If I Could Buy Only One – October 7 VINTAGES Release

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

Tenuta Rocca Comune Di Serralunga D'Alba Barolo 2018

($56.95, Barrique Wine Imports Ltd. (Profile)
David Lawrason – Barolo remains one the most fascinating tasting experiences in the world. It has a reputation for power, sturdiness and durability, but I like smelling and tasting its detail, nuance and complexity. I have tasted this fine traditional Tenuta Rocca Comune Di Serralunga D’Alba Barolo 2018 twice in recent weeks, first at the expansive and very well organized Profile portfolio tasting last month, then again with Vintages releases at the WineAlign offices. It is a classic at a very fair price.  The nose is not very intense but dappled with fine kirsch, strawberry jam, cinnamon, fresh herbs, leather and woodsy notes. It is medium weight, warm and tightly knit with still firm tannin. The length is excellent to outstanding, and this will hold will for a decade.

($52.95, Noble Estates Wines & Spirits)
John Szabo – My “only one” this week is a premium red that breaths the air of the autumn countryside, of holiday gathering and hearty harvest fare. Telmo Rodriguez’s iconic, high-elevation Remelluri Reserva 2015 is a perfect synthesis of past and present, Rioja’s first single estate wine beginning with the 1971 vintage, from hillside vineyards in Sierra de Toloño mountains. Vines are an average of 40 years old, though the oldest were planted in 1918. The excellent 2015 vintage yielded a wine with a seriously complex tableau of flavours, from plum and Christmas cake to dried fruit and nuts, old wet wood, dried flowers and pot pourri, toasted wheat bread and buckwheat honey, chocolate-covered cherries, and more in a varied and compelling range. Its soft, generous texture makes it ready to drink now, but it would also be comfortable in the cellar another decade no doubt.

Megha Jandhyala – Of all the wines that were part of the most recent Vintages release, the Remelluri Rioja 2015 struck me as both especially fascinating and memorable. I like how quietly, even deceptively charismatic it is, its multifaceted flavour profile etched with nuances of its terroir and age. It is drinking beautifully now, a little aeration revealing prismatic hues of all sorts of dried fruits, leather, tobacco, dried roses, and the scent of an old spice jar.

Gérard Bertrand Heritage An 560 Tautavel 2020

($18.95, FWM Canada)
Sara d’Amato – For those of you interested in pre-history, this week’s release of Gérard Bertrand’s Heritage An 560 Tautavel 2020 will give you a good excuse to delve into the topic, and the wine! We know that humans have long been lured to the south of France but it wasn’t until the early 1970s with the discovery of the remains of the “Tautavel Man” a 450,000-year-old fossilized hominid, an ancestor to the Neanderthals, that we realized how long the region has been a comfortable cradle of life. More recently, remains have been found of an even earlier ancestor dating back 560,000 years, hence the name of this wine. The small town of Tautavel, north of Perpignan, is now just as famous for its striking grenache and syrah based wines, as it is for its prehistoric site, the limestone Arago cave, drawing in millions of tourists every year. A top value in this VINTAGES release, this salty, structured find, brimming with garrigue is well-worth the discovery.

($29.95, Lifford Wine & Spirits (Select Wine Merchants)
Michael Godel – My only one pick for October 7 is Bachelder Wismer Foxcroft Gamay Noir Niagara Cru 33 Whole Cluster 2020, VQA Twenty Mile Bench. Then along comes Wismer, specifically Thomas Bachelder’s relationship with the family’s Foxcroft section of the vineyard and the connection of fanaticism. Foxcroft fruit is always destined for something exciting and new and at 33 per cent whole cluster it can handle the 2020 truth. Were that number more or less it would be impossible to say no or yes in how this gamay would fare but looking ahead hindsight will surely be 20/20. For now the middle road is taken, the beautifully amenable and handsomely accessible are achieved and this is indeed the gamay noir to win both heart and mind. In 2020 that is, so stock up y’all. Fine tannins will see this do well for five-plus years. More stems please.

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


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