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Summer Wine Guides 2021: Whites

Summer Wine Guides 2021: Whites

Kalle Bergman

Welcome to summer – have a glass of delicious white wine, take a seat on the porch and just take in the scenery. And don’t worry about finding the right wine – we’ve taken the guesswork out of summer white wine selection for you.

As the summer presses on, a glass of crispy Sauvignon Blanc or a buttery Chardonnay floats our boat equally. We don’t discriminate against grapes – good wine is good wine in our book – but we do want our wine be versatile, equally comfortable drunk on its own as paired with the finest summer bounty. So here, presented in the winemakers’ own words, are our favorite white wines of the blistering summer of 2021.

Artesa

Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2016

Los Carneros · United States

$38

Winemaker’s Notes:

This is a bright Chardonnay, with the beautiful layers of fruit bursting in the glass – notes of honeysuckle, orange blossom, key lime and golden peach.The techniques used are designed to retain the signature Los Carneros aromas of lemon-citrus and white blossom while accentuating the minerality and vivid, fresh fruit flavors of citrus and stone fruits in the wine. Partial barrel fermentation and lees stirring create complex layers that impart hints of oak and wrap the flavors in a rich, generously textured mouthfeel and elegant finish.

 

Joseph Phelps

Freestone Vineyards Chardonnay 2018

Sonoma Coast · United States

$60

Winemaker’s Notes:

Chardonnay grapes are picked at night to preserve fruit integrity and freshness, followed by whole cluster pressing cold to barrel for fermentation. The barrels were stirred only as necessary, resulting in a layered, concentrated wine with freshness. The 2018 Chardonnay opens with generous white flower, lemon zest and fresh pear. A very linear offering with vivid acidity, bright green apple, tart lemon and a mineral driven lengthy finish.

 

Gary Farrell

Russian River Selection Chardonnay 2018

Russian River Valley · United States

$35

Winemaker’s Notes:

Very attractive citrus notes of lemon rind and grapefruit initially present on the nose, followed by crisp nectarine, honeydew melon, pressed mint leaves and lemongrass. There is plenty to love here for even the non-Chardonnay-lover. Fresh, crisp flavors of Meyer lemon and lime zest create a bright entry that beautifully complements the more opulent flavors of honey, fresh apricot and peach tartlet. The palate is very energetic and fresh with an underlying layer of acidity and loads of fleshy texture.

 

Decoy

Limited Chardonnay 2019

Sonoma Coast · United States

$30

Winemaker’s Notes:

Displaying richness, energy and elegance, this is a radiant Chardonnay with beautiful layers of stone fruit and spice. On the supple, creamy palate, bright acidity adds to the poise and purity of the nectarine, white peach and summer melon flavors, with French oak-driven hints of butterscotch and spice carrying the wine to a long, tantalizing finish.

 

Patz & Hall

Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2017

Sonoma Coast · United States

$42

Winemaker’s Notes:

The wine has inviting aromas of apricot, lemon zest, brown sugar cookie, dried lavender and heavily roasted hazelnut. The palate is mouthwatering, vibrant and fresh with sleek acidity supporting flavorful pulses of spicy pear, green apple, marzipan and orange-clove.

 

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

AVETA Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Napa Valley · United States

$29

Winemaker’s Notes:

The 2019 AVETA Sauvignon Blanc is fragrant and expressive with aromas of grapefruit, green papaya and lemongrass with a hint of tangerine. The wine has a round, flavorful mouthfeel that leads to lively and long finish with a nice touch of acidity. Try pairing AVETA with fresh fish ceviche, crab cakes or grilled oysters with mignonette sauce.

 

Donati

Family Reserve Viognier 2019

Paso Robles · United States

$30

Winemaker’s Notes:

Tropical aromas of pineapple and apple blossom.  Round on the palate with notes of oranges and honey, finishing with notes of meyer lemon and pineapple on the crisp finish.

 

Rochioli

Estate Grown Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Russian River Valley · United States

$34

Winemaker’s Notes:

Sixty four percent is from the original Sauvignon Blanc vineyard planted in 1959 and eighteen percent from each of our 35-year-old hillside vineyard and the rare clone 376. This wine is stainless tank fermented at a cool temperature to preserve its intense varietal character and firm acidity. 2125 cases were produced. 

 

Raptor Ridge

Zenith Vineyard Auxerrois 2018

Eola-Amity Hills · United States

$35

Winemaker’s Notes:

Fast becoming our favorite white wine, this vintage delivers a rich texture that harmonizes with bright, crisp spunkiness. Notes of Asian pear, star anise and hints of Asian spices are enveloped by formidable structure and elevated by vibrant acidity.

 

Domaine Roy & Fils

Incline Chardonnay 2019

Dundee Hills · United States

$60

Winemaker’s Notes:

The Incline Dundee Chardonnay shows many parallels to the Iron Filbert Chardonnay in its tone but is much more accessible with slightly lower acidity and a rounder fruitier profile because it is from our rockier, riper section of the clone 95 chardonnay.  It has pure aromatics of mango and lemongrass with a very round palate.  This is in the beginning of its prime drinking window and should age well for eight or so years.

 

Red Car

Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2018

Sonoma Coast · United States

$35

Winemaker’s Notes:

With two of our plantings in the remote and dramatic Fort Ross Sea-View appellation, and one just outside the tiny village of Freestone, we are afforded the opportunity to farm and produce Chardonnay from some of the most unique coastal locations in California. 2018 proved to be a stellar growing year, we experienced a long, slow and cool growing season, where Chardonnay was able to ripen to full maturity while maintaining beautiful natural chemistry. Each lot is fermented in French Oak barrels, and aged on lees until bottling. The result is a wine that reflects its unique terroir with racy acidity, rich texture and a strong mineral presence.

 

Landmark Vineyards

Overlook Chardonnay 2019

Sonoma County · United States

$27

Winemaker’s Notes:

Attractive lemon color with aromas of ripe lemon, white peach, yellow apple, kiwi, oak, chamomile, flan and baking spice. The palate is full and rich with ripe lemon, golden delicious apple, stone fruit and subtle grilled pineapple notes on entry with toasty oak, vanilla, butterscotch, lemon curd and chamomile joining on the mid-palate. The finish is fresh, moderately long with generous ripe lemon and stone fruit notes framed nicely by French oak.

The 2019 Overlook Chardonnay is full and rich with complex fruit, attractive toasted barrel elements and a balancing freshness that makes it a great pairing with flavorful foods like a crab risotto with oyster mushrooms, or a grilled salmon fillet finished with a garlic and chive compound butter.

 

Copain

Les Voisins Chardonnay 2018

Anderson Valley · United States

$36

Winemaker’s Notes:

This wine is meticulously blended from nearly all parts of the Anderson Valley: from the Skycrest Vineyard located on the eastern ridgetop at 2200 ft. elevation to the softer soils at Ferrington Vineyard on the valley floor near Boonville. And to far reaches of the Anderson Valley appellation of the historical Dupratt Vineyard up high on the western ridgetop at 1600 ft. elevation

 

Alain Geoffroy

Petit Chablis 2019

Petit Chablis · France

$22

Winemaker’s Notes:

Golden yellow, pale green in colour. Bright, luminous and limpid. The nose is young and fresh and you are transported by its vivacity in a whirlwind of fine, fruity, floral scents. The taste is lively, pleasant and fruity. We discover lemoney, citronella flavours on a fine, minerally

background. The finish is most agreeable and leaves the mouth fresh and perfumed. 

 

Trimbach

Pinot Gris Alsace Réserve Personnelle 2016

Alsace · France

$25

Winemaker’s Notes:

Pale gold with a rich and fragrant nose; apricot, ripe pear and mango with a touch of botrytis. Full-bodied with very ripe fruits on the palate. Very charming, meaty, rich with good acidity. Great with seafood and white meats. Perfectly paired with fusion and Asian cuisines.

 

Chappellet

Grower 2018 Grower Collection Chardonnay Calesa Vineyard

Petaluma Gap · United States

$49

Winemaker’s Notes:

Seamlessly balancing lovely textural richness with finely tuned acidity, this radiant Chardonnay offers alluring aromatics of tropical flowers, guava, orange zest and quince, with underlying hints of crème fraiche and sweet baking spices adding nuance and poise. On the palate, flavors of bright citrus and mango glide across a supple, creamy texture, with the acidity providing

lift and focus to a long, high-toned fruit finish.

 

Penner-Ash

Hyland Vineyard Old Vine Riesling 2018

McMinnville · United States

$35

Winemaker’s Notes:

Aromas of orange blossom, warm pear and ruby red grapefruit with integrated flavors of white peach, pomelo, crisp apple and baked lemon tart on palate. Balanced acidity and texture invite your next sip.

 

WillaKenzie Estate

Estate Chardonnay 2018

Yamhill-Carlton District · United States

$75

Winemaker’s Notes:

This Chardonnay is energetic and balanced with notes of lemon zest, sourdough bread and a hint of mustard seed.

 

MacRostie

Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2018

Russian River Valley · United States

$46

Winemaker’s Notes:

The wine has a pale yellow color and complex aromas of ripe pineapple, green melon and a touch of honeysuckle. On the palate, it offers a soft, supple texture that elegantly supports the vibrant fruit flavors. The finish is round and mouth-filling, with a beam of energetic natural acidity and linger hints of kumquat and tropical fruit.

 

Turnbull

Josephine Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Oakville · United States

$50

Winemaker’s Notes:

Wild orange blossoms, zesty kaffir lime, and pineapple capture the senses, drawing the nose to luscious flavor. Notes of passion fruit, guava, blood orange, and river-washed gravel envelop the palate and carry through to the crisp finish, anticipating the next sublime sip.

 

Eberle

Eberle Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2020

Paso Robles · United States

$28

Winemaker’s Notes:

Whether you like a more fruit-forward Chardonnay or one with a little buttery oak, the Eberle Chardonnay is pleasing to a wide range of palates. Produced from our Estate vines, the Chardonnay remains consistent in style, quality, and character year after year. Eberle’s Estate Chardonnay pairs nicely with endless seafood combinations such as herb-crusted salmon and crab cakes. It also compliments corn chowder and pork tenderloin with apples.

 

Chateau Montelena

Chardonnay 2018

Napa Valley · United States

$60

Winemaker’s Notes:

Paradoxically, the “easy” or “straightforward” vintages can be the most difficult for me as a winemaker. The media, critics, and industry representatives tend to praise classic California vintages as a tide that lifts all ships, providing a simple, neat narrative that makes for clean headlines and a universal endorsement of the resulting wines. And they’re correct. For those wineries making high-volume, formulaic products, these vintages can be a godsend. But for us at Montelena, the challenge becomes how to artfully craft the mosaic, that beautiful composition of the disparate parts of each vineyard block into something truly captivating and nuanced, amidst so much uniformity. 2018 certainly qualifies in that it would have been tantalizingly easy to fall into the rut of recipe-driven, prescribed process. Thus our objective became how to highlight subtlety; how to tactfully magnify the shades of flavor that are so easily obscured by the abundant sunshine. It’s a unique mindset in that we actively search for and embrace the challenge. It’s the Montelena way.

 

Siduri

Chardonnay 2019

Willamette Valley · United States

$30

Winemaker’s Notes:

On the nose, this wine shows white flowers, orange blossom and stone fruits. On the palate, you’ll find a generous burst of Meyer Lemon is backed by pineapple with hints of brioche and vanilla, all interwoven on a long, succulent finish driven by vibrant acidity.

