Michael Godel’s Buyers’ Guide to VINTAGES April 13th

by Michael Godel, with notes from Steve Thurlow and Sara d’Amato

These last few weeks have begun to afford the WineAlign crü some reduced travel time, to get busy recharging and refocusing on what is right in front of our eyes. Tastings have centred on wine coming into our market from so many varied channels and now here we are, returning to your inbox with all in recommendation vengeance for this week’s Buyers’ Guide to the imminent arrivals at VINTAGES on April 13th. David and John were finishing up their winter journeys so Steve, Sara and I set to the task of tasting through the release.

Michael Godel

The first turn towards warm weather is cause to consider aromatic whites and boom, what a coincidence! VINTAGES obliges with examples that have caught our attention; torrontés out of Argentina and riesling from both the old country (Rheinhessen) and the new (New York). What really piques our interest from April 13th is an old friend and great contributor to many releases past. If you guessed Bordeaux you would be correct.

Bordeaux has been the punching bag and recipient of much ado malign these past few years, mainly due to a negative public perception with regards to ego, attitude, success fatigue and most of all, pricing. What so many consumers fail to consider are land prices, production costs and inflation caused by global market demand. Though the wines of several dozen growth and garagiste Bordeaux houses have risen into the stratosphere since the much-hyped (turn of) the century 2000 vintage, there are as point of fact many dozens more that have quietly flown under the radar. This release give us a glimpse or cross-section of those unheralded estates of not just excellence, but also value.

The team found solid consensus from and for a half dozen Bordeaux reds and at prices ranging from $20-60, with drinking windows that begin today and travel well into the next decade. In this regard there is a Bordeaux for every price bracket, from quality to price ratio and for laying down in the cellar. We also have a few additional miscellaneous red picks, including a remarkable value in Chianti Classico Riserva from the organic village of Panzano in Chianti.

Vegan Wine Pairing 


Familia Zuccardi Santa Julia Organica Torrontés 2018, Mendoza, Argentina ($13.95)
Sara d’Amato – While I typically look to the more northerly region of Salta for elegant torrontés, Zuccardi has managed to put forth a great value example from Mendoza that is polished and restrained yet still with a great deal of charm. Peach, pear and rose with a dry, salty palate, this torrontés avoids the trapping of being too intensely perfumed or overly alcoholic.
Steve Thurlow – There is a lovely fragrant nose to this well balanced organic white. Expect aromas of ripe peach fruit with tangerine and floral tones. The aromas might make you think it was sweet but it is bone dry with a rich creamy palate but rather an austere finish. Decent length. Lovely nose.
Michael Godel – Here torrontes from the lower elevations of Mendoza delivers more strength, weight and metallic notes than what comes from higher altitudes. Florals are there but caught in the density of the fruit and acidity is but a whisper to keep it honest and alive. Nice work in a very correct example. …

There are fifteen other 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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Thanks for reading up about the April 13th VINTAGES release. The WineAlign team will return next week with more post-release recommendations along with extensive coverage from our tastings at local events and around the world.

Good to go!


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.

Michael’s Mix
Sara’s Sommelier Selections
Steve’s VINTAGES Picks

New Release and VINTAGES Preview