If I Could Buy Only One – February 4 VINTAGES Release

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

Glenelly Glass Collection Merlot 2018

($16.95, HHD Imports)
David Lawrason – As I was away for the WineAlign tasting of this release, I default to one of the few wines I have tasted the Glenelly Glass Collection Merlot 2018 at home. This stunning value delivers impressive gravitas, fruit depth and elegance for $17! Right bank merlot-based Bordeaux poise meets New World generosity. Expect perfectly ripened plum/blackberry fruit, chocolate, dried herbs, resinous, spicy oak and earthiness. It is full bodied with finely aligned acid, alcohol and tannin and excellent length. 

Fattoi Brunello Di Montalcino 2017

($44.95, Cru Connection)
Michael Godel –  The Fattoi Brunello Di Montalcino DOCG 2017 is wildly and exotically perfumed, here from arid, hot and high acid 2017 finding the floral expressiveness not always so easy to access in this particular vintage. Follows the aromatique with a well-rounded if full to fleshy palate and then the sangiovese really digs in. Not in a particularly overt tannic way yet surely with some extensive and extending control. Really fine work in 2017 to be sure and a sleeper with all parts working as one.

Koyle Royale Alto Colchagua Carmenère 2019

($24.95, Trajectory Beverage Partners)
John Szabo – My only one this week takes us to the Southern Hemisphere, the feature of the February 4th Vintages release. And the wine, Koyle Royale Alto Colchagua Carmenère 2019 is a classic example of Chile’s most unique variety. Carmenere was imported from Bordeaux in the mid-18th century, and while it hardly exists now in its homeland, it has flourished in Chile’s warm, Mediterranean climate. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea with its herbal-green flavours, but this is part of the grape’s DNA, one rich in the family of aromatic compounds called methoxy pyrazines which, among other things, gives green peppers their green pepperiness. Koyle’s biodynamic-certified vineyards in the upper Colchagua Valley in Los Lingues gives us a silky, refined, complex and concentrated version that blends velvety black and blue fruit with that appealing minty-herbal twist. Drink now or hold into the late-‘20s.

Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2021

($18.95, Noble Estates Wines & Spirits Inc.)
Sara d’Amato – Consistently a top value and if you missed this Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2021 the first time it was released, now is your chance. Sourced from vines that average 40 years, the juice has been barrel and tank fermented and then aged on its lees for 9 months giving it a delicate toastiness that compliments the flavours of peach nectar, white grapefruit and lightly confected lemon on the palate. Wholly satisfying.

Megha Jandhyala – The Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2021 is my “Only One” this week. At under $20, it undoubtedly represents great value, but in truth I chose it because it really is a delightful wine. With clear, resonant notes of ripe orchard fruit and grapefruits, accompanied by subtle floral and mineral aromas, it inspires unadulterated joy. I also like how firm and glossy it feels, enveloping the palate in satin-silk. I would buy a couple of bottles ideally, one to enjoy now and another to revisit in a few 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