Summer Wine

25 Wines for the Second Half of Summer

Sauvignon blancs in profusion, some well-priced Chablis, a rosé, and a few good reds
Summer Wine

We are more than halfway through the summer, and the flow of enjoyable white wines from around the world is at its peak. Here is a collection of mainly sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, and chardonnay — including some good choices from Chablis — along with a nice rosé and a few recently released reds.

Brancott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($10). Loads of lime with a touch of creaminess.

Denis Race Petit Chablis 2015 ($14). Crisp and tart with good minerality and notes of lime.

Brancott “Flight Song” Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($15). Only nine percent alcohol; tart, light flavors of lime and apples, and a little short on the finish.

Alois Lageder Porer Alto Adige Pinot Grigio 2015 ($20). A standout among pinot grigios, with full-flavored fruit, good balance, and pleasant orange notes.

Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Fumé Blanc 2015 ($20). Very nice, with tropical fruit notes to go along with the greener flavors.

Terlato Friuli Pinot Grigio 2016 ($23). A fair amount of juiciness, dropping off to a papery finish.

Cliff Lede Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($24). Delicious and creamy with good structure and a long finish.

Joseph Drouhin Vaudon Chablis 2015 ($24). A generous wine but not a big one, with flavors of apples and lemon and a touch of toast.

Rombauer Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($25). Fresh lime and grapefruit flavors, medium body, and a pleasing finish.

Groth Hillview Napa Valley Chardonnay 2015 ($30). Full-bodied, with a flavor of apples, well-integrated oak, and a little tanginess in the finish.

Dampt Frères Les Fourneaux Chablis 1er Cru 2014 ($31). A good food wine, with orange-peel minerality, light tannins, and good length on the palate.

Vocoret et Fils Les Forets Chablis 1er Cru 2015 ($31). A touch of tanginess, and good presence, with savory and mineral notes.

Brancott “B” Letter Series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($34). Very spicy, with fruity red raspberry flavors, unusual but interesting in a white wine.

Pali Huber Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2013 ($38). Fresh and juicy with just-cut apple flavors and moderate oak.

Benovia Fort Ross-Seaview Chardonnay 2014 ($46). Full, juicy, spicy, piquant, and oaky!

Robert Mondavi Oakville Fumé Blanc 2014 ($40). A vivacious, rich intensity of fruit paired with considerable oak notes.

Robert Mondavi To Kalon Napa Valley Fumé Blanc Reserve 2014 ($52). Light and elegant, with old and new oak blended with fresh fruitiness.

Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Reserve Rosé 2016 ($9). Crisp and dry with light strawberry and melon flavors.

Penfolds “Max’s” South Australia Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 ($20). Good red fruitiness and wood integration, with a sharp edge in the finish.

Penfolds “Max’s” South Australia Shiraz Cabernet 2015 ($20). Fruity-sweet (this is one for lovers of sweeter wines), with some sharp savory notes.

Joseph Drouhin Hospices de Belleville Fleurie 2014 ($22). Refreshing, spicy, pinot noir-like fruit with well-done acidity and structure.

Tower 15 “The Swell” Paso Robles Red Blend 2013 ($22). Lean and tight with bright berry flavors and a pronounced cabernet slant.

Cooper & Thief California Red Wine Blend 2014 ($28). An interesting wine, but not one for the table, with its 17 percent alcohol and strong vanilla flavors (from aging in used bourbon barrels) complementing its blackberry notes; a wine for sipping only.

Robert Mondavi “Maestro” Napa Valley Red Wine 2014 ($50). Very well made with mature blackberry flavors, savory notes, a dollop of cream, and smooth tannins.


Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin 2014 ($58). Full-bodied, but with a tart fruitiness and excellent structure.