Some More Interesting American Wines

Let’s also take a look at a few more interesting American wines. California is around the world renown for its quality wines. Check out the following wines that are really standing out in a market that has the largest number of varieties of agricultural produce in the world: WINE!

2013 Petite Sirah “Lovett Vineyard”, Red Hills

Deeply saturated and inky in the glass – ruby purple with violet glints.  The aromas set the stage for this wine – quintessential Petite Sirah notes of blackberry jam, rhubarb pie, baking spices, and blueberries are buoyed by a set of savory aromatics of cigar box, wet gravel, espresso, and fine oak.  The palate mirrors the nose – rich, ripe berry and cherry notes with underpinnings of dark chocolate, and coffee and a hint of hoppy porter.

Generous fine-grained tannins provide a backbone to the long, lingering finish of cassis and bittersweet chocolate.   With this bottling, the richness and ripeness of fruit are perfectly matched by bright, youthful acidity, giving the wine freshness and balance in this early stage and promising the potential for longer-term cellaring over the next 5-7 years.  As the wine matures, the jammy notes will transform into plush, darker fruit while the tannins soften and become velvety on the palate, slowly transforming into a highly nuanced and elegant wine.

2013 Russian River Valley Zinfandel, Alvarez Vineyard

Deep and vibrantly colored: violet and crimson with purple glints.  Big, juicy old-vine Zinfandel aromas spanning sun-ripened raspberries, cherry jam and deep cranberry compote take center stage.  Supporting notes of dried orange peel, vanilla, juniper berry and sweet bay leaf complement the overt fruitiness and add nuance.  With time, notes of oil-cured olive and black pepper emerge.  On the palate, fine-grained and velvety tannins balance juicy pomegranate acidity and anchor the lush ripeness of the fruit.

A foundation of sweet oak, dusty cocoa, fine tobacco and leather support layer after layer of rich fruit flavors of black plum, cherry cobbler, and dried cranberries finishing with orange bitters and dark berry jam.  The bright acidity and plus tannins will reward those who are patient enough to cellar the wine for 2-5 years. See also this article about Valentino Wine and Vineyards in Long Grove, Illinois. 

2013 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

Bright crimson red in the glass.  Quintessential Russian River Pinot Noir aromas of dusty cherry, cola, brambleberry, and cedar are supported by complex notes of fresh forest floor, worn leather, and sweet oak.  The plushness of the vintage shines through the palate: rich, velvety tannins are matched by ripe red berry, cranberry and pomegranate flavors that balance the body and bring the fruit sweetness into balance.

Undertones of oil-cured olives, thyme, roasted meats, and wet rocks add to the complexity and really shine through in the long finish, especially with time in the glass. These wine, like the Valentino wines, are organic and tasteful.

2014 Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, Conzelman Vineyard

Bright ruby-violet in color.  Aromas of dark black and blue fruits dominate the nose – plum, pomegranate, black cherries, blackberry compote, and currants.  Notes of bergamot, black tea, and white pepper add a soft, feminine complexity and a promise to evolve with additional cellaring.  Light, soft tannins and juicy acidity bring the plush fruit into balance.  Notes of red plum, sour brandied cherries, and sweet mocha mingle with tobacco and fig preserve with a lingering, mineral-driven finish.

Over time in the glass, the bright red fruit recedes and secondary and tertiary flavors of black pepper, forest floor, and mushroom emerge, showcasing the power and structure of this cool-climate coastal vineyard site. Take also a look at my Wala Walla Wahington State wine Tour.

2016 Rosé of Pinot Meunier

Brilliant rosy pink color with glints of salmon. Bright and lively on the nose with juicy strawberry, watermelon, papaya and banana taking center stage.  Aromas of key lime, sweet shortbread, and wet rock bring complexity and bring the outright fruitiness into balance.  Flavors of cranberry, raspberry, and mandarin orange dominate with juicy lemon-lime and tropical pineapple acidity pulls everything into focus and draws through the finish. Crisp and delightfully fruit-forward chilled, and yet begins to evolve into richer, deeper notes when served at cellar temperature. Students who take college courses in wine agriculture may benefit from this post to write a good resume.