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The ‘New World’ may be the home to many so-called wine bargains, but Northern America has shifted its position so that in comparison to a great many other New World countries its wines, whilst often being of very high quality, are comparatively poor value.

The world's fourth biggest producer began making quality wine in the 18th century. Although wine was made from the native Vitis Labrusca and Vitis Rotundifolia (and still is in some places) the wine is not generally regarded as particularly good quality and isn't drunk in significant quantities outside the country. It wasn’t until Vitis Vinifera vines were imported from Europe in the 17th century that good wine could be produced, but native pests and diseases made life for the vines very difficult. It took over 200 years for these problems to be addressed and confronted in any successful manner – just about everyone who knew anything about wine (almost solely from Europe) played a role in trying to find a solution, and hybrid vines sorted part of the problem. These varieties – Norton, Isabella and Delaware - are unfamiliar to many of us today but they proved to be successful for winemaking. Around this time the dreaded Phylloxera struck and many vineyards were wiped out. This pest managed to get across the Atlantic with truly devastating results and the majority of vineyards in Europe suffered the same fate as their American equivalent.

It was the Spanish settlers in areas such as Texas who planted the European Vitis Vinifera vine and made wine from the grapes. These ideas were successful and spread northwards during the Gold Rush and the Mexican War in the mid 19th century into The United States and the north American wine industry was born. California became the centre of production, and after experimentation several grape varieties were established including the variety we know as Zinfandel. Despite California’s domination vines were grown in many other states across the country before prohibition provided a temporary setback. After the law was repealed the wine industry took a few years to sort itself out and the great depression didn’t help matters. It was the Second World War which forced the winemakers to improve standards and processes as no wine was available from Europe, but even then the greed of many companies who cashed in on the distilleries they bought caused the market to crash once the war was over. The wine industry was once again in a state of chaos, and it was not until about 1970 that things began to improve. Genuinely skillful winemakers took over the reins of American wine production and the current boom is a result of this. More and more wineries were set up which planted classic grape varieties and with large scale foreign investment they flourished. All this made wine somewhat fashionable and an endless series of groups and societies were formed, a trend that has spiraled to the present day. Wine consumption over the next two decades or so grew at an extraordinary rate and smaller boutique wineries sprang up around California, and indeed other areas such as New York and Ohio. Despite the increase in the amount of wine the Americans consume they are still comparatively small drinkers, with countries such as France and England leading the way…
Wine law can complicate matters in the USA. Whereas wine can be moved from state to state in Australia, in America there are various restrictions and taxes that prevent ease of movement; some states won't allow any wine to be brought in at all. Health warnings on bottles often read as rather alarmist but in the last few years the positive aspects of moderate wine drinking have been pointed out to the Americans thereby increasing consumption further. It is this health trend that has been partly responsible for the massive growth in the amount of Merlot planted and drunk in America.

Wine is made all over the country, but it is obviously California that leads the way in both quantity and quality. New York isn't far behind in terms of production but much of this is wine made from America's own Concord grape for the domestic market. Concord is part of the Vinis Labrusca vine species, with its classic 'foxy' character, and not a great deal finds its way to Europe. Californian wine needs no introduction; the state produces America's finest wine and is home to E & J Gallo, the world's largest winery. Although the wine produced in California has an average price of less than £5 per bottle it is generally considered that these wines are very limited in character and quality, with little or no value to be found. Once the price tag reaches £10 wine of an acceptable quality is available, although of questionable value compared to countries such as Australia, South Africa and even France. At the higher end of the quality scale there are some truly outstanding wines but prices are usually over £20 and can reach levels where even premium Claret prices are dwarfed. Wines such as Colgin and Caymus are well over £100, and should you decide to purchase a bottle of Screaming Eagle you'll pay around £500 a bottle. There is little doubting the quality of these wines, but when it comes to value… well, even First Growth Claret is a bargain in comparison! Key wine growing sites include the famous Napa Valley, Russian River and Sonoma Valley.
The market share for California is very healthy, with the UK being its main export destination with around £100m worth of wine arriving in the UK alone in 2000.

