Need a great American wine suggestion

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Chris Freemott
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Need a great American wine suggestion

#1 Post by Chris Freemott » October 7th, 2019, 4:46 pm

One of my co-workers is going to be sworn in as a US Citizen later this month. She's a French national and lives here with her husband and son. She is simply an amazing human being and several of us in the office are interested in giving her a gift. One of the items in the gift basket should be a great American wine(s).

Bubbles would be fun
Cabernet likely more representative

I don't know our domestic bubbles very well and the first Cabernets that come to mind would be:

Ridge Monte Bello
Heitz Martha's
and a few more of the common Napa names.

But, anyone have any suggestions on what we may want to consider? The budget is very good. We have 10 folks chipping in. There are a few other gifts to get but if the answer was a $500.00 of wine, we're not concerned about that.

TIA

Chris

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#2 Post by GregT » October 7th, 2019, 4:55 pm

You'll get as many answers as there are wines, but I'd give her a Napa Cab. Assuming she has a bit of a French palate, something like Corison would be great. And why not a Ridge Zin? They don't grow it in France and it's seen as a pretty American grape.

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#3 Post by Brian Pinci » October 7th, 2019, 4:58 pm

Shafer Hillside Select, Togni, Abreu, Dominus (French connection), Phelps Insignia. Lots to choose from.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#4 Post by Neal.Mollen » October 7th, 2019, 5:01 pm

Ridge Monte Bello is first among equals in this race I think
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#5 Post by Jim Stewart » October 7th, 2019, 5:10 pm

Good for her! Very thoughtful gesture. I always think of Zinfandel as the quintessential American wine. It also benefits by having no French version for comparison.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#6 Post by Victor Hong » October 7th, 2019, 5:14 pm

Chris Freemott wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 4:46 pm
One of my co-workers is going to be sworn in as a US Citizen later this month. She's a French national and lives here with her husband and son. She is simply an amazing human being and several of us in the office are interested in giving her a gift. One of the items in the gift basket should be a great American wine(s).

Bubbles would be fun
Cabernet likely more representative

I don't know our domestic bubbles very well and the first Cabernets that come to mind would be:

Ridge Monte Bello
Heitz Martha's
and a few more of the common Napa names.

But, anyone have any suggestions on what we may want to consider? The budget is very good. We have 10 folks chipping in. There are a few other gifts to get but if the answer was a $500.00 of wine, we're not concerned about that.

TIA

Chris
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#7 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » October 7th, 2019, 5:15 pm

Oakville Farmhouse is a quintessential American field blend. If she likes Syrah then Cayuse hits an American high point.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#8 Post by Greg Mitrakas » October 7th, 2019, 5:18 pm

Congratulations!! I would suggest a search for a magnum or larger of Ridge Geyserville with a few years or more of age on it. You'll have a lot of money left over for other items in the gift bag and a big bottle is always more festive.

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#9 Post by Ian S » October 7th, 2019, 5:20 pm

You could show her the American interpretation of a Bordeaux blend like Virage, Phelps Insignia, or Mark Ryan Dead Horse. 2011 would be a decent vintage if you want her to taste as close to a European version as possible, or 2012 if you want her to experience a more ripe style. Either vintage is drinking well now and should be fairly easy to source.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#10 Post by Adam Frisch » October 7th, 2019, 5:27 pm

Turley etc. As mentioned, a high end Zin says America.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#11 Post by Mark Thompson » October 7th, 2019, 5:28 pm

Birth year of a classic cab would be fun if you know it and it aligns with a decent vintage. Alternatively, while I normally wouldn’t push Opus ahead of many other alternatives, the French/American partnership is interesting. I can say definitively that in your shoes I’d spend way too much time trying to pick the perfect bottle!

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#12 Post by Michael Ulanday » October 7th, 2019, 5:32 pm

Screaming Eagle, the emblematic wine of America or Beringer White Zinfandel...in magnum, cuz there's nothing more American.

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#13 Post by John J » October 7th, 2019, 6:11 pm

Birth year Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon/Mondavi Reserve

It don’t get more American than that my man...
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#14 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » October 7th, 2019, 6:13 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 5:01 pm
Ridge Monte Bello is first among equals in this race I think
Agreed. Neal is dead right here.

And while I am not a huge fan of American oak, Draper’s committment to making an American product using American oak, has a relatable story here.

Ridge Monte Bello is by far the easy choice. En Magnum.

The only other choice I would consider, and oh boy it would cost serious cash and take time to put together, but would be very cool, would be a line-up of the American wines that beat France in the Judgment of Paris:

1973 Stag's Leap Wine Cellar's S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon
1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay.


