Say goodbye to weekend BBQs, as it’s dinner party season! Impress your foodie friends with these domestic Reds, proof-positive that American juice is as tasty, complex and balanced as their Old World counterparts.
Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 (see above): The Broadside packs quite a wallop of flavor. Made with 97 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 3 percent Petite Verdot, it is certainly broad and perfect for the dinner table. Expect intense fruit, but overall freshness and balance; it has aromas of dark blue berries and spice. The nose accentuates flavors of brambly fruit, plum and minerals. The winemakers favor a natural approach in that wines are minimally handled to best express the grape, site and vintage.
NoCo Pinot Noir 2010: Made in California’s famed North Coast (hence “NoCo”), this Pinot Noir is not one would expect from CA Pinot. In fact, it’s downright Burgundian: expressive of the Chalone vineyards from which the grapes are grown, it is fragrant and evokes light, soft fruit, unlike the juicy ripeness *so many* Pinots from the same region. The winemakers thank a particularly wet season for the soft expression of spiciness, flowers and rhubarb. Light and bright red, the NoCo also has a slight cherry note to it, but finishes deeply and long. You’ll keep coming back to this glass until, sadly, you’ll wonder where the wine went.
Shinn Estate Vineyards “Wild Boar Doe” 2009: I’ve waxed poetic on the great wines offered by Long Island neighbors Shinn Estate, and I’m not going to stop now! Their Wild Boar Doe (a play on the classic French appellation of Bourdeaux) is made with that legendary region in mind. Hand-harvested grapes (grown sustainably and biodynamically, of course) are slowly fermented before being aged 18 months in French oak before being bottled unfiltered. The resulting wine is spicy and aromatic, simultaneously peppery and full of ripe blackberry. Perfectly paired with thicker stews and warmer fall fare, this is a favorite you’ll probably adopt as your own.