Fortunately for white wine drinkers, a few of the affordable whites on the list are more plentiful. The highest ranking affordable white at No. 29, 2014 Tenshen White Santa Barbara County, wasn’t one of them. This California blend of white Rhone Valley grapes, plus chardonnay, is available only at the Wine Loft in Pikesville, MD, for just $19.99 a bottle, according to wine-searcher.com. [Find it online or at a wine shop near you.]
“This is lush and powerful, offering fleshy peach and apricot flavors at the core, with plenty of aromatic highlights, including orange blossom and honeysuckle,” wrote Wine Spectator’s MaryAnn Worobiec, awarding the wine 92 points. “The texture is appealingly smooth and mouthwatering, with the complex details gaining momentum on the finish, where this reveals hints of dried spice and matcha green tea.”
Pewsey Vale Dry Riesling Eden Valley 2014, from Australia landing at No. 33 on the Top 100, is available at both State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD, for $17.99 a bottle and Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits in the District at Union Market on 5th Street, NE, for $19.99. [Find it online or at a wine shop near you.]
“Taut, sleek, polished and distinctively spicy, with black pepper, white pepper, floral and citrus flavors on a lively frame,” is Harvey Steiman’s description to go with his score of 91 points. It’s apparently a relatively rare age-worthy white, as he advises drinking it “from 2019 through 2030.”
Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc California 2014 is not only the least expensive of Top 100 wines available locally but also the most widely distributed, though you may find the 2013 vintage on some shelves, so make sure to check. (Timeless Wines in Middletown, VA, for example, has both, and oddly sells the acclaimed 2014 for $12 a bottle and its older brother for $13.99.) Total Wine in Maryland sells Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc for $10.99, while it costs $11.99 at Rodman’s and Cairo Wine & Liquor in the District and $14.49 at Total Wine in Virginia. [Find it online or at a wine shop near you.]
“Graceful, with fragrant orange blossom, ruby grapefruit and white peach flavors that are fresh and lively, set on a light, lithe body,” wrote Worobiec, describing the wine that earned 90 points and the No. 40 spot on the Top 100. “Appealing lime zest and passion fruit accents show on the long finish. Drink now.”
Calera Chardonnay Central Coast 2013, No. 48 on the Top 100, is also widely available for $19.99 at Total Wine in Virginia, and on sale for $18.69 at Calvert Woodley. It’s also on sale at Finewine.com in Gaithersburg for $21.98, and costs $22.99 at Well Discount Liquors in Baltimore, $23.99 at Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits and $24.69 at Montgomery County Liquor stores. [Find it online or at a wine shop near you.]
“Clean, pure and juicy, offering a refreshing mix of ripe pear, apple and melon flavors, shaded by a chalky minerality and followed by a long lingering finish,” is how Spectator’s James Laube describes the 90-point wine, advising readers to “Drink now.”
And finally at No. 73 on the Top 100 is Alpha Estate Malagouzia Florina Turtles Vineyard 2014, a Greek white made from the malagouzia grape, which costs $19.99 at MacArthur Beverages in the District. [Find it online or at a wine shop near you.]
“Rich and flush with fresh-cut green apple, honeydew melon and grapefruit flavors that feature a vibrant minerality,” wrote Kim Marcus, scoring the wine 90 points. “Delivers hints of savory herbs, leading to a lush finish of cream and spice. Drink now through 2018.”
Red wine drinkers will typically have to go out of their way to find affordable Top 100 wines. White wine drinkers should be able to score one or more of these wines at a wine shop near you.
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