Two favorite white wines for summer (and the ultimate sushi wine?)

Above: Tracie P and I have been enjoying a lot of my number-two white wine of the summer of 2010, the Clos Roche Blanche 2008 Sauvignon Blanche No. 2 (does anyone know why it’s called “numéro 2”?).

Chez Parzen, we’ve been enjoying a lot of great wine this summer but two white wines have really stood out. And when I say “favorite white wines for summer,” I mean wines that we keep coming back to over and over again.

Alice first turned me on to the wines of Clos Roche Blanche five years ago in NYC and I was immediately hooked on Cot.

BrooklynGuy is also a fan of the Sauvignon Blanc: check out this tough-love post he did last year around this time.

Here in Texas, we’re still drinking the 2008 and it’s showing great, so fresh, such pure white fruit (pear and apple) in it, great acidity, low alcohol, and under $20 at The Austin Wine Merchant. Summer time means a lot of salad and canned tuna in olive oil, pasta al pomodoro, and fresh cheeses. I just love drinking this wine, as we did last night, with tomato sauce.

Just looking at the color, above, makes me wanna slurp it up!

Above: The 2008 Santorini from Boutari, made from 100% Assyrtiko grapes, has a slightly oxidative thing going on. I think the gods made this wine just for me and Tracie P.

Anyone who’s been following Do Bianchi this year knows that I’ve become somewhat obsessed with the wines of Santorini. (Check out the thread here.)

I was hired this year to create content for the Boutari Social Media Project and one of the best things about the gig is how much great wine I’ve got to try for the first time: I’ve been loving Santorini by Sigalas and Gaia (both available in this country but not yet in Texas, although Sigalas is coming). But the wine Tracie P and I keep coming back to over and over again is the Boutari 2008 Santorini (also available for under $20 at The Austin Wine Merchant).

Tracie P put it best when she said it’s so mineral that “it’s like drinking seawater.” It’s salty and has a rich mouthfeel, a grainy texture that I can’t get enough of, the alcohol is well balanced in the wine, and it has that slightly oxidative note that we dig (and might even have aphrodisiacal properties where familiar matters are concerned).

Boutari’s Santorini and Santorini in general may very well be the perfect sushi wine. Remember when Aldo paired Gaia Santorini Thalassitis with raw sea urchin for me at Le Bernardin?

Santorini is such a fascinating appellation: drastically difficult grape-growing conditions, all pre-phylloxera rootstock (because the little bugs can’t jump from one Santorini’s tiny grains of volcanic sand to another), vines 80-100 years old, the whole connection to Venice and Venetian merchants in the Renaissance. Santorini, when it’s good, is just one of those wines that thrills and surprises me, stimulates my intellect, and transports me to another place.

Isn’t that what great wines are all about?

I hope everyone’s having a great summer with something great in your glass! Thanks for reading…

4 thoughts on “Two favorite white wines for summer (and the ultimate sushi wine?)

  1. Just had the #2 last night, we must have been communing in some way. Was brill. #2, I believe, has some wood fermentation and goes through malo. The thing is, not sure that #1 was made in 2009.

  2. “it’s so mineral that “it’s like drinking seawater.” It’s salty and has a rich mouthfeel, a grainy texture that I can’t get enough of”

    I just wrote about some hot-weather wines (Think Austin, not San Diego) earlier this week, and one that I mentioned was also Santorini. I convinced that Greece may finally be getting their shizz together, and Assyrtiko is going to be the next “hot” white grape, on par with the hype behind Grüner over the past years.

    Awesome thing about what Tracie B said is that it almost mirrors how I described Santorini wines. Tough to beat with some shellfish.

    Please forgive the shameless plug; just excited that my hypothesis is showing some promise: http://www.suburbanwino.com/2010/08/soggy-back-syndrome.html

  3. Clos Roche Blanche definitely very popular.
    Thanks for the tip on Boutari Santorini with sushi – will file that away in my mental cabinet to try next time. And thank goodness at least I can pronounce and remember Assyrtiko (probably the only Greek grape I can :).

  4. Pingback: Dog Days of August Roundup: Santorini Assyrtiko, Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and Loimer Grüner | The Blend

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