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United States

There is a great deal more to American wines than California and Chardonnay, though both of these flagships still prosper and dazzle.  Less well known is that the majority of states in the USA are producers of wine.

There is a great deal more to American wines than California and Chardonnay, though both of these flagships still prosper and dazzle.  Less well known is that the majority of states in the USA are producers of wine.

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The Zinfandel grape is surely the most versatile in the world and the Napa Valley can blend Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to compete with Bordeaux.  It is a land that combines a love for experimentation with a robust knowledge of what it does well. The possibilities seem endless.

History

The USA has packed a great deal of incident into its relatively short viticultural history.  Arriving from Europe in the eighteenth century, vines were thriving by the time phylloxera struck in the late nineteenth century.  Already reeling, the industry was dealt a heavier blow by the Prohibition which prevailed from 1920-1933.  The Second World War did nothing to encourage a rebirth, but prosperity and international influence in the sixties and seventies ensured the survival and eventual explosion of winemaking in California and beyond.

The Classification System

In 1980 the USA was divided by law into over a hundred American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).  These are purely geographical, being devised around climate, topography and soil type, and no European-style rules and regulations are attached.  It is not a system that has impressed producers and, as the AVA does not appear on the label, it is largely irrelevant to the consumer.

Climate and Conditions

It is unsurprising that California dominates the American wines that we see as it accounts for over 90 per cent of production and much of the best. Sadly, it is easy for excellent and interesting wines to be elbowed off the shelves by churned out, corporate offerings that sacrifice character for consistency and whose greatest desire is not to offend. They are not, however, representative of American wine on the whole, which is as vibrant and exciting as anywhere else in the world and a delight to explore.

 

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  1. Scotto Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel, 2011

    Scotto Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel, 2013 75cl

    Spicy red fruit aromas with a hint of dark chocolate. Rich and full, brimming with elegant plum and cassis fruit flavours balanced with a touch of spice.

    More about this product
    £10.26
    6 or more
    £11.60
    each
    £8.55
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £9.67
    each Excl. VAT
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  2. Borrego Springs Zinfandel Rosé, California

    Borrego Springs Zinfandel Rosé, California 75cl

    This is a light medium sweet rose from the Napa valley. Attractive strawberry pink in colour, on the with delicious sweet summer fruits showing through on the palate.

    More about this product
    £6.84
    6 or more
    £7.85
    each
    £5.70
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £6.54
    each Excl. VAT
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  3. Foxcover White Zinfandel, California

    Foxcover White Zinfandel, California 75cl

    A delicious medium pink wine with hints of fresh strawberries and summer fruits. Candied fruit flavour is the key to its approachability and popularity.

    More about this product
    £6.65
    6 or more
    £6.90
    each
    £5.54
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £5.75
    each Excl. VAT
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  4. Waters Edge White Zinfandel, California

    Waters Edge White Zinfandel, California 75cl

    Coral pink in colour. Delicate and refreshing with soft fruit flavours of strawberries and peaches.

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    £6.65
    6 or more
    £6.95
    each
    £5.54
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £5.79
    each Excl. VAT
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  5. Angel's Flight White Zinfandel, California

    Angel's Flight White Zinfandel, California, 2014 75cl

    A White Zinfandel, light to medium bodied with bright aromas of strawberry and watermelon.

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    £7.68
    6 or more
    £7.94
    each
    £6.40
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £6.62
    each Excl. VAT
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  6. Waters Edge, Pinot Grigio (Quarter

    Waters Edge Pinot Grigio, Italy (Quarter) 18.7cl

    Dry, crisp and aromatic white, that's easy-drinking and delicious.

    More about this product
    £1.79
    6 or more
    £2.35
    each
    £1.49
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £1.96
    each Excl. VAT
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  7. Waters Edge, Blush, California (Quarter

    Waters Edge Blush, California (Quarter) 18.7cl

    A delicious sweet rose packed with red-berry fruit. Ideal on its own or with shellfish.

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    £1.79
    6 or more
    £2.35
    each
    £1.49
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £1.96
    each Excl. VAT
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  8. White Zinfandel (Back Label), California

    White Zinfandel (Back Label), California 75cl

    A delicious medium pink wine with hints of fresh strawberries and summer fruits. Candied fruit flavour is the key to its approachability and popularity.

    More about this product
    £6.84
    6 or more
    £7.60
    each
    £5.70
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £6.33
    each Excl. VAT
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