Monday, July 8, 2013

White Wines to Beat the Heat

I don’t deal well with heat and humidity. I live in Washington, DC, however, which means I’m sweaty and cranky a lot during the summer. So when I come home tired and hot, red wine is the furthest thing from my mind. If it’s not pink in my glass, it’s white. This week I’ve got a few recommended California whites that could make the dog days of summer a little easier.

2011 Gainey Riesling - California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
SRP: $15
Medium lemon color. Expressive nose of guava, lime and banana. There’s also an aroma that reminds me of puffed wheat cereal, as strange as that may sound, but I really like it. Medium-bodied on the palate with a creamy mouthfeel and lip-smacking acid. The green melon, pear and banana flavors are fresh and smooth, only slightly sweet. A kick of minerals and tonic adds to the fruit, and there’s a salty and cereal-like aspect to the palate as well. Long, crisp finish with hints of honeysuckle and melon. A very unique and intriguing Riesling that’s worth checking out.  (89 points)

2012 Castello di Amorosa Pinot Grigio - California, North Coast, Mendocino County
SRP: $21
Pale lemon color. Aromas of lemon, papaya and white flowers. Tart and crisp on the palate, with lots of Granny Smith apple, tangerine and melon fruit. A creamy, fruity, easy-sipping summer wine. I could see this being quite a hit at July 4 parties. (86 points)

SRP: $18
Very fresh and floral on the nose, like orange blossom, lemon tart and salty margarita. A tropical theme takes over on the palate, with all sorts of mixed melon and pineapple and mango. The acid is brisk, though, keeping the wine balanced against the ripe fruit. A saline aspect mixes with just a touch of sweet honey, and the combination is nice. I’d be happy drinking this wine some North Coast abalone. A blend of Chardonnay and Muscat Canneli. (87 points)

2012 Le Pich Sauvignon Blanc - California, Napa Valley
SRP: $24
Pale lemon juice color. Like a tropical farmer’s market on the nose: pineapple, guava, lime and all sorts of floral aromas. On the palate, a thick and creamy mouthfeel mixes with medium acid. The pineapple, white peach and mango fruit is bold, but the mineral and lemongrass flavors add elegance. Crisp finish with citrus and green apple. Includes 2% Semillon. (88 points)

2012 Gracianna Chardonnay Suzanne’s Blend - California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
SRP: $34
Medium gold color. White flowers and pineapple explodes from the nose, and I also get some lime and papaya. The freshness continues on the palate, with racy acid. Lime, pineapple, green apple, the fruit is crisp but ripe. The mineral and chalky tones to this wine are Chablis-like in their intensity and freshness. Some creaminess and hazelnut toast add to the body, but this is a leaner style of Russian River chardonnay, and it’s done incredibly well. (89 points)

2012 Gundlach Bundschu Gewürztraminer Estate Vineyard - California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
SRP: $22
Aromas of tangerine, lychee and orange blossoms. Tart acid kicks off the palate, almost bracing, but it’s full of lychee, green apple and tangerine rind flavors. There’s some nice creaminess to the body that balances out the acid, and the mineral and limestone notes add a lot of complexity. There’s a peppery kick on the finish that I really like. A bone dry and focused wine that begs for vegetarian dishes. I’m impressed. (89 points)

This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist.

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