Unleashed Chardonnay

  • Producer: Mutt Lynch Winery
  • Location: Sonoma, California
  • Year: 2016
  • Price estimate: $15
  • Tasting notes: Medium yellow in color with a bit of straw tending to clear at the edges. Thicker body and slow legs for a white wine. On the nose, lemon pie, tiny bit of lemon zest, vanilla custard (homemade, not the box stuff – yes, there is a smell difference) and a slight note of slate. Round mouthfeel – borders on buttery, but keeps a step back from that line. Stone fruit is the predominant flavor up front – apricot, nectarine – with a bit of refreshing citrus. Mid-palate has a subtle granite thread that leads to an herbal finish. Not a harsh herb finish, but the kinds of herbs you cook with to add something to the final dish even if you can’t decipher the specific herbs.
  • Conclusions: In general, I shy away from Chardonnay, especially ones that have a rounder mouthfeel. This one has a hint of the California style – big and buttery – but it is restrained and really enjoyable to drink and with food (corn soup and a pasta salad in this case) it shines.
  • Notes: I’m going to have to peruse the spreadsheet and find other wines to drink since the last few have been from the same winery, but we did get our case from them very quickly after we got home, so we’ve been balancing the “save and savor” with the “drink now” feelings. The texture of this wine is the most interesting to me – it is un-oaked but it feels (not tastes) oak aged. To get the texture just right might be super simple, but I’m guessing it is actually really difficult to do and this one nails it. Super smooth with a hint of buttery texture, definite malolactic fermentation. It feels like it could go over the edge with less care and attention, but it doesn’t.

Pinot Blanc Reserve

  • Producer: Gustave Lorentz
  • Location: Alsace, France
  • Year: 2015
  • Price estimate: $15 retail, ($11 on sale from Weekly Tasting)
  • Tasting notes: Light to medium yellow in color. Nose is very light – difficult to find many aromas, but as the wine warms a little some floral notes and lemon curd begin to come through with a tiny bit of fresh apple. The wine is clean and round on the palate with notes of melon, apple, nectarine and white grape. Acidity is nice – not strong, but present. Finish is clean with a decent length. The apple and a little pear come through on the finish.
  • Conclusions: I wasn’t sure what to expect with this wine as I’m not terribly familiar with Pinot Blanc, but it’s good. Refreshing in the “good summer sipper” category of wines, this isn’t something I’m going to hold for a super special occasion, but I’m happy drinking it. This paired well with an Asian dish, and with quinoa tacos and was also pretty good alone. 12.5% ABV
  • imageNotes: When Bob and I went to Sonoma we wanted to focus on Zinfandels, but also look for good whites. We succeeded in finding zin’s that we really loved (you should be seeing some of those posts in the coming months) but we didn’t focus on whites, so when I saw Weekly Tasting was doing an inventory clearance sale, I decided to get a case of whites – things I could drink all summer and not feel the need to ration. I didn’t intend to get the Pinot Blanc, but they sent it instead of a Riesling, which I was totally okay with (seriously, for $11 I’m honestly not going to quibble). I did want to let them know so it wouldn’t impact their inventory or potentially another customer, but they offered to send the Riesling anyway and asked me to keep the Pinot Blanc. This was absolutely unnecessary, but I mention it because this isn’t the first time they have gone out of their way to make something right (the first time it was totally a FedEx issue, but they fixed it for me after I could not get anywhere with FedEx). Good wine, decent prices and fantastic customer service.

The Y Series Chardonnay

  • Producer: Yalumba Family Winemakers
  • Location: South Australia
  • Year: 2018
  • Price estimate: $12
  • Tasting notes: Pale to medium yellow in color. Tropical fruits – pineapple and papaya on the nose. Relatively round mouthfeel but enough acidity to prevent the oily consistency chardonnay can sometimes have. Subtle flavors of peach, apricot, pineapple and lemon are present, but the flavors do not linger.
  • Conclusions: Not bad at all. Chardonnay is not my go-to white wine, but I was intrigued by the bottle at Whole Foods (don’t judge, they had an actual good sale on a few things I use frequently and picking up wine there saved me a trip elsewhere) and decided to try it. It is actually a pretty good wine and one I’m not minding indulging in on a Tuesday evening. 13% ABV
  • Notes: I picked this up as we waited for some of our wine from Sonoma to arrive. Most of what we bought won’t be here until the fall because the temperature are just too high to safely ship, but we did one mixed case with temperature control, so we should have that by the time this posts. I also decided to go for a few whites from Whole Foods because, while I had every intention of trying to focus more on white wine out in California, we ended up loving more reds and picking up many more reds than whites. Next time we go out I’m going to try to seek out producers who specialize in whites if I can.

Desire Lines Cole Ranch Riesling

  • Producer: Desire Line Wine Company
  • Location: Mendocino County, CA
  • Year: 2017
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $22
  • Tasting notes: Medium yellow in color with an aroma of apples, white grape and honeysuckle on the nose. Some of the traditional petrol aroma present, but not prominent. Apple is the dominant flavor in this wine this year, followed by white peach, apricot, and (oddly) a bit of cherry. Nice acidity but not overly harsh. Good finish with some white pepper and tart apple.
  • Conclusions: While not as good as the 2016, this is still a winner in my book. Very apple-y in taste (but I like that) and just a really pleasant wine to drink.
  • Notes: Last year was the first release for this winery and I felt pretty lucky to get some of the first release after I tasted the first bottle. Bob and I liked it so much, we held one bottle of the 2016 to see what it would do in a few years. I’m kind of excited to hold a bottle of the 2017 and do a vertical tasting in a few years. This is assuming that A. I have the space to just store wine that I’m not going to drink and B. I can keep myself from opening the bottle before 2020. Neither is a given.

 

Rivata Prosecco

  • Producer: Rivata
  • Location: Veneto,Italy
  • Year: No Vintage
  • Type: Bubbly – white
  • Price estimate: $11 (Total Wine)
  • Tasting notes:  Very pale straw in color with fine bubbles. Notes of apple on the nose.  Taste is apple, pear and white peach. Some white grape and almond with a nice effervescence. Clean, crisp and dry.
  • Conclusions: I love Prosecco and this one is no exception. Easy to drink with a moderate alcohol content, it’s pretty perfect with our cheese box this month and a little dessert. Would probably work well just for a drink too because you should always drink bubbly just because.
  • Notes: After New Year’s I wanted some bubbly just to have on hand. Every now and then I want sparkling wine just because I like it and it is fun to drink. So, we stopped by Total Wine and picked up a bottle to have on hand, and it worked out rather well. I may need to get some more since at $11 it is about the cheapest wine I drink.

 

Gruber Roschitz, Gruner Veltliner – 2017

  • Basic info: Gruber Roschitz, Gruner Veltliner, Weinviertel, Germany – 2017
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $15 (Total Wine)
  • Look: very pale yellow.
  • Smell: Lemon and apples
  • Taste: Green apple and lemon dominate the first sip. Slate, some saline and white peach in the middle with a great lemon zest finish.
  • Conclusions: This wine was better than expected. It was really enjoyable to sip in the evening and went pretty well with dinner. It sounds super acidic and while there is a good amount of acid in the glass, it is balanced and just a nice sipping wine.
  • Other notes: I picked up this bottle almost entirely for the label. It was a varietal I like and a really cute label, so sure – I’ll try it. I was very pleasantly surprised by it and will definitely pick up another or bottle or two when I want a crisp white wine.
  • From the bottle: “The Weinveirtel is famous for its spicy-fruit Gruner Veltliner. The soil around Roschitz consists largely of loess and granite bedrock and provides a distinctive Gruner Veltliner. It smells like fresh pear, yellow fruit and herbal spice with a peppery feel.” 12% alcohol by volume.

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Barbanera, White Blend – 2015

  • Basic info: Collezione Famiglla Barbanera, “Pian Oro” White blend – Tuscany, Italy, 2015
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $15 (local wine store)
  • Look: pale yellow straw
  • Smell: lemon, honey, pear, cut grass, peach
  • Taste: Soft lemon – not sweet but round and not really tart – apricot, white grape, honey. Lemon candy and peach on the finish.
  • Conclusions: Nice wine. Easy to drink.
  • Other notes: I picked up this bottle because I wanted to try something different and it looked pretty good. It didn’t knock my socks off, but it was a nice wine to have for a few days. It wasn’t my favorite with dinner, but by itself it was good. Given that it is October, I was really hoping for some cooler weather and a good red right about now, but summer is hanging on an 90 plus degree days with high humidity kind of call for white wine.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes.

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