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It’s officially summer, and what better way to beat the heat than with a tall, cool glass of wine?  While most Chardonnays (or Sauv Blancs for that matter) are quite similar, hitting many of the same old notes, white Rhone grape varieties grown in California produce a wide range of flavor profiles. So be a little adventurous; try something new.  Here are several Cali-Rhones that pair perfectly with summertime:

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Vaco Urbano 2015 Grenache Blanc

Grape(s): 100% Grenache Blanc

Region: San Benito County, Ca

Price: 20-25

Tasting Notes:

Fragrances of citrus fruits, peaches, tart apples, and minerals rise up from a glass. The palate delivers flavors of peach, green apple, and passion fruit that combine with elements of minerals, citrus zest, and herbs. Lively with a crisp acidity, baked halibut or sole would make a fine pairing. 168 cases were made.

Rating: 90

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Vaco Urbano 2015 “CoCoBlanc” Blend

Grape(s): 65% Marsanne & 35% Roussanne

Region: Contra Costa County, Ca

Price: 20-25

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of tropical fruit, grapefruit, tart apple, and white blossoms greet the senses. The palate showcases flavors of lime, lemon, and green apple that flow into suggestions of minerals and fresh bread. A bright white with a food-friendly acidity, open a bottle with your favorite shellfish. 168 cases produced.

Rating: 89

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Steele 2015 “Writer’s Block” Rousanne

Grape(s): 100% Roussanne

Region: Lake County, Ca

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of pears, peaches, and melons mingle with suggestions of white blossoms and baking spices on the nose. Flavors of peach, honeydew, and pear unfold into elements of spring flowers and Asian spice on the palate. A round and floral white, pair it with grilled poultry. 500 cases were made.

Rating: 89

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Fore Family 2014 Grenache Blanc

Grape(s): 100% Grenache Blanc

Region: Lake County, Ca

Price: 25-30

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of honeydews, pears, and apples meld with a hint of honey on the nose. With a sip, flavors of green apple, pear, and melon open up into expressions of citrus zest and honey. Offering approachable fruit and a moderate acidity, a veggie stir fry would make a good companion. 188 cases produced.

Rating: 87

 

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Tablas Creek 2013 Esprit Blanc

Grape(s): 71% Roussanne, 21% Grenache Blanc, & 8% Picpoul Blanc

Region: Paso Robles , Ca

Price: 40-45

Tasting Notes:

The nose offers a bouquet of peaches, tropical fruits, sweet spices, and herbs. The palate brings forth flavors of white peach, passion fruit, and citrus fruit that combine with notes of caramel, clove, and herbs. Delivering a rich mouth-feel and balanced acidity, match this wine up with Chicken Piccata. 2,200 cases were made.

Rating: 90

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Tablas Creek 2013 Roussanne

Grape(s): 100% Roussanne

Region: Paso Robles , Ca

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

Notes of pears and peaches meld with hints of spring flowers and minerals on the nose. Flavors of pear and white peach coalesce with undertones of honeysuckle, spice, and minerals on the palate. A lush and floral wine, enjoy a glass with fresh oysters. 700 cases produced.

Rating: 88

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Hunt Cellars 2013 “Twilight Time” Viognier

Grape(s): 100% Viognier

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 35-40

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of apricots, pears, and peaches combine with hints of cream and dried coconut on the nose. A sip delivers flavors of pear, honeydew, and peach that interweave with elements of toasted coconut and spring flowers. Rich and round, open a bottle with grilled swordfish.

Rating: 91

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Vina Robles 2015 “Roseum” Rosé

Grape(s): 95% Syrah & 5% Viognier

Region: Paso Robles , Ca

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Cranberry, strawberry, and candied cherry aromas combine with whispers of wild grasses on the nose . A sip reveals flavors of raspberries, cranberries, and sweet cherries, accented by a hint of fresh herbs. A mouth-filling rosé with a welcoming acidity, match it up with a grilled shrimp salad. 692 cases produced.

Rating: 87

 

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Photo credit: existangst via Source / CC BY