Monday, July 11, 2011

Trio of White Wines for Cool Summer Sipping

When the heat of summer starts melting your house paint, how do you keep your cool? In quest of answers, the Toledo Wines and Vines tasting team sampled a trio of white wines with some bouncy flavors and outstanding value.

The first out of the starting block was the 2010 Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc. We consider Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand a “go to” wine that is ideal for almost any occasion. It matches well with food, can be enjoyed by itself, and has an elegant flavor that pleases novice wine drinkers as well as the most discerning palate.

Our tasting team noted the zing on the tongue and pear and grassy flavors mixed with tropical fruit. This is a dry wine that has a zippy flavor and lingers in the finish. This is a winning wine that costs a mere $15.99.

Our second selection was the non-vintage Evolution white from Oregon’s Sokol Blosser. One of the tasting crew dubbed this a “hairy buffalo” as it is a wild mix of Muller-Thurgau, Riesling, Semillon, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Sylvaner.

This is the 13th edition of this wine and is dubbed “Lucky.” The bottle is covered with quirky sayings that make more sense after you’ve had a couple glasses of vino. One such slogan is “Chill. Sip. Chill.” Not too bad a concept.

The Evolution did indeed evolve for me. There is a complex floral aroma and touch of pepper on the palate. This wine launched a parade of flavors that changed from the first sip onward. This has a light to medium body, making it more interesting than a wimpy Pinot Grigio.

It is finished in stainless steel, so the unique flavors of the whites weren’t masked by oak. The alcohol level is low at 12.2%, making it a good food wine. It blended very well with our beet salad.
Evolution sells for $17.99 and looks like a very good choice for summer parties.

The final member of the summertime trio is the 2009 Bodega Tamari Reserva Torrontes. Torrontes is the most popular white wine in Argentina, where most of the attention is focused on its red counterpart, Malbec.

Tamari means “to be passionate” in the native language of the Hurape in Argentina’s Mendoza region. It comes from the Fatima Valley in La Rioja where the climate is balanced between warm daytime temperatures and a cool-down at night, which brings out the best in Torrontes grapes.

The color is a vivid yellow with green reflections. It sports a medium body and casts off an aroma of white flowers. It has a balanced flavor with a tropical fruitiness and a dash of spice. It is a dry wine but without the minerality of Riesling. It’s a different and tasty sipper that pairs well with seafood, poultry and corn dishes seasoned with basil, curry or mustard. The Tamari sells for $15.

Full disclosure: We received these wines as samples.

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