How Good are US Wines?
Amidst the trade dispute with the EU, Donald Trump recently tweeted: “I’ve always said American wine is better than French wine!” He later added that “I don’t drink wine. I just like the way they look.” Is that an example of somebody putting form over substance? Doubting the US president aside, we have to say that, from our experience, many US wines are excellent and some do have well designed labels too. Whether they are better than their French counterparts can be a matter of subjective preference.
And when most of the top US producers are each having annual output of under 10,000 bottles (compared with Lafite who makes some 300,000 bottles a year) the law of “demand and supply” probably serves to explain why US wine prices can often rival and even surpass those of Bordeaux First and Second Growths.
Do US wines worth such high prices then? Foremost, they are good, even great, especially if one’s palate is leaning more towards something vibrant and full-bodied. US wines are typically already approachable when young but the good ones will also effortlessly age for 20 years to get better. In any event, just like foodies who will never stick to just one type of cuisine, we wine lovers look forward to trying different things even if our favourite is, for example, the Burgundies.
In case you haven’t noticed, we do carry quite an assortment of US wines, some of which are genuinely iconic too:
2004 Bond Proprietary Red Mulberry (RP96), Pluribus (RP98), St. Eden (RP98) and Vecina (RP96) at HK$2,200 each – Bond was founded by Bill Harlan, the same owner of the legendary Harlan Estate. These are the “Grand Crus” from Bond, all made out of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon but each from a different property and with the character reflecting the different terroirs. All are full bodied and now right into their drinking window but can also be kept for at least another 10 years. While not cheap, they look like real bargains when more recent vintages are trading in excess of HK$3,000/bottle. Perhaps get all four to have a complete set?
2014 Colgin IX Estate Red (RP98+) at HK$3,300/bottle – A Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend by our beloved producer, the wine is magnificent and flawlessly balanced. Robert Parker felt like it would be pushing and indeed demanding a 3-digit score in a few years.
2015 Dominus Proprietary Red (WA100) at HK$2,250/bottle – Owned by the same family of Petrus, Dominus here produced a perfect wine that is medium to full bodied with notes of fresh wild berries, hints of minerals, lead pencil and incredible energy with a wonderful, lengthy finish. Anyone buying all our 6 bottles will get the OWC as well.
2013 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red (RP96) at HK$1,200/bottle – Jason Pahlmeyer switched career from being a lawyer to follow his passion by setting up his own winery in the 80’s. This is his top wine, a blend consisting of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and an absolute stunner. A full-bodied wine with beautiful floral, smoky, blackcurrant notes that is drinkable now but will also evolve for the next 30 years. And what a price for all that it offers…
2006 Sine Qua Non Mr. K Nobleman x 2 (RP95) + Mr. Strawman x 1 (RP97) at HK$2,500 per set of 3 halves in OWC – Iconic California producer famous for its Shiraz and Grenache but also this extraordinary sweet wine as a joint project with the famed Austrian Alois Kracher (i.e. Mr. K). The wine is fresh, with lively acidity as well as wonderful honeyed peach, marmalade and tropical fruit, approaching almost the Trokenbeerenaulese style.
And finally, the 2015 Screaming Eagle (WA100) 3-bottle pack with OWC – For those who know, we don’t need to say anything about this wine. For those who don’t know, we also don’t need to say anything. POA for those interested and we guarantee the price to be very good.
Please feel free to click www.vinopolis.com.hk to see more US and other wines in our inventory list. You can purchase them through the online platform or send us an e-mail, or even by WhatsApp to 9195-7383. Thank you for reading…happy drinking but drink responsibly.