Tuesday, May 31, 2005

ABC summer whites

Are you looking for some nice ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) summer whites?

I am increasingly enjoying white wines that are aromatic, crisp and fresh and made from indigenous grape varietals. They are teasing our palate with flavors that are different but unique.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a white varietal primarily grown around the Tuscan town of San Gimignano and considered to be one of Italy's finest white grape. As part of a recent tasting of the wines of Tuscany, I tried the 2002 Teruzzi & Puthod Terre di Tufi. A blend of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Chardonnay, Malvasia and Trebbiano, the wine displayed aromas of citrus, white blossom and honeydew melon. On the palate, it had a generous full-bodied mouthfeel with a fresh and lively finish.

Chenin Blanc is a varietal that originates from the Loire Valley and was introduced in South Africa in the seventeenth century. The quality of the wines of South Africa has greatly improved recently and the country produces now very exciting wines. I enjoyed drinking the 2003 Rudera Chenin Blanc, a wine with an attractive golden color and a nose of white blossom and pear aromas. On the palate, it was fresh and subtle with almond notes, leaving additional mineral flavors on the finish.

Torrontés, a little-known Spanish white varietal that is thriving in Argentina makes uncomplicated wines perfect for summer sipping. The 2004 Dominio del Plata Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontés had a very aromatic nose with white peach and floral aromas. The palate was simple but clean with fresh grapey aromas.

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