Joly Blanc 2011 – Okay, it’s pretty cool to say you have a friend, maybe acquaintance, who is a French winemaker. Virgile Joly’s Joly Blanc – Grenache Blanc – is consistently one of the best whites I taste from the land of fries and crepes. The wine is Grenache Blanc with a hint of Rousanne, delivering great aromas and a hint of peach. It is delightful with grilled fish or lighter meats. ($13-$15)
Four Graces Pinot Blanc – This Willamette Valley winery makes small batches and highly stylized wines. The Pinot Blanc is quite different than the valley’s Pinot Gris wines. This is a light bodied wine with hints of honey, banana, and perhaps apricot. It’s a great white for warm weather meals. (SRP, $24. I bought it in an Indiana shop for $16)
Matua 2011 Sauvignon Blanc – It’s impossible to write about warm weather wines and not have at least one Sauvignon Blanc on the list. If you like your whites with big citrus, big acid, and a crisp refreshing finish, you’ll love the Matua. This comes from New Zealand’s Marlborough region, known for its Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. ($16)
Howard W. Hewitt, Crawfordsville, IN., writes every other week about value wine for 23 Midwestern newspapers. Read his wine blog at: www.howardhewitt.net.