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    The Top Ten White Wines from the 2016 Newport Wine & Food Festival

    img_2341We’ve already talked about the top red wines from the recent Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, and now it’s time for the whites.? There were?many excellent white wines, as usual, but only ten make the list.??This is?always difficult, and a number of factors are considered when making the selection.? We also continue to exclude wines which retail above $100, though that tends?to be less of a problem with the white juice.??

    To the wines!

    1. 2009 S. A. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese – classic, super high quality Riesling from Mosel here.? The nose is petroleum with some fruitimg_2262-copy hiding in the background.? On the palate the fruit takes center stage.? We got apple and some stone fruit.? Off dry.? Clean and wonderful through the long finish.? Beautiful wine.??Probably?tough to find.?Who says white wines don’t age well? $50

    2. 2013 Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Fume Blanc Reserve -this is 98% Sauvignon Blanc, old vine fruit from the famed To Kalon vineyard in Napa.? The other 2% is Semillon.? These days the oak is complementary rather than heavy handed, even though the wine is almost all barrel fermented in oak (32% new).? Sur lie aging adds structure.? A small amount was done in concrete eggs to extract pure fruit characteristics and this was added to the wine.? The result is a straw colored wine with a big nose.? Citrus and peach aromas, bright acid, lovely texture and balance make this outstanding. $52 from the winery.

    3. 2013 Ken Forrester “The FMC” Chenin Blanc ? a beautifully pure wine, this is made from five different lots of Chenin img_2296-copyBlanc.? It sees mostly neutral oak, with 15% new barrels.? It’s rich and has great balance.? We loved the touch of lemon at the end.? $60

    4. 2014 Kettmeir Pinot Biancoyou don’t find too many Pinot Blanc wines out there, but this is a good one.? Very rich, light golden color leads to a substantial wine of great texture.? Ripe fruits dominate, with honey suckle as well.? A very long finish wraps it up.?$20

    colliano_cuvee_white5. 2013 Colliano Cuvée White – always a favorite, the current vintage of this wine from Vinska Klet Goriska Brda in Slovenia is a seamless and elegant wine, with a bit of everything, including a touch of oak, great texture, pure fruit and excellent balance.? This is always a great value too.? About $17

    6. 2013 Domaine Haegi Pinot Gris – from Alsace, this was another surprise provided by Quigley Fine Wines.? Their haegi-2013-copyMarchesi Gondi Mazzaferrata already made the top red list as well.? This Pinot Gris has bright fruit along with white flowers.? It’s clean, crisp and a bit different.? Very high quality, and $24.? This you can only get from Quigley.?

    7. 2013 Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc – and here is another perennial favorite, from one of our favorite producers anywhere.? Bruwer Raats does great things, and this wine is rich and structured, with a core of pure fruit. Half of this sees oak ( third year barrels ). Very elegant and a value at $23.

    8. 2014 Barton & Guestier Chablis – from the first table we visited over the weekend, this is a pretty classic, well made and img_2278-copyvalue priced Chablis.? There is a nice weight to this wine, and texture, which raises it up a level.? Clean throughout and good length as well.? $20

    9. 2015 Hall Sauvignon Blanc – everything you want in an excellent Sauvignon Blanc, this is clean and crisp, with a long finish.? One of the?many great wines from maybe the most consistently excellent producer out there. $20

    10. 2014 Chateau Carbonnieux Bordeaux Blanc – I had this at the Oyster seminar, and it worked beautifully there.? Very pleasing with stone fruit (especially peach).? Also some oak notes.? This is 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon.? $35ish

    Some Honorable Mentions:

    2015 Raats Original Chein Blanc – another wine we always like. Great value at $14.img_2281-copy

    2015 Jack Larkin Chardonnay – this is for those who like some noticeable oak in their chard.? Very well made with great balance. $45.

    2014 Kettmeir Muller Thurgau – not usually our favorite grape, but this wine is a wonderful alternative to your normal Sauvignon Blanc.? Sharp citrus fruits framed by?a striking minerality.? $20

    2015 Herdade das Servas Colheita Seleccionada – a rich, Portuguese white made from multiple varietals, this wine is img_2331bright, clean and long.? Really good value at $16.

    2014 Joseph Phelps Sauvignon Blanc – refined and clean with some structure and great fruit.? $35

    img_2307-copy2014 Robert Mondavi Oakville Fume Blanc – sort of the Oakville version of the Reserve Fume Blanc, this is also a great, wonderfully crafted wine.? $35

    That about wraps up the wines from this year’s festival, and all of those listed are worth buying, in our opinion.? The whites tend to run a bit lower in price, and we didn’t get to the Grand Cru Burgundy seminar, so nothing came in over the $100 cutoff for this list.??Several of these wines are inexpensive, so everyone should have a chance to try some of them.??A few?might be hard to find, or available only from one source.? Most?should be?readily available, however.? We didn’t include the remarkable 2000 Reserve Chenin Blanc they had at the?Ken Forrester table, because you simply can’t buy that.

    We’re sad the Newport event is over for another year,? but already looking forward to next year and our favorite Wine & Food event in the Northeast.? If you’d like to read a brief overview of this year’s festival click here.? For the Top Ten Red Wine list click here.?

    A votre santé!

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