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Top 10 wines in the US press

2011 Wild Yeast Chardonnay, Miner Family Winery, California

Stacey Vreeken of the Santa Cruz Sentinel kicks off this week’s roundup with this interesting Chardonnay offering. She writes: “This wine is a thoroughly modern Millie, showing great balance between acidity and oak.

“Pale yellow straw colour and aromas of lemon are followed by flavours of lemon, pear and nectarine with notes of butterscotch, honeysuckle and violet,” she continues. “Wild yeast and a bit of minerality add distinctive character.”

2014 Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir, Marlborough

Sandra Silfven of Detroit News opts to continue the sturdy red trend this week, writing: “As the season of gift-giving and feasting is upon us, what better wine to offer guests than the Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir – spicy, and packed with dark berries, dark chocolate and mocha all seamlessly infused with French oak.

“The dark ruby colour, the Burgundy-like texture, the layers of flavor demonstrate the elegance of Nobilo’s premier Icon line. Recap the bottle with the screw top and it will still be fresh two days later. For all its refinement, it’s sturdy as a tank.”

Michel Turgy Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut Réserve Sélection

Dave McIntyre of the Washington Post takes his chance to promote some intriguing sparkling wines, beginning with this “wine nerd’s Champagne.”

“It’s from a small grower, as evidenced by the helpfully spelled-out ‘Récoltant Manipulant’ on the label. It’s from Grand Cru vineyards, considered Champagne’s best. And it’s from the Côte des Blancs, where Chardonnay receives its ultimate expression (in my opinion, at least),” he writes.

“The locale Mesnil-sur-Oger is enough to get champers fans champing at the bit. This wine does not disappoint: It’s bursting with red-fruit flavors and a laser beam of refreshing acidity.”

2011 Juvé y Camps Reserva Milesimé, Cava, Spain

Next, McIntyre turns his attention to Cava, Spain’s sparkling wine, which “ranges in style and price from fruity, simple $6 fizzes to more complex bottles that can approach Champagne quality for $20 to $30.”

This offering from Juvé y Camps “delights with bright cranberry and raspberry flavours, especially as it shakes off the refrigerator’s chill and approaches room temperature,” he writes.

Steenberg Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, Constantia, South Africa

Continuing with a sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, which he admits “is not the norm”, McIntyre writes: “this example is bright and fruity. What a fun wine, at a great price.”

2014 E. Guigal Tavel, Rhône Valley, France

Rounding up this week’s wine offering with a still rosé, McIntyre writes: “Tavel is a Rhône Valley specialist in rosé. Its wines are a deep pink – almost red – in colour, with some tannin and structure to give them extra interest.

“They seem designed for the heartier foods of fall and early winter. This is a textbook example: sappy and mouth-filling, with red-fruit flavors and refreshing acidity.”

2013 Jordan Russian River Chardonnay, California

Next up, Michele Parente of the San Diego Union-Tribune gives credit to this “classic Burgundian-style chard”, saying it is “refined and elegant, with a racy streak that could only be found in a California wine.

“Perfumed by juicy lemon, apple and tropical fruit, with sturdy acidity yet lush in the mouth, the Jordan chardonnay combines everything I love about that grape into one focused wine. Make that deliciously focused.”

2013 Lone Madrone Points West White

Laurie Daniel of Mercury News chooses to praise this “blend of Roussanne, Picpoul Blanc, Viognier and Marsanne from Paso Robles”, which displays “enough richness for [a festive] meal, but it also has a firm core of acidity to refresh your palate.”

2014 Fess Parker Marcella’s White Wine

But a “more affordable option” is this wine, which is mostly with Viognier. “It’s racy and fresh, with some floral notes and a hint of lime zest,” she writes.

Frank Family Petite Sirah 2012 Napa Valley

And finally, Dennis Sodomka of the Augusta Chronicle choses this Napa single-varietal, “which is characteristically purple in the glass, with aromas of blackberries, vanilla and liquorice.

“The flavours are rich dark fruit,” he continues, “especially plums, blueberries and blackberries. Silky tannins with a hint of vanilla lead to a long, full finish. It is a hearty wine that doesn’t blast you away with oak.”

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