Retailer Wine Selections: White Wine

The Beverage Dynamics National Retailer Wine Panel recommends a lineup of top quality/value white wines for summer drinking.

For this issue, we asked members of the Beverage Dynamics National Retailer Wine Panel to recommend some of their favorite white wines for summer drinking. As always, these selections include brief tasting notes, a rating and the wine’s retail price (which varies from store to store and market to market). If you’re a retail beverage professional who would like to learn about participating in our panel, call Richard Brandes at 212-353-3832, or email him at rbrandes@specialtyim.com.

 

FIVE STARS

 

(98) Sonoma-Loeb Envoy Carneros Chardonnay 2012 (California). Sourced from the famed Sangiacomo Vineyards with the best clones, this is a rich elegant Burgundian-styled wine with beautiful tropical fruits, rich butter and caramel flavors, and toasted oak; save this for that special dinner. ($55)

 

(97) Duckhorn Napa Chardonnay 2012 (California). This is the 35 vintage year, and this wine reflects the very best of Napa; sourced from 11 different vineyard sites, it showcases a wide variety of flavor components, including melon, pineapple, and peaches; beautifully regimented barrel aging program adds rich, complex textures to balanced acidity; long lingering finish. ($53)

 

(95) Itsas Mendi Blanco D.O. Bizkaiko Txakolina 2012 (Spain). A truly unique white wine from Spain’s Basque country, made from the indigenous Hondarrabi Zuri grape; at first, it’s reminiscent of Vinho Verde, rather tart and light; after a few minutes of aeration, a floral bouquet bursts into flavors of lush tropical fruits, ending with lip-smacking sweet/tart acidity. ($23)

 

(95) Migration Russian River Chardonnay 2012 (California). This wine is sourced from 11 vineyards in the Russian River Valley; rich fruit notes of pineapple, peach, orange and nectarine are complemented by aromas of allspice and sweet vanilla. ($48)

 

(94) J.Lohr Riverstone Arroyo Seco Chardonnay 2013 (California). A top chardonnay for the money; very balanced with great fruit and just enough oak; creamy texture, with good acidity. ($18)

 

(93) Chappellet Napa Chenin Blanc 2012 (California). Young and lively, with beautiful acidity; exotic hints of lychee, citrus, and guava underscore the rich minerality of mountain fruit. ($50)

 

(93) Rutherford Ranch Napa Chardonnay 2013 (California). Primarily fermented in stainless steel for great acidity and purity of fruit; aged sur lie in oak to add a creamy mouth feel; rich, elegant and always consistent; a great value for summer entertaining. ($25)

 

(93) MacMurray Estate Vineyards Sonoma Pinot Gris 2013 (California). From prime Sonoma locations, this pinot gris has plenty of clean, unoaked fruit, with plenty of weight and texture, so the wood is not missed; a great match for a wide range of grilled, smoked, and roasted dishes. ($20)

 

(93) Bruno Giacosa Roreo Arneis 2012 (Italy). From one of the world’s top Nebbiolo producers, this finely textured white is a surprise; weight and complexity add to its pedigree; the finish is long and elegant; a wine to enjoy with grilled fish, and other summer treats. ($30)

 

(93) Girard Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California). A wonderful expression of bright, crisp and ripe sauvignon blanc; rich citrus and green apple flavors with a well-balanced, smooth finish; great for summer dishes. ($16)

 

(93) Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Gris 2013 (Oregon). Plenty of fruit, acidity and minerality; tangerine and pineapple on the nose; fresh peach, ripe pear and a hint of anise on the palate; mouth-coating; a lingering finish. ($17)

 

(93) Cousino-Macul Isidora Sauvignon Gris 2012 (Chile). Sauvignon gris is an old white Bordeaux variety, not widely planted there nowadays; in Maipo, it yields a lush, aromatic wine with mouth-watering flavors of peach, mango and nectarine; zesty acidity on the finish rounds it out. ($17)

 

