Some gourmets say white wines are what one drinks while waiting for the reds to be served. As Miss Manners would say, this is incorrect
California’s Sonoma County is well-known for its red wines, and I wrote last week about zinfandels that won gold medals at the recent Sonoma Harvest Fair wine competition in Santa Rosa, Calif.
The five-member judging panel on which I served also tasted some wonderful white wines, and here are some to which we gave gold medals. Incidentally, note the prices. With the exception of the dessert wines, the winning whites are $18 to $26 a bottle. That makes it all the more pleasant to wait for those reds.
• 2011 Geyser Peak River Ranches Sauvignon Blanc, Clock Collection, Russian River Valley: tart flavors of celery and white grapefruit, very crisp; $20. (Best of class.)
• 2011 J. Rickards Winery Sauvignon Blanc, Croft Vineyard, Alexander Valley: sweet, lush, viscous cut-grass flavors, crisp; $18. (Double gold, meaning the vote was unanimous.)
• 2011 Benziger Family Signaterra Sauvignon Blanc, Shone Farm Vineyard, Organic Grapes, Russian River Valley: aromas of camellias, white grapefruit flavors, balanced, crisp; $26. (Double gold.)
• 2010 Martin Ray Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley: aromas and flavors of white grapefruit, green peas and grass, very dry; $20.
• 2011 Mauritson Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley: lean, flavors of gunflint and cut grass, dry and tart; $21.
• 2011 Mill Creek Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley; aromas and flavors of lemons and limes, tart finish; $19.
• 2011 Pezzi King Sauvignon Blanc, Ritchie Vineyard, Russian River Valley: floral aromas, crisp green-apple flavors; $24.
• 2011 Harts Desire Wines Sauvignon Blanc, Claude Thomas Vineyard: Dry Creek Valley: crisp white grapefruit aromas and flavors; $22.
• 2010 Clarbec Estate Bottled Pinot Gris, Russian River Valley: green apple aromas, intense golden apple flavors, crisp; $21. (Best of class.)
• 2011 Balletto Estate Bottled Pinot Gris, Russian River Valley; ripe pear, vanilla and white grapefruit aromas and flavors, crisp; $18.
• 2010 Pezzi King “A Royal Rot” Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley: rich and thick, honeyed body, luscious brown sugar and ripe peaches; $50. (Specialty wine sweepstakes winner.)
• 2011 Mayo Family Winery Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Kunde Ranch Vineyard, Sonoma Valley: sweet, viscous lychee aromas and flavors, rich and crisp; $30.
• 2009 de Lorimer Winery Late Harvest “Lace” Sauvignon Blanc, Alexander Valley: aromas and flavors of honey and pineapple, nicely crisp; $23.