A hot spell hit Southern California in mid-September, so the outdoor entertaining continued, as did the search for values in Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and other white wines. We have consistent easy-sipping favorites, such as Hess, Artesa and Wente from California and St. Veran and Rully from France. We found a few new brands in searching the bargain aisles of wine shops and supermarkets, many under $15. Here are a few notes of the best from the Twitter stream, with a few more expensive wines for variety.
Party Sonoma Chardonnay ’11 Shiloh Road $10. Toasty, tropical, stone fruit nose; mid-body, soft acids, fruity finish. w/munchies.
Value Sonoma Chardonnay ’12 Longhand $13. Tropical, peachy nose; mid-body; semi-fat; soft finish. w/cheeses, breads
Picnic Chardonnay ’13 Beringer Carneros $13. Citrus, mineral, flowery nose; mid-body, balanced; semi-crisp finish. w/seafood salad.
Clean FR Chardonnay ’13 Jean Loron Vire-Clesse $13. Nutty mineral varietal nose; tight, good acids; full finish; Chard flavor. w/cockles
Balanced Carneros Chardonnay ’12 Clos Pegase Reserve $14. Clean varietal nose; minerals; stone fruit; mid-body; fruity finish. w/shrimp
Fruity Santa Maria Chardonnay ’12 Cambria $14. Weedy varietal nose; fat, semi-unctuous on the palate. w/cheeses, gamey fish
Chablis-like Napa Chardonnay ’11 Stony Hill SHV $24. Distinct varietal nose; minerals; mid-body; good acids; crisp finish. w/clams
Complex Carneros Chardonnay ’11 Pine Ridge $27. Stone fruit, mineral, wood nose; mid-body; acids softening; long tasty finish. w/swordfish
Party sipping Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc ’13 Simi $8. Clean SB nose; light citrus; decent acids; fruity finish. w.dips, cheeses
Easy sipping French Sauv Blanc ’13 Quincy, Pierre Duret $12. Flowery, light grassy nose; mid-body, soft, round, good flavor. w/munchies.
Consistent value Napa Sauvignon Blanc ’13 Ferrari Carano $13. Light citrus, new mown hay nose; good acids, balanced fruity finish. w/clams
Balanced Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc ’12 Corvalle $14. New mown hay herbaceous nose; mid-body; semi-unctuous fruity finish. w/fish
Evolving Yountville Sauvignon Blanc ’13 Silverado $20, Light, new mown hay nose; mid-soft body; semi-crisp; varietal, fruity finish. w/cheeses
Fruity Loire Sauvignon Blanc ’12 Menetou-Salon La Dame de Chatenoy $20. Herbaceous mineral nose; mid-body; semi-crisp; full finish. w/crab
Easy sipping Ore. Pinot Gris ’13 Willamette Valley Vineyard $13. Fruity, steely nose; mid-light body, soft finish. w/appetizers, salads.