If I Could Buy Only One – March 2nd Vintages Release

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

Stina Cuvée White 2022, Croatia
$19.95, Croatia Unpacked
John Szabo – My only one this week takes us to the beautiful Dalmatian coast in Croatia, and specifically the island of Brac: Stina Cuvée White 2022, PDO Central and South Dalmatia. I had a very memorable visit to Stina a couple of years ago, a leading figure in the export renaissance of Croatian wine, and saw first hand their spectacularly steep and stony vineyards (Stina means stone in Croatian), and tasted through their excellent range. The ‘Cuvée White’ is the impressive entry point, in 2022 a blend of locals posip, 70%, and 20% vugava, with the remainder in chardonnay to wedge the door open a smidge for foreign consumers. It’s crafted in a clean and fruity, stainless steel style, with the quasi tropical fruit perfume of posip joining the viognier-like florality of vugava on an attractively mid-weight and fresh, lively frame. Really quite a lovely bottle all in all, ready to enjoy or hold short term.

Lloyd Brothers Estate Blend Gsm 2021, South Australia
$28.95, Michael Andrew Brands
Sara d’Amato – It’s no secret I have a great love for the wines of the Rhône Valley but I’m no regional snob when it comes to great Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre especially when it comes from a place so perfectly suited to these varieties like the McLaren Vale in Southern Australia. With its great range of elevation and aspect along with a Mediterranean climate, these three grape varieties thrive and produce some of the country’s most sought-after blends from impressively old vines. Lloyd Brothers sources from estate grown, bush vine grenache, shiraz, and mourvèdre and then vinifies using a very light-handed touch resulting in a notable expression of terroir. Hearty but not heavy, this licorice, lavender, kirsch and cassis dominated blend features a great deal of complexity and joy for the price. A great transitional wine on the brink of warmer weather to come. 
Michael Godel – My only one pick for the Vintages March 2nd release is just what the blend doctor orders from the classic G-S-M Rhône trilogy that McLaren Vale does as well as any South Australian region. Lloyd Brothers Estate Blend GSM 2021 is juicy and firm, of tang in droves mixed with grip and life-extending tannin. Not sure this would ever be confused with the OG blends out of the motherland but welcome to the world of the Vale, unique and to its own. Drink this anytime or allow it to get lost in the cellar for up to 10 years. 

Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello Di Montalcino 2018, Tuscany, Italy
$73.95, Le Sommelier Inc.
David Lawrason – With Vintages March 2 Release celebrating Italian women in wine I just can’t ignore this opportunity to celebrate the pioneering contribution of Donatella Colombini, nor will I ever forget my only visit to her estate for an intimate yet high spirited and courtyard lunch with Donatella and her daughter Violenta. But just as vividly I remember tasting in her cellar and recognizing the amazing grace that can be rendered from Brunello, Italy’s most famous “power’ red. It shows up again in this 2018 vintage now on release. You can read my full tasting note for flavour and style notes, but I further urge you to buy this wine as an excellent value proposition in the world of fine wine.
Megha Jandhyala – The 2018 vintage of Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s Brunello Di Montalcino is my “only one” this week for two reasons. First, it is simply enthralling. Made with organically grown sangiovese from the winery’s Casato Prime Donne estate, situated on the cooler side of Montalcino at 225 meters above sea level, it exhibits elegance and lightness, along with complexity and concentration. Each moment spent with it seems to reveal a new facet that delights one’s senses. This by itself is motivation enough for me to buy a bottle of this Brunello. What draws me even more to this wine is that the winery, owned by Donatella Cinelli Colombini, is run entirely by women, including respected winemaker Valérie Lavigne. Showing delicate signs of maturity, it is drinking beautifully now, so why not toast women-in-wine this month with a bottle of this premium Tuscan wine. 

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

New Release and VINTAGES Preview