(92) Giesen Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013 (New Zealand). A pinot gris with lots of character; ready to enjoy from the first sip; great versatility and elegance make this a real winner from New Zealand. ($15)

 

(92) St. Francis White Splash (California). Full bodied and packed with sweet ripe fruit flavors; aromas of pear and citrus; finishes crisp. ($14)

(92) Loveblock Marlborough Pinot Gris 2011 (New Zealand). Crisp and clean, with lemon, Asian pear and melon flavors accented by spicy overtones; this features a medium body and great acidity. ($28)

 

(92) Banfi Principessa Gavia 2013 (Italy).Elegant, stylish and delicious; this clean, refreshing wine will pair with lots of great summer foods. ($15)

 

(92) Bodegas Val De Vid Condesa Eylo 2013 (Spain).A Spanish white with elegance, class and focus; almost all verdejo with a touch of sauvignon blanc, it has lots of clean bright citrus notes, and an extra long and balanced finish. ($13)

 

(92) Joseph Drouhin Vaudon Chablis 2012 (France).From one of Chablis’ most celebrated producers, this fruit and mineral driven example of great Chablis will bring many a customer back to the French chardonnay fold; class and style. ($21)

 

(92) Testarossa Santa Lucia Chardonnay 2012 (California). A refined chardonnay that features juicy flavors of pear, fig, vanilla and almonds; round and supple, it finishes with a racy acidity that provides excellent balance. ($35)

 

(92) Martin Ray Santa Cruz Reserve Chardonnay 2012 (California). A stylish chardonnay with flavors of pear, white flowers, baking spices and gentle minerals that all weave together effortlessly; a beautifully crafted wine with an expansive and long finish. ($30)

 

(92) Andronicus Napa Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California). Exhibiting generous notes of grapefruit, melon, and wild flowers, this sauvignon blanc is both nuanced and complex; it finishes with an energetic precision and superb length. ($20)

 

(92) Domaine Pichot Vouvray 2012 (France). A beautiful vouvray with bright acidity and a rich mouthfeel; layers of flavor and a complex chenin blanc experience. ($22)

 

(92) Hall Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (California). Crisp and refreshing with grapefruit, apple, lime and peach flavors and a bit of white pepper on the finish. ($22)

 

(92) Chehalem Three Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Gris (Oregon). This wine has very aromatic notes of white blossom and Asian pear with butterscotch attributing to the overall balance of the wine; on the palate, dried apricot, peach pit and rose petals; a pleasant acidity on the finish. ($24)

 

(92) Jorge Ordonez & Co. Botani Dry Muscat de Malaga 2012 (Spain). Dry, layered and great with food or as a cool summer sipper; orange blossoms, lemons, pineapple and mangos in the nose and on the palate; try with seafood, salads or spicy Thai and Indian dishes. ($16)

 

(92) Ziata Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (California). This is a ripe, fruit forward style of sauvignon blanc featuring aromas of peaches, citrus and wet stones; it’s round and mouth-filling with loads of stone fruit flavors, ripe red apple, peach and hints of honeydew melon. ($34)

 

FOUR STARS

 

(91) Sonoma-Loeb Private Reserve Carneros Chardonnay 2012 (California). Pear, pineapple, and banana flavors overlap with hints of vanilla, clove, and warm butter; intense and powerful in the Burgundian style, it offers beautiful balance between fruit and acidity. ($37)

 

(91) Zuccardi Serie A Torrentes 2012 (Argentina).Torrentes is the iconic grape in Argentina, and it’s easy to see why; clean, fruity and refreshing; it’s the type of wine to make friends and family happy with its bright flavors and food-friendly style. ($15)

 

(91) Herdade do Esporão Verdelho 2013 (Portugal). Bright and clean, with refreshing citrus notes, this steel fermented and aged wine is a prime example of the wonderful products coming out of central Portugal; try it with a wide range of seafood. ($12)

 

