If I Could Buy Only One – July 24th VINTAGES Release

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

Estate Argyros Assyrtiko 2019

($45.95, Kolonaki Group Inc.)

Michael Godel – Let me tell you something about the Estate Argyros Assyrtiko 2019 Santorini gem in 100 ways. Varietal assyrtiko raised in 100 per cent stainless steel and of a source that is unequivocally a minimum 100 year-old ungrafted vines, some as old as 120. Volcanic, sandy, the source as real as any in the world, the acumen, tradition and knowledge passed down like mythologies come true, generation and generation. This is wonderful, exciting, satisfying and quenching wine, as good as it gets and from the mouth of ancient babes. So crisp, salty and fine. From the black sands of Perissa Beach, to Firá and the whitewashed walls of Oia. Do not miss this opportunity to take in Santorini. As good a white wine purchase as any Bourgogne Blanc at twice the cost.

John Szabo – My “only one” this week is in fact a rare “only two”. If you’re still unconvinced that Greece is capable of vinous excellence, then you must try these two imports from specialist The Kolonaki Group:  Estate Arygyros Assyritiko 2019 (Santorini) and Kir-Yianni Diaporos Single Vineyard Xinomavro 2016 (Imathia). Yes, they’re both relatively high-priced wines, but neither is expensive. I’d argue that they are among the best values in the release if you pull in comparative sets from better-known regions in France or Italy.

Estate Argyros Assyrtiko 2019

($45.95, Kolonaki Group Inc.)

Kir Yianni Diaporos Single Vineyard Xinomavro 2016

($53.95, Kolonaki Group Inc.)

The Santorini is made from 100+ year-old ungrafted assyrtiko vines, a rarity in itself, but also captures the extreme terroir of the volcanic island. As all of my WineAlign colleagues have pointed out, it’s not an “easy”  wine  but one of huge personality. Density and extract like this are rare in wines of any colour, especially whites. Cellar this for another couple of years at least. And I was at the launch of the first Diaporos a decade ago in Athens and recall being highly impressed with this trailblazing, single vineyard xynomavro, bringing to fruition the potential of this important but finicky variety. The grapes are from the “heart” of Block #5 of the Yianakohori Vineyard in Naoussa, with high density plantings, low yields and precision viticulture. The grapes from this block, curiously, have low amounts of seeds (or none), source of the often ferocious tannins of xynomavro, making for a smoother texture in this wine. But make no mistake, the grape is often compared to nebbiolo from Piedmont for good reason – it’s not a soft wine – but one with marked acid-tannin structure, and shows beautiful perfume, dried florals and wild herbs, brown spice and beautifully integrated oak notes (22 months in barriques), And though starting to drink nicely now, another 2-4 years will only see more positive development, and a further polishing of the texture. Complexity is already outstanding.

Delas Crozes Hermitage Les Launes 2019

($32.95, Univins Wines)

David Lawrason – As the top Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage and even Cornas syrahs from the northern Rhône disappear from Vintages shelves into the ether of the Classics Catalogue, we are left to explore this magical region through more moderately priced St. Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage. This Delas Les Launes Crozes-Hermitage 2019 is a classic, classy, rich yet poised Crozes from a ripe year, and it is excellent value – scoring 93 points in my books, at only $32.95.  You can read my detailed notes and other WineAligners comments by clicking on the link. I will just say that it is textbook syrah. Aromas are very impressive, flavours have great focus and excellent length. I is supple enough to enjoy now and should age well through 2030. I am toying with the idea of at least six bottles.


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

Sponsored Toronto Wine Storage - Fine Wine Reserve

The Fine Wine Reserve provides discerning collectors with the highest standards of fine wine storage in Toronto. Their facilities are purpose-built and specifically engineered to protect your fine wines. With two locations in the GTA, The Fine Wine Reserve offers the widest range of storage options and styles in Canada - allowing them to serve the unique and evolving needs of novice and expert collectors alike.