Top 10 wines in the US press
2011 Neyers Rossi Ranch Sonoma Valley Grenache
Jon Bonné, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle recommended this Californian Grenache, the world’s fifth most planted red grape, which he said is “ignored far too often as not beautiful enough.”
He said: “This 1910-era site on a back road near Glen Ellen is one of those hidden treasures, although Neyers winemaker Tadeo Borchardt is giving it some welcome attention.
“This bottle’s all about sprezzatura – gorgeously fragrant and easygoing, full of wild sage, tobacco, red currant, cardamom, supple but with serious structure.”
2011 Stark Cuvee Ivy Mendocino County Red
Another of Bonné’s recommendations was this “lean-vintage” red blend from Mendocino County.
He said: “Based in Healdsburg, Christian and Jen Stark looked north across the county line for the Ivy. Technically it’s a blend (with Syrah, Carignane and Counoise) but in name only, as it’s 85% Grenache.
“That great aromatic side of Grenache – strawberry blossom and cocoa powder – with a mineral freshness and a tart-fruit focus. Definitely a lean-vintage wine, but with more than ample full flavors.”
Field Recordings Chenin Blanc 2011 Jurassic Park, Santa Ynez Valley, California
A selection of US west coast “boutique” wines were highlighted by Dave McIntyre , writing in The Washington Post this week.
Among his recommendations was this Jurassic Park Chenin Blanc which he rated as “exceptional”.
He said: “This one makes me wish more California wineries (and retailers, and consumers) took Chenin Blanc seriously: It is gorgeously lush, with flavors of quince, Asian pear and apple, accented with lime to give it some verve.”
Arterberry Maresh Chardonnay 2011, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Another of McIntyre’s recommendations was this similarly rated “exceptional” 2011 Chardonnay from Oregon.
He said: “It’s stunning: racy with lemon curd, apricot and wild herbs. Lip-smacking, fist-pumping good. And this isn’t even the winery’s top Chardonnay.”
Los Dos Grenache + Syrah 2012, Spain
Sandra Silfven, writing for Detroit News, picked this “gem” of a Grenache and Syrah blend from Spain as one of her wines of the week.
She said: “Garnacha (Grenache) marries with Syrah for soft tannins, ripe jammy fruit, firm acidity and supple tannins – the recipe for a dry red ideal for pastas, burgers, pizza. It’s aged in stainless steel, not barrels, to shine the spotlight on the fruit. This gem has surprising body at 14 percent alcohol. It’s produced just south of Navarre in northeast Spain in a region that specializes in red wines. What a cool wine for eight bucks — selling at Cost Plus World Market outlets. It’s imported by Winebow.”
Famille Perrin La Vieille Ferme Rosé 2012
Another recommendation was for this Famille Perrin rosé from Rhône region which she said was packed with “berry fruit and spice”.
She said: “A pretty pink hue, this French rosé from the Rhone region will have you thinking grilled salmon on the patio — not another snowstorm blowing in. It’s ever-so-affordable, bone-dry, with floral and berry notes in the aromas and flavors that point to the grape composition – Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault.
“It’s packed with berry fruit and spice. This line is by the Perrin family that owns Chateau de Beaucastel in the Rhone and Tablas Creek (with Robert Haas) in Paso Robles, Calif. The La Vieille Ferme wines, including a red and white, were introduced more than 35 years ago and remain a hit with savvy consumers and critics. They are easy to find at wine shops in Metro Detroit. La Vieille Ferme is imported by Vineyard Brands.”
2010 Fattoria Selvapiana Chianti Rufina, Tuscany, Italy
A selection of wines chosen to pair with pizza were highlighted by Irene Virbila this week, writing in the LA Times, including this Tuscan Chianti.
She said: “One of the best estates in the Chianti Rufina area of Tuscany, Selvapiana turns out first-rate Sangiovese-based reds.
“A deep ruby in color, the 2010 Selvapiana tastes of bright cherries and plums, but a touch of earth gives it some weight. A great everyday Chianti.”
Price: $15 to $20
2012 Cline Cellars Zinfandel, California
Virbila said this Californian Zinfandel was another wine which would pair perfectly with your pizza.
She said: “Cline is the go-to cellar for reasonably priced, delicious California Zinfandel. You’ll find everything you love about Zin in this bottle — dark berry flavors, spiciness, a touch of oak.
“If you can’t find this particular bottle, go for the NV California Zinfandel for about the same price, sometimes less. And if you come across it, the 2010 Cline Cellars Zinfandel ancient vines is another steal.”
2012 Wolfberger Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France
From the French region of Alsace comes this Wolfberger Pinot Blanc which was recommended by Michael Dresser writing in The Baltimore Sun this week.
He said: “This intensely flavorful, medium-bodied, complex white wine underscores the fact that Alsace is one of the world’s greatest growing regions — and one of the least-appreciated by Americans. There’s a strong, bracing lemony component, with nuances of peach, pear, tropical fruit, honey and spice. It has what it takes to be matched with spicy foods. This is an all-around great value from the reliable importer Kysela.”
Frank Family Carneros Chardonnay 2012, Napa Valley
Finally Dennis Sodomka, writing in The Augusta Chronicle, recommended this “fruit forward” Napa Chardonnay.
He said: “When you drink a wine like the Frank Family Carneros Chardonnay, it’s easy to understand why Chardonnay is the most widely planted white wine grape in California. This lively, lush, nuanced wine is about as good as it gets.”
He added: “This wine is fruit forward, with a good balance between acid and fruit. It is a gorgeous pale yellow in the glass with delicate aromas of pear, pineapple and honeysuckle. On the palate you get hints of peaches and pears with a pleasant splash of buttery pastry dough. The creaminess and fresh acidity make a particularly good food wine. The finish is long and pleasing.”
Price: $33 to $36