(91) Chateau Tuilerie Pagés Entre-Deux-Mers 2012 (France). From the Bordeaux Blanc heartland of Entre-Deux-Mers, Chateau Tuileries Blanc is a fantastic entry level white Bordeaux in a cobalt blue bottle; crisp stonefruit with apple, pear & citrus on the nose. Grassy, melon and grapefruit in the mouth, plus notes of honeydew and white flowers. ($17)

 

(91) Chateau du Coing de St Fiacre Muscadet Sévre et Maine 2010 (France). The style of Muscadet made at Château du Coing de St. Fiacre is more full bodied and rounder than most other Muscadet producers; refreshingly dry and delightful, revealing just the right balance of fruit and mineral flavors to excite the nose as well as the tongue. ($12)

 

(91) P.J. Valckenberg Pinot Blanc 2013 (Germany).Pinot blanc may not be as popular is its gris/grigio cousin, but there’s lots to love here; plenty of lovely, medium weight fruit, it sparkles on the palate. ($13)

 

(91) Los Vascos Sauvigon Blanc 2013 (Chile). One of the most popular white wines from South America, this sauvignon blanc is crisp, clean, and just plain tasty; pair with a wide range of roasted and grilled fish, chicken and other dishes. ($12)

 

(91) Bogle Chardonnay 2012 (California). Creamy and bold character; displays great balance. ($11)

 

(91) Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc & Viognier 2013 (California). Aromas of lemon, juicy honeydew melon and sweet mango, complemented by soft orange blossom notes; the palate is crisp and mouth-watering with juicy fruit flavors lingering through the clean and lively finish. ($17)

 

(91) Erath Pinot Gris 2013 (Oregon).One of the state’s leading pioneers of pinot gris produces enough of this refreshing and brightly flavored wine to keep legions of their fans satisfied; versatile, it will go with a wide range of summer dishes. ($14)

 

(91) Dr. Konstantin Frank Finger Lakes Gewürztraminer 2013 (New York).Demonstrating that they produce a wide range of high quality wines, the Dr. Frank Gewürztraminer has all of the class of a much more expensive Alsatian wine; depth, length, and great flavors all add up to a great glass of wine. ($15)

 

(91) J.Lohr Flume Cross Arroyo Seco Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (California). Monterey fruit enhanced with viognier; muted flavors of grapefruit and passion fruit lead to a soft, creamy finish; primarily done in stainless steel, with a subtle aging in Acacia wood barrels for a unique finish; very balanced acidity. ($21)

 

(91) Marques de Caceres Verdejo 2013 (Spain). Whether as an aperitif or with foods ranging from grilled fish to chicken to creamy pasta dishes, this summer refresher is superb; crisp, fresh wine with a rich mid-palate. ($10)

 

(90) Decoy Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California). Very soft nose, great introductory sauvignon blanc; eight different vineyards give the winemaker a broad range of flavors to work with; citrus, orange and muted grapefruit contribute to the complexity. ($25)

 

(90) Rutherford Ranch Napa Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California). Intense grapefruit flavors, very clean and crisp; wonderful floral notes with hints of figs, lemongrass and papaya; all stainless steel cold fermentation; great for those hot summer days. ($22)

 

(90) Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California). Classic California sauvignon blanc, with a wonderful balance of grapefruit and melon fruit; the bright pop of fruit and acidity satisfies and refreshes your palate. ($14)

 

(90) Matua Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (New Zealand). Fresh and friendly combo of tropical fruit and citrus; easy acidity; good for seafood salads, grilled veggies, ceviche or just plain sipping. ($9)

 

(90) Hofer Gruner Veltliner 2013 (Austria). Lean, mean and green liter bottle packed with crisp, citrusy fruit; good summer sipper for hot dogs & brats on the grill or grilled chicken served with fruit salsa. ($14)

 

(90) Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California). Sauvignon blanc and a splash of viognier makes for a tasty pairing with fried chicken, sushi or fresh summer bruschetta; the viognier tames the acidity and gives the wine a “creamier” finish. ($13)

 

(90) Brancott Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2103 (New Zealand). Sauvignon Blanc is New Zealand’s signature white variety, and Brancott certainly knows how to produce some of the best; bright, clean and focused, the finish is long and balanced. ($13)

