Top 10 wines in the US pressBy Andy Young
Rebecca Murphy picks out a “scrumptious wine that’s redolent of tropical fruit and peaches”, while Eric Asimov recommends a “structured, complex and energetic” red.
In leading a New York Times tasting panel through a range of 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Asimov wrote: “The skirmish lines among wine lovers feature many flash points, subjects so divisive that antagonists bristle even before they’ve said a word or tasted a drop. Right up there in the argumentative forefront is the southern Rhône, particularly the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.”
He added: “Why Châteauneuf? The trajectory of its evolution over the last 25 years has been clear: a powerful, intense, complex and somewhat rustic wine has become bigger, richer, heavier, jammier and more polished. In a way, Châteauneuf represents the rise of modern winemaking the world over in the last half-century.
“Recently, because I have been hearing such good word of mouth about the 2010 Châteauneufs, the wine panel tasted 20 bottles from that vintage. Right away, it was clear to us that the advance word was correct. In fact, it seemed to me that 2010 was a vintage with so much to offer that it could bridge that yawning stylistic gap that so often makes Châteauneuf an incendiary subject.”
Click through the following pages to find out which wines Asimov and other wine writers in the US press have recommended over the last week.
2002 Taittinger Comtes de Champagnes
In the Wall Street Journal, Will Lyons recommended different Champagnes of the 2002 vintage, he wrote of this bubbly: “This hugely collectible wine has seen its price climb steadily this year. Made from grapes from some of Champagne’s most well-respected villages, this is fresh and floral , with an absolute refined elegance and a long, precise finish.”
Argillae Orvieto 2011/2012
Dave McIntyre, in the Washington Post, picked out a range of wines “to see you through the end of summer.” He wrote of this wine: “This delightful blend of several grapes offers an orchard of ripe fruit flavours, with a hint of almonds on the finish. Don’t serve it cold enough to mask them. The distributor is moving to the 2012 vintage; if you can find the 2011, it benefits from the additional bottle age, while the 2012 is fresher and will reward waiting until spring.”
Nasiakos Moschofilero Mantinia 2012
McIntyre also recommended this Greek wine, giving it three stars out of three and writing: “Bright and flowery, it has ripe tree-fruit flavours that taste of the sun and a nice mineral core that roots it to the Earth. Every sip evokes a smile.”
2012 Patrick Piuze Petit Chablis
In the LA Times, Irene Virbila picked out this as her “wine of the week”, she wrote: “Another terrific Chablis from young négociant and winemaker Patrick Piuze, a French Canadian who stopped to work the harvest in Burgundy 11 years ago and basically never went home again.”
She added: “Lemony yellow and crisp, it is fermented with indigenous yeasts and shows off aromas of citrus, mostly lemon and grapefruit. Stern at first taste, it has a lovely texture and a finish that stays awhile.
“Drink it with a platter of oysters or clams on the half shell, with a lobster roll or a grilled lobster. It’s great with nutty cheeses too.”
Protea, Coastal Region, Chenin Blanc 2012
This is the wine recommended by Rebecca Murphy in the Dallas Morning News. She wrote: “The Chenin Blanc grape might not be one of the current darlings of the wine world, but that doesn’t stop dedicated vintners from continuing to show how wonderful it can be.
“For example, Anthonij Rupert Wyne in South Africa has given us this scrumptious wine that’s redolent of tropical fruit and peaches with delicate floral notes. It is light and graceful, with peachy-mango flavours enlivened with citrusy acidity. Enjoy it as an aperitif or with a Caesar salad.”
2012 Holly’s Hill Estate El Dorado Grenache Blanc
In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné described this wine as “serious stuff”.
He added: “The Cooper family has taken full advantage of the potential of white Rhone-native grapes from their Sierra foothill soils near Placerville. This is serious stuff, with a lot of stuffing and the brightness from those granite soils shining through: green almond and marjoram aromas, with remarkable acidity and a great apple-pulp flesh to balance.”
Domaine Moulin-Tacussel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010
This is the wine that came out on top for Eric Asimov and his tasting panel in the New York Times. He wrote: “Our number one bottle, from the Domaine Moulin-Tacussel, indeed had an old-school, rustic air about it. It was dense and herbal yet with smoky, dark fruit, structured, complex and energetic.”
Domaine Monpertuis Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010
Asimov also highlighted this bottle, writing: “Our number three bottle, from Domaine Monpertuis, was spicy and pure with plenty of red fruit flavours and herbal accents. It was also our best value, at $37, an indication that Châteauneuf long ago left its days of relative affordability far behind.”
MacMurray Ranch Pinot Gris Russian River Valley 2012
For Sandra Silfven in the Detroit News, this wine “could stir some conversation among diehard wine lovers”.
She wrote: “There is Pinot Gris and then there is MacMurray’s: so rich, ripe, dry, complex. For grown-up palates. It can tame rich scallops and lobster. It can court planked whitefish. I think it would be ever so perfect with pork as well. It’s all about baked apple, pear, dried fig and white peach notes, and is silky on the palate and bone-dry with a honeyed tropical sweetness in the midpalate. It finishes dry.”
2012 Bieler Pere et Fils Sabine Rose
And finally Michael Dresser recommended this wine in the Baltimore Sun.
He wrote: “This is a bracing, crisp, bone-dry pink wine from the south of France. It demonstrates what non-snobbish wine lovers have known a long time: Dry roses are serious wines. This excellent version offers penetrating flavours of sherry, strawberry and rosehips. It’s best served before the weather gets cold.”