Rich Report Recommends: 7 Outstanding White Wines

Rich Report Recommends: 7 Outstanding White Wines
Courtesy of Shared Notes

Changing to reds isn't necessary yet.

For the first time since March, there is a roast chicken in the oven for the first time in the season, so it's the time the season calls for that great annual migration-from white wine to red. The temperatures are dipping, fireplaces are crackling, and there's a roast chicken in the oven for the first time in months. Bigger, richer red wines are needed.

There are unlimited delicious ways of getting around the searing crispness of a fall day in the world of white wines! There are unlimited delicious ways in the universe of white wines that you might not want your wine to be as searingly crisp as the fall day, but don't yield ground! Take Sauvignon Blanc, for example. It is best to find a version that has been filled in with some oak treatment and/or topped with some Sémillon, à la white Bordeaux, rather than a lean and steely stainless-fermented wine.

Furthermore, cutting-edge shops offer "alternative whites" that are bright, dry, and mouth-filling all at once—Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, etc. Despite their inherent fat content, Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, and others in the Rhône family are almost the most satisfying wines at this time of year.

There's nothing better than a good wine to break out when you're roasting a well-seasoned chicken in the oven, cooking pork shoulder in the slow cooker, or cooking sausages on the grill.

Castello del Terriccio 2020 Con Vento Toscana IGT

Courtesy of LinkedIn

Its name, translated as "with wind," comes from Collina del Vento, which means "hill of the wind." As well as combining ocean salinity with white stone fruit, lemongrass and fresh herbs, the wine has rich and bracing aromas. Throughout the long, minerally finish, grapefruit puckering up riper lemon. The palate is dominated by citrus with tension and verve.

Chappellet 2020 Signature Chenin Blanc Napa Valley

Courtesy of Chappellet

This Chenin wine from the Chappellets' Pritchard Hill vineyard has become a legend of its own. In addition to Molly's signature on the bottle, the wine also smells like morning dew drenched in her garden, making it perfect for a gardener who is so passionate about gardening. A lovely vein of oystershell minerality combines with delicate stone fruit, citrus, and honeysuckle to produce a vibrant palate filled with pears, melon, white peach, and grapefruit and a touch of grapefruit. Throughout the mouth, there is a sense of tension and energy, which is balanced by a beautiful fruit flavor.

Corazón 2020 Gewürztraminer Anderson Valley

From Cathy Corison (the Spanish word heart means heart, and that's her ancestral name), this perfectly dry and crisp Gewürz comes from a 40-year-old vineyard in Mendocino's Anderson Valley, which has been around for over a century. Upon opening the glass, you will be greeted with a fragrant mixture of jasmine, pear, stone fruit, as well as an underlying spice aroma. With a racy acidity that pushes into a lingering finish, the palate is filled with juicy and almost shockingly mouth-filling flavors that follow. There's no doubt in my mind that this is one of the best Gewürztraminers that California has to offer.

Emeritus Vineyards 2019 Hallberg Blanc Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

Courtesy of Emeritus Vineyards

It's a wild card in this collection, this wine. Emeritus produces this stunning white wine by pressing the juice from the red Pinot Noir skins before fermentation. From the nose to the palate, this wine has a richness that extends from floral notes to peach, tropicals, river stone and brioche notes. I was pleasantly surprised by the mouth-filling flavors following—pearl, stone fruit, and grapefruit, all layered together with an arresting texture and a lingering finish that lingers for a long time.

Hamel Family Wines 2019 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Valley

Courtesy of Hamel Family Wines


In my opinion, this Hamel Family Reserve Sauv Blanc, produced by dry-farmed Tres Palmas Estate Vineyard, has a sense of place that is second to none. The wine was fermented in neutral oak and aged in concrete with some oak added to enhance the flavors and textures. Aromas of spiced citrus and fresh herbs combine. The palate is filled with fruits such as pears, grapefruit, white nectarine, and hints of tropicals, all of which expand and persist with lovely weight until a long finish. We are in serious white territory with this wine.

Larkmead 2019 Lillie Napa Valley

Courtesy of Larkmead

Despite the fact that Larkmead is mainly known for its long-lived, old-school red wines, its white wines are also worthy of serious attention, even though they are less widely known. The winemaker Avery Heelan describes their “Lillie” as a Sauvignon Blanc acting like a Chardonnay, not just because of the good fruit, but also because it is aged in French oak for 10 months in 2019. The nose of this wine is alluring and savory, combining a sexiness with chalky earth, lime, and pear; it is followed by white blossoms, then tropical passion fruit. It has a rich and highly textural mouthfeel, with citrus peels and lime zest puckering up the sweeter-seeming stone fruits and tropicals on the palate, while remaining surprisingly dry on the palate.

Shared Notes 2020 Les leçons des maîtres Russian River Valley, Sonoma County

Courtesy of Shared Notes

They realized that this time of the year (harvest), when they never saw each other, and so they created a separate brand for their separate brands - Cattleya Wines and Pisoni Estate, respectively - because they were so busy running their separate brands. In order to force the issue, they created Sauvignon Blanc-focused Shared Notes, which entail them working together on pickings, pressings, fermentings, and agings. Developed in 100 percent new French oak with 72 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 28 percent Sémillon, this “Lessons of the masters” blend is lovely and serious.

This wine has an open, citrus-like nose, followed by a lilting floral bouquet, stone fruit, apple, green fig, hazelnut, crushed rock, and crushed rock. There is a palate-filling and beautifully textured palate of Meyer lemons, grapefruits, and stone fruits. You should consider aging this white as delicious as it is right now. The 2012 is a wine that I had the pleasure of tasting (no, consuming) only a few days ago, and it was gorgeous and remarkably fresh.

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