With abundant supplies of fine value Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc wines currently available from all over the world, it is easy to go with those whites as the default choice for summer sipping. For a little exploration, here are recent tasting notes on three aromatic wines (Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris) and one of the world’s most versatile white wine grapes, Chenin Blanc.

We found the wines in the Costco warehouse, local wine merchants, grocery stores and online, so choices abound. For additional adventures, we’ll have notes later on selections from the red wine roads less traveled. Happy exploring!

Chenin Blanc

  • Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2019 Raats Chenin Blanc Original, $12. Light-mid green gold; green apple, pineapple, citrus nose; mid-plus acids; green apples on the palate; long crisp fruity finish. w/shrimp salad. 16/90.
  • Great value $13 Calif. Chenin Blanc 2020 Dry Creek Vineyard Chenin Blanc Dry Clarksburg (Sacramento Delta). Light straw gold; green apple, floral nose, improves with air; mid-body, acids; long round (12.0 alc.) medium plus, crisp citrus finish. w/appetizers. 16/90.

    Dry Creek

  • 2018 Domaine Pichot Vouvray Domaine Le Peu de la Moriette, $16. Sharp mid-straw gold; herbaceous, floral, star jasmine, citrus nose; soft acids; mid-body; fat; good Chenin Blanc fruit (hint of residual sugar?); round, ripe finish (12.0 alc.). w/cheeses, appetizers. 16/90.
  • Loire Valley Chenin Blanc 2018 Vincent and Tania Carême Vouvray Spring $17. Sharp mid-gold; floral, peach, green apple and hay nose; mid-body; off-dry; some residual sugar; soft acids, unlike most Vouvray; long fat finish. w/cheeses, appetizers. 15/88.
  • Baja California, Valle de San Vicente, Mexico 2018 Relieve Vinícola Blanco $18. Chardonnay, 84%; Chenin Blanc, 16%. Sharp mid-dark gold; peachy, apricot, honey, cucumber, and light vegetative nose; mid-body; balanced; good fruit; interesting style; long semi-crisp fruity finish. w/appetizers. 16/90.

Pinot Gris

  • Value California Pinot Grigio 2020 Main & Geary $10. Mid-straw gold; peach, green apple, floral nose; mid-body; decent fruit; long semi-crisp finish. w/appetizers, 14.5 UC Davis scale, 87 other scales.
  • Valdadige, Italian Pinot Gris, 2019 Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, $19. Mid-lemon, green-gold; medium citrus, stone fruit nose; dry; medium acids, body; medium alcohol and body; fruity, medium long citrus finish. w/appetizers. Good to very good, 15.5/89.

Gewurztraminer, Riesling

  • $14 Mosel, Germany, summer sipping wine, 2020 Loosen Bros. Riesling Dr. L. Fresh Riesling nose; citrus, lime zest, white flowers, minerality; mid-body (8.5 alc.); good acids; long semi-crisp fruity finish. w/cheeses, appetizers. 15/88.
  • Aussie Riesling value 2020 Pewsey Vale Vineyard Riesling Eden Valley, $14. Light-mid straw gold; citrus, slate, varietal nose; mid-body; soft acids; good Riesling flavor; soft fruity finish. w/stir fry and pot stickers. 15/88.
  • Alsace 2017 Trimbach Gewurztraminer, $34. Medium yellow gold; medium floral nose; clove, spice, nutmeg; low acids; medium alcohol (14.5); medium fruit, body; dry but leaning to off-dry (hints of R.S.?); medium long fruity finish. Very good quality. w/cheeses. 16/90.
  • Rich Mosel 2019 Bollig-Lehnert Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese, $23. Sharp, mid-dark gold; floral, star jasmine, pineapple, stone fruit nose; mid-plus body; off-dry; mid-acids; mid-plus depth; long, rich stone fruit finish. Very good quality. w/pot stickers and stir fry. 16.5/91.Piesporter