Just in case you didn’t taste enough spring wine during the winter that wasn’t, here are several suggestions to sip in the garden or on the deck through the real spring.
Each won a gold medal or double-gold medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition at Cloverdale in January. Some were best of class. I’m listing those that should be readily available within the Sacramento region.
All these wines were tasted blind, discussed and recognized by the five-man panel on which I sat.
Sauvignon blancs priced up to $14
Even at this modest price niche, sauvignon blanc is being styled to emulate the popular New Zealand model, which stresses assertive fruit and zesty acidity.
Viognier priced $20 and above
At this price point, viognier should show that it can deliver something more than mere potential, and this group of 57 entries didn’t disappoint. Of that total, an amazing 19 got gold or double-gold medals, indicating that viognier finally has come of age. Here are some standouts:
Riesling less than 1.49 percent residual sugar
For rieslings of vibrancy and equilibrium, California isn’t yielding the floor to Michigan and the Finger Lakes district of New York, though wines from the former won six gold or double-gold medals while entries from the latter won seven. California, by comparison, won nine, but keep in mind that most entries in the competition were Californian.
Of the 26 rieslings to win gold or double-gold from a field of 69, here are those most likely to be found hereabouts: