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Top 10 wines in the US Press

We round up the top 10 wines featured in the US press in the past week

This week, Eric Pfanner in the International Herald Tribune visits the south of France, and sings its praises: “Roussillon has no grand cru or premier cru designations to distinguish its greatest wines; the atmosphere is egalitarian rather than aristocratic.”

Katie Kelly Bell in celebrates “Cabernet Day” with a range of worldwide selections of the grape, while Jon Bonné flies the flag for Washington State reds in the San Francisco Chronicle, saying “what brought a smile to my face is how good things have gotten not only at the top end, but among some of the ambitious little guys”.

Meanwhile, Lettie Teague in the Wall Street Journal asks: “What happened to New Zealand Pinot Noir?”

Domaine Gauby, Calce, Roussillon

Eric Pfanner in the International Herald Tribune looks to “the pioneers of Roussillon” and says “the iconic Roussillon winemaker, Gérard Gauby makes reds and whites in a signature, unforgettable style.”

 Domaine Gardiès Les Vignes de Mon Père, Roussillon

Pfanner praises the “consistently good reds and whites” from this producer, including this wine: “the best pure Carignan cuvée … that I have yet tasted.”

Tinto Pesquera Ribera del Duero 2009 (US$26-36)

Irene Virbila in the LA Times says this wine never disappoints: “the vines are old, and the wine is so dark and inky you could paint with it. Pour it into the glass and the aromas of blackberries, dark plums, anise and earth jump out.”

BenMarco Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina 2010 (US$20)

Katie Kelly Bell from celebrates Cabernet Day with this: “Medium bodied with lots of juicy plum, leather and cigar spice. Very velvety with a rather toe-curling plushness, soft tannin, tastes like sinking into an overstuffed velvet chair

 Gramercy Cellars Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (US$50)

Jon Bonné in the San Francisco Chronicle praises “a blend (with some Franc and Merlot) that absolutely brims with a gravelly mineral presence … A pitch-perfect example of Washington’s abilities.”

 Covey Run Quail Series Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (US$9)

Jon Bonné says this longtime favourite in now back on form: “it’s a legit Cabernet, with a proper leafy aspect to its chewy black currant and olive flavors that show an impressive amount of wine for the money.”

Leonetti Cellar Walla Walla Valley Merlot 2010 (US$70)

Bonné adds that this producer is in better form than ever: “The Merlot is a portrait of Washington’s possibility: heady, dense, scented like good oolong tea and savoury wood.”

Ata Rangi Martinborough Pinot Noir 2010 (US$43)

Lettie Teague in the Wall Street Journal picks this “dense, structured Pinot that still manages to be quite supple and elegant”.

Felton Road Block 5 Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010 (US$80)

Lettie Teague also hails another impressive vintage of this “big, multi-layered still tannic wine that needs time to unwind to show its more expressive and inviting side”.

Mount Beautiful North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2009 (US$20)

Teague says this wine, “made in a region rarely noted for its Pinot” is “a very pretty and elegant wine with appealing notes of red cherry, earth and spice”.

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