About US Wine

The United States is one of the most important players in the wine industry. On sheer numbers alone, the US is the fourth largest country in terms of total production; but it is the outstanding quality of wines from the US that is an additional part of its worldwide prestige.

While the first wines produced in the colonies date back to the late 18th century, it has only been since the mid-1960s that the US has entered the premium wine market on a large scale. California, especially Napa Valley and Sonoma County were the areas that drove the new quality movement. Other areas in California also were home to great wines; soon Washington and Oregon were home to first-class wines as well. New York State, especially the Finger Lakes are was rediscovered for its Rieslings and soon wineries started opening in states such as Texas, Virginia and North Carolina.

Today, 90% of domestic premium wine is produced in California and there are several wine types that share the spotlight; these include Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, Pinot Noir from Sonoma's Russian River Valley as well as Santa Barbara County and Chardonnay from several regions, such as Monterey and Sonoma County. Bordeaux-styles reds from Washington State have received great acclaim as have Oregon Pinot Noirs.

Today, the United States is in an enviable position of being one of the largest producers of wine as well as one of the most celebrated.
Top Picks for USA
222531
Falkner
2014 Amante Super Tuscan Style Red Blend Temecula Valley
Murky dusty garnet color. Aromas of crushed roses, bittersweet chocolate, and terra cotta with a vibrant, dry medium-full body and a layered, long rose hip water, stewed tomato, and clay oven bricks finish with well-integrated, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A stunning Sangiovese driven blend that captures the essence of Tuscany in a California bottle.
96 points $54.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221125
Italics
2014 Estate Grown Proprietary Red Wine Coombsville, Napa Valley
Dark garnet color. Fruity, inviting aromas of blackberry, blueberry, cinnamon, and cocoa powder with a soft, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long , and vanilla pudding finish with well-integrated tannins. A supple, velvety Cabernet blend with a lingering finish.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219944
Tradition
2015 Cuvée Red Wine Napa Valley
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of menthol mint, spiced blueberries, eucalyptus, and farm lands with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, very long vanilla mint and cola, spiced chocolate toffee, and pepper jelly on biscuit finish with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, complex, satisfying red blend with great style and structure.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222757
Sun Up Brewing Company
Sunna's Nektar Braggot
Dark copper color. Complex aromas and flavors of toasted fruit cake, caramelized roasted chestnuts, hint of tamari, and chocolate yogurt with a supple, crisp, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, layered, long caramelized citrus, pepper, and chocolate gingerbread finish. A very complex and layered braggot with great flavor and balance.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220923
San Simeon
2014 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark garnet color. Aromas of blackberry, black currant, mint, and coffee with a soft, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, captivating, medium-long , bittersweet chocolate, and cedar finish with well-integrated tannins. An elegant, refined yet complex and powerful Paso Cabernet.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220224
Corner 103
2016 Grenache Blanc
Pale golden amber color. Citrusy, elegant aromas of pink grapefruit, fresh cut grass, and vanilla bean with a satiny, lively, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an elegant, long fresh mint and dill, allspice and apricot, lilac, and wet pebbles finish with well-integrated, silky tannins. A silky mouthfeel and long, satisfying finish give this wine staying power.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219884
Windrun
2013 Pinot Noir
Dark dusty garnet color. Inviting aromas of Dr. Pepper, porcini mushroom, and oolong tea with a lightly tannic, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and an intricate, medium-long wet earth, eucalyptus, rose and black pepper, and sponge cake with dried cassis finish with medium, earthy tannins and a suggestion of oak. A concentrated Pinot Noir with complex hedonistic flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219425
Le Vigne
2014 di Domenico Malbec
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of huckleberry custard, frosted apricot cobbler, and macadamia toffee and gelato with a lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a distinctive, long super ripe peach, chocolate nuts, and hint of spiced tomato and citrus finish with chewy, fine tannins and light oak. A fantastically fragrant and alluring Malbec that will be great for every occasion.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219899
Tradition
2014 Red Blend Napa Valley
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate mint, honeyed herbs and spices, and dark berry pie with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, layered, long cherry vanilla custard, orange spice cake, toffee, and menthol lozenge finish with chewy, fine tannins and moderate oak. A supple, spicy, and vibrant red blend; very impressive.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218760
Arrowhead Spring Vineyards
2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Fruity, creamy aromas and flavors of berry custard, spiced watermelon, vanilla toffee, and flowers and bee pollen with a silky, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, long delicate spices, marinated beets and apricots, and nuts finish with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A pure, flavorful, mouthwatering cabernet for all occasions.
95 points $27.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab