The 4th of July is just days away; what better way to celebrate the independence of our great country that expanding your wine comfort zone to embrace some of the outstanding wines from all over the United States! Of course California, Oregon and Washington produce delicious wines, but high quality wines can be found in each of these United States. Though I have not had wine from each state yet, I have had wine from quite a few. Below I have highlighted a few wines in hope you will take the opportunity to explore some new wines this Independence Day!
Arizona Stronghold Rhone Blend “Nachise” Bonita Springs, Arizona 2012: dark ruby with purple streaks, rich ripe blackberries, strawberries, menthol, spice, pepper with a touch of cayenne, earthy, great acid, medium body, long finish; crafted from 42% Syrah, 30% Petite Sirah, 18% Grenache, 10% Mouvedre; aged 95% neutral oak and 5% new French oak; 15.2% alcohol. This was a dark, jammy wine that would pair well with grilled steak, lamb and burgers. Arizona Stronghold was co-founded by rocker James Maynard Keenan of Tool and A Perfect Circle. He has parted ways with his co-founder and now owns Caduceus Winery. To order this delicious Rhone Blend visit Arizona Stronghold’s web site.
Travessia 2013 Pinot Noir Rosé: This wine was crafted from 100% Pinot Noir. It poured a pleasing light salmon/coral with high viscosity into the glass. On the nose this rose offered subtle aromas of strawberries, citrus, fresh cut herbs and floral notes. On the palate it carried the aromas forward with flavors of strawberry, herbs and lemon zest on the back of the palate. This rosé was dry with a tart finish, medium in body and finish. It contained 11.5% alcohol with no malolactic fermentation and no oak aging. It was crisp and light. SRP $16. Order direct from Travessia Urban Winery
Travessia 2013 Vidal Blanc: This wine was crafted from 100% Vidal Blanc, a grape most frequently used in ice wines. It poured a pale gold with high clarity into the glass and met the nose with inviting aromas of tropical fruit, melons, fresh cut grass and floral notes. On the palate it offered a variety of pleasing flavors such as fresh cut pineapple, grapefruit, white peaches, cantelope and fresh cut grass with the tartness of lemon zest that lingered on the back of the palate. It was crisp and refreshing with a slight effervescence. It offered a round acidity with a full mouth feel and lingering finish. It contained 12.5% alcohol with no malolactic fermentation and no oak aging. This wine was palate pleasing. SRP $15. Order direct from Travessia Urban Winery.
Old York Cellars 2013 Pinot Gris: This wine poured a pale yellow with green flecks into the glass and opened with soft aromas of minerality, fresh cut herbs, and stone fruit. On the palate the flavors were very mineral driven, crisp and clean, with Granny Smith apples, melons and a touch of marzipan as it warmed in the glass. It had a refreshingly light body with well-rounded acidity and a lovely dry finish that left the palate watering. Its very light color was due to no skin contact. This wine won a Gold Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Order direct from Old York Cellars.
Brotherhood NV “B” Sparkling Chardonnay: These lovely bubbles glistened gold in the glass and met the nose with green apples, citrus, brioche and a faint hint of oak that was actually autolysis or “dead yeast.” On the palate this effervescent wine danced with flavors of green apple, lemon curd with a hint of lime, pears and a touch of crushed stone and yeast. It was refreshingly dry with a slight touch of sweetness and a soft creamy texture on the back of the palate. It offered medium body with a medium finish and was quite refreshing on a hot summer night. The Brotherhood NV “B” Sparkling Chardonnay was crafted from 100% New York Chardonnay using the Charmat method, meaning it was double fermented in steel tanks rather than in the bottle. It contained 12% alcohol, with an SRP of $11.99. Order direct from Brotherhood Winery.
Fox Run Vineyards 2013 Dry Riesling: Similar color to the Red Newt but with tighter viscosity; zesty aromas of bright stone fruit and citrus; flavors of peaches and honey crisp apples with a touch of crushed stone wrapped in a creamy texture with mouthwatering acidity. Another lovely Finger Lakes Riesling! 11.2% alcohol. SRP $18.
