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Top 10 wines in the US press

J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay Arroyo Seco Monterey 2014

“What an elegant powerhouse for the price,” says Sandra Silfven of the Detroit News. “But that’s what Lohr wines are all about – quality achieved through careful site selection, clonal selection and handling during the winemaking stages.”

She invites her readers to “inhale and experience the spicy, toasty oak streaming through the aromas of apple, nectarine, hazelnut, citrus.” And tasting it, she says: “Honeyed, nutty tones stand out in the midpalate. Wonderful acidity holds this big, rich wine together. It has so much texture and weight it’s like an essence.

“It was barrel-fermented and aged seven to nine months in new and used oak. This wine is dry, packed with complexity and may take an experienced wine lover to pick up on everything.”

Domaine Duroché Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2013

Next, New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov takes us through his top picks for Thanksgiving. This 3.5-out-of-3 stunner is “smooth, vibrant and energetic, with aromas and flavours of flowers, spices and minerals,” he writes.

Patrick Baudouin Anjou Blanc Effusion 2011

And this 3/3 wine, which is “lively, racy and resonant”, boasts an “intense minerality, aromas of buttered hazelnuts and earthy, nutlike flavours” – perfect for pairing with stuffed Turkey. 

Ridgeview Bloomsbury Brut

Brimming with enthusiasm for English sparkling wine, Dave McIntyre of the Washington Post described the arrival of this bubbly on American shores as “the most exciting British invasion since the Beatles came to town in 1964.”

“Bloomsbury is Ridgeview Wine Estate’s Chardonnay-based blend, filled out with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in classic Champagne style,” he writes.

“It is crisp and refreshing, yet expansive with the peach and apricot flavours that Chardonnay can achieve in sparkling wine.”

Underwood Pinot Noir

Rebecca Murphy of the Dallas Morning News makes an unconventional choice this week, opting to review Underwood’s famous canned wine.

“The Underwood brand is [winemaker] Ryan Harms’ everyday wine. The pinot grapes are sourced from throughout the state to bring a range of flavor profiles and keep costs down.

“The wine boasts jaunty cherry, raspberry and spicy flavours brightened with zesty acidity. It is medium-bodied and easy-drinking, perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers,” she says. “Of course, a few cans will be easy to add to a tailgate party.”

2013 Raptor Ridge Barrel Select Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

“A complex of Pinot Noir cherries tinged with strawberry,” Ohio Dispatch‘s Jon Christensen describes this wine as “bold and not in the least reticent.”

With flavours of “mulberry, cherry, balanced oak, comforting tannins,” this is a Pinot Noir “of elegance and staying power, with only 12.5% alcohol by volume; a fine achievement,” he writes.

2014 Bonny Doon Clos de Gilroy Grenache

“Grenache would be a fine choice for Thanksgiving,” says Laurie Daniel of the San Jose Mercury, but “a lot of California Grenache, however, is pricey; Garnacha from Spain is often a better value.”

But here’s a “California bargain” the wine being “peppery and bright, with loads of raspberry and strawberry fruit, supported by medium tannins.”

2013 Lone Madrone Points West White

Daniel’s white wine choice for matching with a Thanksgiving feast is the 2013 Lone Madrone Points West White, “a blend of Roussanne, Picpoul Blanc, Viognier and Marsanne from Paso Robles” that she says “has enough richness for the meal, but it also has a firm core of acidity to refresh your palate.”

2013 Argyle Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Next, Michele Parente of the San Diego Union-Tribune, says it was “a pleasure to find a Pinot as delicious, complex and affordable as Oregon’s 2013 Argyle Willamette Valley Pinot Noir” as her must-have wine for Thanksgiving.

“A medium-bodied and surprisingly pale red, the Argyle pinot has a silky creaminess, with earthy notes of mushroom and a spry black peppery finish, she writes. “Anything with sage on your holiday table will call out for this wine.”

Ravenswood, Ridge and Rosenblum Zinflandels

And finally, choosing some top producers rather than a specific wine, Parente insists that Zinfandel is “the quintessential American grape and deserves a spot on your Thanksgiving table”.

“Some will scoff,” she admits, “but for the holidays I ascribe to the ‘3 R’s Rule’ – for Ravenswood, Ridge and Rosenblum. Predictable? Probably. Easy to find, relatively affordable, juicy deliciousness? Absolutely.”

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