Saturday, November 9, 2013

Wine Reviews: Grab Bag of Domestic Whites

A bit of Sauvignon Blanc, some Chard, a dash of Riesling and Pinot Gris. Besides being white wines from the U.S., perhaps the only thing these wines have in common is that they’d fit well on any Thanksgiving dinner table.

All wines in this report were received as trade samples and tasted blind.

2012 Round Pond Estate Sauvignon Blanc - California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
SRP: $24
Nose of honeydew melon, guava, some honeysuckle and just a hint of white pepper and green grass. Creamy on the body, matched with tangy acid. Whipped honey meets pineapple, but the mineral verve keeps it taut. White cherry and slight herbal notes linger onto the finish. 100% stainless steel, this is a rich and fruity wine that would also be a solid pairing for oysters. (88 points) 
2012 Macari Sauvignon Blanc Katherine’s Field - New York, Long Island, North Fork
SRP: $20
Papaya, nectarine and lemon zest on the nose, along with just a hint of grass. Tangy acid is complemented by fleshy papaya, lemon and melon fruit. Honeysuckle and mint notes add to overall package. Crisp and refreshing. (86 points)

2012 Stinson Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc - Virginia, Central Region, Monticello
SRP: $20
Aromas of pineapple, mango, grapefruit and a hint of grass. Juicy and full of green apple and gooseberry flavors. Not too tropical, not too light, with subtle grass and minerals. I liked the 2011, and the 2012 is just as good. (87 points)

2012 Stinson Vineyards Chardonnay - Virginia, Central Region, Monticello
SRP: $22
Medium yellow-straw color. Some white peach, honey, perfumed but also some nutty components. Richly textured and inviting on the palate, but medium acid for freshness. The nutty-honeyed flavors work well with the white peach, yellow apple and lemon custard flavors. A distinct hazelnut-toast aroma lingers onto the finish with a note of honeysuckle and lime. An all-around crowd-pleasing Chardonnay, but also showing some complexity and depth. (88 points)

2011 Castello di Amorosa Chardonnay - California, Napa Valley
SRP: $28
A bright golden color. Honeysuckle explodes from the glass, along with all kinds of apples, apricot and potpourri. Fresh acid kicks off the palate, and the yellow and green apple fruit is showing that 2011 crispness. There’s a good amount of honey and almond notes that add a creamy texture, but overall the wine is nicely balanced. Fermented in 50% new French oak, the wine spent 10 months on the lees. (88 points)  

2011 Castello di Amorosa Chardonnay Reserve Bien Nacido Vineyard - California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
SRP: $38
Clear, light yellow color. Very expressive nose of apricot, mango, honeysuckle and a margarita salt aroma. Flavors of apricot and honey mix with lime and mineral. The acid tastes crisp and balances out the richer notes of honey, peanut and nougat. A flavor that reminds me of cinnamon-spiced applesauce carries the finish. A forward Chardonnay, but it maintains some intrigue. This wine spends 10 months on the lees, and the 20% maloactic fermentation gives it just the right amount of creaminess. (89 points)

2012 Castello di Amorosa Gewürztraminer - California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
SRP: $25
Classic Gewurz nose, white peach, lychee, apricot and pungent floral aromas jump out of the glass. On the palate, the creamy mouthfeel is nice, but the acid is a bit low for me. The fruit is like a mix of white peach, papaya and lime, and there’s some waxy, oily components that add complexity. A nutty and mineral finish. 14.5% alcohol and 8.1 g/L residual sugar, but it tastes dry. (87 points)
2012 Stony Hill Gewürztraminer - California, Napa Valley
SRP: $24
Classic aromas of lychee, white peach and a kind of herbal-nutty aspect that reminds me of a well-hopped pale ale. Full and juicy but some nice tang from the acid. The melon and lychee flavors blend nicely with the white pepper and herbal notes. It’s not often I come across a Napa Gewurz, and I’m usually quite skeptical when I do, but this one’s solid. (87 points)

2012 Stony Hill Riesling - California, Napa Valley                              
SRP: $27
Smells of apricots, pineapple and sweet tropical flowers. Off-dry style with soft acid. White peach, apricot and yellow apple flavors abound, with a few waxy notes. Easygoing, crowd-pleasing, this Napa Riesling lacks a sense of verve, but it’s still quite tasty. (85 points)

2011 Vie Winery Roussanne - California, North Coast, Lake County
SRP: $29
Aromas of white flowers, honeycomb, white peach and some mineral and lime accents. Richly-textured on the palate but it shows tangy acid. Flavors of orange peel, mango and notes of lime, along with vanilla, toast, caramel and honey. More focus and tang than the 2009 I tasted recently. (90 points)

2012 Sokol Blosser Pinot Gris - Oregon, Willamette Valley
SRP: $19
An aromatic mix of white peach, lemon zest, wildflowers and a Sauvignon Blanc-like component of grass and green herbs. Medium bodied, with tangy acid. Lots of white peach, grapefruit, some green apple and honey. But the sea salt and acid keep it focused. A nice herbal kick on the finish. (87 points)

This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist, where you can find all the wine news that’s fit to print… and then some.

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