If I Could Buy Only One – February 19 VINTAGES Release

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

Donato D'angelo Calice Aglianico Del Vulture 2018

($21.95, Carpe Vinum International)
John Szabo – It’s been said I have an unusual attraction to wines grown on volcanic soils, which I can’t deny. If you also love wines that are more savoury and fruity, then volcanic wines should be on your radar as well. Case in point: Donato D’angelo Calice Aglianico Del Vulture 2018. D’Angelo crafts Calice from the younger aglianico vines in the communes of Ripacandida and Maschito on the slopes of Mount Vulture in Basilicata at near 500m, aged in large old botti. Distinct from the aglianico of neighbouring Campania (e.g. Taurasi), those from Vulture tend to more elegance and perfume, if such a thing could be said about such a sturdy variety. This beauty is filled with the fragrance of potpourri, roasted chestnuts, buckwheat honey and dried fig and cherry in a classic style that defies the price tag in terms of complexity, while the palate is expectedly dry and dusty in the varietal style, so be sure to decant and serve with roasted, salty protein.

San Alejandro Evodia 2019

($14.95, Glencairn Wine Merchants)
Michael Godel– Few are aware of what Calatayud can do and at $15 the concept is doubly fantastical to doubtless outrageous. Vines 100 years of age at 800-plus metres of elevation produce lowest of the low yields of garnacha, here at 15 per cent alcohol which is precisely what happens and often must be. San Alejandro Evodia 2019 shows great fruit in the cherry spectrum, munificent spice and perfectly reasoned mid-level structure adding up to an an impressive mouthful of wine. You will not find more for $15 and at this high level tone of balance. With 10 months to go on the VINTAGES release calendar there may not be a bigger value or steal for the money.

Caparzo Brunello Di Montalcino 2016

($49.95, The Case for Wine)
Sara d’Amato – Aromatic yet substantial, this expressive Caparzo Brunello Di Montalcino 2016 from an excellent vintage features impressive balance and poise yet brimming with an abundance of fleshy red and black fruit. Delicate oak, ripe but firm tannins and memorable length. A notable value, even at this price. Pair with a great book and a weighted blanket. 

Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2018

($55.95, Woodman Wines & Spirits)
David Lawrason – This is lovely, charming and luxurious Chateaunneuf from a warm vintage, which has laid in more softness and elegance. Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2018 has classic grenache-based aromas of strawberry/cherry jam and candied plum also have a floral note, licorice and pepper. It is full bodied and warm (15% alch) with very fine tannin. The length is excellent to outstanding. Enjoy now or over this decade. 

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
Sara’s Selections
Michael’s Mix

New Release and VINTAGES Preview