Lofty Whites from Down Under
Australian winemakers are best known for their full-bodied, intensely flavorful reds, but they also do a remarkable job with whites. Their most common are chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and viognier, but some adventurous Aussies have had success with riesling and even verdelho, which is usually grown in Portugal.
This cuvée is 63% riesling and 16% sauvignon blanc, with marsanne and roussanne making up the rest. It exhibits a fragrant nose of mineral, flowers, honeysuckle, and citrus. It is tasty, refreshing, and a notable value. Drink it over the next 12 to 18 months. $9
Made from 80% viognier and 10% each of marsanne and roussanne, this wine is fermented mainly in stainless steel. It offers aromas of white peaches and apricots. On the palate, it has a medium body, ripe fruit flavors, and a long finish. $18
Light gold with a fragrant bouquet of mineral, citrus, and honey, this "off dry" riesling—it has a hint of sweetness—is balanced by lively acidity and ripe fruit. $15
Exhibiting aromas of earth, mineral, citrus, and lemon-lime, this ripe, crisp, mouth-filling, well-balanced riesling can be enjoyed over the next five to seven years. $19
This chardonnay exhibits aromatic complexity, including notes of mineral, poached pear, and melon. Supple-textured with ample ripe fruit, it should be consumed over the next two to three years. $19
This medium-bodied offering has an enticing bouquet of minerals, flowers, green apple, and lime. On the palate, tropical flavors emerge along with excellent concentration, lively acidity, and a long finish. Enjoy it with a meal of shellfish or roast chicken. $15
Light gold in color, the 2006 exhibits a spicy perfume of rose petal, peach, and apricot. The wine dances lightly across the palate into a lingering finish. Drink it over the next year or two. $18
Light straw-colored, it offers complex aromas of mineral, flowers, pear, and tangerine. Expansive on the palate, with layered flavors and excellent balance, this flavorful wine will provide pleasure over the next two to three years. $18
Wines rated from 96-100 are extraordinary; 90-95, excellent; 80-89, above average to very good.