10 great whites for spring


The snowstorm that blanketed New York City and much of the northeast this week notwithstanding, there is good reason to think about the white wines we want to drink when the warmer weather of spring finally arrives. For one thing, nothing says spring like the move to daylight saving time, no matter what the thermometer of the back porch is telling you.

With warmer days in mind, I've put together a wish list of 10 white wines that offer a range of flavors and interesting complexities without being overwrought or heavy. In other words, perfect for spring sipping. In alphabetical order: 

Baileyana 2014 Grand Firepeak Chardonnay, Edna Valley ($28) shows the skill of winemaker Christian Roguenant with a grape that is easily abused. Roguenant, French by birth, approaches chardonnay with European sensibilities. This one is richly layered without losing its nervy acidity. The use of oak aging is well measured, with everything in perfect balance. 

Cakebread 2014 Chardonnay, Napa Valley ($37) is the preference of many over the winery's more expensive reserve chardonnay. That's because it has a lighter touch of oak and is crisper on the palate. This well-balanced beauty is one of the most elegant chardonnays produced in the Napa Valley. It may not have the heft of the Cakebread Reserve, but it is every bit as satisfying. 

Colome 2016 Torrontes, Estate, Salta, Argentina ($15) is light and refreshing with floral aromatics and an exceptional persistence on the palate for such an easygoing wine. Torrontes was once an unimpressive wine that seemed to have little character save for its nose of jasmine and lilacs. Better care in the vineyard and the winery have made this a distinctive wine that now looms as Argentina's finest white. 

Eberle 2015 Viogner, Paso Robles ($26) is consistently one of the finest Viogniers produced in California. It's loaded with aromas of fresh peach and apricot, with a touch of spice and a subtle floral note. Unlike many other Viogniers made in California, it is structured and refreshing despite its obvious richness. 

Handley 2015 Gewurztraminer, Anderson Valley ($22) offers up notes of spice, honeysuckle and rose petal, with mouthwatering acidity and outstanding persistence of flavor through the finish. This is one of my favorite wines with sushi. It's an excellent example of the success of the Alsace grape varieties in the cool Anderson Valley. 

J Vineyards 2015 Pinot Gris, California ($18) is a crowd-pleaser that offers up notes of citrus and stone fruits with mouthwatering acidity and a clean finish that begs another sip. Remarkably well-balanced and always inviting, it's the closest thing I have to a house white wine in the spring and summer months. 

Navarro Vineyards 2015 Riesling, Anderson Valley ($19.50) is right up your alley if you are looking for superb complexity without going down the heavier path of chardonnay. Navarro's dry riesling exhibits juicy acidity combined with inviting minerality and luscious fruit aromas. One of California's finest rieslings in this style. 

Pieropan 2015 Soave DOC, Italy ($20) is a fantastic example of the strides made by Soave producers over the past two decades. With refreshing acidity and inviting notes of citrus and stone fruit, this is a beautifully balanced Soave that will make every spring day seem more refreshing. I'm old enough to remember drinking Soave that was so thin it was like drinking water. No more. This wine is a world-class white. 

Ranchero Cellars 2015 'Chrome' Grenache Blanc, Paso Robles ($28) isn't the easiest wine to find because winemaker Amy Butler has developed quite a following for her Rhone-style wines from Paso Robles. She usually sells out of everything quickly. This is the finest grenache blanc around, lush, well-balanced and complex, with green fruit notes of pear and citrus. 

Zocker 2015 Gruner Veltliner, Paragon Vineyard, Edna Valley ($20) is another stunning wine from the Frenchman, Christian Roguenant. Gruner is an Austrian grape variety not widely planted in the United States, but the Zocker would seem to be evidence that it has tremendous potential here. It's known for its firm acidity and peppery notes, with hints of green fruits. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Cooking and Recipes

9 metro Atlanta bars serving up hot cocktails this season
9 metro Atlanta bars serving up hot cocktails this season

From the classic hot toddy to mulled wine to wassail, here are nine Atlanta bars doling out warm cups of good cheer this season. Cider and rum wassail from Edgar’s Proof and Provision. Photo courtesy of Proof and Provision Wassail — Victory Sandwich Bar and Edgar’s Proof and Provision Dating back to 5th-century Saxon Britain, wassail...
Where to go in Atlanta to eat out on Christmas
Where to go in Atlanta to eat out on Christmas

This year, start a new tradition: no cooking on Christmas. Perhaps you shopped until you dropped, decked    your house with holiday ornaments, wrapped lots of presents and cooked for the annual office potluck party. If that’s you, you’ve got options. The following nine restaurants will be open for brunch and/or dinner Dec...
Restaurants from two popular eateries to set up shop in Midtown high-rise
Restaurants from two popular eateries to set up shop in Midtown high-rise

A rendering of Modera by Mill Creek — Midtown / Rendering provided by SRS Real Estate Partners A new Midtown high rise will soon be home to eateries from two spots that have already made a splash in metro Atlanta. The 29-story residential high-rise Modera by Mill Creek, located at 95 8th St. NW, will welcome a second metro Atlanta location ...
The team behind Victory Sandwich Bar has a new restaurant in the works
The team behind Victory Sandwich Bar has a new restaurant in the works

The 900 DeKalb development where LLoyd’s will be located. / Rendering from Square Feet Studios   Inman Park’s status as an Atlanta dining destination will soon receive another boost. Victory Brands, the company behind Victory Sandwich Bar , Little Trouble ...
Dolce Italian closing at Shops Buckhead Atlanta
Dolce Italian closing at Shops Buckhead Atlanta

The Dolce dining room One of the first restaurant to open in the Shops Buckhead Atlanta development will close its doors by the end of the year. Dolce Italian, which opened in September 2015 and was the winner of Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” hosted by Tom Colicchio, will close Dec. 30, according to a press release ...
More Stories