From some 300 white wines tasted over the past few months, we found about 5 percent rising to the top as best values and food-friendly finds from several countries and worth tweeting about. For your tasting pleasures, here are the highlights:


  • Party/picnic Chardonnay ’10 Donovan-Parke $8. Peachy, tropical nose; round, quaffable, semi-crisp. Fruity finish.
  • Value Mendoza Chardonnay ’11 Tapiz $9. Light varietal, oak, tropical nose; mid-body, decent acids; fruity finish. w/appetizers
  • Crisp low-priced Santa Barbara Chardonnay ’10 Babcock $10. Light varietal nose, stone fruit, tropical; round, good acids, fruity finish. w/chicken
  • Party hearty Sonoma Chardonnay ’11 Coppola Directors $10. Weedy varietal nose; soft, fat, quaffable. w/munchies, schmoozing
  • Seafood friendly value Chardonnay ’11 Raymond $13. Toasty, tropical, varietal nose; mid-body, good acids; long fruity, crisp finish
  • Quaffable party Chardonnay ’10 Longhand Sonoma Coast $13. Tropical ripe grape nose; soft, fat, low acids, easy sipping. w/munchies
  • Tasty St. Veran ’10 Drouhin $14. Clean Chardonnay nose, stone fruit; mid-body; semi-crisp; fruity finish. w/appetizers
  • Food-friendly Russian River Valley Chardonnay ’10 White Oak $20. Toasty oaky nose (aged sur lie); semi-crisp, fruity finish, oaky. w/fish
  • Crisp Chablis-like Mt. Veeder Chardonnay ’10 Mayacamas $30. No malo; light oak; stone fruit, mineral nose; balanced fruity finish. w/fish.
  • Tasty Santa Maria Valley Chard ’11 Rusack Reserve $32. Varietal nose,light oak; round, ripe (14.4 alc.), long fruity finish. w/halibut.
  • Complex Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ’11 Patz & Hall $35. Vanilla (40% new Fr. oak) citrus Chard nose; semi crisp, fat fruity finish. w/halibut
  • Older Sonoma Chardonnay treat w/scallops ’06 Hanzell $45. French oak nose, honey, stone fruit; mid-body; soft, long fat oaky finish.

Sauvignon Blanc

  • Balanced Santa Barbara Sauvignon Blanc ’11 Rusack $17. Light varietal nose, pears, stone fruit; mid-body, long fruity finish. w/clams.
  • Dependable Marlborough Sauv Blanc ’12 Kim Crawford $10. Classic citrus, grapefruit nose; tight, crisp, good fruit and finish. w/clams
  • Stellenbosch find Warwick Professor Black ’11 Sauvignon Blanc $12. Clean varietal nose; not overpowering; mid-body; decent acids; fruity finish. w/appetizers, cheeses
  • Crisp Mt. Veeder Sauvignon Blanc ’11 Mayacamas $25. Steely, melon, citrus nose; fine acid/fruit balance; mid-viscosity. w/clams, oysters

Viognier, Blends

  • Fruity Aussie spring picnic/party white ’10 D’Arenberg Hermit Crab $10. Viognier/Marsanne blend. Peachy nose; soft fat finish
  • Fruity Santa Barbara Viognier ’11 Fess Parker $22. Stone fruit, nutmeg nose; mid-body, good acids, long fruity finish. w/seafood salad
  • Tasty Oregon Pinot Gris ’09 Anderson Family $24. Clean stone fruit nose; mid-body, mid-acids; fine fruity finish. w/munchies, just sipping