Flag McGrid.jpgOnce you get past the budget deficit, the war in Iraq and the fact that McDonald’s stops serving McGriddles after 11am, you’ll find that there is a lot to be proud of when it comes to this country. However our wines may not be the first thing to come to mind.

It’s not that we are surprised when we have good wine from the U.S., we know that there are quality producers out there. It’s just that the old world has had a huge head start and in many ways we are still finding our stride. But being young and hungry has worked for us. We’re willing to experiment and take risks – but also, to learn and build from those who have a little more experience (say the French). It’s not surprising to see the U.S. section on many restaurants’ wine list expanding. The U.S. is starting to earn street cred, and it’s wines like these that are paving the way.

2004 Peter Michael Winery, Sauvignon Blanc L'Apres Midi Vineyard, Sonoma, USA
This wine single-handedly rekindled our love for Sauvignon Blanc. Made using native yeasts and aged sur lies for 9 months, this wine has a depth and complexity that is alluring and gripping. The pronounced aromas of citrus, grapefruit and grass are complimented by hints of minerality, apricot and spice. The high concentration of fruit and long length make this a truly excellent wine.

2001 Turley White Coat, San Luis Obispo, USA
This white wine, a blend of Viognier and Roussanne grapes, is rich and bold. Concentrated notes of ripe white peach and apricot are balanced with enough acidity to carry the full body of this wine. This wine was luscious and powerful – a dangerously delicious combination.

2001 Schneider Cabernet Franc, Long Island, USA
We didn’t just include this wine because we wanted some home team representation. Ok, so maybe that may have influenced us a little, but this wine did not get a free pass. In a blind tasting this wine captured us immediately with its unique combination of blackberry, cedar and lead pencil aromas.

While we still have a long way to go, wines like these are changing perceptions of what American wines can and should be. Forget the notion of high alcohol fruit bombs, these wines have personality, structure and balance – perhaps a few traits we could use on Capitol Hill.