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Top 10 wines in the US press

2011 Gérard Bertrand ‘Grand Terroir’ Les Aspres

wine_76799Michele Parente at the San Diego Union-Tribune picks a wine from the region she describes as “France’s best kept secret”, Loungedoc-Roussillon.

“The captivating Bertrand Les Aspres is medium-bodied, with a red-brown tint”, she writes. “Warm and spicy on the nose, it offers dark fruit flavours and a smooth finish.”

2014 2 Barrel Chardonnay, St Julien, Michigan, US

447623Next, Sandra Silfven of the Detroit News takes the chance to promote this Michigan winery in her column this week, beginning with this small-batch offering.

“This is a selection of two French oak barrels of single vineyard Chardonnay. The fruit and buttery notes of these two barrels were so compelling Oxley [the winemaker] decided to blend them into one special bottling”, she writes.

2013 Cap Drain Cuvee #2, St Julien, Michigan, US

st julian michiganA blend of Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc is up next.

“The cap drain process of winemaking uses gravity to naturally press the wine from the “cap” of skins and grape solids formed during fermentation to produce small lots of dark, intense red wine that are then blended”, she writes.

“Syrah contributes hints of currant spice and plum that compliment the earthy black cherry and tobacco flavours of the Merlot. Cabernet Franc adds a natural acidity and herbal complexity”, its tasting notes say.

Juvé y Camps Brut Rosé NV, Cava, Spain 

juve-y-camps“This beautiful rosé from Spain is priced to be on your table any night of the week”, says Rebecca Murphy in this weeks Dallas Morning News wine review.

“Made from Pinot Noir, it shows beguiling raspberry and strawberry fruits with whispers of fresh flowers and roasted almonds,” she writes.

“Lively, tiny bubbles in the mouth and crisp acidity contrast with a creamy mouthfeel. Enjoy this wine with a weeknight mac and cheese or grilled chicken breast.”

Solera Mashup, Left Blend Winery, Santa Cruz, California

mashup_v1_transparent_web“Left Bend Winery’s Solera Mashup is a fascinating blend for drinkers of big reds,” writes the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s Stacey Vreeken.

“Highly aromatic, scents of blueberry, blackberry and cedar repeat on the palate along with dark cherry, plum, chocolate, tobacco, black licorice and a hint of mud” are all expressed in the wine, she says.

“There’s plenty of structure, yet the blend is smooth, offering a lingering finish. An interesting, pleasurable wine.”

2010 Castra Rubra, Thracian Valley, Bulgaria

97_Castra-Rubra-2010-Kosher-EN-2-copy_bottleNext, a long and interesting selection from Washington Post wine writer Dave McIntyre covering the best of Bulgaria and Turkey.

“This modern-style Bordeaux blend, based on Merlot, shows the influence of famed French consultant Michel Rolland”, he writes.

“It’s big, polished and seamless, with mouth-coating fruit and well-structured tannins to give it heft. This wine shows that Bulgaria is not just a source of bargains but has potential for greatness, as well.”

2013 Castra Rubra Nimbus Premium Syrah, Thracian Valley, Bulgaria

00y66p853p43w_375x500A more “rustic” wine is offered up next. “The Nimbus Syrah is lush and powerful, its effusive fruit just barely kept in check by the tannins that emerge on the finish.

He continues: “Decant this for an hour or two, and if you don’t finish the bottle, be sure to try it again the next day.”

2013 Kavaklidere Cankaya, Anatolia, Turkey

IMG_0872“I was entranced by this blend of Narince and Emir – Turkey’s most important white grape varieties – and Sultana, the world’s most commonly planted grape (better known in the United States as Thompson Seedless).

“A wine snob might expect such a mix to yield something innocuous, but this citrusy blend beguiles with flavours of tangerine and lime accented by jasmine,” McIntyre writes.

“As with most delicate whites, you shouldn’t drink this too cold; let it warm up if it has been chilling in the refrigerator.”

2013 Turasan Kalecik Karasi, Cappadocia, Turkey

 

472188With his final contribution to this week’s round-up, McIntyre writes: “Part of the fun of exploring the world of wine is the sense of discovery when tasting a new grape variety. Kalecik Karasi is not new, technically, as it has been grown in Turkey for centuries.

“But it is a novelty in the States. The red wine is medium-bodied and fruity, with bright acidity to make it food-friendly.”

2014 Whole Cluster Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley Vineyards , Oregon

wvv_wcpn5And finally, Dennis Sodomka of the Augusta Chronicle raves about this “fresh and fruit-forward, but still restrained” wine from Oregon.

“It is a beautiful garnet in the glass, with aromas of cherry, blackberry and vanilla. Juicy flavours of cherry with some blackberry wash over the palate with a soft, well-rounded finish”, he writes.

“Part of the fun of exploring the world of wine is the sense of discovery when tasting a new grape variety. Kalecik Karasi is not new, technically, as it has been grown in Turkey for centuries.

“But it is a novelty in the States. The red wine is medium-bodied and fruity, with bright acidity to make it food-friendly.”

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