Search Results

Rosé Wine
Burlesque White Zinfandel ROS 2015
USA

Strawberry ice cream on the nose supported by a bright, fruit packed strawberry jam palate. Selected from old vine vineyards in the Lodi region of central California.

Shop Price: £7.99
75.0CL
In Stock
White Wine
McManis Family Vineyards VIOGNIER 2014
USA :: California
Viognier
Sweetness: 3 - Soft Dry

Medium straw in color with aromas of Peach, Apricot and hints of flinty citrus. Pears, Apples and Melon flavours are accompanied by a rich mouth feel, nice acid balance and a clean finish.

Shop Price: £11.99
75.0CL
In Stock
Red Wine
McManis Family Vineyards ZINFANDEL 2014
USA
Zinfandel/Primitivo
Body: c - Medium

The McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel has a bright hue and is deep purple in colour. The scent of Black Raspberry and Strawberry proliferate in the nose. Background notes of caramelised sugar and vanilla are also present. Rich, soft and creamy, in the mouth, the fruit sensation promised by the nose is delivered upon in the mouth. Berry flavours and hints of vanilla linger long after the wine is swallowed.

Shop Price: £11.99
75.0CL
In Stock
Red Wine
McManis Family Vineyards PETITE SIRAH 2014
USA :: California
Petite Sirah
Body: d - Medium to Full

Full-toned aromas of Boysenberry, Cassis and Blackberry, plus notes of hazelnut and toffee are evident in the bouquet. The wine is substantial, elegant and full of ripe black fruit flavours, which linger on a long and satisfying finish.

Shop Price: £11.99
75.0CL
In Stock
Red Wine
McManis Family Vineyards CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014
USA :: California
Cabernet Sauvignon
Body: e - Full
Drink now, but will keep

Dark garnet in colour, this Cabernet Sauvignon from McManis Family Vineyards is full of dark berry fruit, such as Blueberry, Blackberry and Black Cherry. Oak aging has contributed just a hint of smoke to the nose. The round, creamy wine delivers an abundance of the fruit flavours promised by the olfactory. The fruit and oak are well integrated and the complexity of the wine plays on the tongue long after the wine has been ingested.

Shop Price: £11.99
75.0CL
Only 8 left
White Wine
McManis Family Vineyards CHARDONNAY 2015
USA :: California
Chardonnay
Sweetness: 3 - Soft Dry
Ready to drink

Flavours of Pear, Apple and tropical fruits are abundant in this rich, full wine.

Shop Price: £11.99
75.0CL
In Stock
Red Wine
Wente Vineyards Wente BEYER RANCH ZINFANDEL 2012
USA :: California :: Napa
Zinfandel/Primitivo
Body: e - Full
Drink now, but will keep

Classic Californian Zinfandel...drinking well now.

Shop Price: £13.49
75.0CL
Out of stock
White Wine
Wente Vineyards WENTE SAN FRANCISCO BAY CHARDONNAY 2015
USA :: California :: Livermore Valley
Chardonnay
Sweetness: 3 - Soft Dry
Ready to drink

A nice ripple of high toasted oak and an attractive vein of fruit makes this very good value.

Shop Price: £13.49
75.0CL
In Stock
Red Wine
Ridge GEYSERVILLE 1/2 BT 2012
USA
Carignan (Mazuelo) (Samso), Petite Sirah, Zinfandel/Primitivo
Drink now, but will keep

This outstanding vintage aged fourteen months in air-dried american oak. Rich primary fruit gives the wine immediate appeal; it will develop greater complexity over the next ten years.

Shop Price: £19.99
37.5CL
Only 4 left
White Wine
Seghesio RUSSIAN RIVER ARNEIS 2012
USA :: California :: Sonoma

Sweetness: 2 - Dry
Drink now, but will keep

Crisp lemony acidity with flavours of pear & melon.

Shop Price: £20.79
75.0CL
Only 1 left
Red Wine
Domaine de la Terre Rouge TETE-A-TETE 2011
USA

Located on the west slope of the Sierra Navada in Amador County, this blend of Mourvedre, Syrah and Grenache is a delicious fruit driven, bistro style red. Juicy, with soft tannins and a light touch of spice. Pleasingly light on its feet, a good alternative to Chateauneuf Du Pape.

