Prices are holding steady for value white wines from California and New Zealand in the under $12 category from the 2008 vintage. Bargain hunters should also be alert to sales. Some wine merchants are unloading white wines from the 2007 vintage as the supply pipeline fills from 2008 and, soon, 2009. We’ve seen clean, well-made Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and blends reduced to $7 to $8 from $10 to $12 at some of the big retailers and big-box discount chains. Here are a few recent finds worth checking out.
Value Chardonnay Ch St Jean 08 Sonoma County $11. Golden; toasty/tropical nose; fat/fruity, soft finish. Bread/cheese/appetizer wine. The 2007 can be found for $9.
Value Calif. Chardonnay w/distinct varietal character 08 Wente Riva Ranch $12. Clean, crisp, no fake oak, long finish. w/seafood, fowl.
Value Calif. Chardonnay 08 Foxglove Central Coast $11. Tropical nose, mid-body to soft, low acids. Party and appetizer/snack wine.
Clean/pure Chardonnay 07 Bichot Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches $60. Classic varietal nose, light French oak; mid body/acids, smooth finish; a beauty. Fish w/caper sauce.
Crisp Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 08 Shoreline $12. 12.5 alc, citrus nose; mid body; good acids; fruity finish. w/shrimp, seafood.
Always good value in Sauvignon Blanc 08 Kenwood Sonoma $9. Clean varietal nose; mid-body; fruity finish. w/clams, ripe/tangy cheeses.