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California White Wines for Sipping


California makes a lot of different varieties of white varietals and white blends, but it is chardonnay that is queen of the pack. It is by far the most-planted grape in California – almost 100,000 acres and counting – and Americans bought a whopping 55 million cases of it last year. Moreover, of all table wines purchased in the United States last year – red or white – one out of every four bottles is a California chardonnay.

In spite of people who rail against chardonnay, it remains capable of making the best and more-variable wines available. Here is a sampling of California chardonnays, with a little company from its friends.

The Other GuysWhite Knight” Lodi Savignon Blanc 2014 ($10). Spicy, fruity with some dried wood notes, moderately heavy, emphasizing sauvignon’s floral side.

The Other Guys “White Knight” Clarksburg Viognier 2014 ($13). A little creamy, but good acidity to balance the floral flavors; also hints of spruce.

Tom Gore California Chardonnay 2014 ($14). A mellow chard of moderate weight with some butter, mint and cream flavors.

Meiomi California Chardonnay 2013 ($18). Green-golden flavors of apple and fresh corn – a mix of Burgundy and California styles.

SLO Down “Broken Dreams” California chardonnay 2013 ($18). Walks the line between being fruity/creamy and smoky/savory.

True Myth “Paragon” Edna Valley Chardonnay 2014 ($18). Mellow green fruits paired with a tart body – also food friendly.

Barrel + Ink “Impressante” California White wine 2014 ($28). Part of a series available on Barrel + Ink’s website pairing a designer with a winemaker. This blend, led by viognier, sauvignon blanc and semillon, is a lot like Bordeaux blend that is good, but not great; harmonious, but not complex.

Clos Pegase “Mitsuko’s Vineyard” Carneros chardonnay 2012 ($30). Buttery, fresh-corn aromas and flavors with soft, rounded floral notes.

Jordan Russian River Chardonnay 2014 ($30). Great food wine – crisp, green fruit with a very lean profile.

Artesa Napa Valley chardonnay 2012 ($40). Very nice, with good balance between apple fruitiness and creamy barrel notes.

La Follette “Sangiacomo” Sonoma Coast chardonnay 2013 ($42). Nice combination of tart, fresh, green apples and creamy oak flavors – very enjoyable.


A California Sauvignon Blanc for Sipping

I’m always on the prowl for well-priced California Sauvignon Blanc. The other day in my local wine shop, I dove into the California selection and was attracted by an offering from Lake County. This wine region, wedged into mountainous terrain north of Napa Valley and east of Mendocino, has long been the home for value brands delivering solid quality-to-price ratios. (Wine giant Kendall-Jackson got its start here.) Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County vineyards is notable for its rich tropical fruit flavors but remains off the radar for most wine drinkers.

Cartlidge & Browne sources fruit from 1,000 acres of vineyards throughout California, including the 28-acre Dancing Crow vineyard. This organically farmed site features clay-based soils and a microclimate moderated by the cooling effects of nearby Clear Lake, California’s largest freshwater body (Lake Tahoe is shared with Nevada).

The grapes for this wine were harvested during the third week of September, and then the juice was fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks, except for 1 percent, which was fermented in oak. Clean and fresh tasting with fig, citrus and pear flavors, this wine offered herbal notes, hints of stone and a rich mouthfeel. I rated it 87 points, non-blind, and it costs $12 a bottle.


A California Sauvignon Blanc for Sipping

I’m always on the prowl for well-priced California Sauvignon Blanc. The other day in my local wine shop, I dove into the California selection and was attracted by an offering from Lake County. This wine region, wedged into mountainous terrain north of Napa Valley and east of Mendocino, has long been the home for value brands delivering solid quality-to-price ratios. (Wine giant Kendall-Jackson got its start here.) Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County vineyards is notable for its rich tropical fruit flavors but remains off the radar for most wine drinkers.

Cartlidge & Browne sources fruit from 1,000 acres of vineyards throughout California, including the 28-acre Dancing Crow vineyard. This organically farmed site features clay-based soils and a microclimate moderated by the cooling effects of nearby Clear Lake, California’s largest freshwater body (Lake Tahoe is shared with Nevada).

The grapes for this wine were harvested during the third week of September, and then the juice was fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks, except for 1 percent, which was fermented in oak. Clean and fresh tasting with fig, citrus and pear flavors, this wine offered herbal notes, hints of stone and a rich mouthfeel. I rated it 87 points, non-blind, and it costs $12 a bottle.


