Monday, August 18, 2008

Two White Wine Bargains for the End of Summer

There will be some talk of high-end wines later this week on GWU$20, so to balance out the account books I have not one but two picks for good QPR white wines today that are widely available for under $10 and will get you through the dog days of August.

One is a creamy Chardonnay, the other a light white Bordeaux blend. I received both as samples and they stood out from many of the other bottles I received because they tasted true to their varietal characteristics and were well priced.

First up is the new 2006 Lot 205 Chardonnay. Made by Cartlidge & Brown with fruit from California, the only evidence you will see of their affiliation with the new label is the address of American Canyon on the back. The Lot 205 line of whites and reds will compete handily with Australia in the under $10 category. You should be able to find this near you pretty easily. I was pleasantly surprised by this wine, because it was a nicely balanced, creamy Chardonnay without aggressive oak flavors. It was pale straw in color, and had aromas of butter, cream, and apples. These aromas carried through into the flavors and there was a citrusy, creamy aftertaste that was pleasant and not at all artificial. This wine would be great with grilled chicken with lemon, fried chicken, or grilled halibut. But don't underestimate the appeals of a white wine like this served with some simply munchies and an ice bucket on a Sunday afternoon.

Second up is the 2006 Mouton Cadet Blanc from Baron Philippe de Rothschild. This wine is also available widely for under $10. Made from a mixture of 50% Semillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc, and 10% Muscadelle, the wine was pale straw in color like the Chardonnay. The aromas were very different, however: hay, grass, and the white pith of the lemon that rests under the peel. The flavors were dry and slightly tart, dominated by citrus, lemon pith, and hay notes. Overall, the wine had a nice roundness from the Semillon and Muscadelle, and nice freshness from the Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is much better with food than it is without, and would be especially good with shellfish or more delicate fish preparations that emphasized butter and lemon. Not too shabby, and would be great with simple fish preparation. It was good with some goat cheese and crackers, and went nicely with a handful of cashews, too.

With these chilling in the fridge you can settle down to some serious relaxing before everybody comes back from vacation and the kids go back to school. You'll also be able to afford the extra latte you are going to need to get through it all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was more impressed with the Mouton Cadet than the Lot 205. To me it was just another chardonnay. It didn't really stand out and kind of lacked character. But, for the price I suppose it's alright.