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Why do we love this case?

The Wild, Wild West, mofos. A land of warm desert winds, golden sands and, beyond that, the vast, glimmering blue expanse of the Pacific. A land of adventure, discovery, lore and legend - and amazing wine! 

This mixed six is a roundup of the gold we’ve found along the fabled roads west of the Rocky Mountains. There are ample excellent entries from California, the heart of America’s wine world and, travelling north up Highway 101, then onto Highway 5,  there are offerings from Oregon and Washington, too. If you’re new to American wine, this road trip is the perfect way to see the sights. 

Every box contains one of each of the following:

Red
Pinot Noir
Oregon

Maison Noir Other People's Pinot Noir 2017
Cherry
Plum
Spice
Light-bodied
Bright
Elegant

No doubt inspired by 90’s rap band Naughty By Nature’s hit, O.P.P., this is a tongue-in-cheek (and slightly more PC) homage to a classic. It’s powerfully pleasing pinot from Maison Noir (formerly Mouton Noir, till Château Mouton-Routhschild, Bordeaux 1er Grand Cru giants, got a bit upset with them) is a fantastic expression of the fun side of Willamette Valley. It’s deliciously accessible, while still showing real poise and nuance. It’s seen 30% new French oak maturation, lovingly coating those bright forest berries in cinnamon spiced aromatics. There’s plenty of cellar potential, so no need to rush through drinking them, and that gorgeous forest floor character will begin to shine through, enhancing the unique terroir even further. They only got one thing wrong with this one. It’s not other people’s, it’s yours.

You'd pay $55.00 full price

Red
Shiraz
Washington

Gramercy Cellars Lower East Syrah 2016
Black Cherry
Forest Floor
Herbaceous
Medium-bodied
Chewy
Ethereal

Syrah made by a Master Sommelier? Yes please! Master somms number only about 250 in the world, and to pass the test requires sheer vinous sorcery. So you can be sure anyone that’s got the badge knows a thing or two about wine. It’s not all that common you find a master somm making wine though, but when they do it seems they’re rather good at it. Gramercy cellars were awarded Best New Winery in America in 2010, and were featured in Wine & Spirits magazine’s Top 100 Wineries in the World. They make a good drop, in short. This is their take on Australia’s favourite grape. It sits somewhere in the happy medium between peppery and herbaceous and plushly fruited. It’s definitely elegant, but doesn’t lack a bit of oomph in all the right places. All up, it’s a fantastic shiraz we’d recommend to anyone, even if it wasn’t from the States and made by a master.

You'd pay $55.00 full price

Red
Cabernet Blend
California

Marietta Cellars Armé Cabernet Blend 2015
Blueberry
Mint
Spice
Full-bodied
Smooth
Concentrated
Vinous
U.S. Import

Everybody loves a cabernet, right? Little wonder it’s known as the ‘King of Grapes’. It makes some of the longest-lived wines, some of the most mouthwatering food pairings, some of the best gifts, and the most dependable deliciousness, year round. But there’s only so much Aussie cabernet you can drink before you start to wonder what else is out there. Trust us, bringing a Cali cabernet to dinner starts all the right kinds of conversations. It shows you’re adventurous, sophisticated, well travelled even. With 15+ years cellar potential ahead of it, there’s no rush to drink this, but it’s surprisingly accessible now too. There’s a lovely acidity that keeps things fresh and lively, balancing the dense, chewy core of red-blooded flavour. It’s a showstopper now, and it’s only gonna get better.

You'd pay $50.00 full price

Red
Zinfandel
California

Marietta Cellars Román Zinfandel 2016
Cherry
Plum
Spice
Full-bodied
Silky
Concentrated
Vinous
U.S. Import

Zinfandel wines are America’s point of difference. Pretty much everyone in the New World makes a cabernet, or a chardy, or a pinot, depending on their climate. While zin is not native to Cali it is a grape that’s very much found its spiritual home on the West Coast. It captures American spirit magically. It’s plush and powerful, with Rockefeller opulence and super-size fruit presence. It’ll suit anyone who loves a Barossa shiraz down to the ground; the full-bodied luxuriousness is there in spades, while being different enough to merit exploring. Plus, on a cold winter’s night, it’s as comforting as a big mug of hot chocolate, without the massive sugar hit and the guilting feeling afterwards.

You'd pay $45.00 full price

Red
Zinfandel
California

Marietta Cellars OVR Lot 69 Zinfandel NV
Blackcurrant
Fruitcake
Plum
Full-bodied
Round
Concentrated

This is a wine that really captures the spirit of California. Sure, there are more famous examples of single vineyard this or unique clones of that, made by multi-million dollar wineries, that’re indisputably excellent. But that’s not what this is about. This is a family-run winery making an old vine field blend of classic Californian grapes, in the same time-honoured way for over 30 years now. It’s a heart-warming thought. The NV, by the way, stands for ‘non vintage’, meaning it’s a blend of different wines from over a few years, much like many Champagnes. Rather than a single vintage having all the fun, like is most common in still wines, a blend of younger and older wines allows for both bright fruitiness and deeply aged complexity. The wine’s simply delicious, and a fun, unpretentious way to enjoy American wine beyond just being a product. It’s mostly zinfandel, so there’s plenty of plush, soft fruit richness, balanced by just enough tannin and a ripple of lively acid. Perfect to see you through the winter, and beyond.

You'd pay $40.00 full price

Red
Cabernet Sauvignon
Washington

In Sheep's Clothing Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Blackberry
Cherry
Spice
Full-bodied
Chewy
Powerful

Washington state is best known for cabernet, which is exactly why André Mack decided to make one there. While usually known for Oregon-based pinot and chardonnay, this wine proves he’s a dab hand with the ‘King of Grapes’ too. It’s a dark, brooding style, made entirely of unadulterated cabernet sauvignon. There’s opulent black fruit, with rich blackberries and blackcurrants set off against gorgeously soft tannins. Being cabernet, it’ll do well with time, but chuck it in the decanter for an hour and it’ll be singing all the same. After a couple of glasses over dinner, so will you!

You'd pay $32.00 full price
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