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Top 10 wines in the US press

Obelisco Estate Riesling 2012, Columbia Valley, Washington

Dave McIntyre, writing in The Washington Post, recommended a selection of great value wines, including this “exceptional” Washington State Riesling.

“This is one of those white wines you shouldn’t serve too cold: Straight out of the refrigerator, it tastes a bit awkward and disjointed”, he said. “After about 20 minutes, it begins to reveal a tropical fruit salad, with mango, passion fruit and pineapple flavors blending beautifully with the traditional apricot of Riesling.”

Price: $20

Maison Louis Latour Marsannay 2012, Burgundy, France

“Burgundy is timeless, delicious any time of year”, said McIntyre, before recommending this “budget version” which he said is worth stocking up on.

“Be sure to give this wine time to express itself”, said McIntyre. “Show off your swirling technique, sniff the glass knowingly a few times, and, once the wine has had a chance to open, enjoy its silky texture and red-berry fruit flavors, leading to a long finish.”

Price: $22


Swanson Vineyards, 2013 Morning Sun Vineyard, Sonoma Mountain Pinot Grigio, Italy

Peg Melnik chose this “standout” Sonoma Pinot Grigio as her wine of the week writing in the Press Democrat. 

She said: “Like an opera singer, this Pinot Grigio has quite a range. It has notes of white peach, nectarine, guava and Meyer lemon. Its bright acidity doesn’t compete with but rather plays up the fruit.”

Price: $21

Herzog Chardonnay 2012 Special Reserve, Russian River Valley, California

“This buttery, fruit-packed beauty infused with spicy oak is a flagship of Herzog Wine Cellars’ ultra-premium line”, wrote Sandra Silfven in the Detroit News of this Russian River Valley Chardonnay.

“It’s aged 12 months in French and American oak, and has those pear, citrus, ripe melon tones so typical of the cooler climate of the Russian River Valley.”

Price: $29

Carmel Winery Selected Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Shomron, Israel

Silfven also recommended this Cabernet Sauvignon from Israel’s Carmel Winery, which was founded in 1882 by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, owner of Château Lafite in Bordeaux.

She praised the wine for its “lush velvet tannins, dark berry fruit, lovely structure and acidity”.

“Carmel Winery was Carmel owns the two largest wineries in Israel, at Rishon Le Zion, south of Tel Aviv, and at Zichron Ya’acov, south of Haifa”, she added. “Each has deep underground cellars built by Rothschild in the 19th century.”

Price: $11

2005 La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva Rioja, Spain

Irene Virbila, writing in the LA Times, recommended this “old school” 2005 Rioja from an estate with a history that dates back to 1890. She said the estate is “consistently worth seeking out for its quality-to-price ratio”.

“The latest release is the 2005, and it has everything going for it: gorgeous fruit, enticing aromas of red fruit, sweet spices and tobacco, and a long, smooth finish” said Silfven. “Tannins are soft and round, the effect elegant. A blend of Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha (Grenache), the 2005 Viña Ardanza is layered with complex flavors yet still fresh at 10 years of age. You keep going back to the glass to see how the wine evolves through the meal.”

Price: $30 to $40

2011 Pago de Carraovejas Crianza, Ribera del Duero, Spain

This 2011 Crianza from Pago de Carraovejas in Ribera del Duero tastes “rich and burnished yet has something wild and untamed in its character”, according to Virbila.

“It’s 93% Tempranillo with just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot”, she said. “Drinking this impressive Tempranillo takes you back somehow to a old taverna in the countryside, where, of course, you’d be feasting on roast lamb cooked in the fireplace. It’s the most expensive bottle in this grouping, and worth it. You might want to open it an hour or so before serving.”

Price: $45 to $54

La Merika 2012 Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon, California

Price: $14.99

Cantina Terlano 2013 Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige DOC, Italy

This Pinot Gris is “rich and sumptuous”, yet “light on its feet”, according to Rebecca Murphy writing in the Dallas News.

“The pear, apple, grapefruit and lemon custard flavors are concentrated and layered with fresh herbs and dusty mineral notes. It’s round and supple in the mouth, with zesty acidity keeping the rich fruit bright and lively. Enjoy the wine’s richness with a roast chicken, or let the lively acidity balance the creaminess of spaghetti alla carbonara.”

Price: $20.99 to $21.99

Hay-Maker Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand

Finally Gil Lempert-Schwarz, recommended this Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc writing in the Las Vegas Review Journal, describing it as “fragrant” with concentrated notes of northern gooseberries, crushed white peaches, pomelo flesh, chalky minerals, fresh lime rind, Key lime pie, Granny Smith apples and some gardenia floral character.

He said: “The wine is crisp with crushed gooseberry, white currants, fresh citrus zest and soft white fruit that perfectly balances the fresh acidity, making this a highly drinkable and approachable Sauvignon Blanc from the finest area for the grape varietal in the New World. The midpalate goes into the finish seamlessly and the wine appears to have really soft balanced harmony between the fruit and the acidity.”

Price: $6.99

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