Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Napa Valley, California, $33
Since opening for business in the mid-1970s, the Cakebreads’ eponymous winery has garnered a reputation for well-crafted chardonnay and sauvignon blanc made from grapes grown in their Napa Valley vineyards. This Sauvignon Blanc is a less overtly fruit-forward expression than is often produced from this boldly aromatic grape.
The nose of this soft yellow wine is redolent of pears, honeydew melon, and wet stone. The attack is fresh and fruity with yellow apple and yuzu, which quickly cede on the midpalate to intensely vegetal and grassy flavors, and a subtle dairy-note background. Balanced acidity and a flinty minerality make for a long and satisfying finish on this medium-weight wine.
This refined rendition will bring back into the fold any sauvignon blanc lovers who have strayed from this variety.
Pair it with: white broccoli and garlic pizza, togarashi-dusted sautéed scallops, and hot buttered lobster rolls.
Manincor Réserve della Contessa 2019
Terlander, Alto Adige, Italy, $25
With a history dating back to 1608 when Hieronymous Manincor was gifted land in Südtirol by the emperor for his service to Austria, the present-day Countess Manincor and husband Count Goëss-Enzenberg pay homage to their noble lineage while adopting a modern and holistic philosophy to winemaking, both in the vineyards and in the winery built directly beneath them.
Manincor Réserve della Contessa is a blend of pinot bianco, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. Multiple techniques, including use of oak, lees contact, and malolactic fermentation, give this wine pleasant weight. Canary yellow with a wisp of chartreuse, the wine’s nose evokes apricots with a dollop of crème anglaise. Lime zest brightens an herbaceous background strong in marjoram. The mouthfeel is mildly creamy, the finish briny.
Treat your guests like royalty this summer with this elegant yet easy-drinking wine.
Pair it with:Caesar salad, za’atar roast chicken and potatoes, or herb-crusted baked salmon.
Rosabianca Vineyards Aromella
Northford, Connecticut, $24
The tasting room at Rosabianca Vineyards has only been open since 2015, but this family-owned and -run winery has already developed a loyal following. While they currently supplement their nascent vineyards with grapes from California, they grow three white hybrids, the newest of which is a more recent introduction from Cornell University called aromella.
Warm golden yellow in the glass, Aromella’s intense aromatics resemble those of wines produced from muscat, with notes of tropical fruit, citrus and honeysuckle. The grape’s provenance is immediately detectable on the palate, where devotees of gewürztraminer — one of aromella’s grandparents — will recognize its lychee fruit flavors imbued with rose petals. Although this wine is off-dry, the sweetness is quite subtle.
Fans of amply aromatic white wines like moscato will want to add Aromella to their summer lineup.
Pair it with: fried calamari with hot cherry peppers, grilled clams with lemon-cayenne butter, and vanilla bean-infused mascarpone with grilled peaches.