind of value and authenticity from one of the world’s most expensive regions. I would also buy them out of sentimentality. I spent a lot of time in Napa in my early career and Trefethen Family Vineyards was going strong then (three generations are involved here), making the same reliable, tidy wines from their large 440 acre vineyards in the moderate climate of the Oak Knoll District toward the south end of the valley. Over 50 years in business and farming sustainability to keep it all going for another 50.

($48.95, Vinexx)

($68.95, Vinexx)


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.

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

New Release and VINTAGES Preview

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