 

Emeritus Vineyards

Hallberg Blanc 2019

Russian River Valley · United States

$40

Winemaker’s Notes:

After years of refining our approach to this unique and radiant wine, the 2019 vintage is easily its most sophisticated expression to date. It is rich and unctuous with a flowing textural quality that accentuates the gorgeous layers of peach nectar, honey, orange blossom and melted beeswax. Because of a very, very long fermentation, this is a silky and mouth filling wine with subtle yeasty brioche-like undercurrents. The acid in the wines gives a lovely tension and focus that lifts the flavors, adding poise to their lush purity. Both long and broad on the palate, it glides to a floral and orchard fruit finish that goes on and on.

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

F & G Vineyard Pinot Blanc 2019

Arroyo Seco · United States

$35

Winemaker’s Notes:

The 2019 F&G Vineyard Pinot Blanc is pale yellow in color, highlighted by aromas of paperwhites, melon, and pear. These aromas are complemented on the palate by the complex flavors of ripe Fuji apple and Meyer lemon, with creamy texture and a long finish.

 

Lang & Reed

Mendocino Chenin Blanc 2019

Mendocino · United States

$30

Winemaker’s Notes:

This Lang & Reed 2019 Chenin Blanc initially displays aromatic notes of linden blossom, white peach, and wildflower honey. Energetic fruit that mirrors the peach aromas unfolds on the palate with rounding flavors of white melon. The finish exhibits quiet confidence throughout the length of its smooth texture and very long-lasting flavors with just a hint of minerality. The wine, lifted and satisfying, possesses enough depth to gain complexity and nuance with a few years of cellaring.

 

Longboard Vineyards

Rochioli Vineyard Chardonnay 2019

Russian River Valley · United States

$48

Winemaker’s Notes:

For those of us who dislike big buttery Chardonnays but want something better than a tank fermented simple wine. This comes from the legendary Rochioli Family Vineyard, 100% clone 76, totally au-naturale, fermented by our “Resident” yeast.

 

Marshall Davis

Chardonnay 2018

Yamhill-Carlton District · United States

$40

Winemaker’s Notes:

The 2018 Vintage is our third Estate Chardonnay vintage from our own Marshall Davis Vineyard. This wine is 100% oaked, but maintains nice acid, minerality, and brightness. True Oregon style. Just how Mom likes it!

 

Bryn Mawr Vineyards

Estate Chardonnay 2018

Eola-Amity Hills · United States

$40

Winemaker’s Notes:

Light straw yellow in color, with a complex and alluring nose. Notes of honeycomb, sweet lemon, and brioche harmonize with an earthy fresh straw and captivating flint note. The palate is light-footed and elegant, showing restraint and lovely midpalate silkiness. A touch of gingersnap passes through, as the finish comes to a clean and energetic close.

 

Talbott

Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Chardonnay 2017

Santa Lucia Highlands · United States

$42

Winemaker’s Notes:

The 2017 Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay opens with aromas of Pink Lady apple, Bosc pear, pineapple and tropical fruit with a hint of brioche. These juicy tropical and stone fruit flavors continue on the palate along with accents of hard spices, vanilla and brown sugar. The mouthfeel is opulent and rich with a nimble and lively intensity. The finish is elegant with a creamy texture from extended lees contact and barrel aging which gives way to zesty acidity that keeps the wine clean and refreshing. This is our classic bottling from Sleepy Hollow Vineyard drawn from our favorite blocks ranging from 8-45 years old.

 

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

October Night Chardonnay 2019

Arroyo Seco · United States

See Also

$25

Winemaker’s Notes:

This unique Chardonnay blend provides balanced and complex flavors of ripe orange, orange marmalade, and white peaches, with a rich midpalate and a hint of toasted oak on the long finish.

