Here are wines to slake summer’s heat: a racy Mediterranean white from Corsica, a minerally Muscadet from the Loire Valley, a juicy rose from Washington state, and a light Italian red that simply says fun. Plus a delicious Sonoma chardonnay for a more substantial meal.
Gundlach Bundschu Chardonnay Estate Vineyard 2014
Two and a half stars.
Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, Calif., $25
This is a top-notch chardonnay from one of California’s oldest producers. It shows a deft balance between ripe tree-fruit flavors and oak to give it spice and structure. And it’s another reminder that we should not be so seduced by the new that we forget the tried and true. Unfortunately, area retailers don’t seem to agree. ABV: 14.2 percent.
Prieure de la Fine Muscadet Sur Lie Grande Reserve Vieilles Vignes 2015
Two and a half stars.
Cotes de Grandlieu, Loire Valley, France, $17
Muscadet can be simple or intensely mineral and earthy. This one is the latter. The flavors are subtle at first, but they grow on you, like when you’re on a hike and suddenly notice the stunning scenery around you. ABV: 12 percent.
Domaine Vetriccie Vermentino/Chardonnay 2015
Ile de Beauté, Corsica, France, $11
Racy, beautiful and an ideal wine for the hot weather we are enduring. Chill it really cold, pour yourself a glass, take a few sips on the patio, then run back into the air conditioning to finish the rest of the bottle. ABV: 12 percent.
Barnard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese 2015
Columbia Valley, Wash., $14
This is a consistent winner, year after year. Washington state’s Columbia Valley isn’t especially known for sangiovese, but there are a few good ones, and this rosé tops the list. This is a great wine to coast you through late summer. ABV: 12.9 percent.
Brigaldara Valpolicella 2014
Veneto, Italy, $13
This is one of those delightful wines that is simply fun. Don’t look for complexity, don’t look for greatness. Just sit back and enjoy. It’s like a good friend who won’t interrupt your conversation. ABV: 13 percent.
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Three stars Exceptional, two stars Excellent, one star Very Good
Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.