If I Could Buy Only One – October 30th VINTAGES Release

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

Flowers Chardonnay 2018

($59.95, Rogers & Company)
Michael Godel – If there were nothing but flowers, how many of us would be perfectly content? In the case of chardonnay we surely would like a host of bottles to choose from but on a desert island, being left with Flowers Chardonnay 2018, Sonoma Coast would work out just fine. It starts out like this. “Here we stand, like an Adam and an Eve, waterfalls, the Garden of Eden.” Sort of like the terroir, the view and the fruit that grows on these vines in Sonoma eden. My what glory comes from 2018, all flesh and saltiness, stone fruit, sapidity and all encompassing fresh kept acidity. A chardonnay talking, in heads but also in rhyming couplets. Non-plussed and undisturbed. There are no worries when it comes to this wine. “There was a shopping mall, now it’s all covered with flowers. You’ve got it, you’ve got it.”

J. Moreau & Fils Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume 2018

($55.95, Univins And Spirits Canada Inc.)
David Lawrason – Fourchaume is one of the premier 1er cru sites of Chablis – adjacent to the Grand Cru sites with an ideal southern exposure. I always look for real elegance, a suave and silky texture, with ripe fruit. And this fine bottle of J. Moreau & Fils Fourchaume Chablis 1er Cru 2018 delivers exceedingly well. It is very well balanced, focused and hits excellent to outstanding length, with minerality on the finish.
Sara d’Amato – My only one this week is one that I would be happy to drink, any week of the year. As I write this, I’m actually passing through Burgundy on the Train a Grande Vitesse on my way from Paris to Avignon. I’m a little further south than the sun-worshipping slopes along the Serein river that make up the Premier Cru vineyards of Chablis but it is closer than I’ve been in a long time. The largest of the Premier Cru Chablis is that of Fourchaume, and J. Moreau’s favorable south-facing position is responsible for this delightfully salty, nervy yet somehow still round and affable chardonnay. The J. Moreau & Fils Fourchaume Chablis 1er Cru 2018 is a generous wine, that swells in the mouth due to the contribution of fine lees and whose complex flavours linger considerably on the palate making for an engaging slow sipper that is ready to be enjoyed even its its youthful condition.

Grgich Hills Estate Grown Chardonnay 2017

($67.95, Rogers & Company)
John Szabo – In the spirit of premium California, my only one this week is the outstanding if idiosyncratic Grgich Hills Estate Grown Chardonnay 2017. As David writes in his (slightly less glowing) review: “This will be controversial, so only open for those who like healthy debate.” Well, bring on the debate! The distinctive house style of Grgich shows through again clearly in this flinty 2017, perhaps off-putting to those unaccustomed to its idiosyncrasies, but I love it it. The controversy swirls around your tolerance for what are technically called sulphides, fragrant sulphur-containing compounds produced by fermenting yeasts, especially in un-clarified juice and when yeasts struggle from nitrogen deficiency in the must (from growing in certain rocky, infertile sites, like many of the world’s best vineyards). The result is that appealing ‘flinty’ note when not too dominant. But when excessive, wine can smell like onion and cabbage. This one is certainly edgy but falls on the right side of the divide for me. And beyond that, once on the palate, the wine impresses with its sheer density and intensity, not happenstance or vintage variation, but rather genuine concentration born of careful farming and very low yields. Indeed, the wine washes over the palate like a torrent of flavour, a landslide of structure. This will surely be even better in time, and will age gracefully into the late-’20s-early-’30’s and perhaps beyond. Call some friends and discuss.

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 Selections

New Release and VINTAGES Preview

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