If I Could Buy Only One – June 26th VINTAGES Release

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

John Szabo – In the spirit of summer, and Canada Day (even though fireworks were replaced this year by vigils in show of support to indigenous peoples), my ‘only one’ this week is the excellent, home-grown Hidden Bench Locust Lane Rosé 2020. It’s an organically certified, fragrant pinot noir-based pale rosé, very fresh, appealingly tart red berry-scented, and very stony. There’s genuine intensity here, crunchy acids and a lively, stony quality. What’s most impressive is the excellent length, far above the mean in the category. Terrific, salty-stony stuff, a perfect way to while away a summer’s day.

Hidden Bench Locust Lane Rosé 2020

($24.95, Mark Anthony Group)

Michael Godel – When you only produce one wine you can surely take ownership of the concept “do one thing and do it really well.” This is the case with respect to Vignobles de la Seouve and their Saint Aix Rosé 2020, a Rosé led by (60 per cent) grenache, with (20) each syrah and cinsault, Provencal Rosé does not get any more focused, precise and consistent than this; tight, perfectly tart and just fleshy enough to express the purpose of ripe southern French grapes in this particular and now so widespread form. Yet this is art, on repeat but creative and pioneering no doubt. So pure.

Saint Aix Rosé 2020

($24.95, Family Wine Merchants)

David Lawrason – There is not much of this Flagship Stores selection around, but it is worth the hunt if you are a fan of Russian River pinot. This region nearer the Pacific provides just enough moderating coolness without stripping out the inherent, delicious fruit richness of California pinot noir. There many California pinots that do go over the top in terms of alcohol and sweetness, but higher quality examples like this rein it in with ease. This Amici Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is very classy, fairly rich yet lively, and at a fine state of maturity. The nose shows bright red cherry, cinnamon, lovely florals and fine cedary foresty spice. It is medium weight, juicy and intense – a touch warm with fine tannin. Excellent length, not a hair out of place. Best now through 2025.

Amici Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2017

($59.95, Rare Earth Wines)

Sara D’Amato – Barbecue or not, this standout Matetic Corralillo Syrah 2016 with plentiful pepper will prove a sure-fire crowd pleaser this holiday weekend. Coveted in cool climate syrah, the sesquiterpene flavour compound known as rotundone is also found in fresh cracked black pepper but it is undetectable in a minority of the population. For those fortunate to perceive the scent, this wine is likely to seduce. San Antonio’s cooling influence ensures that this syrah is elegant, even refreshing with plenty of food pairing potential.

Matetic Corralillo Syrah 2016

($21.95, H.H.D. Imports)


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 Sommelier Selections

New Release and VINTAGES Preview

Sponsored Toronto Wine Storage - Fine Wine Reserve

The Fine Wine Reserve provides discerning collectors with the highest standards of fine wine storage in Toronto. Their facilities are purpose-built and specifically engineered to protect your fine wines. With two locations in the GTA, The Fine Wine Reserve offers the widest range of storage options and styles in Canada - allowing them to serve the unique and evolving needs of novice and expert collectors alike.