Buyers’ Guide to VINTAGES February 2nd, Part Two

New World Finds, Argentine Spotlight and Niagara’s Icewine Festival

By Sara d’Amato with notes from David Lawrason and Michael Godel

Sara d’Amato

It is the beginning of a new year which means smaller VINTAGES releases wines with approximately 105 wines and spirits in the mix this weekend. In last week’s newsletter David Lawrason spoke about our lessened opportunities as media to cover the complete release. As we determine how we may reshape our coverage, by broadening our reporting on other outlets at which consumers can purchase wine in Ontario, you may find that a critic or two are absent from reviews. With that in mind, we have been vigilant on ensuring that at least one of us has analyzed each of the wines available in the VINTAGES release. Without further ado, herein you’ll find our top picks from the New World found on VINTAGES shelves this weekend.

Argentinian Feature

This week, Argentina takes center stage with a small but comprehensive feature from which we were able to pull a great deal of gems. For a thorough overview of the country’s changing landscape, don’t miss Michael Godel’s special report – A Masterclass Across Argentina.

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Argentinian Whites

Piattelli 2017 Reserve Torrontés, Cafayate Valley, Salta, Argentina ($14.95)
Sara d’Amato – A classic torrontés from the extreme high-altitude desert northern region of Cafayate with perfectly restrained floral character. Zesty and appealing with no shortage of freshness resulting in some visceral tension on the palate. The alcohol level is expectedly high, not uncommon for the grape variety, but it is very well integrated. A salty edge delightfully compliments the flavours of lime, sweet lemon and blossom that linger memorably.

There are twelve VINTAGES release recommendations this week that are currently only available to our premium members. This complete article will be visible to all members 30 days after publication. We invite you to subscribe today to unlock our top picks and other Premium benefits.

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A Salute to Michele Bosc

Early this year we lost one of our own in the Niagara wine industry, Michele Bosc of Château des Charmes Estates. The wife of Paul Bosc Jr. and mother of son Alex. Over her tenure as the winery’s VP of Marketing & Administration, Michele became the warm, benevolent face of Château des Charmes, known for her generosity, her instant amiability and ability to reach out to a vast wine community. She was forward-thinking, innovative and brought renewed enthusiasm to the brand. To call Michele dedicated is an understatement. From hospital bed to at home convalescence, she continued to have an active social media presence and an unwavering promotion of Niagara wine and Château des Charmes brands. Michele Bosc was a genuine ambassador and will be missed.

Best Ontario Sommelier Competition and a Re-boot of Ontario’s Blind Wine Tasting Challenge

On April 14th of 2019, the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers will be hosting the biennial Best Ontario Sommelier Competition at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Although the competition takes place at 1 PM, there will be wine related events all day long also open to the public including an International Wine and Food Fair commencing at 11 AM. A sparkling wine reception and a Gala Dinner with live music, cutting-edge wine and food! For tickets and registration:

On the same day, CAPS and international wine partners will be reviving the Ontario tradition of the Wine Tasting Challenge at 11AM. Amateurs and professionals alike will have the opportunity to compete anonymously for pride and great prizes to test their senses in a blind tasting. Three half hour sessions are available, but slots are filling up quickly. If you’d like to participate, register at the link above.

Stay tuned for upcoming news reporting on wine regions both emerging and established from across the globe. Check back here this weekend for our “Only One Picks” on shelves at VINTAGES February 2nd.



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

New Release and VINTAGES Preview