Make America (Drink) Great Again
After a year of historical upheavals, this week’s historic events have inspired us to look inward to the hope and potential of ourselves and the U.S. We’re focusing on stellar sippers made stateside, right here in U.S. Each of these winemakers, in producing sustainable, beautiful wines, love the land and their craft, and we can’t think of better partners to help us all toast to a better tomorrow.
Scielo is produced by RGNY on Long Island’s North Fork. A Bordeaux-style blend, it is produced by the Rivero Gonzalez family, who trace their winemaking roots back to 1998, when they first planted vines in Mexico. Today the Gonzalez family honors those early roots and strives to always make authentic, quality wines. Though new to the NY scene, RGNY has a vested interest in developing community, honoring the land, and establishing itself as a standout winery. The Scielo Tinto is wonderfully bold with aromas of ripe raspberries and plum followed by vanilla, chocolate and baking spices, leading you into elegant and supple tannins with a little kick on the finish.
Noah and Kelly Dorrance are the husband-and-wife collaboration behind Reeve wines. A short drive from the town of Healdsburg, in the sweeping hillsides of Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley, sprawling and distinctly Sonoma, the love and respect for the history of the land is what drives Reeve, and sets it apart from the many winemakers of that region. This Riesling is sourced mainly from the 60+ year old Wirz Vineyard in the Cienga Hills, grapes are hand-sorted before a gentle whole cluster pressing. The resulting wine features lush aromas of white flowers, peach, and apricot, laced with notes of green apple blossom and a kiss of tropical fruit that leads to a tension-loaded lemony finish. The perfect partner to an array of Southeast Asian cuisines, fried shrimp, roast chicken, avocado toast, and roasted root veggies. One of the more versatile wines on the list, don’t shy away from pairing with anything that can benefit from a little zip.
Founded by Samantha Sheehan in 2009 where she was originally inspired by the classics, Burgundy and Champagne. POE is by no means intended to replicate these storied appellations but rather to turn focus to what the incredible terroir of California can do, to focus on vineyard specific, age-worthy wines that push the boundaries of how land can be cultivated and expressed. Opting for minimal intervention and never falling on additives as filler, Sheehan produces very limited quantities available each year. This alluring Pinot Meunier comes from the Van der Kamp vineyard located at the very top of Sonoma Mountain and is possibly the oldest planting of Pinot still producing. Grapes are handpicked, fermented using native yeasts, and gently foot-trod 2-3 times daily. The wine is aged on its lees for 12 months in new and neutral French Oak before being bottles unfined and unfiltered. A touch on the lighter side, the wine offers up a complex bouquet of bitter cherry, cassis, wood smoke, and espresso. Notes of cedar and spice fill out the medium-full body without overpowering, everything is in balance here and the results are a complex wine that still manages to be light on its feet without sacrificing intensity or concentration of flavor.
In 1999, Bruce and Barbara Neyers purchased an old winery on a thirty-acre parcel in the Sage Canyon area in the heart of Napa Valley. Over the next 14 months, they completely renovated the winery, adding new equipment designed to augment their traditional winemaking practices, producing the first vintage of their award-winning wines in 2000. This luxe Chardonnay is produced from hand-harvested grapes, that are whole-cluster pressed, and fermented in a mixture of new and used French oak barrels, using native, wild yeasts, and allowed to rest on its lees before bottling. This process results in a lovely nutty aroma that the French call "Noisette." The wine is smooth and elegant, perfect to drink now or to save until 2022.
This gorgeous Cabernet is the brainchild of Richard Luftig, sommelier and fan of David Bowie, and winemakers Clay Mauritson and Emma Kudritzki. The name Pied A Terre captures the core tenets of their winemaking, that the farmer's footprint is “the best fertilizer and the most important sight in the vineyard." Meticulous care of the vineyard and miraculous attention to every detail set this crew apart from the other winemakers in this region. Love on Mars is 100% organic, expresses sheer beauty and elegance with bright notes of ripe blueberry, black cherry, graphite, and spice with a lovely soft finish.