If I Could Buy Only One – March 4 VINTAGES Release

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

Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto 2020

($68.95, Sylvestre Wines & Spirits Inc.)
David Lawrason –  I do not have a classic collector’s cellar, and I am certainly not collecting Sassicaia, which is arguably Italy’s most famous wine (last released in Ontario at $249). But I would consider spending $280 on four bottles of this Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto 2020. It is the second label of Tenuta San Guido which makes Sassicaia, It is a carefully poised, firm cabernet sauvignon from the coastal Bolgheri region.  The nose is very finely knit and complex. It is medium-full bodied very even and smooth, with some youthful tannic grit.  It is actually fairly approachable now and the length is excellent. Best 2025 to 2040.

Stratus Gamay 2021

($29.95, Stratus Vineyards)
Michael Godel – With spring just around a couple of corners my pick just has to be the Stratus Gamay 2021. With the arrival of this 2021 vintage it is not quite but inching ever so close to the 50 year mark for gamay in Ontario. Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser, co-founders of Inniskillin Wines received the first winery license since Prohibition in 1974 and primarily because for them gamay was an early focus. You could consider the 2021 growing season as one of warmth and then culminating at a tempestuous autumn, though I’m sure men at vinifera Kaiser and Ziraldo would be thrilled to have had what winemaker J-L Groux was gifted from ’21. And Groux made no mistake to coax all out aromatics with the sweetest swarthy swirl imaginable for the grape raised aboard the peninsula flats. These variegated berries are threefold – in red, blue and back, integrated with a hat trick of accenting florals, of rose, violet and azalea. Acids are crunchy while a little sweet and spicy clove verdancy goes a long way towards explaining gamay clusters and how they bloom in ferment. Serve this at the right temperature and you too will experience the pure joy of a Stratus gamay. That means 12-13 degrees celsius, give or take a half point, either way. 

rancois Xavier Nicolas Père & Fils Saint Maurice Côtes Du Rhône Villages 2019

($18.95, Vinoluna)
Sara d’Amato – This recommendation comes to you from one stranded in the southern  Rhône in the midst of a national transportation strike. The gas stations may be drying up out here but my fuel is grenache and if you’d like to join me in a glass, I recommend a compelling value in this release produced by “négociant artisanal” Francois Xavier Nicolas (meaning that they take their job of carefully selecting fine wine and grapes from across the Rhône Valley very seriously). The Francois Xavier Nicolas Père & Fils Saint Maurice Côtes Du Rhône Villages 2019 is the winery’s most northernly, southern Rhône cuvée sourced from the garrigue-riche Drôme grown on slopes sheltered from the force of the mistral wind. An assemblage of equal parts syrah and grenache from 40-year-old vines. Generously aromatic with notes of lavender and dried rosemary, tomato leaf, anise and red currant jelly. The palate is rich with ripe fruit balanced by savoury character and salty minerality. Emphatic but not heavy and ready to drink.


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