Wednesday, July 29, 2009

GF’s Hot Hundred mid summer edition

Best case scenario for whites fifteen dollars or less.

2007 Guigal Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc $13.99 Amazing quality of winemaking on the grand scale – nothing new when you consider it’s from Guigal. 2007 was a great year and this CDR blanc has splendid aromatics and mouthfeel and that makes plenty of sense considering the presence of Viognier (aromatics) and Marsanne and Roussanne (texture and mouthfeel).

2007 Jean Rosen Pinot Blanc $12.99 Jean Rosen is a second label (or is it overproduction?) from the illustrious Domaine Paul Blanck. Crisp, correct, fruit-forward, and value-minded, the Jean Rosen pinot blanc is excellent value wine from the Paul Blanck vineyards. Frequently it’s on sale for 9.97 which is practically larceny.

2007 Daniel Pollier St-Veran $14.99 2007 was a delightful vintage in the Macon and Pollier’s St Veran overdelivers. Clean, crisp and taut Chardonnay with limpid gold color, pear and apple aromas brightened by lemon zest. Light-bodied and dry, with firm citrus and orchard fruit flavors, some lees character and a broad, warm finish. Exceptional value.

2008 Chateau La Gatte Bordeaux Blanc $13.99 This Suburban favorite is distinguished by its composition – 70% of Sauvignon Gris, relatively uncommon in the Bdx blanc blend. Rich mouthfeel and texture and a nice core of pear/apple fruit.

2008 Chateau Sainte-Marie Entre-Deux-Mers Bordeaux Blanc $14.99 A more conventional blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle, this has that blindingly fresh and snappy taste profile that makes good Bordeaux blanc so delightful. Plenty of bright, but honeyed around the edges, fruit behind the upfront acids.

2007 Latitude 50 Kabinett Feinherb $14.99 Very fine rendering of Riesling sourced by specialty German importer, Savio “Southbound” Soares. Has the feinherb designation, an off-dry Kabinett style which has the residual and acidity in perfect balance.

2008 Winzer-Krems Gruner Veltliner 1.0 litre $11.99 I love the litre format and this light and brisk Gruner Veltliner has been a summer staple for Suburban for the past few years. Why would anyone drink PG when this can be had for $8.97 most of the time?

2008 Vina Leyda Sauvignon Blanc Classic $11.99 I don’t think many will disagree with me that Chile is the world’s best source for bargain Sauvignon Blanc. There are countless good examples under the ten dollar mark but this Leyda struts its stuff at a higher level. As good as the Leyda valley Pinot Noirs have been, one might think that Leyda Valley has the relatively cool climate factoring into the precision of this SB fruit.

2007 Michel Fonne Grains de Genie $13.99 Lovely Alsace blend of 50% Pinot Blanc and the balance a mix of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer. We are seeing more and more interesting and affordable blends (perhaps inspired by Deiss? At least the interesting part…) coming from Alsace and this is a particularly fine one. The dollop of Gewurztraminer really pops in this wine – aromatically.

2008 Terres Dorees Beaujolais Blanc $14.99 In the early 1990s, Jean-Paul Brun planted 3 hectares of Chardonnay on limestone soil. He has since expanded the production of his well known and sought-after Beaujolais Blanc by contracting grapes from a small number of nearby vignerons. The clay-limestone soil that the Chardonnay grows on is perfect for the grape. The climate, which is a little warmer than the Côte d'Or enables Jean-Paul to produce a rich wine with lots of character. It is bottled completely unoaked. When young, the wine has a very fruity bouquet that becomes more honeyed as the wine matures

2007 Boccadigabbia Ribona Le Grane $14.97 no further discount Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of the Ribona varietal, much less tried one. Lance discovered this one at VinItaly and poured it at our employee picks show and I was duly impressed. It reminded me a lot of Vouvray sec or a dry Chenin Blanc from Touraine. Another feather in the Boccadigabbia cap!

2006 Peter Lehmann Barossa Valley Semillon What a pleasure to drink! Apparently Lehmann pioneered this unique Semillon style – unoaked, lively, zesty, refreshing and crisp with plenty of fruit flavour and great length – and it has proved enormously successful. So much so that it is Australia’s most popular Semillon.
- George Feaver, Wine Director

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