The following white wines rose to the top of our tasting leaderboard the past three months, scoring for overall quality of the wines and values delivered. Most are widely available, except for classics from the cellar and enjoyed at organizational tastings. Sources were warehouse stores, supermarkets, on-line flash sale sites and traditional merchants. Prices are what we paid at the time and can vary considerably, depending upon where you live, the distribution chain and state taxes, among other things. Wines are listed by price, from low to high. Enjoy!
- Great value in California Chardonnay 2018 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve, $11. Sharp mid-gold; mid-viscosity; floral, honeysuckle, peachy, light wood nose; mid-body, mid-acids; long semi-lush finish (hints of residual sugar?). w/appetizers, party and picnic wine. 15.5 UC Davis scale, 89 other scales.
- Sonoma Coast $14 Chardonnay 2018 Cline Cellars. Light-mid green gold; toasty, buttery, ripe grape nose; mid-body; fat, round, ripe; long hot (13.5 alc.) finish. For those who like the style. w/appetizers, party sipping. 15/88.
- $15 Edna Valley, Calif., Chardonnay, 2017 True Myth Paragon Vineyard. Sharp mid-dark gold; toasty, vanilla, ripe peach, honeysuckle nose; mid-body; mid-acids and viscosity; long semi-lush tropical finish. w/breads, cheeses. 15.5/89.
- $16 Napa Chardonnay 2017 Cuvaison Carneros. Darkest gold; stone fruit, tropical, oak nose, light oxidation; mid-body; soft acids; long fat buttery finish; a touch hot (14.1 alc.). w/cheeses, appetizers. 16/90.
- $20 Monterey County, Calif. Chardonnay 2017 Mer Soleil Chardonnay Reserve Santa Lucia Highlands. Mid-green gold; high viscosity; ripe grape, tropical vanilla nose; mid-body (14.5 alc.); distinct Chardonnay fruit; long fat buttery finish. w/cheeses, breads. 16/90.
- $21 Carneros Calif. Chardonnay 2018 Pine Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay Dijon Clones. Similar to previous note. Sharp mid-gold; peach, tropical fruit, vanilla, toast, wine lees nose; mid-body; mid-acids; balanced; long fruity, semi-lush finish; hints of peach and wood. w/crab cakes. 16/90.
- 2019 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc California $13. Light-mid straw gold; herbaceous, citrus nose; mid-body, acids, fruit; not deep; decent fruit; semi-long slightly hot (13.9 alc.) finish. w/appetizers. 15/88.
- $17 Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Chalk Hill (Estate). Sharp mid-green gold; citrus, boxwood, grapefruit nose; mid-body; mid-plus acids; nice fruit; long crisp citric finish. w/shellfish, seafood appetizers. 16/90.
- North Coast Calif. 2018 Clay Shannon Sauvignon Blanc Betsy’s Vineyard, $20. Sharp pale-green gold; grapefruit, citrus, lemon peel and boxwood nose; mid-body; mid-plus acids and alcohol (13.8); long crisp fruity finish. w/appetizers, cheeses. 16/90.
- $20 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Loveblock Vintners Ltd Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough. Sharp mid-green gold; complex citrus, grapefruit, light floral, mineral nose; mid-body; mid-acids and viscosity (13.0 acids); long crisp fruity finish. w/shrimp appetizers, shellfish. 16/90.
- 2019 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc $42. Napa 63%, Sonoma 37%, Sharp mid-yellow gold; varietal nose; herbaceous, grapefruit, lime; mid body; mid-plus acids; tight and tart; needs time to become more balanced. w/seafood appetizers. 16/90.
- $10 Oregon Riesling 2019 A to Z Wineworks. Sharp mid-dark gold; green apple, lime nose; mid-body; balanced; light acids; round, soft, easy-sipping finish (some residual sugar?). w/pot stickers, sushi. 14.5/87.
- 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.
- 2018 Domaine de la Villaudière Sancerre $16. Sharp mid-gold; citrus, grapefruit, light slate nose; mid-body; balanced; mid-acids; long semi-crisp finish. w/shellfish. 16/90.
- South Australia summer sipping wine 2019 Yalumba Viognier The Y Series $11. Sharp yellow gold; floral, tropical fruit, kiwi nose; mid-body/acids; some residual sugar (?); short fruity semi-crisp finish. 14.5/87.
- $12 Mosel, Germany, summer sipping wine, 2018 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.
- $13 Calif. Gewurztraminer 2019 Husch Vineyards “Dry” Anderson Valley. Sharp, light-mid straw gold; citrus, lychee, green apple, floral nose; mid-body; mid-plus acids; good fruit; crisp green apple, grapefruit finish. w/sushi. 16/90.
- 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.). 16/90. w/appetizers.
- Sonoma Chardonnay from old vines. 2013 Hanzell Estate. Sharp mid-gold; honey suckle, stone fruit, vanilla, wine lees nose; mid-body; softening acids; long rich lush finish. As noted before, Meursault-like. w/halibut. 17-17.5/92-93.
- 2009 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos du Cailleret ($50 in 2014). Mid-dark gold; honey, vanilla, light oxidative nose; mid-body; balanced; older fruit; softening acids; oak-forward, deep, semi-lush finish. w/sea bass. 16.5-17/91-92.
- Classic Meursault 2009 Domaine Latour-Giraud Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières Cuvée des Pierre. Sharp mid-gold; vanilla, butterscotch, stone fruit, citrus and honey nose; mid-plus acids; mid-plus body; rich fruit; long, oaky, lush and slightly hot (14.0 alc.) finish. 17/92.
- 2012 Domaine de la Vougeraie Corton-Charlemagne Le Charlemagne. Light-mid gold; vanilla, honeysuckle, wine lees, nutmeg, light oxidative nose; round, ripe, deep; mid-acids; honey, fruit and wood on the palate; long rich deep finish. w/swordfish. 17.5-18/93-94.
- Elegant 2014 Napa Chardonnay, Spring Mountain District, from boutique Stony Hill $48. Mid-dark gold; honey suckle, stone fruit, citric nose; mid-body; softening; round, ripe, good fruit, elegant long semi-lush finish. w/sea bass. 16.5-17/91-92.
- 2015 Stony Hill Chardonnay, Classic vineyards. Sharp mid-gold; honey, pear, vanilla nose; mid-body; balanced; starting to soften; long semi-lush fruity finish. w/swordfish. 17-17.5/92-93.
- 2015 Hanzell Estate. Sharp mid-gold; vanilla, ripe peach, butterscotch nose; mid-body; balanced; fine acids; long semi-crisp, lush finish (14.1 alc.), hint of wood. w/sea bass. 16.5-17/91-92.
- 2016 Stony Hill Chardonnay Wellspring, Napa Valley. Sharp mid-dark gold; light honey, stone fruit nose; mid-body; balanced; good Chardonnay fruit; hints of oak; long semi-crisp finish. 16-16.5/90-91.
- Nicely evolving 2016 Domaine Matrot Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières. Sharp mid-green gold; honey, vanilla, peach and floral nose; mid-body; mid-plus acids; complex fruit and wood on the palate; long lush finish. w/swordfish. 17-17.5/92-93.