Twenty Quality White Wines Under $15, Plus a Few Higher-Priced Finds

As wines from the most recent harvests advance toward the distribution channels, spring white sales are in full swing to open future shelf space at your friendly wine merchant and big box store. The following are the best values from the 2014 and 2015 vintages that we’ve tasted and Tweeted about the past two months. Prices, as always, can vary depending upon the source, including the online flash-sale sites.

Sauvignon Blanc

  • Tasty $9 Lake County Sauvignon Blanc ’14 Sparrow Hawk. Stone fruit, new mown hay nose; light-mid body; semi-crisp; fruity finish. w/appetizers
  • Top value Livermore Sauvignon Blanc ’15 Wente Louis Mel. Citrus $9. Weedy nose; mid-body, balanced; good acids; long unctuous fruity finish.

    Wente

  • Grassy-nosed ’14 Mondavi Fume Blanc $10. Mid-body to soft; easy drinking; semi-crisp; good SB flavor. w/appetizers
  • Fine $11 Sauvignon Blanc ’15 Dry Creek. Light SB nose; citrus, minerals; mid-body; nice acids; long fruity semi-lush finish. w/scallops
  • Washington value Sauvignon Blanc ’15 Ch. Ste. Michelle Horse Heaven Hills $12. New mown hay nose; mid-body; semi-crisp citric finish. w/shrimp.
  • Stylish $12 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc ’15 Hanna. Grassy, grapefruit nose; balanced fruit/acids; long citrus finish; not subtle. w/clams
  • Bigger style $13 Napa Sauvignon Blanc ’14 St. Clement. Big citrus nose, lemon; mid-body; tight acids; tart fruity finish; a little hot (14.5 alc.).
  • Tasty $13 Martinborough NZ (not Marlborough) Sauvignon Blanc ’15 Tora Bay. Mineral, light citrus nose; mid-body; long semi-crisp finish.
  • Higher-priced spread. Stylish and rich Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc ’15 Sullivan $38. Big varietal nose; flowery, tropical; mid-body; good extract; long fruity finish. w/clams

Chardonnay

  • Easy-drinking Sonoma Chardonnay ’15 Alexander Valley Vineyard $10. Light tropical, floral, toasty nose; soft acids; fruity finish. w/appetizers
  • Well-made $12 Sonoma Chardonnay ’14 Clos du Bois Reserve. Toasty, tropical, pear nose; soft acids; easy drinking, long finish. w/cheeses

    Sonoma Reserve

  • For those who like buttery Chardonnays ’14 Amici Olema $13 Sonoma. Stone fruit, woody nose; long unctuous finish; a touch hot (14.2 alc.).
  • Complex $13 Carneros Chardonnay ’14 Carneros Creek. vanilla, toasty, stone fruit nose; fat; soft acids; long fruity finish; some style. w/fish
  • High-scoring $13 Calif. Chardonnay’14 Lincourt Rancho Santa Rosa. Tropical, peachy nose; mid-body, some viscosity, long semi-crisp finish. w/shrimp
  • Unctuous $13 Calif. Chardonnay ’15 Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve (53% Monterey, 47 Santa Barbara). Peachy, floral nose; soft acids; long fat finish. w/cheese
  • Soft, fat, easy-drinking $14 Monterey Chardonnay ’14 Talbott Kali Hart. Toasty vanilla, lemon nose; long unctuous finish. Appetizer wine.
  • Tasty $14 Sonoma Chardonnay ’15 Decoy. Distinct Chardonnay nose; stone fruit, pear; mid-body; decent acids; long semi-crisp finish. w/fish
  • Complex $15 Sonoma Chardonnay ’14 Ferrari-Carano. Vanilla, stone fruit, tropical nose; mid-body; round; long semi-lush finish, hints of wood.
  • Good $17 California seafood wine ’15 Chalone Estate Reserve Chardonnay. Toasty, citrus, stone fruit nose; decent acids; semi-fat; long lush finish.
  • Consistent Pouilly-Fuissé ’14 Jadot $20. Honey, stone fruit, wood nose; mid-body; softening acids; long semi-lush finish, hints of wood. w/fish

Other Whites

  • Party/picnic Albarino, Rias Baixas ’14 Paco Y Lola $12. Floral, fruity, lemony nose; mid-body; long semi-crisp; easy sipping fruity finish.
  • Picnic and party Aussie Viognier ’15 Yalumba Eden Valley $14. Melon, apricot, floral nose; mid-soft body; semi-crisp fruity finish.
  • Cheese/appetizer Carneros Vermentino ’14 Saddleback $22. Honey, fig, lemon nose; mid-body; balanced; semi-crisp; long fruity finish.

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