USA Wines, Ongoing Tariffs
Updated: Feb 25
The tariffs that were imposed on all French, Spanish, German and U.K. still wines under 14% alcohol remain, and are up for review. That means the tariffs may be increased and expanded. These tariffs also affect a wide range of other goods, including cheese, olive oil, whisky and clothes, all for the protection of the domestic aerospace industry (read: Boeing). A second round of tariffs was considered early this year in response to European taxes on large American tech companies. These tariffs were avoided by a handshake between Macron and Trump, but it was agreed that the issue was not resolved. European countries have dug in on the issue and have solidified their plans to tax digital services. There's a very good chance that the United States will impose new or expanded tariffs in response. Our government is considering crippling tariffs on the products of small family farms in order to protect behemoths like Amazon, Google and Facebook. Does this make any sense? We shout a resounding "no!" Please tell your friends far and wide and submit comments to the US Trade Representative by July 15. Click here to submit comments, write to your representatives in Congress, tell your wine-loving friends. We need your help, as do all the restaurants and importers that depend on fairly priced European wine.
All American wine this week. We hope you'll grab a few of these to celebrate on the 4th.
A luminary in the domestic wine scene, Michael Cruse is a huge talent. Anything from Cruse Wine Co. is worth checking out and we've got three to choose from right now. The sparkling blanc de noirs petillant naturel made from St. Laurent grapes is creamy, frothy, fruity and fresh; a pure joy to sip, nay gulp, with gorgeous red and white fruit notes playing alongside fresh floral and herbal nuances. We also have two easy-drinking reds from Cruse. From the hallowed Alder Springs Vineyard comes an impossibly smooth and silky Tannat. It's unlike any other Tannat we've ever tasted, so much so that we would recommend this version of what is typically a burly and bruising grape to connoisseurs of Pinot Noir. The juicy every-day blend called Monkey Jacket is based on Valdiguie (51%) with a wide variety of other grapes; it is elegant and fresh, with lots of crunchy berry and fresh floral tones. Put a chill on the Monkey and drink it on the porch, throw the Tannat in the cellar if you want to test its seriousness; both will be great for cookouts this weekend.
Ricci St. Laurent Pet Nat 2019 - $38
Alder Springs Tannat 2018 - $45
Monkey Jacket - $25
All of today's featured wines are worth a try, but this wine from Arbe Garbe is the must-try. First, it's been reduced in price from $40 to $30. Second, it's one of California's most distinctive white wines. For whatever reason, the distributor was having trouble moving the last of the 2017 vintage, and they reduced the price. We jumped at the opportunity. A blend of 55% Malvasia, 30% Ribolla Gialla and 15% Friulano, it is hugely aromatic, with fresh flowers and herbs accenting perfect stone fruits and sweet citrus. The palate is intensely juicy, with a beautiful interplay of texture and freshness, and a long spicy finish. This wine is beyond intriguing.
Arbe Garbe 2017 - $30
The Mixtape red from Amplify went fast last year. This year's rendition is better than ever. An improbable blend of 31% Grenache Blanc, 37% Tempranillo, 21% Refosco and 11% Merlot, it is as light and refreshing as red wine gets. Put chill on this and serve it with something spicy. It is a perfect summer quaff.
Mixtape Red - $24
The first Trousseau in Oregon was planted by none other than the legendary The Eyrie Vineyards. Only in its third vintage, their 2017 Trousseau Noir is gorgeous. Ethereal and airy, notes of strawberry, red cherry, citrus, petrichor, diverse spices and dried flowers are intoxicating. The palate is light and fresh, and the finish is driven by crunchy fruit and stony nuances. This is wondrous stuff, and a perfect diversion for the devotee of Willamette Pinot Noir.
Trousseau Noir 2017 - $39
An important piece of American viticultural heritage, the Evangelho Vineyard was planted in 1890 and the orginal vines remain on their own roots. The soil at Evangelho is a deep pure sand, an inhospitable environment to the root louse phylloxera. Under careful stewardship, these vines continue to thrive at 130 years of age! Totally under the radar, Precedent is one of our favorite California wineries, and they make a spectacular rendition of Evangelho Zinfandel. Dense and brooding, this is not an easy jammy Zin, but rather something more serious, with firm tannins and brisk acids. Tons of dark fruit and myriad spices keep its structure in check, this would be great with smoky savory bbq (no sweet sauces). With many Evangelho wines going for $50+, this wine is also a superb value.
Evangelho Vineyard Zinfandel 2017 - $30