And if you wanted to pimp it up ever more, serve them with the runner-ups:

1970 Mouton-Rothschild
1973 Meursault Charmes Roulot.

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#15 Post by Yao C » October 7th, 2019, 6:22 pm

Why not Dominus? It seems appropriate that it’s the brainchild of a Frenchman who fell in love with Napa. 2006 is a recent vintage that is drinking really well and rather underrated (or you could look around for 1991 if you wanted to get something ridiculous)
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#16 Post by cjsavino » October 7th, 2019, 6:23 pm

Domestic bubbles go with a Schramsberg
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#17 Post by Robert M yers » October 7th, 2019, 6:30 pm

I was thinking that too Robert, but it’s not a competition (even in good spirit) it’s a celebration.

I think I’d do a J Schram, it’s not a wine I play in at the price but for your occasion seems perfect.

Maybe pair it up with a Mag of Montelena Zinfandel which is relatively cheap and cover the Zin angle.

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#18 Post by Kris Patten » October 7th, 2019, 6:36 pm

J. Schram or Domaine Carneros La Reve in magnum.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#19 Post by Peter Kleban » October 7th, 2019, 6:40 pm

Félicitations to your colleague!

No idea what kind of wine she likes, but if you want to go on the more Burgundian side I'd opt for one of the Patricia Green Cellars single vineyards. "Mysterious" is just fantastic, but I think it's wine club only; Etzel Block is on the same level and Dijon 115 or Pommard (both Freedom Hill) are very close behind, as is Durant Madrone. After all, tous les chemins mènent à la Bourgogne!
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#20 Post by Alex N » October 7th, 2019, 7:03 pm

John J wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 6:11 pm
Birth year Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon/Mondavi Reserve

It don’t get more American than that my man...
That was the first one that came to mind.
then Opus
then Martha's

If someone gave me a French wine to celebrate me getting French citizenship, I think a 1st growth Bordeaux would make sense, like those famous American labels do, even though there are "better" Napa cabs these days.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#21 Post by Chris Freemott » October 7th, 2019, 7:16 pm

Excellent ideas - all. Thank you.

She likes Cabs and grew up in Brittany.

Hadn't thought of the Zin...that's a great idea...

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#22 Post by Randy Bowman » October 7th, 2019, 7:29 pm

Chris, we have a number of Napa cabs with some age if you want something closer to old world. Don't know if you need it sooner than later, but Carrie will list them for you shortly.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#23 Post by Ian Alper » October 7th, 2019, 7:34 pm

I second the Geyserville suggestion. Try to find an 09 - this will be ready to drink. Unless you find an older Monte Bello, a more recent vintage does not make sense for her unless she has a wine cellar. If you go for the Geyserville, you can still get her some nice bubbles.

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#24 Post by NED VALOIS » October 7th, 2019, 7:38 pm

Victor Hong wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 5:14 pm
Chris Freemott wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 4:46 pm
One of my co-workers is going to be sworn in as a US Citizen later this month. She's a French national and lives here with her husband and son. She is simply an amazing human being and several of us in the office are interested in giving her a gift. One of the items in the gift basket should be a great American wine(s).

Bubbles would be fun
Cabernet likely more representative

I don't know our domestic bubbles very well and the first Cabernets that come to mind would be:

Ridge Monte Bello
Heitz Martha's
and a few more of the common Napa names.

But, anyone have any suggestions on what we may want to consider? The budget is very good. We have 10 folks chipping in. There are a few other gifts to get but if the answer was a $500.00 of wine, we're not concerned about that.

TIA

Chris
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#25 Post by J.Vizuete » October 7th, 2019, 8:24 pm

Bubbles:
I like the Domaine Carneros Le Reve suggestion (owned by Tattinger) or Roederer L’ermitage (which are pretty easy to find en magnum..

Love the idea of a Ridge zin
Opus or Dominus scratch the same itch and are fabulous choices especially if you can get a hold of a bottle with age.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#26 Post by D. HEIN » October 7th, 2019, 8:47 pm

This famous and iconic wine, which was initially created by two great wine visionaries, who have since passed on, Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi.

The creation of a fascinating partnership, France and the USA. 1987, 1992, 1996, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016!
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#27 Post by D. HEIN » October 7th, 2019, 8:50 pm

D. HEIN wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 8:47 pm
This famous and iconic wine, which was initially created by two great wine visionaries, who have since passed on, Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi, Opus I

The creation of a fascinating partnership, France and the USA. 1987, 1992, 1996, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016!
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#28 Post by Scott G r u n e r » October 7th, 2019, 9:28 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 6:13 pm
Neal.Mollen wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 5:01 pm
Ridge Monte Bello is first among equals in this race I think
Agreed. Neal is dead right here.

And while I am not a huge fan of American oak, Draper’s committment to making an American product using American oak, has a relatable story here.

Ridge Monte Bello is by far the easy choice. En Magnum.

