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Photo: Jennifer Martiné
Photo: Jennifer Martiné

Food & Drink

Enjoy Napa Valley wines in your livingroom

You can sample Napa goods closer to home. Wine expert and author Gunilla Hultgren Karell cherry picks the best Napa Valley wines money can buy in Scandinavia.

Wine expert and author Gunilla Hultgren KarellCalifornian wine is both trendy and highly sought after. In 1976, American wines beat classic French wine regions in a widely publicized blind tasting in Paris, and the ensuing boom in American wine sales, both red and white, continues today. Back then, skeptics thought the Californian wines wouldn’t be suitable for long term maturation, but when the same wines as those in the 1976 tasting were put to the test 10 years later, California came out on top again.

Consequently, many American prestige wines are difficult to get hold of, and when you do find them come with a hefty price tag. Demand for Californian wines is generally high, but you get what you pay for. The wines featured here are all available close to home – the more exclusive wines are only available in limited quantities and you should jump at the chance to pick up wines from these renowned producers.

 



White wines

Beringer Founders Estate Chardonnay

California
A generous wine with notes of pineapple, apple, vanilla and a refreshing acidity, this is an easy all rounder. Beringer is one of the oldest vineyards in the Napa Valley, established by the German Beringer brothers in the ­second half of the 19th century to seek their fortune.
Budget €8-€13

Bonterra Chardonnay

Mendocino County, North Coast
An exceptional ­organic wine. Punchy with lightly toasted notes, tropical fruit, butter and a hint of vanilla. Bonterra Chardonnay was introduced in 1991 as one of the first two wines in Fetzer’s organic series. Fetzer’s board was adamant that “the [organic] wines must not be more expensive nor of lower quality.”
Average 158-€20

Ridge Monte Bello Chardonnay 

Santa Cruz Mountains, North Central Coast
An impressive wine with notes of freshly baked brioche, nuts, peaches and fine spices. Elegant and refresh­ingly long finish. Ridge Vineyards has been around since the late 1880s but rose to fame when Paul Draper was hired as winemaker in 1969.  
Luxury From 25€

Red wines

McManis Petite Sirah

California
A generous wine with plenty of ripe blackberries, toasted notes, herbs, and spices. Warming in the long finish. The McManises are traditional winemakers who have made their living growing grapes since the late 1930s.  
Budget €8-€13

Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel

Sonoma County, North Coast
A deliciously rich wine with hints of plum, toasted notes, fresh mint and vanilla. Balanced acidity. This is how a Zinfandel should taste. Planting their first vines back in 1895, there are now three generations of the Seghesio family actively involved in the business.
Average 158-€20

Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley, North Coast
A well-made and enjoyable wine with dark berries, barrel spices, freshly roasted coffee, mint and balanced acidity. Long, rich aftertaste. In the 1970s, the French winemaker Bernard Portet traveled to California to find a suitable site for producing fine wines. He struck gold in the then unknown Stags Leap District and Clos du Val was founded. The 1972 vintage cabernet sauvignon was one of the six wines that featured in the Paris blind tasting in 1976.
Luxury From 25€

Text: Gunilla Hultgren Karell

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