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Top 10 wines in the US press

Renwood, Fiddletown, Zinfandel 2010

BottleShot.Renwood.Zin.FiddletownWriting in the Dallas News, Rebecca Murphy, recommended this Californian Zinfandel.

She said: “Renwood Winery is in Amador County. Amador is famous for the California Gold Rush and for the quality of its zinfandel wines. This zin features luscious brambleberry fruit complemented by savoury notes of wood spices, tobacco and dark chocolate. It’s a satisfying mouthful, round and warm with tangy acidity to keep it lively, finishing with husky tannins. It will be equally comfortable with a burger or a spicy lamb curry.”

Price: $18.69-$21.99

2012 Bedrock Old Vine, Sonoma Valley Zinfandel


Sticking with Zinfandel, Jon Bonné, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, highlighting the grape’s return to prominence after a number of “wobbly versions” which failed to make an impression.

He said: “Not to diminish the red-spiced depth of his Bedrock Monte Rosso ($42, 15%), but Morgan Twain-Peterson has pulled off a remarkable feat with his basic bottle – a perfect balance of plummy fruit, spice (carob, allspice, fennel) and perfume, and a perfect extraction of tannin.

“The provenance helps a bit: almost 40 percent from his Bedrock site, plus some other Sonoma bright lights, including Monte Rosso and Casa Santinamaria.”

Price: $24

2011 Suacci Carciere Bismark Vineyard, Sonoma County Zinfandel

UntitledOf this 2011 Zinfandel Bonné said: “With help from winemaker Ryan Zepaltas, the Suacci and Carciere families have again shown a splendid side of Sonoma, here from an igneous-soil mountain site that starts at 1,400 feet elevation.

“Pinot dominates this label, and there’s a stylistic kinship – nuanced earth and mace spice, and plummy, multi-hued fruit. Layered and complex.”

Price: $30

2012 Broc Cellars Vine Starr Sonoma County Zinfandel

broc4A third recommendation was made of this 2012 Zinfandel, also from Sonoma County, produced by winemaker Chris Brockway.

He said: “Chris Brockway‘s work with this bottle, from two Sonoma vineyards, remains a redefining proposition for Zinfandel.

“It has the raspberry fruit of old classic Zinfandel – in an aromatic, herb-tinged way, not a jammy way. Tangy and bright, like fresh berries on a warm day.”

Price: $27

Nathalie Falmet Tentation Rosée


With Valentine’s Day tomorrow Dave McIntyre, writing in the Washington Post, took the opportunity to recommend some sparkling rosé.

Of this Nathalie Falmet rosé from Champagne he said: “I raved about this champagne grower’s brut nature cuvée in December. The rosé is softer and fruitier, though quite dry. The frosted bottle adds a whiff of mystery.

Price: $75

Roederer Estate Brut Rosé

2_5798750_3McIntyre also recommended this rosé from the Louis Roederer Estate.
He said: “The Louis Roederer champagne house established Roederer Estate in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley in the early 1980s, and it has helped set a high standard for California sparkling wine ever since. The brut rosé has a lovely perfume of strawberry and melon, and it follows through with a laser beam of fruit.”Price: $30

Warre’s Otima 10 Year Old Tawny Port

optimaSandra Silfven, writing in the Detroit News, chose a 10-year-old tawny port as her recommendation of the week.

Warre’s, founded in 1670 and was the first British Port company established in Portugal’s Douro Valley.

She said: “This sweet beauty is like concentrated caramel, honey, dried fruits, and nuts. It’s silky on the palate and the alcohol — even at 20 percent —  is subtle and offset by the sweetness and fruit.

“Serve it in small glasses, chilled if you prefer, with creamy French cheeses or British Stilton or Shropshire Blue. It’s widely available in Metro Detroit at better wine shops.”

Price: $30



2011 Edmeades Zinfandel

B098069Writing in the Baltimore Sun, Michael Dresser recommended this “port-like” Zinfandel.

He said: “It’s a bit hard-edged when it’s first opened, but this full-bodied red wine quickly opens up to display vibrant flavours of blackberries, wild berries, plums, herbs and chocolate and black pepper.

“There’s a port-like quality to this blockbuster, but it’s a fully dry wine. It’s pretty gripping.

He said it would pair well with beefy stews, pasta with tomato

Price: $20

Biltmore Estate Blanc de Noir

be-bdn_redcapsule2Dennis Sodomka picked out his favourite wines for Valentine’s this week, writing in the Augusta Chronicle, drawing on inspiration from the poet and philosopher, Ogden Nash, who wrote, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”

Highlighting two sparkling wines from the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, including this blanc de noir he said: “I also like Biltmore Estate Blanc de Noir ($25) and Biltmore Estate Pas de Deux ($20), two interesting wines from Asheville, N.C.

“The Blanc de Noir is a gorgeous rosé and the Pas de Deux is a slightly off-dry treat. Both use California grapes and produce the wine in the traditional Champagne method, with a second fermentation in the bottle.”

Price: $25

Rosa Regale

Rosa_RegaleThe striking Rosa Regale is a sparkling red wine made from the Brachetto red grape grown mainly in the Piedmont region in northwest Italy.

Sodomka said said: “I recently discovered Rosa Regale ($20), a beautiful semi-dry, rosy red sparkler from Banfi Vintners in Italy. It was popular two centuries ago, and Banfi has reintroduced it to wide acclaim.

“It comes from the Brachetto d’Acqui region, one of the smallest in Italy. Made from Brachetto grapes, it has a rose petal aroma and strawberry and raspberry flavors.

Price: $20

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