About US Wine

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

Jarvis 2019 Finch Hollow Chardonnay
96 points
Golden straw color. Toasty, woody aromas and flavors of cedar, roasted nuts, grilled pineapple, and dark caramel and vanilla bean with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an even, medium-long finish that presents overtones of spiced apples and nuts and cedar plank with moderate oak flavor. A wood-driven, luxurious Chardonnay sipper that comes alive with aeration; decant or cellar.
Reynolds Family Winery 2015 Reserve 300 Series Cabernet Sauvignon
96 points
Black garnet color. Aromas and flavors of black cassis, figs and dates, dark chocolate, fine caramel, toasted pine nuts, cola, and menthol with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long finish evoking notes of french silk pie, hazelnut spread, and licorice with silky tannins and moderate oak flavor. Supreme texture and elegant flavors mesh in this serious, upstanding Stags Leap Cabernet that is sure to please.
Maroon Wines 2014 Maroon Vineyard Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
96 points
Brown brick red color. Aromas and flavors of spiced dried berries, honeycomb, leather bag filled with coffee, chocolate and spice, and wet clay with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, very long finish with notes of cassis pie a la mode, honey glazed carrots, cherry cola, and chocolate mint with silky, soft tannins. A stately, seamless cabernet with deep rich flavors, finely balanced oak, and a long satisfying finish.
Amalthea 2015 Reserve Merlot
96 points
Dark burnt sienna color. Mature aromas of tomato leaf, ripe cherry, graphite, geranium, leather patina, vanilla scented tobacco, and olives with a velvety, vibrant, fruity full body and a warming, very complex, very long cedar incense, dried figs, black tea, cigars, hint of violet, damson plum, and licorice finish with silky tannins and heavy oak flavor. Astoundingly skillful use of oak makes for an uncommonly silky red with intense, complex notes of fine tobacco, tea, and leather; absolutely a must-try.
96 points $24.99
Forchini 2015 Proprietors Reserve Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon
96 points
Dusty garnet color. Aromas of suede, sweet gum tree, spiced grapefruit, amaretto, kirsch, and peppercorns with a round, vibrant, medium-to-full body and a peppery, huge, very long toffee, cafe latte, hints of fine cognac, and toasted brioche finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. An outstanding wine that oozes sophistication and balance; any wine lover will be lucky to try this.
Spangler 2016  Petit Verdot
96 points
Black violet color. Aromas and flavors of fresh-baked gingerbread, spiced plum, canary wood, violet, black pepper, and berry studded fritters with a velvety, vibrant, fruity full body and a warming, complex, very long finish manifesting shades of eclair with moderate oak flavor. A superb example of Petite Verdot with in-check tannins and a wildly aromatic, exotic nose.
Mount Pleasant Estates NV Tawny Port Library Volume XX Augusta, Missouri
95 points
Medium steely amber color. Aromas of candied walnut, soy sauce, pecans, and brine with a fat body and a polished, layered, medium-long white peppercorn, marzipan, sesame oil, butterscotch, and burnt honey finish with no oak flavor. A sweet, savory and nutty Port-style Fortified Wine; well-balanced and perfect to elevate all kinds of dessert pairings.
Jarvis 2019 Unfiltered Finch Hollow Chardonnay
95 points
Golden yellow color. Aromas and flavors of butter-sauteed bananas, cedar, fresh herb melange, delicately spiced apples, and praline with a round, lively, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long finish with accents of cream-topped crepes with coating tannins and moderate oak flavor. A silky, dreamy Napa Chardonnay with great ageability; seriously structured, expertly vinted and highest quality.
Shenandoah Vineyards 2018  Cabernet Franc
95 points
Best Buy
Dusty ruby color. Aromas of raspberry thumbprint cookies, grilled ladyfingers, redwood, and pimento with a round, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long chocolate mousse and baklava finish with heavy oak flavor. A decadent and distinctive Cabernet Franc that assuages the palate with creamy oak and enlivens with snappy fruit and charming terroir.
95 points $20 Best Buy
Alexandria Nicole 2018 Destiny Red Blend Horse Heaven Hills
95 points
Black violet color. Aromas and flavors of ripe fragrant plum, pomegranate, licorice, violet, and pimento with a chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity full body and a seamless, complex, long finish that presents accents of tobacco with moderate oak flavor. A brawny, highly ageable Bordeaux Varietal Blend to cellar for at least a few more years; vibrant fruit and acidity promise greatness to come.