A California Sauvignon Blanc for Sipping

I’m always on the prowl for well-priced California Sauvignon Blanc. The other day in my local wine shop, I dove into the California selection and was attracted by an offering from Lake County. This wine region, wedged into mountainous terrain north of Napa Valley and east of Mendocino, has long been the home for value brands delivering solid quality-to-price ratios. (Wine giant Kendall-Jackson got its start here.) Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County vineyards is notable for its rich tropical fruit flavors but remains off the radar for most wine drinkers.

Cartlidge & Browne sources fruit from 1,000 acres of vineyards throughout California, including the 28-acre Dancing Crow vineyard. This organically farmed site features clay-based soils and a microclimate moderated by the cooling effects of nearby Clear Lake, California’s largest freshwater body (Lake Tahoe is shared with Nevada).

The grapes for this wine were harvested during the third week of September, and then the juice was fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks, except for 1 percent, which was fermented in oak. Clean and fresh tasting with fig, citrus and pear flavors, this wine offered herbal notes, hints of stone and a rich mouthfeel. I rated it 87 points, non-blind, and it costs $12 a bottle.


A California Sauvignon Blanc for Sipping

I’m always on the prowl for well-priced California Sauvignon Blanc. The other day in my local wine shop, I dove into the California selection and was attracted by an offering from Lake County. This wine region, wedged into mountainous terrain north of Napa Valley and east of Mendocino, has long been the home for value brands delivering solid quality-to-price ratios. (Wine giant Kendall-Jackson got its start here.) Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County vineyards is notable for its rich tropical fruit flavors but remains off the radar for most wine drinkers.

Cartlidge & Browne sources fruit from 1,000 acres of vineyards throughout California, including the 28-acre Dancing Crow vineyard. This organically farmed site features clay-based soils and a microclimate moderated by the cooling effects of nearby Clear Lake, California’s largest freshwater body (Lake Tahoe is shared with Nevada).

The grapes for this wine were harvested during the third week of September, and then the juice was fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks, except for 1 percent, which was fermented in oak. Clean and fresh tasting with fig, citrus and pear flavors, this wine offered herbal notes, hints of stone and a rich mouthfeel. I rated it 87 points, non-blind, and it costs $12 a bottle.


A California Sauvignon Blanc for Sipping

I’m always on the prowl for well-priced California Sauvignon Blanc. The other day in my local wine shop, I dove into the California selection and was attracted by an offering from Lake County. This wine region, wedged into mountainous terrain north of Napa Valley and east of Mendocino, has long been the home for value brands delivering solid quality-to-price ratios. (Wine giant Kendall-Jackson got its start here.) Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County vineyards is notable for its rich tropical fruit flavors but remains off the radar for most wine drinkers.

Cartlidge & Browne sources fruit from 1,000 acres of vineyards throughout California, including the 28-acre Dancing Crow vineyard. This organically farmed site features clay-based soils and a microclimate moderated by the cooling effects of nearby Clear Lake, California’s largest freshwater body (Lake Tahoe is shared with Nevada).

The grapes for this wine were harvested during the third week of September, and then the juice was fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks, except for 1 percent, which was fermented in oak. Clean and fresh tasting with fig, citrus and pear flavors, this wine offered herbal notes, hints of stone and a rich mouthfeel. I rated it 87 points, non-blind, and it costs $12 a bottle.


A California Sauvignon Blanc for Sipping

I’m always on the prowl for well-priced California Sauvignon Blanc. The other day in my local wine shop, I dove into the California selection and was attracted by an offering from Lake County. This wine region, wedged into mountainous terrain north of Napa Valley and east of Mendocino, has long been the home for value brands delivering solid quality-to-price ratios. (Wine giant Kendall-Jackson got its start here.) Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County vineyards is notable for its rich tropical fruit flavors but remains off the radar for most wine drinkers.

Cartlidge & Browne sources fruit from 1,000 acres of vineyards throughout California, including the 28-acre Dancing Crow vineyard. This organically farmed site features clay-based soils and a microclimate moderated by the cooling effects of nearby Clear Lake, California’s largest freshwater body (Lake Tahoe is shared with Nevada).

The grapes for this wine were harvested during the third week of September, and then the juice was fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks, except for 1 percent, which was fermented in oak. Clean and fresh tasting with fig, citrus and pear flavors, this wine offered herbal notes, hints of stone and a rich mouthfeel. I rated it 87 points, non-blind, and it costs $12 a bottle.


