If I Could Buy Only One – January 6 VINTAGES Release

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

Bertani Amarone Della Valpolicella Valpantena 2020

Bertani Amarone Della Valpolicella Valpantena 2020, Veneto, Italy
$57.95, Mark Anthony Wines & Spirits
David Lawrason – In a release full of under $20 bargains my head was turned by this classic! It is a very elegant and poised Amarone – not words I often use for Amarone.  A genre often more ripe, rich and luscious – even sweet. But I really like the sense of restraint and sophistication on display here. The 15.5% alcohol smoulders instead of burns. The aromatics are a tapestry of red cherry, strawberry, fine herbs, dried flowers and subtle wood spice. This is very well focused, seamless and shows excellent to outstanding length. It should age gracefully for two decades. A bargain in its own right.

Château Des Places 2020

Château des Places 2020, AC Graves, Bordeaux, France
$26.95, Appellation Wines

Château Marquis De Terme 2018

Château Marquis de Terme 2018, 4e Cru, AC Margaux, Bordeaux, France
$61.95, Vinexx
Michael Godel – We’re less than a week away from the VINTAGES Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux tasting in Toronto where paying guests can sample more than 100 top wines from the 2021 vintage. That is why my Only One pick is actually two, both from Bordeaux and both better deals than anything you will find at the UGC event. Neither are from the highly touted 2019 vintage, yet each are of exceptional quality and value in their own right. First the Château Des Places 2020 – it is hard to find Graves at this price no matter the vintage and this 2020 delivers a wealth of fruit with no lack for acidity to keep things moving at a frenetic pace. A steal at $27 with some good arid and grippy tannins to finish and seal the deal. The second is Château Marquis De Terme 2018, which may be considered a “lesser” vintage (and 2019 is certainly a top quality one) but there can be some amazing diamonds in the proverbial Bordeaux rough when scores and/or hype are downgraded. That is the case here and it is recommended to both decant and allow time in the glass to urge forward, coax and draw out the famous Margaux perfume. This will surprise many naysayers and at the price represents about as low risk a purchase as there is in growth Bordeaux.

Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Cabernet Franc 2020

Thirty Bench Winemaker’s Blend Cabernet Franc 2020, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
($26.95, Andrew Peller Limited)
Sara d’Amato – With a marked sense of place and from the excellent 2020 vintage, this cabernet franc is sourced from two sub-appellation sites – one in the Beamsville Bench and the other in Creek Shores. Coming into its own now, with a graphite-led nose, bay leaf, licorice and raspberry emerging from the glass with a little air, the wine exhibits a pleasant dichotomy of broody and lively along with notable intensity and freshness. Comforting without sacrificing complexity and verve.


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
Michael’s Mix
Sara’s Selections
Szabo’s Smart Buys

New Release and VINTAGES Preview


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