After last week’s post about some memorable reds, let’s take a look at three just-released white wines under $20, each very different and outstanding in its own way.
For chardonnay lovers, Robert Oatley’s 2010 Chardonnay from Australia’s cool-climate Mudgee region northwest of Sydney is crisp and fruity with gentle oak treatment. With alcohol at just 12.7 percent, it’s more reminiscent of Burgundy than California. At $14 or so, it will be broadly appealing and would be a great choice to serve at a holiday party. Imported by Robert Oatley Vineyards USA, Petaluma, California.
For a more aromatic choice, try Rodney Strong’s 2011 “Charlotte’s House” Sauvignon Blanc from northern Sonoma County in California. It has classic sauvignon blanc flavors of pink grapefruit, lime and herbs with a touch of cream on the finish. This $13 wine is a natural for broiled or sautéed fish, shellfish and will also work well with roasted vegetables, including fennel. Alcohol is 13.5 percent.
Also from California, a highly unusual white blend will match well with a variety of foods. Vina Robles’ 2011 White⁴ is a delicious combination that shows the “power of four” varieties, as the winery describes it. The wine from Paso Robles on the Central Coast is a blend of viognier, vermentio, verhelho and sauvignon blanc.
It’s bright and zesty with tastes of white peach, lemon, orange, ginger and honey along with spice and floral notes. Medium-bodied, it’s aged in both stainless steel and neutral oak and can be paired with everything from crab cakes to spicy chicken wings. Alcohol is 14.1 percent. It sells for $16 on Vina Robles’ website and should be widely available elsewhere. Wines received as press samples.
Want more suggestions? On Vint-ed, I review a classic California red that would make a great gift, Hanna Winery’s 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Edward Deitch is a James Beard Award-winning wine critic. Find many more of his wine reviews and commentary on his blog, Vint-ed.com, and follow him on Twitter.
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