Refreshing white wines are perfect for summer

July 31, 2017

Just returned from my niece’s wedding. The ceremony and festivities were held at a state park, Rye Harbor, just east of Portsmouth, N.H. Any who complain about our Delmarvalous beaches should be sent there as a visual for why beach replenishment makes sense. Strewn with large vegetation, and aquatic life-covered stones and clutter, with nary a grain of sand in sight, these beaches are actually quite interesting as a backdrop. Swimming, surfing, etc., not so much. Traffic on 95, which runs parallel and in close proximity, is far worse than on Coastal Highway. Bumper to bumper at 20-30 mph on four lanes of fear for hours is awful. Yes, I said four lanes. Many consider the shoulder and exit ramps as part of the track. I promise to refrain from complaining about traffic at our wonderful beach access ever again...or at least until Labor Day weekend. By the way, folks from Maine and NH describe drivers from Mass, NY and Conn (most don’t even know where Delaware is), in the same fashion we refer to PA, NJ and MD. It ain’t pretty! All that said, I had a wonderful time and enjoyed enough wine to provide grist for today’s rambling.

William Fevre Chablis Vaudesir Grand Cru 2014 is remarkably wonderful and perfect with white fish. Shows a beautiful bouquet of pear, pineapple, lemon, beeswax and chalky mineral notes. I also detected a floral subtone. On the palate, full-bodied and a bit restrained suggesting need for more cellaring. The mid palate has depth, bright acids and grip that continues through the long, clean finish. I realize I am being repetitive but these are white Chardonnay made to cellar. The 2014 and ’15 are two of the best recent vintages, 94 points McD under $55.Avoid the 2016. The window for 2014 will by 2018-30, at least. They are approachable now. Nearly all us “Muricans” have been exposed to Chablis, invariably served while far too young for consumption. You have missed a great deal if you haven’t enjoyed a Grand Cru Chablis that is properly aged. Fevre produces several Grand Cru Chablis. I preferred the Vaudesir. In most cases I am a fan of Les Clos. You may be surprised to learn that although these “Climats” (S is silent) are proximate they have definite characteristics related to how far up the hills they are (chalkier higher up) and sun exposure. The Chablis Grand Cru appellation includes seven Climats: Blanchot, Bougros, Les Clos, Grenouilles, Preuses, Valmur, and Vaudésir. They are primarily produced in the environs of the village of Chablis, but also at Fyé and Poinchy.

How about an 89-point McD $12 bottle of very refreshing white? We enjoy Feudo Principi di Butera Insolia Sicilia 2015. Two other Insolia more readily available are named Corvo and Adesso. In the past, I have sampled theirs. To be frank, they were not interesting. Feudo 2015 was a pleasant surprise. Generally, Insolia juice is more commonly used to blend in Marsala or with other whites. The 2015 Feudo breaks that mold. It is richer, with honey and nuts, and a silky, smooth texture. Try some with flounder or trout almandine. Barbara and I were pleased with the combo. Here is an interesting factoid. The varietal appears to have originated in Greece and is a very old strain. It is also known as any of the following: Ansonica, Amsonica, Ansolia, Ansolica, Ansoliku, Ansonica Bianca, Ansora, Ansoria, Ansorica, Anzonaka, Anzonica, Anzulu, Arba Solika, Erba Insolika, Inselida, Insolia di Palermo, Insora, Inzolia, Inzolia Parchitana, Nsolia, Nsuolia, Nzolia, Nzolia Bianca, Nzolia di Lipari, Nzolia di Palermo, Soria, Zolia Bianca. I am always suspicious of anything with that number of aliases. Rest assured in the case of Feudo Insolia 2015. These are not for the cellar and are vintage specific, like all my recommendations.

I want to thank all who have emailed. In the past, I would respond to enquiries in the column, naming the culprits. At this point, the entire space would be taken up on many occasions. I decided to just respond individually. One aspect of receiving your mail is it prods me out of my comfort zone. Let me assure readers that is a positive and a benefit to all. There is so much delightful product out there. Due to the internet, your local well-developed wine shop relationship should allow you to find access to each selection I explore.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter