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by Fred McMillin
for September 2002

Wine

 

Are Best-Buy Whites Changing?

"I don't want to pay over $10 for my white wines. What should I buy?"

—ON WINE Reader Jill Myatt

 

THE ANSWER...FROM A BLIND TASTING

A few years ago I would have named half a dozen Chardonnays. BUT, their prices have been drifting upward, exceeding $10. Meanwhile, a number of inexpensive Sauvignon Blancs have been scoring well in my classes. Hence, I decided to pair a number of Blancs with Chardonnays of the same vintage and price, none over $10. Here is the winner of each match. The highest rated winner is listed last. That is, the further you read, the better the wine.

THE BEST AFFORDABLE WHITES,
CHARDONNAY OR SAUVIGNON BLANC?

    Rank—Type—Wine

    9th—Chardonnay—$8 2001 Alice White, S.E. Australia

    8th—Chardonnay—$10 2001 Yangarra Park, S.E. Australia

    7th—Sauvignon Blanc—$9 2000 Dunnewood, Mendocino

    6th—Chardonnay—$9 2000 Dunnewood, Mendocino

    5th—Chardonnay—$10 1998 King Estate, Oregon

    4th—Sauvignon Blanc—$10 2001 Shenandoah Vineyards, Amador County

    3rd—Sauvignon Blanc—$8 2000 Meridian, California

    2nd—Sauvignon Blanc—$9 2001 Canyon Road (Geyser Peak), California

    1st—Sauvignon Blanc—$9 2000 Covey Run Fumé Blanc, Washington

    (Fumé Blanc is another name for Sauvignon Blanc.)

RESULTS OF THE BLIND TASTING

1. Sure enough, those new Blancs (vintages 2000 and 2001) are looking good. Our reader should try a couple of the best four at the end of the list.

2. If you want to stay with Chardonnay, consider bottles from Australia as well as California.

 
 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

 


 

 
 

This page created September 2002

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