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

Amalthea 2015 Legends Edition Europa I Outer Coastal Plain
97 points
Medium dark garnet color. Inviting aromas and flavors of dried sour cherries, beets, carrots and root vegetables baked with fresh herbs in a clay pot, and toffee with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, very long chocolate orange peels, creme Anglaise, spiced nuts, and minerals finish with fine, silky tannins and moderate oak. A stunning red blend with cascading waves of savory and ripe flavors and nuances that delight the palate.
97 points $29.99
Falkner 2014 Amante Super Tuscan Style Red Blend Temecula Valley
96 points
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.
Awards: 2017 Top 3 Best US Red Wine
96 points $54.95
Italics 2014 Estate Grown Proprietary Red Wine Coombsville, Napa Valley
96 points
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.
Awards: 2017 Best Bordeaux Varietal Blend, 2017 Top 3 Best US Red Wine
Amalthea 2015 Legends Edition Europa IV Outer Coastal Plain
95 points
Medium dark garnet color. Fruity, candied aromas and flavors of strawberry vanilla sundae, chocolate graham crackers and dried blueberries, hint of toasted sage herb bread, and pickled tomato with a satiny, bright, fruity medium body and a graceful, captivating, medium-long chocolate dipped strawberries, spicy black raspberry pie a la mode, melon balls, and nuts finish with soft, fine, dusty tannins and a suggestion of oak. A juicy and harmonious minuet of sweet, savory, and herbal leit motifs that satisfy the senses.
95 points $27.99
Amalthea NV Carmé Red Blend Outer Coastal Plain
95 points
Bright brown brick red color. Interesting, inviting, floral aromas and flavors of fancy floral bath soap, dried cherries and apricots drizzled in chocolate, pistachio gelato, and incense and braised meat with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, long chocolate rice bar, spiced cranberries and strawberries, pink pepper, and sweet potato puree with nuts finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A fascinating flavor ride down a fruity, spicy path.
95 points $27.99
Caricature 2015 Estate Grown Old Vine Zinfandel
95 points
Best Buy
Dark deep purple color. Fruity aromas and flavors of dried raspberry, toasted coconut, blackberry leaf, licorice, hot cherry wood shavings, and pink pencil eraser with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity sweet medium body and a peppery, delightful, medium-long graphite, sun dried tomato, and lemon pepper finish with well-integrated, crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A delicious and balanced Lodi Zin that tantalizes the senses with elegant fruits and sophisticated spice.
95 points $15 Best Buy
San Simeon 2014  Petite Sirah
95 points
Opaque black ruby color. Attractive aromas and flavors of toasted coconut flakes in buttercream, dill pickle, chocolate berries and nuts, and delicate spices with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-full body and a tingling, interesting, long black raspberry and coconut cream pies, praline, sweet and peppery spices, and nutskins and bark finish with fine, woody tannins and heavy oak. A delicious and supple petite sirah that is good to go.
San Simeon 2016 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir
95 points
Dark minutely hazy ruby black color. Inviting aromas and flavors of fresh cracked black pepper and char-grilled green pepper, boysenberry-huckleberry compote, cedar pencil shavings, and cherry pipe tobacco with a satiny, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, long smoked nuts and cherries, chocolate toffee, and delicate spices finish. A richly flavorful and attractive pinot with powerful fruit and exotic oak notes.
Parallel 44 2016 Estate Ice Wine Wisconsin Ledge
95 points
Straw green color. Aromas and flavors of golden raisins, dried apricots, butter roasted nuts, and kidd leather with a tangy, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and an interesting, long caramelized green apples and citrus and honeyed spiced peaches finish. A great American ice wine that drinks like a fine Austrian or German riesling eiswein.
Tom Eddy 2016 Purrington Chardonnay
95 points
Yellow straw color. Confected, baked aromas of apple streusel, walnut confection, baked pear with brown sugar glaze, and lemon bar with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, complex, long toasted pecan and smoked vanilla bean finish with well-integrated, coating tannins and heavy oak. A beautiful, complex, smoky Chardonnay that can compete with the best of them; relish now or cellar.