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Top 10 wines in the US press

With Valentine’s Day looming Jon Bonné recommends a “superb” Champagne, while Eric Asimov tastes wines which he says are “precise, graceful and subtly but firmly structured”.

Writing in the New York Times Asimov’s tasting panel takes on red Burgundy from the 2010 vintage. Asimov was happy to be tasting the wine, but did so with a touch of sadness. He wrote: “The wines called forth pleasure, of course, and desire, but also wistful sadness and resignation. The worldwide demand for Burgundy is going up, which means the supply can only go down. Many of the wines we tasted are already hard to find.”

He added: “A vintage like 2010 demonstrates that the quality of the red wines has never been higher or more consistent. I love the vintage.”

Meanwhile in the San Francisco Chronicle Bonné backs Champagne as a drink to share and enjoy with your Valentine. He said: “As much as New Year’s Eve is a time not to go overboard on Champagne, Valentine’s Day certainly is a moment to splurge. Instead of pouring toasts for all and sundry, this is about one special bottle to share for two.”

He added: “These are wines best saved for a special evening and a special person – for which there’s a great window of opportunity coming very soon.”

Find out more about these and other wines recommended in the US press over the last week.

2011 Tamí Frappato Sicilia Rosso

Irene Virbila picked out this wine for her readers in the LA Times. She wrote: “I love its spunky notes of black cherry and other dark berries accented with lavender and spices. Serve it slightly chilled with salumi, antipasti, pasta, pizza, grilled meats and even fish. It’s a great bottle to have on hand when friends drop by unexpectedly.”

Milbrandt Vineyards 2006 Traditions Merlot

Writing in the Seattle Times Paul Gregutt recommended this Merlot. He said: “This outstanding blend offers smooth berry and cherry fruits, spice, tobacco, liquorice and smoke, folded into a lush and chocolaty finish.”

Duval-Leroy Brut

Over in Washington and writing in the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre gave this Brut two-and-a-half stars, adding: “This perennial value was better than ever when I tasted it recently, brilliantly showing the tart red-fruit flavours of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and the fleshiness of Chardonnay.”

Domaine Dujac Morey St-Denis 2010

This wine was ranked first by Eric Asimov’s tasting panel in the New York Times, earning three-and-a-half stars. Asimov said the number one wine came from Domaine Dujac, “which makes scintillating wines year after year. Not surprisingly, this was on the high end of our price scale at US$89, but it’s a village wine of rare depth and complexity. Dujac also has a small négociant operation, Maison Dujac Fils et Père, which offers good less-expensive bottles.”

Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2010

The second wine for Asimov’s panel also earned three-and-a-half stars and he described it as “elegant, silky and gracefully structured with gorgeous floral and fruit flavours, finesse and staying power.” He added: “I’ve now tried several vintages of this wine, and they are worth seeking out.”

2010 Gramercy Cellars Syrah, Walla Walla Valley

In the Chicago Tribune Bill St John featured Syrah wines from Washington and this one came highly recommended. He wrote: “If you can find it, buy this Syrah to experience the best that Washington will give you. You will want to smell this wine into your tummy, so come-hither are its aromas of fruits, earth and the darks of black pepper, campfire and dried rose, but your tongue will thank you for passing by it such sleek texture, chin-dripping juicy fruit and zesty acidity.”

2005 Diebolt-Vallois Fleur de Passion Blanc des Blancs Brut Champagne

In his recommendations for Valentine’s Day Jon Bonné picked out this, writing: “This is an energetic, powerful wine – showing all the opulence that a great Chardonnay village can muster (think Salon), but with amazing precision to its flavours: ripe Asian pear, white peach, rye toast and a stark mineral edge.”

2002 Ruinart Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne

Bonné also recommended this as a Valentine’s Champagne that Ruinart “continues to quietly outpace most Champagne made at this level – in particular with this superb example from 2002. It has a savoury, stately side – a musk, clotted cream and rye-seed presence. There’s surprising muscle for Chardonnay, with greengage plum, tangerine and ripe Bosc pear – but it’s never showy. A perfect shot of the Ruinart style.”

Viticcio, Toscana IGT, Bere Rosso 2009

Rebecca Murphy in the Dallas Morning News picked this as her wine of the week, writing that it is “an easy-drinking blend with flavours of cherry and strawberry.” She added: “It has the zesty acidity of Sangiovese, the black currant fruit and solid structure of Cabernet Sauvignon, and the velvet texture of Merlot. Enjoy it with a sausage pizza or a roast beef sandwich.”

Cuvée de la Pompadour

And finally in the Huffington Post, Mary Orlin, who is “a big fan if California sparkling wine” picks out these bubbles for a Valentine’s drink. She wrote: “The Cuvée de la Pompadour is a beautiful sparkling wine, light rose in colour, with tiny, persistent bubbles. It has a bouquet of strawberries, stone fruit and white flowers.”

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