Wine 2

The biggest, loudest and most fun of all the American patriotic holidays, the Fourth of July, is rapidly approaching and the time to prepare for it is getting shorter.

If you are planning a party or a family get-together to watch the fireworks, may I suggest some wines befitting the occasion?

The wines I have in mind prove their dedication to our country by carrying a good old American name, The Federalist.

The people at The Federalist chose the name out of respect for our country and the California birthplace of the wine.

On some of their wines, they even go as far as putting the pictures of famous American patriots of old or a picture of some American icon.

The only thing that could make The Federalist more American is for a flag to pop up when the bottle is opened.

Beside all of the patriotic labeling, the wines behind those labels are some of the best coming out of California.

The Federalist 2016 “Alexander Hamilton” Dry Creek Zinfandel ($17.99). This wine comes from grapes grown in Sonoma’s “Dry Creek Valley” an area famed for wines of superior depth of flavor and quality offering another view of this kaleidoscopic variety. This Zinfandel was constructed from grapes sourced from six different growing blocks in the Dry Creek Valley resulting in a wine that displays an inky dark garnet color and an aroma that features red fruits, plum, cherry, blackberries, and cinnamon spice. The flavor reprises these aromas and mingles with vanilla and oak ending in an impressive long lasting and, smooth finish. I must say that I have tried many, many Zinfandels in my carrier but few have come up to the quality and enjoyment of The Federalist “Alexander Hamilton” Dry Creek Zinfandel.

The Federalist 2016 “George Washington” Lodi Zinfandel ($17.99). A large picture of our first president adorns this wines label, because, like “George Washington”, Zinfandel has become synonymous with the United States. The grapes to make this wine were carefully selected for specific characteristics that the Federalist winemakers were seeking. Their goal was to make a wine exhibiting the fruit flavors and aromas of raspberries, cherries and a dusty background flavor that mingles with oak. The Federalist 2016 “George Washington” Lodi Zinfandel is definitely the king, no, make that President of the backyard barbeque where it can perfectly accompany anything, from the grill including seafood and vegetables.

The Federalist 2016 “Benjamin Franklyn” Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon ($17.99). With its dedication to the great American inventor and first ambassador to France, this Cabernet Sauvignon, is about as patriotic as a wine can get and a befitting homage to old Ben’s memory. The Federalist 2016 “Benjamin Franklyn” Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon has an inviting deep red color, a medium body and presents a flavor and aroma of blackberries, blueberries, and cranberries with hints of cinnamon. These aromas carry over to the flavor where they mingle with a suggestion of oak and soft spices. There is also no need for any further bottle aging as is often the case with the better Cabernet Sauvignon’s, so it is ready to enjoy right now as an accompaniment to dinner or as a sipping wine while watching a fireworks display.

The Federalist 2017 “Statue of Liberty” Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($17.99). The Russian River District is known for some of the finest Chardonnay wines coming out of California. Big is the best term to describe this very fine “Lady Liberty” wine. The Federalist 2017 “Statue of Liberty” Russian River Valley Chardonnay is a refreshing new view of an old standard. This wine presents an up front and quite obvious full fruit aroma stressing lemon, pineapple, pear, and springtime flowers. These aromas carry over to the flavor where they mingle with tropical fruit, cinnamon and green apple. There is also a spicy, toasty under flavor that has just a slight hint of oak and vanilla. Here too the finish is incredibly long, fruity and sets new standards for an American Chardonnay.

Editor’s note: The prices listed in this column reflect the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

Bennet Bodenstein is a wine enthusiast and book author whose column appears in publications throughout the country.

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