If I Could Buy Only One – May 21 VINTAGES Release

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

Editor’s note: David and John are away for this release.

Château D'aquéria Tavel 2021

($24.95, Noble Estates Wines & Spirits)
Sara d’Amato– As the north tilts towards the sun on the earth’s axis, it’s high time for Tavel! This cool, atypical vintage for the Rhône yielded some slowly ripened white and rosé marvels and was and proved a particularly strong vintage for D’Aquéria. Deeply coloured as ever, this potent Château D’Aquéria Tavel 2021 rosé has a ‘vin de garde’ quality but at the same time is a delight to drink now. Enjoy on its own or at the table with salty grilled salmon, pancetta-wrapped pork loin, or a fricassee of spring mushrooms.

Hidden Bench Fumé Blanc 2019

($29.95 Mark Anthony Group)
Michael Godel – First tasted this stunner from Harald Thiel and (winemaker at the time) Jay Johnston a year ago April and then again at last October’s 2021 National Wine Awards of Canada. Always gratifying weeks after a blind tasting to see the reveal and to confirm first impressions were spot on. The Hidden Bench Fumé Blanc 2019 is fast out of the gate in 2019, the escape fast and furious. Still holds title as the yeah-starter, marker, benchmark and harbinger for the sauvignon blanc enveloping sémillon bench ideal and the gregarious behaviour emitting aromatically through this ’19 wins the race before the first turn is even approached. Nothing is going to catch or match these complex notions, nor will the energy wane before the long track is run. The citrus-herbal swirl is dizzying, the extract off the charts and the future potential for hypnotizing smoulder so a part of present cognizant thought. Imagining the possibilities is half the fun, sipping the current ones the other. Persistently herbal in a fresh tarragon and savoury way and then lime cordial, nearly sweetened but more so botanical and mineral. A conundrum of a sauvignon blanc at this stage (in October 2021), still tannic and yet fulsome but clearly well-made in a Loire vein.

Burrowing Owl Merlot 2019

($42.95, Wyse Wine Agency)
Megha Jandhyala – This is a compelling expression of merlot from the Okanagan, ready to be
enjoyed but promising to evolve gracefully over the next few years, making it a versatile addition
to one’s cellar. The Burrowing Owl Merlot 2019 is a rich harmony of ripe plums, blackberries, liquorice root, tobacco, vanilla, dark chocolate, and cloves. Dried violet petals add allure. I like the opulence of the palate, accompanied by juicy acidity. Oak flavours are notable but balanced and will continue to assimilate over the next few years. The finish is enduring.

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.

Sara’s Selections
Megha’s Mega Picks
Michael’s Mix

New Release and VINTAGES Preview