Shop Price: £20.99
75.0CL
In Stock
White Wine
Au Bon Climat WILD BOY CHARDONNAY 2014
USA :: California :: Santa Barbara
Chardonnay
Sweetness: 2 - Dry
Drink now, but will keep

Fab wine in Burgundian style, well structured and drinking well.

Shop Price: £25.99
75.0CL
Only 10 left
Red Wine
Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir 'La Bauge' 2010
USA :: California :: Santa Barbara
Pinot Noir
Body: b - Light to Medium
Drink now, but will keep

Wow! What a cracker! You'd pay double to get this quality from Burgundy!

Shop Price: £33.95
75.0CL
Only 8 left
Red Wine
Ridge GEYSERVILLE Zinfandel 2014
USA :: California :: Santa Cruz Mountains
Carignan (Mazuelo) (Samso), Petite Sirah, Zinfandel/Primitivo
Body: e - Full
Drink now, but will keep

This outstanding vintage aged fourteen months in air-dried american oak. Rich primary fruit gives the wine immediate appeal; it will develop greater complexity over the next ten years.

Shop Price: £43.00
75.0CL
Only 3 left
Red Wine
Ridge ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011
USA :: California :: Santa Cruz Mountains
Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot
Body: d - Medium to Full
For laying down

Twenty-one months in barrel and six racks off the settled lees have brought integration and clarity. Elegant structure and the rich, briary fruit typical of our Santa Cruz Mountains estate combine to give the wine immediate appeal. An excellent vintage, it will continue to develop over the next twelve to fourteen years.

Shop Price: £43.00
75.0CL
Out of stock
Red Wine
Ridge LYTTON SPRINGS 2014
USA :: California :: Santa Cruz Mountains
Carignan (Mazuelo) (Samso), Petite Sirah, Zinfandel/Primitivo
Body: e - Full
Drink now, but will keep

This elegant, full-bodied wine, with its firm tannins and intense, complex fruit, is among the finest of recent vintages. Enjoyable now, it will develop further over the next ten years.

Shop Price: £43.00
75.0CL
Only 6 left
White Wine
Ridge ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2012
USA :: California :: Santa Cruz Mountains
Chardonnay
Sweetness: 2 - Dry
Ready to drink

Elegant and approachable, this fine chardonnay will continue to develop over the next three to four years.

Shop Price: £43.00
75.0CL
Only 8 left
White Wine
Ridge MONTE BELLO CHARDONNAY 2007
USA :: California :: Santa Cruz Mountains
Chardonnay
Sweetness: 2 - Dry
For laying down

A complex chardonnay that will be drinking well over the next couple of years.

Shop Price: £60.00
75.0CL
Out of stock
Red Wine
Ridge GEYSERVILLE Zinfandel MAGNUM 2012
USA :: California :: Santa Cruz Mountains
Zinfandel/Primitivo
Body: d - Medium to Full
Drink now, but will keep

One of our top Zinfandels. Benchmark quality.

Shop Price: £72.00
150.0CL
Out of stock
Red Wine
Ridge Monte Bello 2010
USA :: California :: Santa Cruz Mountains
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot
Body: d - Medium to Full
Drink now, but will keep

The most successful Californian vintage for years is brilliantly represented by this muscular Bordeaux blend.

Shop Price: £120.00
75.0CL
Only 4 left
Red Dessert
Quady Winery Elysium Black Muscat 2015
USA :: California
Black Muscat
Ready to drink

Alcoholic Ribena? Could be! But it's more than that - ripe grapes, roses and lychees on the nose, followed by flavours of cassis and dark red fruits and a surprising mouth watering acidity. Delicious!

Shop Price: £12.25
37.5CL
In Stock
White Dessert
Quady Winery Essensia Orange Muscat 2015
USA :: California
Orange Muscat
Sweetness: 9 - Sweet
Ready to drink

Just about the only dessert wine we know that goes with chocolate!

Shop Price: £12.99
37.5CL
In Stock
Shop Price: £23.99
70.0CL
Only 1 left
Shop Price: £26.99
70.0CL
Out of stock
Shop Price: £31.95
70.0CL
Only 4 left