Thirsty Owl 2013 Riesling: glistening golden wine met the nose with ripe stone fruit and citrus; on the palate this creamy semi-sweet wine tasted like peach cobbler with lemon zest, followed by mild flavors of fresh cut herbs and a touch of wet rock; well-rounded acidity to balance out the touch of creamy sweetness and a long finish. My one word to describe this wine: YUM! 11% alcohol. SRP $15.
La Garagista 2013 “Coup de Foudre” Pétillant Naturel, Vermont: The Pétillant Naturel was a lovely sparkling wine made from 100% Brianna grapes. It was a unique looking sparkling wine, thick with a light amber color, almost like beer. On the nose it dazzled with fresh cut flowers and stone fruit. On the palate this sparkling wine was like no wine I have ever tasted. It opened with flavors of spring flowers, apricots, candle wax and tart green apples with a hint of honey as it trailed down the back of my palate. It was rustic and intriguing. Furthermore its 11.5% alcohol adds to accessibility of this sparkling wine. This wine would make a great pairing with a light meal on a hot summer day or just relaxed sippin by the pool. SRP $30; order direct from La Garagista.
Veritas 2013 Viognier: This wine was crafter of 95% Viognier and 5% Petite Manseng. It poured a pale gold into the glass. On the nose this wine offered bright aromas of stone fruit with a touch of citrus and herbal notes. On the palate the Viognier offered flavors of peaches, melon and lemon zest with some crushed stone on the back of the palate. It was a refreshing wine with a creamy texture with a great acidity that filled the mouth and lingered after the wine was swallowed. Emily fermented this wine in stainless steel tanks, then aged in neutral oak because she did not want the oak to influence the flavors of the wine. Furthermore, she de-stemmed the grapes as well as a short cold soaking for 9-14 hours before pressing the grapes. Emily chose to add the 5% Petite Manseng to assist with the high ph of Viognier; it rounded out the acidity naturally increasing the balance of the wine. The Viogner contained 13% alcohol; SRP $24. Visit Veritas Vineyard to order this wine.
Breaux Vineyards 2007 Meritage: This wine was crafted from 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 18% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. It poured a soft garnet with scarlet highlights into the glass and met the nose with a bouquet of black cherries, chocolate, spice box, smoke and leather. On the palate this gorgeous wine delivered elegant flavors of blackberries and plums with baking spices, cassis, leather, mocha and licorice. It offered a lush mouthfeel with elegantly balanced acidity and tannins. It was smooth and silky on the palate with a lingering finish that begged for another sip. This was a well-aged, beautifully integrated Meritage. Each grape was aged separately in a variety of barrels then blended in the bottle. 15.2% alcohol; SRP $48. Order direct from Breaux Vineyards.
Wollersheim Winery Domain du Sac 2013 Dry Red Wine: This dry red wine was a rich dark garnet with purple tones in the glass. On the nose the aromatic bouquet came forth with a deep smoky aroma accompanied by ripe dark berries and spice that were all very pleasing. The complex flavors flowed through the mouth with ripe black cherries, blackberries and hints of raspberries, followed by spice, black pepper and ending with a smoky cedar flavor. This wine had a medium body with fine tannins and a nice, well balanced acidity that offered enough dryness to make it very food compatible. This was a flexible red wine crafted of 90% Marechal Foch and 10% Millot (both French winter-hardy hybrids) in a Beaujolais style (whole berry fermented, cold soaked, which allows the character of the grapes to shine through, fermented in French and Wisconsin oak, 1/3 new, for 5 months). Like Beaujolais this wine was recommended to be served at 55-58 degrees F, which makes it a great red wine to enjoy in the heat of summer! Visit to Wollersheim Winery to order this wine.
I encourage you to visit each of these winery web sites to learn more about them, view their entire portfolio of wines and order some new wines to celebrate the 4th of July!
My Song Selection: The song I have selected to pair with these delicious wines crafted all across the USA is “The Star Spangled Banner” by Madison Rising. This is not your typical sporting event version; Madison Rising rocks it. So please take a moment to watch and listen to the video while you decided which of these wines you MUST have for your Independence Day celebrations!
Happy 4th of July! Let me know wines you try and what song you pair with them. Cheers!