I was raised pretty traditional, and yes, though the fashion experts say it doesn’t matter, I still wait to bust out the white pants until after Memorial day. Just as our wardrobe changes with the seasons, our tastes and cravings for certain styles of wines change as well. The weather is warmer, the days longer, and now that you’ve already warmed up the Barbecue from this past weekend, it is time to get stocked up for the rest of the season.
Now we don’t want to risk staining those lovely white pants, so what white wines will we be drinking? Here are some of the latest releases to sip on while you’re feeling the warmth of the sun on your shoulders sitting on the back deck.
Humberto Canale Old Vineyard Riesling, Humberto Canale, Rio Negro, 2011 ($20)
From the southernmost winery in the entire world, located in Patagonia, Argentina, the winery, Humberto Canale, is named after its founder who layed roots there in 1909. It still remains in the family today, with its fourth generation running the show. With over a hundred years of experience and an ideal cool region for the Riesling varietal, you will not hesitate to even give this one a try for your next early evening round of tapas. The wine emits notes of honey, white ginger flowers with little vegetal notes to round out white fruit. This is an excellent wine to have on hand from spring through late summer!
Alfredo Roca Tocai, Alfredo Roca, San Rafael, Mendoza, 2010 ($12)
DO NOT JUDGE THIS BY PRICE! You have to consider also that production costs are much lower in Mendoza, well in most of Argentina. Plus, really, how often do you have a Tocai, from Argentina? Another great from another fourth generation family affair. This is a light and fresh wine to sip alone or chow down with some ceviche. The aromas are vegetal and of light citrus with a slight minerality that is characteristically from Mendoza. The flavors are citrusy as well, with a little notes of crisp apples, and finishes with a fresh, yet soft acidity.
Abbazia di Novacella, Kerner, Alto Adige Valle Isarco, 2009 ($25)
Alto Adige is located in the northeastern part of Italy, where many white varietals are cultivated. This varietal, Kerner, might be one of the lesser known
, but that doesn’t make it unworthy. The monastery creating this lovely offering has been an important religious center since the twelfth century. On the nose you might notice aromas of flowers that are grown in this mountainous region with Granny Smith apples and stone fruit, all of which will be present on your palate. Have a hankering for some spicy Barbecue (watch those pants)? This will be a surprisingly perfect accompaniment!
Suavia, Soave Classico Superiore, 2008 ($19)
This is from 100% Garganega grapes, that were handpicked and sorted from a well-establish vineyard on the hillsides of Soave. The “Classico Superiore”, is an authentic title given to this region via the Italian government to guarantee the very best and top quality. The aromas are zesty lemon with crisp peaches and anjou pears. It is fresh and lively of white fruits and more citrus. How about this with some fillet of fish seasoned with fresh herbs and lemon slices wrapped in banana leaves, thrown on the grill!
Rosé (of Granache), Navarro Vineyards, Mendecino County, California, 2011 ($17)
You can’t have summer wines without trying a couple Rosés on occasion for those times when you feel like salmon, or some chilled roasted chicken salad. The 2011 vintage was a cool year in the Russian River region. It might have been less than ideal for many vineyard workers and winemakers, but the product says just the opposite. The crisp aromas and flavors of tropical guava, strawberry and raspberries might have you sharing a second bottle. Perfect for the ladies!
Soliloquy, Sauvignon Blanc, Flora Springs, Oakville (Napa), California, 2010, ($20)
A few summers ago, when I was living in Napa, my girlfriends and I would often just have a girls night, with one of the main reasons to try a new Sauvignon Blanc from the valley. Four years later, I still go back to this one. I am in love with the Soliloquy label, and though each year is a little different, it is alway classically unique, refreshing and inspiring. It is a romantic’s wine. Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, it is a blend of the Flora Springs proprietary clone and a Sauvignon Musque clone. It is a perfectly balanced wine with fresh yet elegant acidity, and Oakville minerality, honeysuckle and golden delicious apples with velvety white peaches. All stainless steel and sur lees aging that give this wine a silky finish. You will be happy to sip this one alone or pair with fresh shell fish. I’m sure you will follow this one from vintage to vintage just like myself after you try this.