The only other choice I would consider, and oh boy it would cost serious cash and take time to put together, but would be very cool, would be a line-up of the American wines that beat France in the Judgment of Paris:

1973 Stag's Leap Wine Cellar's S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon
1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay.


And if you wanted to pimp it up ever more, serve them with the runner-ups:

1970 Mouton-Rothschild
1973 Meursault Charmes Roulot.
My exact first thought- though getting these vintages may be tricky...

Get one bottle each of Ridge Monte Bello, Stags Leap Wine Cellars, Heitz Martha's, and maybe a Montelana Chard to round it out.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#29 Post by Jim Stewart » October 8th, 2019, 4:43 am

Glenn L e v i n e wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 5:15 pm
Oakville Farmhouse is a quintessential American field blend. If she likes Syrah then Cayuse hits an American high point.
I like the symbolism of the "field blend" wine suggestion , Glenn. In many ways it epitomizes the USA. We are a "field blend" country and culture. Many of us are "field blend" in our DNA and ancestry. This woman is about to join in the blend.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#30 Post by Howard Cooper » October 8th, 2019, 4:49 am

Schramsberg Sparkling wine
Ridge Geyserville (which I think of as the quintessential American wine)
Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon or Ridge Montebello

Or, how about something that epitomizes French/American partnership, like (Opus One, a partnership between Mondavi and Mouton) or Dominus (that started out as a joint venture between Petrus and the daughters of John Daniels (who put Inglenook on the map as the greatest wine in California for many years)).
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#31 Post by Chris Blum » October 8th, 2019, 7:16 am

Greg Mitrakas wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 5:18 pm
Congratulations!! I would suggest a search for a magnum or larger of Ridge Geyserville with a few years or more of age on it. You'll have a lot of money left over for other items in the gift bag and a big bottle is always more festive.
Love this idea
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#32 Post by Ian S » October 8th, 2019, 7:22 am

Jim Stewart wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 4:43 am
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#33 Post by Eric Ifune » October 8th, 2019, 9:00 am

For a celebration you need a sparkler. I'd go with a magnum of one of the American-French ventures like Domaine Chandon, Roderer, or Taittinger.

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#34 Post by Edward H. Earles » October 8th, 2019, 4:08 pm

I agree that Ridge Monte Bello is a good choice, provided that it's well-aged.

For a younger Cab, look at Altamura.

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#35 Post by Todd F r e n c h » October 8th, 2019, 4:11 pm

Ridge Monte Bello, 2011 or earlier (double decanted, preferably, if young) - game over. No other options, period.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#36 Post by lleichtman » October 8th, 2019, 5:40 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 5:01 pm
Ridge Monte Bello is first among equals in this race I think
+1
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#37 Post by J a y H a c k » October 8th, 2019, 7:54 pm

First of all, don't listen to any of my brethren who do not like California wines in the first place. I agree that Ridge Monte Bello would be an excellent first choice, but you said "wine(s)" so let's fill out the basket. The Ridge from a good year will set you back a few bucks, so let's say $250. I agree that a Zinfandel would be a nice addition, and to average down, I would go for an old vine Carlisle or Bedrock of about 10 years of age. You should be able to do that for $50. If your total budget is $500, that leaves you $200, which I would spend on a Saxum that you can get in the secondary market for about $115 AND A WHITE WINE that everyone forgot about. You can get the Ramey single vineyard Hudson Chard and be under budget. If you get a bit of luck or one of our guys will sell you stuff they own at original cost (I would if I you were in NY) and you shave just a bit off those prices, you can also get a good appellation Cali or Oregon pinot to round things out. Patricia Green Berserker Cuvee, for example.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#38 Post by Ed Steinway » October 8th, 2019, 8:19 pm

I agree with all of the others who have mentioned Ridge Monte Bello. For a good chardonnay, I would go with a Mount Eden or Stony Hill. Good luck and have fun with the search!

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#39 Post by James Kennedy » October 8th, 2019, 8:38 pm

For one bottle under $500, maybe a Colgin?

Otherwise I think Schrader is one of the most representative American wines for the price - over the top and flamboyant yet interesting and delicious.

If you want a representative example of American enterprise in the wine industry, a Caymus and Meomi with a dropper of cannabis oil to taint them.

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#40 Post by Peter Petersen » October 8th, 2019, 9:24 pm

My 2 cents as a person who is a citizen but not an American.
Forget Zinfandel and go for Ridge Monte Bello. This might blow half the budget and the 1995 is drinking well.
For sparkling I don’t really know a domestic one that I can recommend, hoping for Rhys, but I haven’t tried it. Still, I’d expect it to be good and that might take care of the remainder of the cash if you get a magnum. I can try to help with that but, unlike some, I don’t have much leverage with Rhys.

