Sunday, August 10, 2014

Not Tied to Chardonnay? Try These Whites!

Winemakers have been noticing a shift in the white wine market concerning alternative whites coming on strong and with summer in it's highest heat these days, light crisp wines are coming into their own.

These wines share moderate alcohol levels, no oak or neutral oak and mouthwatering acidity. Malolactic fermentation is avoided by many winemakers to preserve acid that make these wine zingy and refreshing.

Stainless steel tanks are used for fermentation with resting on lees to give these wines creamy notes and complexity. These wines are bottled in late winter or spring to preserve freshness.

Remember the ABC _"Anything but Chardonnay"? America has proved that they have a taste for more than Chardonnays. Here are some "other whites" we've had:

2012 Scholium Project Naucratis ($22) made of 100% Verdelho, a white wine grape grown throughout Portugal. This is a California wine fermented in stainless steel tanks-crisp, clear, and direct. Thank you Aaron Benson for introducing us to this wine!

2010 Chateau Carbonnieux Cru Classe' de Graves Pessac-Leognan ($41) is a French wine made of 70% Sauvignon and 30% Semillon. Don, Meredith and I had this at DCC one evening. We loved it!

Other whites you might want to search for include Albarino, Chenin Blanc, Gew├╝rztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and Vermentino.

Here's a 2012 Qupe' ($20) Viognier/Chardonnay blend we recently had at Shinsei in Dallas. It has a distinct floral and peach flavor from the Viognier and a citrus and green pear character from the Chardonnay. It is more Chardonnay than Viognier though. It was quite lovely! I would buy this again!

Enjoy either of these "other whites".