It is no secret that white wine grapes command lower prices than red wine grapes. It is simply a matter of supply and demand. Red wines get more respect than white ones. But there are "noble" white varieties that can offer as much complexity as red ones. These can be terrific values as well. Here's a selection of such white wines that have been recently reviewed.
Riesling - This is the "noble" grape of Germany and Alsace. There are sone very fine Washington versions for around $20 or less. Here are a few examples.
2015 Long Shadows "Poet' Leap" Riesling, Columbia Valley ($20) - 19/20 points - October 2016
2014 Chateau Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen "Eroica" Riesling, Columbia Valley ($22) - 19/20 points - October
2015 Nine Hats Riesling, Columbia Valley ($12) - 18.5/20 points - To be reviewed March
Pinot Gris - Most Washington Pinot Gris is made more in an Alsatian than an Italian style, dry and crisp, yet ripe.
2015 Nine Hats Pinot Gris, Columbia Valley ($14) 18.5/20 points - To be reviewed March
Semillon - This Bordeaux variety is highly undervalued, some offering much complexity at ridiculously low prices.
2015 L'Ecole No. 41 Semillon, Columbia Valley ($14) - Not yet reviewed, but offers fresh, ripe aromatics and a typical varietal creaminess. 18+/20 points.
Sauvignon Blanc - This is the other white grape originating in Bordeaux. There are two styles, "BDX" and the crisp Sancerre-like version.
2015 Browne Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley ($18) - 18.5/20 points - October - Sancerre-like.
2015 Seven Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley ($19) - 18.5/20 points - October - Blended with 18% Semillon.
2015 Barrister SauvignonBlanc, Red Mountain ($19) 18.5/20 points - December - From vine planted in 1982.
Chenin Blanc - Originating from the Loire Valley, this grape produces wonderfully fragrant wines. Many of the vines in Washington State were planted in the 1980's.
2015 L'Ecole No. 41 Chenin Blanc, Columbia Valley ($14) - 18.5/20 points - June
Waitsburg Cellars also makes a couple of fine Chenin Blancs. The 2015s will be reviewed in March.
Rhone White Varietals - Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc offer full flavored wines that can be excellent values.
2015 Nefarious Cellars Viognier, Lake Chelan, Defiance Vineyard ($20) - 18.5/20 points - September
2015 Bunnell Family Cellar Viognier ($24) - 18.5/20 points - To be in the February 2017 issue.
2015 Zerba Cellars Roussanne, Walla Walla Valley, Cockburn Vineyard ($24) - 18.5/20 points - February 2017
2015 Cairdeas Grenache Blanc, Yakima Valley, Boushey Vineyard ($24) - 18.5/20 points - September
2015 Bunnell Family Cellar Grenache Blanc, Yakima Valley ($24) -19/20 points - February 2017 - This is a steal.
Chardonnay - In the consumers' minds, at least, this is the Washington white varietal that has the greatest claim to being "noble."
2015 Eight Bells Chardonnay, Yakima Valley, Boushey Vineyard ($25) 18.5/20 points - November
2015 Westport "Shorebird" Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, Conner-Lee Vineyard ($26) - 18.5/20 points - November - From a premier vineyard for Chardonnay.
2015 L'Ecole No. 41 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley ($24) - 18.5/20 points - November
No Review Blog Next Week
On Saturday, we will be leaving Walla Walla for the warmer climes of San Diego and Pasadena, returning January 23rd. The next blog will be on Wednesday, January 25, along with the February issue of the Review of Washington Wines.