If I Could Buy Only One – December 2 VINTAGES Release

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

($26.95, Woodman Wine & Spirits)
Sara d’Amato – Here is a white Rhône blend that all of us at WineAlign are getting behind. A stunner at under $30, this assemblage of viognier, grenache blanc, roussanne, and marsanne exemplifies the term “sapid” with its impressive depth of flavour and persistent length. Because viognier and marsanne are not permitted within the appellation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château La Nerthe Les Cassagnes 2022 is designated as a Côtes du Rhône Villages but certainly rises above the mean in terms of concentration and complexity. Produced by one of the oldest estates in the region that is planted to organically farmed old vines with an average age of over 40 years, the grapes herein are sourced from high elevation terraces that rise to 600 meters above sea level. A sophisticated and satisfying addition to any holiday table. 

Greystone Pinot Noir 2019

($44.95, Noble Estates Wines & Spirits)
John Szabo – It was tough to pick only one this week, but in the end I couldn’t resist a beautifully made, pure and translucent pinot noir that wouldn’t cause me buyer’s remorse. I’m referring to the 2019 Greystone Pinot Noir from Wairapa in North Canterbury on New Zealand’s South Island. It’s a challenging region to grow grapes in, but we all know how pinot noir, and the people who make it, love a challenge. It’s also one of the very few places in New Zealand with any limestone of note, another tried and tested combination. The result from this leading producer is a wine of marvellous finesse and perfume, with the purity of fruit one has come to expect from NZ pinot. It’s appealingly ripe, even shifting into the blue fruit spectrum, and just beginning the shift into more evolved flavours. Silky and refined, with balanced acids and seamless texture, everything here is in the right place. Drink now-2029.

($74.95, Burgundy Direct)
David Lawrason – This is a rare white Savigny-Les-Beaune, a favourite appellation of mine that aspects more northeast, making lighter but very elegant chardonnays that are less expensive than neighbouring Beaune and Pernand-Vergelesses, which it adjoins. From an excellent vintage, this Domaine Tawse Les Vergelesses Savigny Lès Beaune 1er Cru 2020 is a splendid, lighter version of great white Burgundy. It has a lifted, complex nose of toast, hazelnut, poached pear, some roasted garlic/onion and vanilla cream. It is firm, dry and mineral/briny, with excellent focus and length. Great oyster/seafood chardonnay. My colleagues at WineAlign did not taste this wine. I encountered in Halifax in November while teaching a Fine Vintage Ltd WSET course. It reminds me of some of the very fine chardonnays now coming out of a new generation of winemakers from Niagara’s Bench sites.

($49.95, Noble Estates Wines & Spirits)
Megha Jandhyala – From a well-known producer in the Mosel, comes this rare and beautiful beerenauslese. Sweet wines are sadly often overlooked as a category these days, though in fact, they can be some of the most wonderfully balanced and concentrated of wines. The Selbach Oster Noble R Riesling Beerenauslese 2018 is sweet yes, but not saccharine or thick, instead simulating lightness and brightness on the palate, with vibrant acidity and very low alcohol. I love the enduring flavours of honey, pineapple, and stone fruit here and the delicate, exquisite perfume of spring flowers. I would buy a bottle or two of this wine to serve during the holidays, by itself, with a selection of cheeses, or with fruit-based desserts like pie or pudding. 


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
Megha’s Picks

New Release and VINTAGES Preview


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