All of these wines came from my personal collection.
In the summer, I love seeking out inexpensive but exciting wines that I can pop without thinking, pour for friends and family at gatherings. I look for wines that are delicious but also capable of tossing a cup into the pan of veggies I'm sautéing without worry.
All of these wines fit the bill.
2016 Matthiasson Rosé - USA, California, Napa Valley
Pale copper color. Aromas of nettle, dandelion, crushed shells, wild strawberry, raspberry leaf, watermelon – I love this stuff. Crisp and light but packed with flavors of strawberry, white cherry, raspberry, mixed well with chalk dust, white pepper, saline, crushed shells, mint, some arugula and bell pepper notes, but they don’t dominate. Long, zesty, spicy finish. A perennial favorite of mine, and 2016 comes through. (91 points)
2017 Cape Original Chenin Blanc - South Africa, Western Cape
Pale lemon color. Aromas of white and yellow flowers, dandelion, chalk dust and white tea on top of lemon and orange. Crisp and zesty, super brisk but not light on flavor. Lemons, white peaches, mixes with chalk, saline, honey and oyster shell notes. Light and refreshing but so delicious, and this is a stellar deal at $8. South Africa delivers in that category yet again. (87 points)
2016 Cephalonia Cooperative Robola of Cephalonia - Greece
Pale straw color. Super zesty aromatic white wine with baby’s breath, dandelion, lilies, lemons, limes and oranges. Zesty and bright on the palate but surprising, pleasant creaminess. Lemon, nectarine, some white peach, juicy and fresh and mixed with floral perfume, cucumber water and sea salt notes. A lovely, fresh, crowd-pleasing summer white wine. (87 points)
2015 Louis Latour Montagny 1er Cru La Grande Roche - France, Burgundy, Côte Chalonnaise, Montagny 1er Cru
Medium yellow color. A juicy yellow apple mixes with baked pear, some honey, cinnamon, some white flowers, lovely stuff. Pretty texture, a pleasantly creamy/waxy element, with fresh acidity. Plump apple and pear fruit is delicious, and mixed nicely with nougat, cinnamon and honeybutter along with white flowers and a slight flinty/chalky note. So much Chard for less than $20. (88 points)
2014 Béres Furmint Tokaji Száraz-Dry - Hungary, Tokaji
Light gold color. Aromas of lemons, white peaches, white flowers, impressive chalky, limestone, quinine and mineral notes. Brisk acidity on the palate but plump fruit (lemon, white peach, apricot), but there’s a lovely salinity and chalk dustiness to it, and I love it. Some honeyed tea, mint, quinine and nettle notes. Lovely stuff, very pretty with simple sautéed veggies and penne. (89 points)
2014 Philippe Jouan Bourgogne Passetoutgrains - France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Passetoutgrains
Loved this stuff on a warm summer evening. Deep rose petal color. Nose shows roses, rhubarb, sour cherries, wild raspberry. Dusty, light tannins, crisp acidity, vibrant and fresh, with chilled raspberries, red apples and bright cherries. Notes of rose petal, rhubarb, spiced tea, tobacco. Lovely stuff, slightly chilled, on a hot day with some grilled veggies. Pinot Noir and Gamay, this is a serious contender for hot weather red of the year. (88 points)