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#41 Post by Jeff_M. » October 9th, 2019, 6:46 am

Gonna throw Spottswoode out there. You can get older vintages cheaper than the new releases online. Great wine, especially with 20 years of age to it.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#42 Post by K John Joseph » October 9th, 2019, 7:59 am

1994 Dominus
1996 Ridge Monte Bello
2002 Joseph Phelps Insignia
2002 Shafer Hillside Select

Those would be the 4 US wines that I would try to find.

I have had many J. Schrams now, including some of their late disgorged with nearly 20 years of age on them. I like them a lot, but think that a Napa Cab would be a better choice here as Napa Cab is something different than old world wine, whereas domestic bubbles are far more similar to Champagne. If you go with cab, you get more of a substantive "this is USA" than you would with bubbles. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#43 Post by Victor Hong » October 9th, 2019, 8:33 am

Nobody has yet suggested any wines from Virginia.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#44 Post by Mark Thompson » October 9th, 2019, 9:21 am

K John Joseph wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 7:59 am
1994 Dominus
1996 Ridge Monte Bello
2002 Joseph Phelps Insignia
2002 Shafer Hillside Select

Those would be the 4 US wines that I would try to find.

I have had many J. Schrams now, including some of their late disgorged with nearly 20 years of age on them. I like them a lot, but think that a Napa Cab would be a better choice here as Napa Cab is something different than old world wine, whereas domestic bubbles are far more similar to Champagne. If you go with cab, you get more of a substantive "this is USA" than you would with bubbles. Just my 2 cents.
I had forgotten the original JV nature of Dominus noted in an earlier post. I have to say the first time I had ‘94 Dominus was from a magnum that I sampled with a Coravin over the course of a few months. Given a few Coravin-related seal failures I’ve had since then, I would never take that kind of chance today with such a great bottle of wine. That said, the bottle was stunning could have passed for an ‘89 Haut Brion in my opinion.

So I’m changing my vote to ‘94 Dominus—even better if you can score a mag.

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#45 Post by K John Joseph » October 9th, 2019, 9:27 am

James Kennedy wrote:
October 8th, 2019, 8:38 pm
For one bottle under $500, maybe a Colgin?

Otherwise I think Schrader is one of the most representative American wines for the price - over the top and flamboyant yet interesting and delicious.

If you want a representative example of American enterprise in the wine industry, a Caymus and Meomi with a dropper of cannabis oil to taint them.
I would rather have Colgin than Schrader, as I think that Schrader tends to show quite a strong oak note for a rather long time. Schrader is probably more representative of recent trends in Napa, but I love Colgin's profile. I think I'd go deep on Colgin if I wasn't such a poor boy by Dallas/Wine Snob standards. But JR, your suggestion is shit compared to mine so piss off. Hey wait, common ground here, how about some old Togni?
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K John Joseph
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#46 Post by K John Joseph » October 9th, 2019, 9:29 am

With a $500 budget, also consider some good vintage Diamond Creek.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#47 Post by Edward H. Earles » October 9th, 2019, 10:33 am

Victor Hong wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 8:33 am
Nobody has yet suggested any wines from Virginia.
Nor will we.

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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#48 Post by K John Joseph » October 9th, 2019, 11:14 am

Edward H. Earles wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 10:33 am
Victor Hong wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 8:33 am
Nobody has yet suggested any wines from Virginia.
Nor will we.
But they're really perfect. Just so luxurious. Anyone will tell you. They're really fantastic, the very best wines. Try one. So perfect. I opened one and it's just perfect. Each time its perfect. Now I'll tell you, they're really something. Everyone knows it.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#49 Post by Victor Hong » October 9th, 2019, 11:19 am

K John Joseph wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 11:14 am
Edward H. Earles wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 10:33 am
Victor Hong wrote:
October 9th, 2019, 8:33 am
Nobody has yet suggested any wines from Virginia.
Nor will we.
But they're really perfect. Just so luxurious. Anyone will tell you. They're really fantastic, the very best wines. Try one. So perfect. I opened one and it's just perfect. Each time its perfect. Now I'll tell you, they're really something. Everyone knows it.
WORTH EVERY $500 BILL!!! EVERYBODY SUPPORTS THESE WINES. EVEN WHEN THEY DO NOT SAY SO OUT LOUD. I MEAN, THEY ARE THE ONLY TRUE AMERICAN WINES! ESPECIALLY THE REDS. AND ESPECIALLY, ESPECIALLY THE WHITES, OF COURSE.

California wines, huh? Just a bunch of losers.
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Re: Need a great American wine suggestion

#50 Post by Doug Schulman » October 10th, 2019, 5:14 pm

I would be thinking about a Cabernet from the ‘70s-‘80s, a good vintage, and/or a well aged Eyrie PN directly from the winery. The latter would have perfect provenance and could arguably be of higher quality (depending on specific wines, of course).
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