A California Sauvignon Blanc for Sipping

I’m always on the prowl for well-priced California Sauvignon Blanc. The other day in my local wine shop, I dove into the California selection and was attracted by an offering from Lake County. This wine region, wedged into mountainous terrain north of Napa Valley and east of Mendocino, has long been the home for value brands delivering solid quality-to-price ratios. (Wine giant Kendall-Jackson got its start here.) Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County vineyards is notable for its rich tropical fruit flavors but remains off the radar for most wine drinkers.

Cartlidge & Browne sources fruit from 1,000 acres of vineyards throughout California, including the 28-acre Dancing Crow vineyard. This organically farmed site features clay-based soils and a microclimate moderated by the cooling effects of nearby Clear Lake, California’s largest freshwater body (Lake Tahoe is shared with Nevada).

The grapes for this wine were harvested during the third week of September, and then the juice was fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks, except for 1 percent, which was fermented in oak. Clean and fresh tasting with fig, citrus and pear flavors, this wine offered herbal notes, hints of stone and a rich mouthfeel. I rated it 87 points, non-blind, and it costs $12 a bottle.


A California Sauvignon Blanc for Sipping

I’m always on the prowl for well-priced California Sauvignon Blanc. The other day in my local wine shop, I dove into the California selection and was attracted by an offering from Lake County. This wine region, wedged into mountainous terrain north of Napa Valley and east of Mendocino, has long been the home for value brands delivering solid quality-to-price ratios. (Wine giant Kendall-Jackson got its start here.) Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County vineyards is notable for its rich tropical fruit flavors but remains off the radar for most wine drinkers.

Cartlidge & Browne sources fruit from 1,000 acres of vineyards throughout California, including the 28-acre Dancing Crow vineyard. This organically farmed site features clay-based soils and a microclimate moderated by the cooling effects of nearby Clear Lake, California’s largest freshwater body (Lake Tahoe is shared with Nevada).

The grapes for this wine were harvested during the third week of September, and then the juice was fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks, except for 1 percent, which was fermented in oak. Clean and fresh tasting with fig, citrus and pear flavors, this wine offered herbal notes, hints of stone and a rich mouthfeel. I rated it 87 points, non-blind, and it costs $12 a bottle.


A California Sauvignon Blanc for Sipping

I’m always on the prowl for well-priced California Sauvignon Blanc. The other day in my local wine shop, I dove into the California selection and was attracted by an offering from Lake County. This wine region, wedged into mountainous terrain north of Napa Valley and east of Mendocino, has long been the home for value brands delivering solid quality-to-price ratios. (Wine giant Kendall-Jackson got its start here.) Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County vineyards is notable for its rich tropical fruit flavors but remains off the radar for most wine drinkers.

Cartlidge & Browne sources fruit from 1,000 acres of vineyards throughout California, including the 28-acre Dancing Crow vineyard. This organically farmed site features clay-based soils and a microclimate moderated by the cooling effects of nearby Clear Lake, California’s largest freshwater body (Lake Tahoe is shared with Nevada).

The grapes for this wine were harvested during the third week of September, and then the juice was fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks, except for 1 percent, which was fermented in oak. Clean and fresh tasting with fig, citrus and pear flavors, this wine offered herbal notes, hints of stone and a rich mouthfeel. I rated it 87 points, non-blind, and it costs $12 a bottle.


A California Sauvignon Blanc for Sipping

I’m always on the prowl for well-priced California Sauvignon Blanc. The other day in my local wine shop, I dove into the California selection and was attracted by an offering from Lake County. This wine region, wedged into mountainous terrain north of Napa Valley and east of Mendocino, has long been the home for value brands delivering solid quality-to-price ratios. (Wine giant Kendall-Jackson got its start here.) Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County vineyards is notable for its rich tropical fruit flavors but remains off the radar for most wine drinkers.

Cartlidge & Browne sources fruit from 1,000 acres of vineyards throughout California, including the 28-acre Dancing Crow vineyard. This organically farmed site features clay-based soils and a microclimate moderated by the cooling effects of nearby Clear Lake, California’s largest freshwater body (Lake Tahoe is shared with Nevada).

The grapes for this wine were harvested during the third week of September, and then the juice was fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks, except for 1 percent, which was fermented in oak. Clean and fresh tasting with fig, citrus and pear flavors, this wine offered herbal notes, hints of stone and a rich mouthfeel. I rated it 87 points, non-blind, and it costs $12 a bottle.


Watch the video: France vs California Chardonnay? Comparing Napa vs Burgundy Wine (November 2021).