If I Could Buy Only One – December 3 VINTAGES Release

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

Matias Riccitelli Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

($32.95, Nicholas Pearce Wines Inc.)
John Szabo – This week my only one recognizes the terrific recent work of Matiás Riccittelli, a disruptive Argentine winemaker shaking things up in Mendoza. His wines fall on the more natural side, with minimal sulphur additions, and open, breezy, flamboyant fruit and high drinkability. If your experience with Argentine cabernet has been limited to more old school, clunky, oaky examples, try the Matias Riccitelli Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. From the granite soils of Chacayes in the cool, upper Gualtallary Valley, this cabernet shows the house flair, with plenty of energy on the palate, genuinely crunchy acids, and grainy, gritty, honest tannins. Chill lightly and enjoy over the next 1-4 years. 

Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Riserva 2018

($28.95, Frontier Wine Merchants)
Michael GodelIl Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Riserva 2018 is a bit high in acid and also drying, like knives cutting through tannin and yes, this is the essence of naked sangiovese. I will personally implore you to look and think past anything you have heard about the 2018 vintage in Tuscany and more specifically for Chianti Classico. Just as it would have been prudent to do so with both 1998 and 2008. The sneak of structure and linger in the name of longevity will conspire for a slow release of emotion, something seemingly absent in the wines’ early days of life. Despite the great diversion and division between vintages that came before and will follow, the consistency of Il Molino di Grace’s Riservas are a testament to changes made and promises kept. The team has allowed these wines to crawl from barrel and into the light. The heat and drought of ’17 was followed by a lithe freshness from ’18 though sangiovese chosen to hang well into September and even the first days of October have come about into some heady wines. Begin with Riserva’s perfume in a Panzano bottle, caused by the two main sois of Galestro and Pietraforte, red berries made flinty by stone. Not as supple and succulent as 2019 but will almost certainly last longer. Focus and expression are right on point and while both Panzano and proximate Radda are the additional geographic thought, Il Molino di Grace is the pinpointed place. Still emitting early life freshness and vigour, lovely for ’18, forward and structured to travel onwards. Drink 2023-2028. Was bottled just ahead of harvest in September 2021. 

San Felice Il Grigio Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2017

($51.95, Charton Hobbs Inc.)
David Lawrason—One is allowed some sentimentality when buying for oneself, but even better if the wine proves to be classic and compelling. I have long been a fan of San Felice and have stayed at the lovely medieval village turned five-star property. But I have also been a bit skeptical of the new Gran Selezione category as a place to park over-oaked wines at very profitable prices. But this is not like that. The San Felice Il Grigio Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2017 is simply an amplification of everything I like about Chianti Classico, sporting a lovely, vibrant nose of cran-currant-raspberry fruit, laden with fresh herbs, resins and spice. It is medium-full bodied, intense, juicy and lively with great flavour intensity. All kinds of power here with excellent to outstanding length. Best 2024 to 2030+

Catena Alta Historic Rows Malbec 2018

($49.95, Noble Estates Wines & Spirts Inc)
Megha Jandhyala—Here is a chance to try a concentrated, complex, and distinctive malbec with ageing potential. Sourced from five estate vineyards, the Catena Alta Historic Rows Malbec is poised, perfumed, and consummately balanced. It enraptures and beguiles with the unmistakable scent of violets and finely integrated notes of blueberries, blackberries, vanilla, spice, and tobacco. I love its silky texture, vibrant acidity, lush fruit flavours, and riveting finish. Although it can be enjoyed now, it will be even more beautiful when it is in full bloom in 3-4 years


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
Megha’s Picks

New Release and VINTAGES Preview