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Top 10 wines in the US press

TintoNegro, Argentina, Mendoza, Malbec 2013

Rebecca Murphy of the Dallas Morning News kicks off this week’s roundup with this Mendozan Malbec, writing: “We have a very drinkable wine with a rich, black-ruby colour, black cherry, blackberry and plum flavours with lovely spice and floral notes balanced with bright acidity.

“In the mouth the wine is smooth as velvet finishing with ripe, chewy tannins. Keep this one around for sausage pizzas or burgers”, she recommends.

Tenet Wines the Pundit Syrah 2013

Dave McIntyre of the Washington Post offers up some wines that he insists will have you finishing the bottle in one sitting.  He writes: “Washington state offers several wines that are collaborations with leading winemakers from around the world. The model was pioneered by Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington’s largest and most important winery, with the Eroica Riesling.

“Tenet wines are a collaboration of Chateau Ste. Michelle with French winemaker Michel Gassier and consulting enologist Philippe Cambie. The Pundit is lush and deep, with blueberry and blackberry flavours and an intensity that won’t quit.”

Tenet Wines Le Fervent Syrah 2013

And choosing a second “exceptional” wine from the same producer, McIntyre continues: “One could easily mistake this wine on first sip for an Australian Shiraz because of its bright, spicy fruit and plush texture. Yet there’s some inherent earthiness that brings this delightful wine back to its Old World roots.

“Give it an hour or more in a decanter, then enjoy its company throughout the evening. Don’t rush the conversation,” he says.

Northstar Merlot Columbia Valley 2011

Sandra Silven of the Detroit News has her eye on this “seriously intense Merlot” this week, writing: “Aromas fill your nose with plum, cherry, brown cooking spices (sweet clove, cinnamon), dark chocolate, toasty oak, vanilla. It coats the palate with smooth, supple tannins; flavors are woven with spicy, toasted oak.

“It’s a worthy wine to lay down to age, but who wants to wait,” she continues. “It’s approachable and delicious now. It’s a testament to the quality coming out of Eastern Washington’s Columbia Valley.”

Gary Farrell Chardonnay 2013, Russian River Valley

Next, Dennis Sodomka of the Augusta Chronicle looks at this wine with “a beautiful straw colour in the glass with aromas of peach, tart apple and stone fruit.

“The first sip brings tart citrus flavors with hints of honeyed oak. Succeeding sips reveal even more flavours, such as butterscotch, toffee and vanilla. It all ends with a lingering finish full of crisp minerality.

“You will be tempted to sip this wine as an aperitif, because the flavours are so intriguing,” he says, but his advice is “to save most of the bottle for dinner, because it is a superb food wine. Food seems to expand the flavours and unleash some beautiful taste sensations. You should chill the wine, but allow it to warm up in your glass before drinking.”

Equinox Blanc de Blanc Monterey Cuvee de Chardonnay

Stacey Vreeken uses her in the Santa Cruz Sentinel to rave about this “versatile, fruity, well-made sparkling wine from Equinox that’s clean on the palate and ready for pairing, just in time for, well, any occasion.”

She writes: “This sparkling wine is like a modern dancer, expressive and light on its feet but with presence. Pale straw colour and fresh, citrus aromas promise flavour, and it delivers.

“Creamy textures invoke lemon, apples and clean, bright tastes. A hint of tartness, almond and a bit of yeast round the experience.”

Banfi Rosso di Montalcino 2013

Next, Jon Christensen of Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch, reviews this wine that comes complete with an aroma of “intense raspberries” and a flavour of “refined fruit (mostly blackberry and raspberry), followed by excellent acid balance.”

He continues: “With its top-rate structure, this is a food wine, not made to be a cocktail. The Rosso di Montalcino appellation, originally created as a second label for wines made from vines too young to produce Tuscany’s mighty Brunello di Montalcino, has achieved its own following.”

 2013 Fattoria Selvapiana Chianti Rufina

Our penultimate reviewer, the LA Times’ S. Irene Virbila, writes: “Selvapiana is one of the best estates in Chianti Rufina (a subzone of Chianti), and consistently turns out first-rate Sangiovese-based reds.

“A deep ruby in color, the 2013 Selvapiana Chianti Rufina is a classic, tasting of dried cherries and plums, mushrooms and herbs. A great everyday red to keep on hand for pasta nights and grilled skirt steak or pork chops. Some of the excellent 2012 is still around, too.”

2013 Badia a Coltibuono “Cetamura” Chianti

Continuing her roundup of top-notch Chianti, Virbila writes: “You can’t beat the price for this sturdy Chianti from Badia a Coltibuono. Cetamura is made in a straightforward, easy-drinking style.

“The fruit is bright and pleasing,  with notes of sweet spices.  Just the bottle to pull out for bean soups, rustic pasta dishes and even a burger.”

2013 Kunde Family Zinfandel

And finally, the San Jose Mercury‘s Laurie Daniel chooses this wine amoung others as a top drop for autumn, writing: “For me, a lot of zinfandel is too big and ripe at any time of year. But a nicely balanced one for fall is the 2013 Kunde Family Zinfandel, with its lively, ripe berry, spice, hint of tobacco and medium tannins.”

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