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Top 10 wines in the US press

Mullineux 2012

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre picked out “wines that work exceptionally well with food.” He wrote of this wine: “This rich, unctuous blend of Chenin Blanc, Clairette Blanche and Viognier is fragrant with peach blossom and honeysuckle, followed by ripe tree fruit flavours over a mineral core that somehow keeps it in (soft) focus. Alcohol by volume: 13.5%.

Henry Fessy Château des Reyssiers Régnié 2011

This is another of McIntyre’s food-wine picks, he wrote: “I’m a big fan of Beaujolais for its fruity, fun style of red wine that lifts my spirits without demanding my attention. Here’s a great “house red” for sipping or dining. ABV: 13%.”

2006 Torraccia del Plantavigna Gattinara

This was Irene Virbila’s “wine of the week” in the LA Times, she wrote that “this wine proves there is reason to explore this tiny pocket of Piedmont.”

She added: “Though it is the 2006 vintage, the wine has just been released, so it’s quite mature. It tastes of dried plums and dark cherries laced with spice, and it is 100% Nebbiolo. Tannins are smooth, and the wine seems to pick up weight the longer it’s open. Pop the cork on this to enjoy with grilled meats or duck breast, with roasted birds and prime rib. It goes well with pasta too: agnolotti, tortellini and pasta with chicken livers or a simple pork ragù.”

Burgáns, Rias Baixas, Albarino 2011

In the Dallas Morning News, Rebecca Murphy recommended this wine, writing: “Rias Baixas is a wine region in Galicia in northwestern Spain, sometimes called Green Spain. The climate here is mightily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. It makes for lean, crisp and refreshing wines like this one.”

She added: “Its nose offers hints of the ocean, with a slightly saline note complementing the peachy, citrusy and floral aromas. In the mouth, the wine is fresh and lively, with flavours of peaches, apples and Meyer lemons. Try it with something from the sea: sautéed scallops or fillet of sole baked in parchment.”

2009 Colli Aretini Paterna

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov led his tasting panel “on a neighbourhood prowl through the city of Chianti”. He wrote: “I’m in love with the Sangiovese grape. This is no new infatuation. I’ve always loved Chiantis, the wines of Montalcino and the various other expressions of Tuscan Sangiovese.”

He added that this wine was ranked top by his panel, writing: “Number one was the 2009 Paterna from Colli Aretini, from the hills above Arezzo, which had all the purity and balance I love in a good Sangiovese wine. Earthy, pure and balanced, with persistent flavours of red and dark fruits and minerals.”

2008 Colli Senesi Pacina

In describing his love of Sangiovese, Asimov added: “Well-made Sangioveses are fresh, gorgeously aromatic and energised by vibrant acidity. As they age, they mellow. They can become earthier and maybe a touch leathery. But always, the best are focused, precise and transporting.”

This wine was ranked second by Asimov’s tasting panel, he wrote: “Number two was the 2008 Pacina from Colli Senesi, which was likewise clear and harmonious. The wines from Colli Senesi seemed to be the easiest to find. They accounted for 12 of the 20 bottles and 5 of our top 10. Pure and harmonious, with aromas and flavours of flowers and cherries.”

2004 Roederer Estate L’Ermitage Brut Anderson Valley

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné wrote: “The state of American sparkling wine continues on the trajectory it has been following: The serious are getting seriouser – while still often remaining an astonishing value – the dry versions are getting drier and more focused, and the sweet wines are getting sweeter and more market-driven.”

In describing this wine, he added: “Not to overlook Roederer’s nonvintage efforts, but its latest L’Ermitage is gorgeous. About half each Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with a bit of reserve wine from 2000, it has that seamless quality that also marks Roederer’s best Champagnes. Fern, coriander seed and a mandarin orange freshness that matches the apple-skin texture and quince fruit. Its yeastiness is subtle and savoury, like good rye bread. Should be even better in a year. Disgorged January 2013.

2009 Schramsberg Brut Rosé North Coast

Bonné also recommended this sparkler, writing: “Hugh Davies and winemaker Keith Hock found a notable precision in their mix of fruit from across the North Coast, predominantly Pinot Noir with some fermented on skins for colour. A riper fruit quality comes out on the finish, and bolsters the fresh mix of rose petal, yeast, apple and white nectarine.”

He added: “It’s less creamy than spicy, with aspects of pecan shell and caraway. Schramsberg’s NV Mirabelle Brut Rosé North Coast, currently based on the 2010 vintage and sporting a new label, is a creamier, strawberry-flavour effort for the near term, something to put you in a Wimbledon state of mind.

Cline Cellars Zinfandel Lodi 2012

This wine was recommended by Sandra Silfven in the Detroit News, she wrote: “Cline Cellars is an old name in Cali wine history, starting out in 1982 in Oakley in the San Francisco Bay area and moving to the Carneros region of Sonoma in 1991. They get bigtime reviews for their wines from A list wine critics — because they take such care in growing and making the wine.”

She added: “This Zin is a class act – generous dark berry, dark plum fruit, black pepper and sturdy, supple tannins. It was in total balance with acidity to give a spine to all that great fruit, and a touch of oak to flesh out the flavours and add complexity. It was totally dry — worthy of buying by the case.”

2012 Educated Guess Pinot Noir

And finally this wine is recommended by Michael Dresser in the Baltimore Sun. He wrote: “There’s a real depth of flavour behind the soft, lush texture of this well-made Carneros red wine. It shows elements of black cherry and cassis, along with an appealing earthiness. It would be an excellent accompaniment to the Thanksgiving turkey, and its has the guts and concentration to stand up to the array of traditional dishes for that feast. Serve with: Roast turkey, duck, grilled tuna.”

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