California White Wines for Sipping

A basket of newly available wines – mainly chardonnays

California chardonnay accounts for one fourth of America's table wine purchases. One great example is 'The Other Guy's "white Night" Lodi Sauvignon Blanc 2014' which is spicy and emphasizes sauvignon's floral side. 

California makes a lot of different varieties of white varietals and white blends, but it is chardonnay that is queen of the pack. It is by far the most-planted grape in California – almost 100,000 acres and counting – and Americans bought a whopping 55 million cases of it last year.

Moreover, of all table wines purchased in the United States last year – red or white – one out of every four bottles is a California chardonnay.

In spite of people who rail against chardonnay, it remains capable of making the best and more-variable wines available. Here is a sampling of California chardonnays, with a little company from its friends.

The Other GuysWhite Knight” Lodi Savignon Blanc 2014 ($10). Spicy, fruity with some dried wood notes, moderately heavy, emphasizing sauvignon’s floral side.

The Other Guys “White Knight” Clarksburg Viognier 2014 ($13). A little creamy, but good acidity to balance the floral flavors; also hints of spruce.

Tom Gore California Chardonnay 2014 ($14). A mellow chard of moderate weight with some butter, mint and cream flavors.

Meiomi California Chardonnay 2013 ($18). Green-golden flavors of apple and fresh corn – a mix of Burgundy and California styles.

SLO Down “Broken Dreams” California chardonnay 2013 ($18). Walks the line between being fruity/creamy and smoky/savory.

True Myth “Paragon” Edna Valley Chardonnay 2014 ($18). Mellow green fruits paired with a tart body – also food friendly.

Barrel + Ink “Impressante” California White wine 2014 ($28). Part of a series available on Barrel + Ink’s website pairing a designer with a winemaker. This blend, led by viognier, sauvignon blanc and semillon, is a lot like Bordeaux blend that is good, but not great; harmonious, but not complex.

Clos Pegase “Mitsuko’s Vineyard” Carneros chardonnay 2012 ($30). Buttery, fresh-corn aromas and flavors with soft, rounded floral notes.

Jordan Russian River Chardonnay 2014 ($30). Great food wine – crisp, green fruit with a very lean profile.

Artesa Napa Valley chardonnay 2012 ($40). Very nice, with good balance between apple fruitiness and creamy barrel notes.

La Follette “Sangiacomo” Sonoma Coast chardonnay 2013 ($42). Nice combination of tart, fresh, green apples and creamy oak flavors – very enjoyable.

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