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Top 10 wines for Independence Day

We bring you ten US wines that would make an ideal partner for any fourth of July celebration.

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From pink Grenache to barrel-fermented Sauvignon, Napa Syrah and Columbia Valley Cabernet, we’ve compiled a broad selection of possibilities whatever you want to do for American Independence Day.

However, if there’s one thing that binds all the wines over the following pages, it’s the fact that each one featured in one of the Global Masters tastings by the drinks business.

Assessing wines by style and grape variety only, these following wines have been tasted without prejudice to their country of origin, and, importantly, sampled blind alongside the best of their type from around the world.

Over the following pages we list ten wines, including a brief style note, their price and the medal they achieved in the Global Masters.

10. Rosé: Angels & Cowboys Wines, Sonoma County, Rosé, 2014

If you’re looking for something crowd-pleasing and pink then try this Provençal lookalike from Sonoma made with Grenache, Merlot and a touch of Petit Verdot.

Although the rosé is very pale salmon pink, there is plenty of red fruit, with a hint of sweetness adding weight to the wine.

RRP: US$15
Medal: Silver (Rosé Masters)

9. Riesling: Tunkalilla, Riesling, Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon, 2012

This is a magnificent example of Riesling, with its hallmark peachy perfume, citrus freshness and hint of honey.

Try it with seafood, or on its own – with an abv below 12% it will make a lovely light aperitif.

RRP: $30
Medal: Gold (Riesling Masters)

8. Sauvignon Blanc: Stonestreet, Aurora Point, Sauvignon Blanc, Alexander Valley, California, 2012

Picture source: Drink Insider

This is both a rich and refreshing wine, combining a creamy texture from barrel fermentation with bright lemon and pineapple Sauvignon Blanc ripe fruit characters along with a smoky edge on the finish.

It would partner a wide range of foods, from salads to white meats.

RRP: $40
Medal: Master (Sauvignon Blanc Masters)

(Master is the ultimate accolade in the Masters Competition, awarded for wines that achieve 95 points or more).

7. Malbec: Devil Proof, Malbec, Alexander Valley, California, 2012

Devil provides proof that you need not go to Argentina (or Cahors) to experience the deeply-coloured delights of a Malbec-based red.

This rich, red and black fruit wine, with a dense tannic structure, is made by winemaker Jesse Katz and comes from the Alexander Vally hillsides in northern Sonoma.

RRP: $150
Medal: Silver (Malbec Masters)

6. Chardonnay: Cakebread Cellars, Chardonnay Reserva, Carneros Napa Valley, 2013

For many, Fourth of July celebrations wouldn’t be complete without a classic Californian Chardonnay, and Cakebread produce this great example from Carneros in the Napa Valley.

Expect peach and melon fruit mixed with cream, toast and a touch of lemon curd, giving a rich, layered white wine, which will make an indulgent chilled drink.

RRP: $56
Medal: Gold (Chardonnay Masters)

5. Pinot Noir: Van Duzer Vineyards, Saffron Fields Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2013

Moving into reds, Van Duzer make a juicy cherry-scented Pinot Noir from the first rate Saffron Fields vineyard in Oregon’s famous Willamette Valley.

It’s a ripe style, with lots of fleshy red fruit, complemented by vanilla sweetness from barrel ageing, but it also retains Pinot’s lovely floral perfume and medium body.

RRP: $60
Medal: Gold (Pinot Noir Masters)

4. Pinot Noir: Tolosa, Aethereal, Edna Valley, California, 2014

Moving south from Oregon into California’s Edna Valley, this is another Pinot Noir, but offers a different expression from the Van Duzer example.

Indeed, Tolosa’s top Pinot expression is a concentrated wine, with plenty of delicious ripe red fruit and some toastiness from ageing in new oak barrels. It is both smooth and opulent.

RRP: $90
Medal: Gold (Pinot Noir Masters)

3. Syrah: Black Stallion Estate Winery, Limited Release Napa Valley Syrah, 2012

Napa Valley may be best known for its Cabernets, but this brilliant Syrah shows that the region can craft fine reds from other warm-climate varieties too.

With black and blue fruit, and Syrah’s characteristic black pepper spice, along with vanilla and dark chocolate characters from ageing in new French oak, this is a rich but focused and complex red that would make an excellent alternative to Napa’s many Cabernets.

Medal: Gold
RRP: $40 (Syrah Masters)

2. Cabernet Sauvignon: Chateau Ste Michelle, Cold Creek, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012

Proving that it’s not just Napa that produces high-quality Cabernet, this Cabernet from Columbia Valley has concentrated blackcurrant fruit and chocolate from barrel ageing.

And, at $40, this Cabernet from 45-year-old vines is, for a top-end red, relatively inexpensive.

RRP: $40
Medal: Gold (Cabernet Sauvignon Masters)

1. Cabernet blend: Mt. Brave, Mt. Veeder, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011

Our final wine is definitely a blockbuster, with concentrated blackberry fruit, dense tannins, and spicy notes along with a freshness as it finishes – perhaps due to the cooler vintage conditions in 2011.

This Napa Caberent blend is a big, structured wine, which, thanks to its mountain fruit and the sensitive handling in the cellar, is not fatiguing to drink.

RRP: $70
Medal: Gold (Cabernet Sauvignon Masters)

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