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Top 10 wines in the US press

Bosio Winery Leda Truffle Hunter 2013, Barbera d’Asti, Piemonte, Italy

Dave McIntyre, writing in the Washington Post, recommended a selection of wines for warmer weather, including this playfully-named “Truffle Hunter” from Italy.

“Who can resist a wine named in honor of the winemaker’s favorite truffle-hunting dog, especially when it’s this good?”, said McIntyre. “Barbera is one of the most food-friendly red wines, and I’d pair this gem with anything off the grill, from salmon to burgers and steak.”

Price: $15

Giuseppe Cortese Nebbiolo 2012, Langhe, Italy

This Nebbiolo is perfectly suited to drinking with braised meat dishes or grilled poultry, said McIntyre.

“Nebbiolo is the grape of Barolo and Barbaresco in Piemonte, in Italy’s northwest. This version from the Langhe displays classic flavors of dried cherries, thyme and a whiff of wood smoke.”

Price: $24

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve 2014 Pinot Gris, California

“Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve wines have been reliable for more than 30 years”, writes Sandra Silfven in Detroit News, praising the producer’s Pinot Gris, which it bills as “spring in a glass.”

“It’s blended with a touch of Roussanne, Viognier, Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner and Albarinõ. It’s a complex dry white, with layers of flavor: juicy pear, honeydew melon, tangerine, white flowers with crisp citrus in the finish. The perfect wine to pair with entrée salads, seafood, creamy pastas.”

Price: $15

Kendall-Jackson Pinot Noir California 2013

Silfven also recommended this “lush, fruit-packed Pinot” from Kendall-Jackson, which she said had “sturdy acidity and soft, round tannins for balance.”

“Think dark cherry, raspberry, plum, dark chocolate, cola, vanilla. It’s still young and tightly wound. Grapes are half from Monterey County, half from Santa Barbara.”

Price: $20

Marietta, Old Vine Red, Lot 61, California

Rebecca Murphy, writing for Dallas News, recommended this Old Vine field blend from California, calling it a “nod to a style of red wine made in California’s early wine history”.

“The number on the label indicates the 61st version of this classy blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignan and a few other varieties”, she said. “It is a nod to a style of red wine made in California’s early wine history, called a field blend, where several varieties were grown in the same field, harvested and processed into wine all together. It’s a wine made to enjoy before and during a family meal. It’s full of strawberry, blackberry, blueberry and red cherry flavors, light-bodied and lively, round and easy drinking. It’s perfect for tonight’s grilled sausages, burger and fries, or mac and cheese.”

Price: $11.38 to $14.99

Benziger Chardonnay 2013, Sonoma County

“When you look at the label on a Benziger wine you might think this is just another trendy winery jumping on the organic bandwagon”, writes Dennis Sodomka in the Augusta Chronicle of its 2013 Chardonnay. This family producer has in fact been working with sustainable growing practices for more than 20 years.

“This Chardonnay is a beautiful example of how to make superb wine that reflects where it was grown”, he said. “Many wineries produce great wine, but to sell it at this price point is amazing. If you ever wonder why wine makers go to all the trouble they do to produce natural wines, one sip of this wine will explain it all. The wine is a beautiful pale yellow in the glass, with mild citrus aromas. A variety of flavors flood your palate with the first sip, and crisp acidity makes this a great wine with food. At various times I picked up flavors of apricot, pear, apple and citrus, with a long, creamy finish. It is a thoroughly delightful wine.”

Price: $15 to 17

Edna Valley Vineyard, 2013 Central Coast Chardonnay

Peg Melnik, writing for the Press Democrat, picked this $15 Chardonnay produced by the E&J Gallo-owned Edna Valley Vineyards as her wine of the week.

She said: “Bright, tangy fruit is coupled with crisp acidity. It offers a range of flavors — pineapple, quince, clove and toast. This balanced Chardonnay is light on its feet, and it’s a terrific value for the price.”

Price: $15

Ramey, Hyde Vineyard, 2012 Chardonnay, Napa Valley, Carneros

Melnik also recommended this Chardonnay from Carneros as a worthy alternative to her wine of the week calling it “bottled decadence”.

“It’s a blousy Chardonnay full of delicious fruit — ripe apple and melon — coupled with creme brulee. Lush texture. Seamless. Lingering finish. Outstanding.”

Price: $65

2010 Mas Amiel Maury, Agly Valley, France

With the world preparing for the Easter weekend Will Lyons, writing in the Wall Street Journal, picked a number of wines suited to serving with chocolate.

“Many oenophiles are dubious about chocolate and wine pairing, but certain dark varieties with a higher percentage of cocoa solids can be savored with robust reds”, he said.

Picking this Vins Doux Naturel from Maury in south west France Lyon said: “This is a classic match with chocolate. Made from Grenache Noir, it is deep purple with a sweet, jammy, treacle finish. Serve slightly chilled.”

Price: £20 or €25

Henriques & Henriques 10-Year-Old Malmsey

Finally Lyons offered up this sweet Madeira as a sweet Easter treat, which he said could be served happily with a “few chunks of dark chocolate.”

“It has an enlivening acidity, which leaves a feeling of having chewed on a sprig of peppermint—a clean sensation not unlike what you get from a piece of excellent quality dark chocolate”, he said.

Price: £20 or €25

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