If I Could Buy Only One – February 17 VINTAGES Release

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

Bertani Catullo Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2019, Veneto, Italy
$26.95, Mark Anthony Group
David Lawrason – No ordinary fruity Valpolicella – this traditionally built example has been aged in large older French oak for a year, then another year in concrete, and six months in bottle before release. All imparting a smooth, suave elegance of texture, and a fine, classic melange of red fruits, white pepper and wood spice. It is really quite gracious with modest warmth (13.5%) and fine tannin. The length is excellent, and it is ready to go.

Kir Yianni Cuvée Villages Xinomavro 2020, Macedonia, Greece
$17.95, Kolonaki Group Inc
John Szabo – It seems $21.95 is the new $18.95, the starting price for just about anything interesting these days, so all the more remarkable to find a genuine and authentic regional expression for the implausible sum of $17.95. I’m referring to the Kir Yianni Cuvée Villages Xinomavro 2020 my only one this week. I’ve been following this estate for almost 20 years, and it has consistently overdelivered. Don’t expect sleek and polished, but rather a regionally/varietally accurate, properly pale red, firm, dusty and savoury, much like nebbiolo, tempered by strawberry fruit and black olives and sundried tomatoes joining the fray on the finish. Complexity and intrigue outstep price by a good margin. Drink now with salty protein, or cellar a half dozens years for a fully savoury experience.
Sara d’Amato – A value-driven “Only One” pick this week, this typically pale-coloured xinomavro, grown most prolifically in the northern Greek region of Naoussa, is a texturally engaging red that features a wealth of red-berry fruit, bramble, liquorice, rosebud, and sea salt. If you are not familiar with the grape variety, it is often compared to nebbiolo, with a similar high acid, high tannin structure, and after slow maturation in bottle, it can be difficult to tell the two apart. Here is an earlier maturing expression of the grape that is ready to drink now although should continue to evolve gracefully over the next 4-5 years. 

Solicantus Melodie Du Sol Rouge 2020, Bordeaux, France
$38.95, Cru Wine Merchants
Megha Jandhyala – My “only one” this week is the Solicantus Melodie Du Sol Rouge 2020 from the picturesque, rolling hills of Blaye, situated on the right bank of the Gironde estuary. This melodious composition is the creation of a Blaye-based project led by Indian-born Namratha Prasanth who moved to Bordeaux in 2017 to study wine. It is worth noting that part of the profits from the project are donated to programmes promoting the education of girls in India. I love the rich and harmonious notes of ripe plums, blackberries, fine spice, vanilla, and tobacco in this blend. I also like the thoughtful use of oak that adds depth and dimension to the wine’s character. The supple, almost voluptuous but balanced palate is equally compelling. This is an elegant, concentrated, and fairly priced Bordeaux, which for me is reason enough to buy a bottle or two of it. That it is organic, vegan-friendly, and supports a good cause only adds to its appeal.  

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.

Lawrason’s Take
Megha’s Picks
Sara’s Selections
Szabo’s Smart Buys

New Release and VINTAGES Preview