 

(90) Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling 2012 (Washington State). There’s a good reason that Chateau Ste. Michelle is the world’s leading riesling producer; this Columbia Valley example shows style and restraint, with great focus and refreshing acidity. Pair it with a wide range of summer fare. ($10)

 

(90) Neil Ellis Sincerely Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (South Africa). A South African bargain with intense grapefruit aromas, medium body and lovely peach flavors on the mid-palate with a long fruit-filled finish. ($12)

(90) Silver Thread Winery Good Earth White 2013 (New York). From New York State’s Finger Lakes region, a white blend of vidal blanc, riesling and gewürztraminer; creamy textured and on the fruity side, but not cloying; excellent as an aperitif. ($15)

 

(90) Sella & Mosca La Cala Vermentino 2012 (Italy). An array of lemon, grapefruit and pear flavors with a clean minerality that enhances the citrus fruit flavors; medium bodied with a crisp, refreshing finish. ($12)

 

(90) Gran Verano Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (Chile). An appealing green-yellow color; floral notes intermingled with tropical fruits; the fresh and citrusy finish on the palate makes this wine dry, refreshing and crisp. ($22)

 

(90) Selbach Qba Riesling 2013 (Germany). Bright and lively; primary flavors of melon and crisp green apple are complemented by hints of citrus, followed by a distinct minerality that expresses the terrior of the region; the finish is crisp and clean making it a perfect match for a wide variety of food; great value. ($10)

 

(90) Casa Santos Lima LAB Branco 2013 (Portugal).A real bargain from the Lisbon area; lots of ripe citrus and tree fruit add to the complexity of the wine; clean and refreshing; at this price, it’s a “buy by the case” winner. ($8)

 

(90) Saula Frascati White Label 2013 (Italy). A delicious light-bodied wine with bright flavors of citrus and pear; a crisp finish that is refreshingly charming and solid in length. ($15)

 

(90) Mouton Cadet Bordeaux Blanc 2009 (France). Fresh peaches, zesty grapefruit, and honeysuckle in this easy-going white Bordeaux blend. ($11)

 

(90) The Whip White Wine 2012 (California). A beautiful six-varietal blend from Livermore Valley; medium bodied with flavors of white peach, vanilla and orange blossom. ($19)

 

(90) Donna Anita Arneis 2013 (Italy). A racy Italian Arneis with flavors of citrus, apple, and almonds; the energetically crisp finish deposits light spice notes making this wine fascinatingly complex. ($16)

 

(90) Valserrano Rioja Blanco 2013 (Spain). An invitingly fragrant wine with notes of ginger and white flowers; this round, medium-bodied wine has a gracefully crisp finish that delivers additional layers of citrus and stone fruit. ($15)

 

(90) Val Do Sosego Albarino Rias Baixas 2013 (Spain). With a thrilling tartness that provides great balance, the Val Do Sosego Albarino hits all the right notes for the variety; lovely flavors of orange peel, grapefruit, honeysuckle and light minerals. ($17)

 

(90) Greyrock Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2013 (NewZealand). Smooth and elegant with tropical fruit, light spice and a saline-tinged minerality that all intertwine beautifully in the bright finish. ($17)

 

(90) Neethlingshof Chardonnay Unoaked 2014 (South Africa). This unoaked chardonnay possesses pure, nuanced flavors of citrus, apple, and pear that are simply gorgeous. It finishes crisp with plenty of energy. ($14)

 

(90) Coelho Pinot Gris 2013 (Oregon). With plenty of fresh flavors of stone fruit, pear, and apple, this Oregon pinot gris is pure and refreshing; a beautifully crisp finish provides superb balance and finesse. ($27)

 

(90) Turn 4 White 2010 (California). A delightful wine made from 91% sauvignon blanc and 9% moscato; flavors of peaches and mango with a refreshingly clean finish. ($15)

 

(90) Pigmentum Ugni Blanc/Colombard 2012 (France). Big floral and green melon nose, crisp citrus and apple notes; zippy acidity well balanced. ($11)

