From the Wine Cellar: American White Wines for the Start of Summer
For most of us, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial beginning of summer. Here are some interesting white wines from across the country — California, Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland — with which to celebrate.
2011 Raffaldini Swan Creek North Carolina vermentino ($17). An interesting and exotic-tasting wine with lots of green fruits, herbal notes, and spices.
2011 Stinson Vineyards Monticello chardonnay ($20). Nice apple flavors with hints of orange citrus (from the barrels), a little chalky and minerally. For comparison, somewhat like a chablis.
2011 Jordan Russian River chardonnay ($30). Always reliable, always elegant with good body and full flavors, yet crisp and lemony in the finish.
2011 Franciscan "Cuvée Sauvage" Carneros chardonnay ($40). "Wild" ferments using indigenous yeasts are not now as rare as they were when Franciscan started making this wine several vintages back, and they continue to make a delicious wine using this process. This one has lovely floral aromas and is very spicy and a little gamey with ripe apple flavors. Add minerals, light tannins, good acidity for a fine food wine.
2011 Geyser Peak California sauvignon blanc ($11). A good, straight-forward party wine — grassy, a touch of chalkiness, good acidity.
2012 Charles Krug St Helena-Napa Valley sauvignon blanc ($15). The more-floral, more-tropical style of sauvignon with sweet, juicy flavors of ripe peaches and melons.
2012 J California Pinot Gris ($15). A delightful little wine — soft, fragrant, creamy pears is the dominant flavor that expands on the palate.
2011 Black Ankle "Bedlam" Frederick County, Md., White Wine ($32). An excellent blend of five white varieties grown on the estate. The wine is aromatic with lots of rounded pear flavors and a crisp, minerally finish.