 

Beringer

Luminus Chardonnay 2019

Oak Knoll District · United States

$39

Winemaker’s Notes:

Luminus, meaning “light” in Latin, naturally represents the radiance of this exceptional Chardonnay. Like the brightness and purity the name conjures, Chardonnay from the Oak Knoll district is distinct for its uncommon focus. Big Ranch Vineyard offers fruit known for its elegance and balance. It’s an acid driven, crisp and pleasing, food-friendly style of Chardonnay.

 

Knights Bridge

KB Chardonnay 2019

Knights Valley · United States

$39.99

Winemaker’s Notes:

Precision and freshness define the aromas of chilled Anjou pear, French pastry dough, and orange blossom honey. Bracing and racy flavors of Asian pear, honey, and white tea are all supported by underlying minerality. Try pairing this poised and elegant wine with roasted chicken, grilled halibut with lemon and rosemary, or chilled salmon with dill and crème fraîche. 

 

La Crema

Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2019

Sonoma Coast · United States

$23

Winemaker’s Notes:

Aromas of Meyer lemon, gala apple, and Jasmine are followed by flavors of pear, Cara Cara orange, and lemon meringue pie. On the palate, the wine is concentrated and juicy with a lingering finish.

 

Dutton-Goldfield

Shop Block Pinot Blanc 2020

Green Valley of Russian River Valley · United States

$30

Winemaker’s Notes:

The 2020 growing season was fairly beautiful, if you take the fires out of the mix. After an early start due to our dry February, the weather continued to be moderate throughout the spring and summer. Things heated up a bit in late August, but just as quickly cooled, pushing the need to pick back off. Thankfully, white grapes aren’t susceptible to smoke the way Pinot Noir is, partially due to the fact that the juice is pressed from the grapes immediately upon receipt at the winery, so any residue on the skins is left behind. Our 2020 Pinot Blanc leads with super fresh white peach aromas—you can almost smell the fuzz on the peach. Bartlett pear, lily of the valley, and pink grapefruit zest round out the nose. The mouth is bright with lemon verbena and yuzu, rounded off with creamier notes of honeydew melon.

 

Ernest Vineyards

Edaphos Alder Springs Vineyard Petite Arvine 2019

Mendocino County · United States

$42

Winemaker’s Notes:

Brilliant pale white gold in color with fresh, bright aromas of chamomile and jasmine to dried apricots and apple chips. Silky texture with pronounced acidity balances with flower and fruit flavors. A rare grape for California, it originally hails from the Vallais region of Switzerland.

 

Hartford Court

Four Hearts Vineyard Chardonnay 2019

Russian River Valley · United States

$50

Winemaker’s Notes:

This highly textured wine displays aromas of yellow apple, honeysuckle and tangerine skin.  Fresh flavors of Granny Smith apple and Meyer lemon are intertwined with layers of spice and crystallized ginger. A rich and weighty mid-palate is followed by a very long exotic, mineral-infused finish.

 

Spottswoode

Sauvignon Blanc 2019

North Coast · United States

$42

Winemaker’s Notes:

This Sauvignon Blanc jumps out of the glass with pink grapefruit, Asian pear, white peach, lemon oil, lime leaf, and lemongrass aromatics. The palate confirms the nose and is extremely bright and tense, showing great balance. Bright guava, juicy stone fruit, and hints of pineapple pair with a grapefruit acidity that lead to a long finish. Frequent lees bâtonnage adds a level of creaminess and more layers of complexity. Showing beautifully now, this wine also has the structure and sophistication to age gracefully for enjoyment in the future.

 

Domaine Serene

Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay 2018

Dundee Hills · United States

$65

Winemaker’s Notes:

The 2018 vintage of this acclaimed wine perfectly showcases the best of each vineyard that goes into the compelling blend. An enticing tropical medley of kiwi and yellow peach act as the melody, with high notes of white flower and fresh linen. The oak treatment is flawlessly integrated, with a lingering minerality and salinity completing the symphony. This wine will certainly deserve a place in the cellar of the discerning collector of fine Chardonnays.

