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Top 10 wines in the US press

The Four Graces Pinot Noir 2013, Willamette Valley, 2013

Rebecca Murphy, wine writer at the Dallas Morning News, kicks off this week’s round-up with an Oregon wine of real class.

“The 2013 vintage was considered near perfect and it shows in this polished combination of grace and structure”, she writes.

“The fruit is juicy raspberry, pomegranate and black cherry held in check by savoury, lightly herbal notes and chiseled acidity. The finishing tannins are ripe and fine.”

Galen Glen Stone Cellar Grüner Veltliner 2014, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania


Next, Dave McIntyre of the Washington Post picks some American all-stars this week, beginning with this Pennsylvania pour.

“Galen Glen’s flagship wine is textbook Grüner, by which I mean delicious”, he writes.

“It features the classic flavours of lemon grass, white flowers and stones, with a limpidity that makes it easy to drink while disguising the refreshing acidity.

“Galen Glen also produces a reserve Grüner Veltliner available only from the winery, and, yes, it is even better.”

Galen Glen Stone Cellar Zweigelt 2014, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania


“I had tasted Galen Glen’s Grüner before, so I knew it was good”, McIntyre continues.

“But I was skeptical of the Zweigelt because even many examples from its native Austria are under-ripe, giving the wine a pronounced flavour of caraway seed.

“But this Zweigelt is silky and ripe, with blueberry and cherry flavours. It brings out my antisocial side, because I don’t want to share it.”

Breaux Vineyards Jolie Blonde Seyval Blanc 2014, Virginia


His final choice in our collection is this Virginian drop.

“Anyone who has been following local wines as long as I have will recognise Seyval Blanc as one of the French-American hybrid grape varieties the East Coast wine industry was built upon while winegrowers were trying to figure out how to ripen the classic vinifera varieties”, McIntyre writes.

“Breaux’s Jolie Blonde gives us reason to celebrate those varieties and be glad they haven’t all been planted over to chardonnay. This is crisp and bright, with flavours of stone fruits and white flowers. Lovely, indeed.”

Ironstone Vineyards 2013 Obsession Symphony

The San Diego Union Tribune‘s Michele Parente is next up with a wine her mother “would have loved”.

“Not one for big and bold, Rosie was partial to pretty”, she writes. “And when she’d get a whiff of floral on the nose, her eyes would light up.

“So when I recently tasted the 2013 Ironstone Vineyards Obsession Symphony – fresh and aromatic like a bouquet of flowers, tropical and peachy with just the right amount of feisty sweetness – I thought of her.”

Domaine Michel Brégeon par Frédéric Lailler Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2013

Eric Asimov of the New York Times continues his top wines for spring.

“Muscadet is perennially a great value, especially from Brégeon, an under-the-radar producer that always makes some of the more interesting wines in the region”, he writes.

“This is characteristically fresh and tangy, with flavours of citrus, herbs and chamomile and a grainy, minerally depth that comes from ageing on the lees, the remnants of yeast after fermentation.” 

Guímaro Ribeira Sacra Blanco 2014

“Ribeira Sacra in the eastern Galicia region of Spain, where the vineyards rise at harrowing angles from the rivers, is best known for its reds made from the Mencía grape”, Asimov continues.

“But the whites, like this one from Guímaro, made with godello, can be superb. This is refreshing, harmonious and a touch exotic, with flavours of citrus, flowers, herbs and stone fruits.”

Jean-Jacques Litaud, Domaine des Vieilles Pierres St.-Véran Les Pommards 2014

“Must one always have Chardonnay?” asks Asimov. “Absolutely, if it is as good as this St.-Véran, often a source of exceptional values.

“Though it was aged in steel tanks, it has the rich texture that usually comes from barrel-aging, with great depth and presence, and lingering flavours of citrus, yeast, flowers and minerals.”

14 Hands Kentucky Derby Red Blend Columbia Valley 2013

Sandra Silven of the Detroit News is our penultimate reviewer, writing that “inexpensive red blends don’t get much better than this.

“Produced by 14 Hands, owned by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, this limited edition wine is a bslend of the Columbia Valley’s signature red grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

“The style is soft, dry and approachable; tannins are supple with mild grip; alcohol is pretty powerful at 14.5 percent.”

FEL Chardonnay 2014, Anderson Valley

Finally, Dennis Sodomka of the Augusta Chronicle picks a succulent, fruity Chard.

“The Chardonnay starts with aromas of Granny Smith apple and lemon zest, leading to grapefruit and lemon flavours. It is a complex wine, with a restrained flavour profile”, he writes.

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