Lots of new releases are coming in for spring, and we’ll feature some of the best of them in coming weeks, starting with these three top white-wine values.
An Argentine blend: The native Torrontés is Argentina’s most important white, and Trivento’s 2009 Amado Sur is the name of a winning blend of 75 percent torrontés, 15 percent viognier and 10 percent chardonnay from the Mendoza region. It’s highly aromatic with flowers and herbs, the signature of Torrontés, and the tastes are dominated by citrus notes, mainly orange and lime, with touches of vanilla and white pepper. It’s fresh and interesting, well priced at $15 and will match well with simple fish and shellfish dishes. Try it with ceviche. Imported by Excelsior Wine & Spirits, Old Brookville, New York.
An Italian chardonnay: Tormaresca’s 2008 Chardonnay from Puglia in southern Italy is superb at $12. With tastes of green apple, lemon-lime, a little sage, vanilla and wood, this is a great chardonnay for informal drinking that will also pair with a wide range of foods. In fact, with its subtle complexity, I think it will fool a good number of people into thinking it’s a more expensive chardonnay when served at an elegant dinner with, say, a first-course soup pureed from freshly picked asparagus. It’s notable as well for its refreshing underlying acidity and modest alcohol of 12.5 percent. Imported by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Woodinville, Washington.
A Washington riesling: Some of the most exciting rieslings being made in this country come from Washington state. As I noted here recently, Pacific Rim is in the forefront with its range of rieslings. Another welcome addition is the Cupcake Vineyards’ 2009 Dry Riesling from the Columbia Valley. This classy $15 wine is very dry indeed and shows notes of tropical fruit, pear, lime and lime peel and has an unusually long finish. It will pair well with grilled chicken, vegetables and seafood and is delightful on its own. (Wines received as press samples.)