If I Could Buy Only One – May 15th VINTAGES Release

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

David Lawrason – This “Only One” selection is designed to be a more personal, subjective selection. It may now be apparent to some readers that I am a fan of wines of the southern Rhone, a field populated with good buys from basic Côtes du Rhône to the various cru villages. And these are often my go-to reds under $25. So Chateauneuf-du-Pape at twice the price is a treat, and it is a large category that sometimes under delivers value-wise. But La Ferme Du Mont Chateauneuf-Du-Pape is a special bottling that marries generosity, complexity and finesse better than many others. It is a fine example from a hot year, but composure is nicely maintained. It has a lovely, classic grenache-based, and very detailed nose of strawberry/cherry jam, licorice, lilac florality, pepper and fresh herbs. To enjoy now with aeration or age about five years.

La Ferme Du Mont Chateauneuf-Du-Pape

($57.95, Eurovintage Wines & Spirits)

Michael Godel – It was Roland Barthes, French philosopher and bicycle racing fan who said “the Ventoux is a god of Evil, to which sacrifices must be made. It never forgives weakness and extracts an unfair tribute of suffering.” Xavier Vignon Ventoux 2017 is a formidable example of a red made in France’s southeastern corner and is like the mountain that looms above, a strong mocker with great depth of fruit. Ventoux, from the word Venteux, meaning windy and a wine of power and grip from the micro-climate and also the majestic limestone beast that stands 1912m above. You just can’t separate the wine from the hill. A lovely tang and expressive Ventoux of many-varied berries, red, blue and black. Naturally elevated acidity keeps it vibrant and fresh, as much or more than you need it to be. Xavier delivers the goods with this compendium of fruit, mineral and swagger. Perfectly apropos summer red for all warm weather needs.

Xavier Vignon Ventoux 2017

($17.95, Noble Estates Wines & Spirits Inc.)

Sara d’Amato – I present my “see-saw” wine of the week Jean Marc Brocard Kimmeridgien Chardonnay 2018 – a Chablisienne-style chardonnay at under $20. At first I hated it, then I loved it, then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. In a group of over 50 wines reviewed that day, this one gave  me pause for thought and in this critic’s opinion, those are the wines most worthy of your hard-earned funds. The name Kimmeridgian makes reference to the most highly reputed soils of the Chablisienne region, the mineral-rich clays brimming with fossilized material often reserved for planting of 1er and Grand Cru vineyards. This is a lighter version of one of those Chalisienne dynamos that avoids any heavy winemaking in order to showcase a terroir as part of biodynamic-enthusiast Jean-Marc Brocard’s Geologic Chardonnay Collection.

Jean Marc Brocard Kimmeridgien Chardonnay 2018

($19.95, Perugini Fine Wines)

John Szabo, MS – My only one this week is the excellent La Nerthe Les Cassagnes Côtes Du Rhône Villages 2018. This just ticks so many of the right boxes: classic southern Rhône smouldering fruit, at a level of concentration more common in higher-level classifications, and at a price that seems unbeatable. La Nerthe is also an historic producer with a long proven track record, and this wine drinks well now, but will also cellar comfortably another 3-5 years or more. So, what more could one want?

La Nerthe Les Cassagnes Côtes Du Rhône Villages 2018

($24.95, Woodman Wines & Spirits)


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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