July 4th Wine Recommendations…from a Brit.

July 4th (from what I understand) is a U.S. holiday commemorating the day England, willingly and completely of our own accord, decided to give back America to, well, itself. At least that’s what they taught me in history class in England…and I see no reason why it would be a biased opinion.

History lesson out of the way, lets move on to the wine. What follows are some of my personal wine recommendations for this 4th of July holiday. They are all (of course) products of the United States; anything else would be just wrong!

 

 

~ Whites ~

 

ConundrumConundrum

Tasting Notes

The wine is smooth and rich, with tastes of apricot, citrus, pear, and lychee among many other notes.  The Muscat certainly adds complexity, Viognier adds a floral component, with Sauvignon helping to keep it crisp.  

Average Retail

$22.99

Availability

Most wine stores.

Click here for my interview with Conundrum winemaker Jon Bolta.





 

Groth Sauvignon BlancGroth Sauvignon Blanc

Tasting Notes

The Groth showed rich and ripe peach, melon and honeysuckle on the nose, with just a hint of yeast. Crisp, but not in a full-on New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc kind-of-way. Melon continues with a hint of lime and yellow grapefruit. The acidity is present, and balances nicely with the creamy texture. Medium in body, finishes long and elegant.

Average Retail
$22.99

Availability

Limited to larger wine stores, and selectively at smaller retailers. 
Click here for my review of Groth Sauvignon Blanc.





Gewurz by Alexander Valley Vineyards

Gewurz by Alexander Valley Vineyards

Tasting Notes

A little effervescence upon pouring into the glass as you’ll find with a number of screw-cap wines.
The Gewurz definitely delivers for the money. The stereotypical lychee, nutmeg, cinnamon, peach and apricot on the nose. All these flavors really come together on the palate, with pear, a little honey, nectarine and rose petals. No oak. A smidge of residual sugar, but maintains a great balance with the acidity.

 

Average Retail
$12

Availability
Limited to larger wine stores, and selectively at smaller retailers.

 

Click here for my review of Gewurz by Alexander Valley Vineyards.






Layer Cake Virgin ChardonnayLayer Cake Virgin Chardonnay

Tasting Notes
No big surprises on the nose, crisp lemon, Granny Smith apple, and wet stone.
The taste was actually a very big surprise! I expecting just a very stereotypical un-oaked Cali Chard, but then again I forgot Jayson Woodbridge was making it! The palate shows a little banana, pineapple and pink grapefruit, plenty of lime, lemon and green apple, and a touch of yeast and anise. Finishes dry and with a medium-lengthy finish.

 

Average Retail
$12.99

Availability

Readily available from most large wine stores.

Click here for my review of Layer Cake Virgin Chardonnay





 

~ Reds ~

 

Three Vines Old Vines Field Blend

Three Wine Company Old Vines Field Blend

Tasting Notes

Full in body with a mixed bag of red and black fruit, complex, showing savory notes of dried herbs, tobacco and spice.

 

 

Average Retail

 $18

Availability

Limited to restaurants and some smaller wine stores.

Click here for my video review of Three Wine Company Old Vine Field Blend







Hedges CMS Columbia Valley Washington State 2008Hedges C.M.S. Blend

Tasting Notes

A mixture of red fruits with a little earth, wood and spice on the nose. I actually expected the CMS to be a lot more fruit-forward than it is, quite a nice surprise actually. The palate shows puckery sour-cherry, over-ripened blackberry, cranberry, a little toasty oak, dried herbs, cracked peppercorns and enough tannin to give a surprisingly lengthy finish.

Average Retail
$13


Availability
Most wine stores.

Click here for my review of Hedges C.M.S





 

Michael David Petite Petit

Petite Petit

Tasting Notes

Tons of upfront flavor, the wine manages to be big, but at the same time fairly medium-bodied.
Hugely jammy and rich with blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, and a whole heap of vanilla thrown in for good measure! The oak is well-integrated and doesn’t show through too much. The finish is fairly dry and medium in length.
Average Retail
$18.99

Availability
Most wine stores.

Click here for my review of Petite Petit





 

Landmark Vineyards Steel Plow Syrah

Landmark Steel Plow Syrah

Tasting Notes
The wine was fairly subdued on the nose, needing a little time to open up. The taste was big in the way of plum, blackcurrant, pepper, spice, tobacco and leather. Full in body and very chewy on the extensive finish. Certainly benefits from decanting and another year or two in the bottle to show what it can really do, with potential for even longer cellaring.

Average Retail
$27.99

Availability
Higher-end restaurants, and limited wine stores.

Click here for interview for Landmark Vineyards owner Mike Colhoun





 

~ Sparkling ~

 

Biltmore Estate Blanc de BlancsBiltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs

Tasting Notes

100% Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley. The wine was everything I expected it to be, offering a slight yeasty/bready quality (as found in a lot of Champagnes), lemon, pear, Granny Smith apple and good acidity.

Average Retail

$24.99

Availability

Limited availability.

Click here for my review of Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs

1 Comment

  • July 2, 2011

    Nancy Yos

    Thanks for reminding me of some wines I had forgotten (I used to sell C.M.S.) and for introducing me to some others. Happy Fourth only what no white zinfandel??!

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