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Top 10 wines in the US press

Wines ranging from Italy to Oregon have come under scrutiny this week, as has an American version of Petit Manseng – a grape rarely found outside of France.

This week Eric Asimov, writing in the New York Times, featured some of his favourite Italian wines, and it is clear he has a soft spot for the country. He wrote: “Like Italian food, Italian red wine has an innate, almost elemental appeal.

“Regardless of where in Italy it comes from, good Italian red wine speaks directly to the soul, and the gut, of place and people and food and love. And that’s just the beginning; great wines embrace the head as well.”

Meanwhile in the San Francisco Chronicle Jon Bonné stayed a little closer to home as he looked at wines from Oregon. He obviously liked what he found, as he wrote, “with the 2010 vintage, there’s solid evidence that Oregon has finally found a permanent footing. The wines aren’t simply excellent; they show a concentration and depth that rise from being simply pleasurable to being profound.”

Look through these pages to find out specifically which wines the writers have mentioned from these areas, and a selection of other wines mentioned in the US press over the last seven days.

2011 Perrini Salento Rosso ($15)

Eric Asimov in the New York Times wrote of his love for Italian wine (and food). In listing his favourites, he said: “The 2011 Perrini Salento Rosso, was light and inviting, with the signature spicy bitterness that we sought in the wines. It was also our best value at $16.”

2011 Metiusco Salento Rosso ($14)

Asimov made mention of some more Italian wines, writing, “Other wines worth noting include the exuberant 2011 Metiusco Salento Rosso from Palama.” He added that the wine is, “inky purple colour, with lively, pleasant fruit flavours; an archetypal trattoria wine.”

2010 Beaux Freres Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir ($80)

In the San Francisco Chronicle Jon Bonné wrote, “Beaux Freres has been on the edge of ambition in Oregon, but Mike Etzel is also making good on those ambitions. An immensely pleasing, profound wine. Full of heady sage and birch bark, with raspberry, wild strawberry and a classy oak note that comes across as a subtle toast element.”

2010 Kramer Vineyards Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir ($20)

Bonné also featured another Pinot Noir from Oregon, writing, “this longtime property in Gaston, established in 1984, is on a surge – and for the price, this brings a welcome level of complexity. Welcome notes of curry leaf and mushroom, with a slightly austere side but one that will reward you on the table.”

2007 Clos des Quatre Vents ($40)

For Will Lyons in the Wall St Journal this week was all about Margaux. While there are obviously some very expensive wines to be had in the region, Lyons mentioned a couple that were reasonably priced. He was impressed with this “hidden gem”, about which he wrote, “the quality of the wines is impressive, with huge concentration and power. With age they develop beautifully, with notes of red berries and a slightly smokey, cedar flavour.”

2011 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly ($23)

Over in Los Angeles, S. Irene Virbila, writing for the LA Times, said: “Pop the cork on the 2011 and it’s guaranteed the bottle will be finished in a flash. With its bright fruit, luscious texture and all-around geniality, Thivin’s Côte de Brouilly goes down very easy. Keep a few bottles on hand, ready for any occasion.”

2009 Chester Gap Cuvee Manseng ($19)

The Washington Post, this week featured a piece from UK wine writer Steven Spurrier, who was commenting on Virginia wines. Writing about the Petit Manseng grape, he said: “This exotic white variety from south-western France is grown almost nowhere else in the world. Some of the best (Chester Gap, Glen Manor, Linden) are in such small production that they sell out quickly each vintage.”

2011 Ponzi Pinot Gris ($15)

In the Seattle Times, Paul Gregutt said this white wine is, “fragrant with floral notes, lemony fruit and hints of apricot, this is a tangy, textural Pinot Gris. It has the requisite weight for autumn meals, yet retains a bright, stylish profile right through a lingering finish.”

2010 Pezzi King Estate Old Vine Zinfandel ($50)

Fred Tasker in the Miami Herald is clearly a fan of Zinfandel, describing the grape a being, “like your favourite uncle – hearty, generous and exuberant”. Tasker added that this wine has a, “hint of cedar, big, ripe black raspberry flavours, spicy, lush and opulent, powerful and sweet, almost port-like”.

2006 Les Chesnaies Chinon Cuvée Marie ($27)

Finally Bill St John, writing for the Chicago Tribune, said: “From my perch, no winemaking country is as diverse as France. It makes every kind of wine imaginable. And within France, no region tops the Loire Valley for intramural diversity.” He picked out the Chinon Cuvée Marie as having, “a wow of concentration of fruit, tannin and minerals, all seductively rendered; super buy for its age”.

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