What Makes an American Classic?
The movie Casablanca... Harley Davidson Motorcycles.... Rock and Roll music...What do each of these have in common? I’d argue that they’re all American-made classics – cultural icons that have stood the test of time, moving beyond the narrow confines of their category to become part of the broader cultural landscape. Many will know the (often misquoted) phrase ‘play it again Sam’ without ever having witnessed Ingrid Bergman walk into Rick's Café Américain. All contemporary western pop music traces at least part of its ancestry to blues and country music via Chuck Berry and Little Richard.
Of course, what constitutes a classic is always up for debate. It’s even tougher to predict what will become an enduring icon of the future. It’s near impossible to compare quality across different eras, as anyone who has tried to argue about the greatest international football team of all time will know. All we can do is look at what appears to be the best of the current era and hope that the future will agree with us.
What’s all this got to do with wine?
Classics of the Future
Eight years ago, San Francisco wine critic Jon Bonné published his seminal work ‘The New California Wine’, which pointed to an emerging trend of young American winemakers making a new wave of fresher, lighter, more elegant wines.
Today, this ‘new wave’ is no longer new. Many of these winemakers have become part of the US fine wine establishment. The best have changed the fundamental features of the wine landscape around them, establishing a new American style, as suited to the tables of Michelin-star restaurants as the old style was suited to points-hunting trophy cabinets.
So whereas Dunn Vineyards and Diamond Creek could be considered established classics – the Casablanca and Rock ‘n’ Roll of US winemaking, they’ve now been joined by the new classics: Domaine de la Cote, Kongsgaard, Kutch and Bergstrom. These are Tesla rather than Harley, The Grand Hotel Budapest rather than Rick’s Café.
It’s always tough to predict the future, but the influence that these wines have already had on the drinking habits of thousands of discerning palates is undeniable.
The New American Classics
It’s no coincidence that many of Jon Bonné’s most acclaimed wineries are imported to the UK by Roberson Wine. After all, we’ve won US Specialist of the Year seven years running at the International Wine Challenge.
To celebrate our enduring love of all things American wine, this July we’ll be releasing site-wide content that highlights some the newest, most delicious, and most acclaimed wines in our multi-award-winning range.
It’s not the start, but the continuation of a beautiful friendship. Here’s looking at you kid.