CLEVELAND, Ohio – For July, we are trying all American wines.
The 12 we sipped come from California and range in price from $14 to $25.
Our monthly reviews focus on wines $25 and under, and all should be available on local store shelves. We list the flavors we detect and offer our favorites at the end.
(Our August review will consist entirely of foreign wines.)
Here is what we tasted:
Country house 301
Fieldhouse 301 Wines, CA, 2020, $21.60
Slight tobacco flower pleasant on the nose, very fruity, good wine for burgers. A tasting buddy who prefers dry wine enjoyed this, although I found it a bit jammy. It is a blend of five grape varieties of Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Carignan and Barbera.
Qupe Wine Cellars, Syrah, Central Coast, CA; 2019, $22
Cinnamon, black cherry, a little pleasant smoke, savory. Did well with mixed burgers (beef and mushrooms).
Rombauer Sauvignon Blanc
Rombauer Vineyards, California, Sauvignon Blanc, 2020, $25
A year ago, a Rombauer Zin landed as one of our top two wines in our annual premium wine review. This Sauv Blanc – with honeysuckle on the nose – is well balanced with bright fresh fruit. It’s mellow for the varietal; it’s definitely not super sour. California SBs continue to impress.
The Paring, California Sauvignon Blanc, 2019, $25
We detected strong, fresh, tart lime notes in this creamy wine that doesn’t taste like a Sauv Blanc; it’s more reminiscent of a Char-SB mix. It would be hard to nail blind.
Do you like wine? Options vary for purchasing wine. Online retailers provide the ability to choose what you want, manage cases, and find discounts. Here is a selection to consider:
brightcellars.com: The monthly club offers you wines after taking a “palate quiz”.
Cellierwineclub.com: Allows you to choose the number of bottles you want.
exoticwine.club.com: offers subscription wine boxes from wineries located in less accessible markets.
splashwines.com: choose a curated case or create your own.
winc.com: Four wines tailored to your tastes are shipped monthly. Has a review component.
wine.com: Large online sellers often offer discounts to new customers.
wineawesomeness.com: Organized shipments of three and six bottles.
wineenthusiast.com: Complete site for accessories – shelves, glasses, openers, storage, gifts.
wineonsale.com: Allows you to select by grape variety or by region.
zachys.com: Includes a variety of ways to search/buy, as well as auction information.
Dry Creek Dry Chenin Blanc
Dry Creek Vineyard, CA, Chenin Blanc, 2021, $16
With floral, pear and peach aromas on the nose and palate, and with a finish that’s balanced enough acid and dryness to stand up to the food, our tasting panel was blown away. Phenomenal value.
Simi Winery, Sonoma County, Sauvignon Blanc, 2020, $15
Aroma of white flowers and nice creaminess without any herbaceous note, limited acid and restrained citrus. A pleasant sip at an appropriate price.
Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc
Bonterra Vineyards, Mendocino County, CA; Sauvignon Blanc, 2020, $14
Made with organic grapes, we detected pear and orange blossom as well as floral notes. It’s not that acidic, and we thought it was hard to discern that from Pinot Grigio. Versatile cooking wine, will go well with salads and lemon chicken dishes. Huge difference between this style in California and one made in Australia or New Zealand.
Bread & Butter Pinot Noir (canned)
Bread & Butter, California, Pinot Noir, 250ml, $4.99 ($19.99, four-pack)
Cola, cooking space, cherry pie. Very drinkable, good picnic offer. Related coverage: Wine classification: we evaluate 30 wines in single or double portion in cans, in bottles
Do you like wine? Options vary for purchasing wine. Online retailers provide the ability to choose what you want, manage cases, and find discounts.
Bread & Butter Rosé
Bread & Butter, California, Rosé, 2020, $16
The winery presents this as having strawberry and melon notes, which we detected – although it’s more of a Jolly Rancher-like dry watermelon with a slight funk to it. (Personal preference: I like B&B Chardonnay à la Rose.)
Josh Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Bourbon Barrel Aged
Josh Cellars, California, Cabernet Sauvignon, $24.99
Creamy vanilla on the nose, and the bourbon flavor is very subtle. Blackberry, slight taste of cough syrup, unctuous. This style has been dialed in quite a bit, although the oak is definitely there.
Cline Family Cellars, Contra Costa County, California; Zinfandel, 2020, $16
Smoke and cherry in this fruity wine with oak on a long finish. A perfect pairing with grilled ribs.
Bull by the horns
McPrice Myers, Paso Robles, Calif.; 2020, $25
Tomato and gooseberry intersect. Not very tannic for a cab. Very fruity, medium bodied. If that’s your thing, great. We weren’t thrilled about that price-wise, though.
Favorite: Dry Creek Dry Chenin Blanc.
Wine reviews 2022
Wines for June: 9 wines to taste from Sicily to Spain
Wines of May: 11 different wines from 5 countries – $25 and under
Wines of the Month for April: 11 to consider sipping from Indiana (yes) to Italy
Wines for March: 10 wines for $10 to $25
Wines for February: A dozen different wines from 4 countries
January wines: 9 different wines from $9 to $22
I am on cleveland.comfrom the Life and Culture team and covers topics related to food, beer, wine and sport. If you want to see my stories, here is a directory on cleveland.com. On Air: WTAM-1100’s Bill Wills and I talk food and drink usually at 8:20 a.m. Thursday mornings. Twitter: @mbona30.
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