10. 2008 Moscatel de Valencia 10%vol, Spain ($8.14 USD/bottle). A 100 percent moscatel dessert wine from the vineyards around Valencia in eastern Spain. Light, lemony, luscious and delicately sweet, it's one of those rarities, a wine that actually tastes of grapes. Serve well chilled as a wonderfully refreshing and uplifting mid morning sharpener or at the end of a meal with fruit puddings or tangy cheeses.

9. 2007 Cono Sur Gewürztraminer 13.5%vol, Chile ($9.78 USD/bottle). From the Bío-Bío Valley, a scrumptious gewurz. It's everything it should be, with heady aromas and fresh, vibrant, spicy fruit. Rich and full in the mouth, it has a crisp, off-dry finish and makes a great aperitif or partner to sushi.

8. 2008 Casa Mia Fiano 12.5%vol, Italy ($9.78 USD/bottle). This is a great wine with fresh and fruity notes. Casa Mia Fiano has a light essence of mango, papaya and tropical overtones which works brilliantly with the exciting and crisp finish. This Italian mediumsweet wine gives a great fruity character to the palate, a very pleasing wine. Delicious with simple pasta dishes and salads.

7. 2008 Fairleigh Estate Sauvignon Blanc 13%vol, New Zealand ($13.04 USD/bottle). From New Zealand from Wither Hills in Marlborough, it is everything a Kiwi savvy should be, crisp and zesty with gooseberries, grass and tropical fruit. Perfect for springtime picnics.

6. 2007 Clotilde Davenne Sauvignon Saint-Bris 12.5%vol, France ($12.97 USD/bottle). This is a sauvignon blanc from chardonnay country. The village of Saint-Bris-le-Vineaux is the only appellation in Chablis to permit the variety and Clotilde Davenne, the former winemaker at JM Brocard, has fashioned a delightfully crisp, lean and minerally example. It complements a plate of seafood just beautifully.

5. 2007 Louis Jadot Mâcon Azé 12.5%vol, France ($14.67 USD/bottle). From the village of Azé in the Mâconnais, this is a remarkably stylish 100 percent chardonnay that's 100 percent oak-free. Cool-fermented in stainless steel, it's dry, crisp, faintly honeyed and with clear purity of fruit. Originally destined to be part of a Mâcon-Villages blend, it goes perfectly with a salad.

4. 2006 Denman Vineyard Semillon 10.5%vol, Australia ($15.99 USD/bottle). Semillon is almost as celebrated in Australia's Hunter Valley now as it is in Bordeaux. Produced by McGuigan Wines especially for Tesco, this is a great-value example with crisp citrus and apple fruit flavours and a soft, gentle finish. Its low alcohol makes it ideal to drink on its own or with a rambling, mix-and-match picnic.

3. 2007 Framingham Classic Riesling 11.5%vol, New Zealand ($19.03 USD/bottle). Sheer class in a glass and a must for any lover of fine Riesling. From 30-year-old vines in Marlborough in New Zealand's South Island, it has petrol on the nose and hints of mandarin, even ginger, on the palate. It has ripe sweet fruit in the mouth and a satisfyingly dry finish.

2. 2007 Errázuriz Max Reserva Chardonnay 14%vol, Chile ($20.70/bottle). This chardonnay is full-on, oak-aged and crammed with butter, vanilla and rich ripe fruit. It is a big-boned beauty from fruit hand-picked in the Casablanca Valley some 20 miles from the Pacific. Get the most out of it by serving it alongside fresh scampi in black butter sauce or skate wing and capers.

1. 2002 Château de Chamboureau, Savennières Cuvée d'Avant 13.5%vol, France ($22.83 USD/bottle). From near Angers in the Loire Valley, all are seduced by the rich, rounded, supple, honeyed fruit and dry, almost biscuity finish. Amazingly fresh despite its age, this is Chenin Blanc at its most complex and rewarding. Spot on with fennel-stuffed roast chicken. Chenin Blanc is one of the world's least-known and appreciated great white wine grapes. Originally from France's Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc has spread around the globe and is used for virtually all styles of white wine, from crisp and lean to rich, round full table wines, sparkling wines, and some of the most decadent dessert wines made. Classic descriptors for the flavors of Chenin Blanc include peach, honey, lanolin, marzipan, and quince jelly though the dry style from South Africa, where the wines are known as Steen, often exhibits more tropical fruit notes that recall pineapple and guava.

 

 

 



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