Summer time is lighter wine time for most of us and I’ve definitely been going down that path in recent weeks.
The more wine I’ve consumed in recent years, the more I’ve come to appreciate really well-made whites. I might argue the learning curve is accelerated because of the red wine dominance on my wine rack. Many will disagree, but for me it’s a little easier to identify the characteristics of red wine. White and Rose’ is more nuanced.
Enough of the geeky stuff. Here are three easy-to-find wines I purchased in Central Indiana – all under $20.
Clayhouse Adobe White – The Adobe line of Clayhouse wines from California’s Paso Robles are really great value wines. I just received samples of the 2011 vintage with a couple bottles I’ve not previously sampled. These wines clearly taste above the price point, are nicely balanced, and are available at great prices. The suggested retail on the entire line is $14 or $15.
The tasty blend is 49 percent Viognier, 26 percent Sauvignon Blanc, 19 percent Grenache Blanc, and 6 percent Princess. Princess is often called a table grape and is said to resemble Muscat in flavor. It was a new one for me. I have found Viognier I’ve loved and hated – it’s very floral and fruity normally. I remember last year’s Adobe White and was put off just a bit by the Viognier. The 2011 blend is a perfect mix.
The wine has floral, identifiable orange, peach, and honey flavors. Portions of this wine are barrel fermented, but not aged, resulting in a real creamy feel on the palate. The alcohol comes in at 12.8 percent.
Simply, this is a great summer sipper or white for lighter meals.
Clayhouse Adobe White, SRP $14, Trade Sample, Highly Recommended
Arona 2010 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – Sauv Blanc from New Zealand often takes a hit for the big acid, over-the-top fruit, and that ‘grassy thing” many wine drinkers don’t like.
Check out Arona Sauv Blanc if you are one of those folks. I tried this wine at a tasting conducted by Derek Gray of Graybull Wines. I loved it.
This wine is much lighter on the palate than many NZ Sauv Blancs. It still had the crisp acidity which would make it perfect for lighter seafood dishes, particularly white fish. Think passion fruit, pineapple, and aroma-pleasing citrus.
If you like NZ and California Sauvignon Blanc but want a bit lighter mouth feel, grab a bottle of Arona.
Arona 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, $13.99, I bought this wine at Mass. Ave. Wine Shop in Indy. Highly Recommended.
Gerard Bertrand 2010 Gris Blanc Rose’ – I’ve been on a real Rose’ kick and this one is different as they come. First, Gerard Bertand is one of the most respected winemakers in Southern France. His wines offer great value for the price point.
This wine is a blend of Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris. Most notably, is the very – very pale – salmon color often associated with Provence’s fine Rose’ wines.
I got peach and maybe hint of a red raspberry. The wine is lighter on the palate than many but it does have pretty serious acidity. It’s also seriously dry Rose’. It would be another choice for white fish, shell fish, or a summer salad.
I picked up this unique Rose’ at Vine and Table in Carmel.
Gerard Bertrand 2010 Gris Blanc Rose, $13.99, Recommended.
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