 

Broc Cellars

Love White 2020

California · United States

$22

Winemaker’s Notes:

The grapes were harvested in August to help preserve their natural acidity. All varieties were fermented separately then aged in neutral French oak barrels with no S02. Bottled in January. Malolactic fermentation was allowed to happen naturally. In 2018 we added Picpoul to the Love White blend – adding more brightness. The Picpoul grapes come from vines that we grafted onto Roussanne vines at Love Ranch a few years ago. The cuttings came from Rorick Vineyard.

 

Sonoma Cutrer

Sonoma Coast 2019

Sonoma Coast · United States

$30

Winemaker’s Notes:

This vintage of Sonoma Coast is a beautiful pale, medium straw color. As you pour, you are greeted with stone fruit aromas of white peach and nectarine along with scents of juicy melon combining with oak spice hints of vanilla, toasted nuts, light caramel and subtle notes of cinnamon. The creamy richness of this wine boasts flavors of ripe pear and peach that give it an elegant, beautiful balance that is seamless from start to finish. Our V’19 Sonoma Coast is mouth-filling with lots of finesse that leads to a lush finish. The balanced vibrant acidity and long barrel spice finish round out a nice length of flavor.

 

La Perrière

Sancerre Blanc 2019

Sancerre · France

$39

Winemaker’s Notes:

The dress is yellow with gray highlights. The nose is intense, with notes of yellow peaches, mangoes, lemon, and also a hint of flowers, acacia and elderberry. The palate opens fully, suave and rich, then develops in persistent exotic fruits and citruses The finish is fresh and pleasant, on orange zests. This wine will pair with fish in buttery sauce or creamy poultry dishes.

 

Stags’ Leap

Chardonnay 2019

Napa Valley · United States

$32

Winemaker’s Notes:

This Chardonnay is a story of balance, a delicious intersection of richness and minerality that benefits from the classical standard of viticulture, care of the land, and winemaking that is as relevant today as it was in 1893 when Stags’ Leap Winery celebrated its first vintage.

 

Ehlers Estate

Sauvignon Blanc 2019

St. Helena · United States

$35.00

Winemaker’s Notes:

The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc showcases aromas of Meyer lemon zest, peach blossom, and stone fruit. The citrus and vanilla bean notes carry through to the palate, where the vibrant acidity is balanced by a rounded mouthfeel and a white peach finish. This is the first year that Winemaker Laura Díaz Muñoz used a combination of concrete egg, new French oak and stainless steel for the fermentation and aging of the Sauvignon Blanc at Ehlers Estate. The result is outstanding and complex. 

 

Sonoma Cutrer

The Cutrer 2018

Russian River Valley · United States

$35

Winemaker’s Notes:

The Cutrer is always a rich, complex wine and, this particular vintage, is even more so! Imagine walking into a baker’s kitchen and smelling a warm fruit pie fresh from the oven. Those delectable aromas are waiting in your glass with integrated oak notes of caramel, pie crust, ripe peach, nougat, brown sugar and honeysuckle floral notes. Layers of white peach andpear, light vanilla, roasted nuts and baking spice fill your mouth with the first sip. This wine is a beautiful balance between a lovely mid-palate creaminess with bright acidity and a long(very), mouthwatering finish. The Cutrer appeals to wine lovers who enjoy a creamier, rounder Chardonnay with more oak influence and this vintage is exceptional.

 

Daniel Bouland

Beaujolais Blanc 2019

Beaujolais · France

$25

Winemaker’s Notes:

White wine. Morgon, Beaujolais, France. Sustainable. 100% Chardonnay. A classic, easy-going Beaujolais Chardonnay with a broad nose, clean, round flavors of pear and apple; and light herbal notes. A spectacular pairing with herb-crusted pork tenderloin.

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