The days are longer and the first signs of spring are beginning to show. You know what that means? You’ll want to find easy-sipping, light-bodied wine perfect for enjoying in the sunshine. And with so many options out there, we thought we’d help by pulling together some of our favorite rosés, whites and sparklings at all different price points.
Williams Selyem 2017 Unoaked Chardonnay (Russian River Valley); $39, 95 points. This wine shines in fresh flavors of tangerine and grapefruit. Bright acidity lends structure to the light-bodied palate, giving it an elegant and lasting impression. —Virginie Boone
Nino Franco 2013 Grave di Stecca Brut (Vino Spumante); $38, 94 points. Fresh and refined, this elegant sparkler opens with enticing, delicate scents of white stone fruit, spring flower and crushed alpine herb. The dry savory palate delivers Bartlett pear, crunchy apple, lemon zest and ginger set against a foaming mousse. Bright acidity lifts the rich flavors. Delicious! Terlato Wines International. Editors’ Choice. —Kerin O’Keefe
Dr. Loosen 2017 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese (Mosel); $34, 93 points. White grapefruit and a touch of fresh mint perfume this juicy, lavishly fruity wine. It’s lusciously sweet yet zesty, balancing primary lemon and tangerine flavors against streaks of lime and slate. A satisfying, mouthwatering spätlese, enjoy now–2030. Loosen Bros. USA. Editors’ Choice. –Anna Lee C. Iijima
J Vineyards & Winery 2012 Brut (Russian River Valley); $60, 93 points. Dry and tart, this tastes of oyster shell, wet stone and grapefruit, with hints of lime and lemon. High-toned acidity underlines the delightful structure and elegance of this sparkling wine. —V.B.
Pey-Marin 2016 The Shell Mound Riesling (Marin County); $29, 92 points. This is an aromatic, delicate wine that’s light in body but has a distinctive and complex personality reminiscent of German Rieslings. Piney, petrol, resin aromas waft up from the glass, then white peach, green pear and subtle apple flavors warm the palate. —Jim Gordon
Pashey 2015 Cuvée Extra Brut (Willamette Valley); $65, 91 points. This is part of Trisaetum’s sparkling wine project. Spicy from the start, it aromatically conjures up wintergreen mint, and pushes penetrating flavors down a path of mixed green berries and citrus. That note of mint—or maybe menthol—continues on into a lightly bitter finish. Another couple of years of bottle age are recommended. —Paul Gregutt
Bonpas 2017 Légende de Bonpas (Luberon); $11, 90 points. While the nose is demure, the palate of this medium-bodied white offers loads of fresh white grapefruit, peach and apricot flavors. Made from a blend of Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc and Vermentino, it’s fresh and fruity yet edged by veins of salt and chalk. Enjoy this brightly balanced wine now–2022. Boisset Collection. Best Buy. —A.I.
J. Bookwalter 2018 Winter Rosé Rosé Nouveau of Pinot Noir (Walla Walla Valley); $25, 90 points. This is the only wine I am aware of that is made in a nouveau style, with carbonic maceration and released the third Thursday of November. All made from Pinot Noir (Gamay is scarce in the state), the aromas bring bright, fruit-forward notes of strawberry and cherry. It’s made in a transparent style, showing a lot of purity, with nervy acidity backing it up. Editors’ Choice. —Sean P. Sullivan
Sogrape 2017 Quinta dos Carvalhais Encruzado (Dão); $35, 90 points. This is a fine, fruity wine, bringing out the minerality of the Dão and the great swathes of fresh green and white fruits of the grape. It is a textured wine, still young, with excellent potential. Drink from late 2019. Evaton, Inc. —Roger Voss
DeMorgenzon 2018 DMZ Rosé (Stellenbosch); $12, 88 points. There’s a light bubblegum accent upfront, but it quickly subsides to reveal more central notes of watermelon rind and citrus zest. The palate is nicely balanced and harmonious, with ample acidity and bright red berry flavors that have good staying power. The medium-length finish is bright and tasty, with a mouthwatering flourish of fresh citrus and tart strawberry flavor. Cape Classics. Best Buy. —Lauren Buzzeo
Published: March 20, 2019