As spring rolls into summer, and the air is filled with aromas of wildflowers and blooming trees, refreshing, aromatic wines are ideal to sip in the sunshine. We are dipping our toes into the start of Rose season as well (as noted in my Mother’s Day post), with nicely chilled wines pairing with the season’s spring vegetables and lighter cuisine perfectly.
Willamette Valley continues to surprise with the diversity of white wines produced today, including several wineries producing wines from the Gruner Veltliner variety. Filled with citrus notes of lemon and lime accented with white peach and subtle herbal notes, the cool-climate variety thrives in the Oregon terroir. From their sustainably-farmed estate in Yamhill-Carlton, Kramer Vineyards Gruner Veltliner ($24) reveals notes of lemon, golden peach, green apple, and soft herb, followed by juicy orchard and stone fruit flavors. The Gruner Veltliner ($26) from Sweet Cheeks Winery and Vineyard in Eugene exhibits floral aromas of wisteria and jasmine, followed by ripe apple, key lime, and golden grapefruit with zesty, racy acidity.
With a clean note of minerality wrapped with honeysuckle and lemon blossom, sustainably farmed Ram’s Gate Pinot Blanc ($38) is bright and crisp. Aged in both stainless steel and neutral oak, giving the wine lovely texture and roundness, with the freshness of the fruit. Foundry Schrader Ranch Vineyard Pinot Blanc ($32) highlights an elegant balance of bright acidity with juicy fruitiness melding with structured texture. Stone fruit flavors of peach, apricot, and nectarine mingle with crushed stone and lemon balm. A perfect wine for pairing with seafood or shellfish.
The Mosel region of Germany showcases some of the finest mineral-intense, highly layered, expressive Riesling wines, many of which are also highly affordable. The thin slate-filled stony soils of the Mosel River Valley lock in the heat from the sunlight during the day, helping ensure delicate fruit is ripened in the cool climate. Clean Slate Riesling ($12) melds peppery spicey notes with ripe peach and pear flavors, delivering the perfect wine to pair with sushi, spicy Thai, or even roasted pork tenderloin. Blending Grenache Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc, Upshot White Blend ($19) from California is packed with honeydew melon and ripe golden apple, melding with ripe peach, apricot, with a focused minerality that ties the flavors together, harmonizing on the palate.