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Byron Shire
April 18, 2021

The Wine Review: American wine

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Kabir Antoniak, head sommelier – Fins Restaurant, Kingscliff

This week Echonetdaily does something different. Many Australians, blessed with wonderful local wine, have never ventured to taste American wines. Today we take the trip with some quality wines, available generally in local bottleshops, reviewed by a local head sommelier.

The American Road Trip

From the mud soil vineyards of the Hamptons to the arid moonscape of New Mexico, the American wine world is expanding exponentially. The accent of these vinous treasures tells a story of diversity and the deep ingrained relationship between man and vine. From rich and powerful to elegant and perfumed there is an amazing array of wine fashioned for every palate.

Merkin Vineyards ‘Chupacabra’

Merkin Vineyards Chupacabra, New Mexico 2006 $32

Owned by rock god Maynard James Keenan from Tool and named after a mythical American creature known as ‘the goat sucker’. Sourced from Luna County, New Mexico; blended from Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Forest floor, pine, mushroom and cassis empower the nose, opening to bruised plum, coconut and mulberry finishing with long earthy tannins. Rockstar and goat suckers aside, this wine is from a serious vintage. Opulent yet balanced, rumbustious in style.

Available from the Hotel Great Northern bottle shop.

Joel Gott Zinfandel

Joel Gott Zinfandel, Napa Valley 2011 $27.95

Restaurant Owner, winemaker and farmer; Joel Gott is as salubrious as they come. His first vintage of Zinfandel shot him to stardom, rated as one of the best in California.

White truffle, blueberry, pomegranate aromas open to black pepper and clove. Velvety soft tannins roll along the palate, revealing spicy berries, rich yet restrained with a minty edge.

Available from The Cellar bottleshop, Lawson Street, Byron Bay.


Channing Daughters 'Rosso Fresco'Channing Daughters Rosso Fresco, Long Island, New York 2010 $35

Nestled within the Hamptons, Channing Daughters are some of the most artisanal winemakers on the east coast; their experimentation invariably always leads to pushing the boundaries. Produced from Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot and lesser-known varietal Dornfelder.

Raspberry, unripe cherries open to cinnamon, vanilla and rosemary; seductive aromas entice. Like biting into a Cherry Ripe, the wine is soft, elegant and juicy, with cocoa and spice. Vibrant and very more-ish.

Imported by Brook & Amos.



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