 

(90) Ramon Bilbao Valinas Albarino 2012 (Spain). This wine has a yellow color with golden and greenish tinges; classic tropical fruit of pineapple and mango; fresh and juicy on the palate with citric notes and a long lingering finish with a nice acidity. ($16)

 

(89) Fortant Viognier Pays d’Oc Hills Reserve 2012 (France). Honeyed notes fill the nose and there is a floral aspect mingling with slightly sweet apricot aromas; medium full and round, the palate is luscious, with juicy stone fruit flavors that turn a bit tropical in the finish; well balanced and smooth. ($15)

 

(89) Balletto Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Gris 2012 (California). This pinot gris is made in a rich, ripe style with a faint touch of sweetness that is refreshing and not cloying; the palate features ripe red and yellow apple flavors, combined with subtle melon nuances; a brisk minerality kicks in the finish. ($18).

 

(89) Bodegas Del Palacio de Fifinanes Albarino 2012 (Spain). This light and breezy white features smoky aromas reminiscent of flinty wet stones; refreshing zest; lemon grass and green apple flavors combine with a limestone minerality that gives the texture cut and verve. ($18)

 

(89) Willamette Valley Vineyards Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2010 (Oregon). This has a yeasty note in the nose, reminiscent of Champagne, then transitions into some melon and exotic fruit aromas along with a slightly creamy note; smooth and almost creamy up front and then the palate sharpens as the acidity kicks in; ripe melon and pear flavors are joined by a squirt of citrus and quince, and the lightest note of butter pops up in the finish; good balance and length. ($30)

 

(88) Hanna Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (California). Citrus nose; citrus flavor with grapefruit predominating; some spice and a clean, moderately long finish ($18)

 

(88) Conundrum California White Wine 2012 (California). A four grape blend, with a citrus aroma and flavors of citrus, apple and peach; some sweetness on the moderate finish. ($20)

 

(88) Evolucio Furmint 2012 (Hungary). A dry Hungarian white wine made from Furmint with bright pear notes on a medium-bodied frame. ($11)

 

(88) Riff Pinot Grigio 2013 (Italy). A crisp pinot grigio from winemaker Alois Lageder with a touch of peach and a stony finish, resulting in a great value wine. ($11)

 

(88) Cave de Pomerols Picpoul de Pinet 2013 (France). This wine pairs beautifully with shellfish and seafood; exotic fruits and lime are the dominate flavors; crisp acidity and a hint of spice mark the finish. ($12)

 

(88) Von Kesselstatt RK Estate Riesling 2012 (Germany). Full, with hints of mineral; vibrant acidity with a little sweetness; hints of peaches and pear. ($16)

 

(88) Laxas Albarino Rias Baixas 2012 (Spain). Pale straw with nice green plum notes; hints of peach and a touch of honey; crisp and fresh. ($17)

 

(88) Yarden Golan Moscato 2012 (Israel). Light and sweet without being cloying; nose of apricot and honeysuckle; peach and orange blossom on the palate, with a slight fizz; delicious. ($15)

 

(88) Gazela Vinho Verde (Portugal). Perfect patio pour for the dog days of summer; light and easy; bright, light lemony fizz and lower alcohol make for a refreshing treat; affordable for summer picnics. ($5)

 

(87) King’s Estate Pinot Gris 2012 (Oregon). A somewhat floral, citursy aroma; lemon-lime flavor with a touch of spice; moderate finish. ($15)

 

(87) Hardys Nottage Hill South Eastern Australia Chardonnay 2012 (Australia). Mild melon and balsam aromas fill the nose and there is a light hint of cream; medium bodied and that balsam note frames the palate while slightly tart pear and peach flavors mingle with tropical fruit flavors; a bit of meringue in the aftertaste. ($12)

 

(86) Sokol Blosser Evolution White Blend (Oregon). A nine grape blend with tropical aromas; citrus flavors, lemon, lime, grapefruit; medium finish. ($15)

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