In sippers, Picpoul Rules
There’s no rhyme nor reason to this list. Just a few decent and, above all, pretty wallet friendly whites, perfect for value-driven summer sipping. You can pin this one to the fridge! We’re also working on a better way to feature many more Belly’s Best picks …
• Ormarine Picpoul de Pinet 2012. A perfect patio sipper, and yes, the obscure south of France grape variety does have something to do with chickens, somewhere along the way. Bright, citrus and apple toned, light and lively, although the 2012 seems a bit fuller on the palate. Grown within sight of the Mediterranean, so no surprise it’s a slam dunk for white fish—in a cool bottle too. A summer fixture in our house. $13.99 BCLS. 89 pts
• The Beach House White Blend. Here’s a refreshing surprise from the Cape, a clean combo of 80/20 Sauv. Blanc / Semillon that lives up to its airy, summery label and delivers a lot more than you might expect. Goosberry and citrus notes with some interesting, mineral and grapefruit mid palate hints. Just the ticket for a chilled seafood salad—and one of the best deals around for BCLS $11.99 88 pts.
• Finca Los Primos 2012 Torrontes (San Rafael). This Argentine label enjoys a well earned rep for making good entry level wines and this is no exception. Pale gold in the glass with orang-citrus on top before a surprisingly textured palate with floral and honey notes and a pleasing touch of acidity. Another winner that you can take to the bank. Think chilled chicken with mandarin salad. The Deal – BCLS $9.99 89 pts.
• El Petite Bonhomme Verdejo 2012 (Rueda). Another winner from ex-pat Canadian winemaker Nathalie Bonhomme, this stonefruit and tropical toned drop is summery light on the palate with mineral and melon notes before a crisp end. Easy summer sipping, or tapas (after all, it is Verdejo!), for sure. $14.99. 88 pts.
• Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Marlborough). Classic no-holds barred Kiwi Sauv. Blanc, with citrus and hints of gooseberry on top, followed by a pretty structured palate of lime sherbert and grapefruit zest notes, with good acidity and a clean, citrus toned finish. Extra heft comes from a portion in neutral oak barrels but it’s not apparent. BCLS $16.99 89 pts.
• 14 Hands Hot to Trot 2012. This well balanced “cocktail” of Washington State Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Viognier and more sports apple and floral notes on top followed pear and citrus flavours on the broad palate with a lingering finish. BCLS Specialty $16.99. 88 pts.
• Wakefield Riesling 2011. (Clare Valley). It would be illegal (or should be) to have a list like this without at least one Riesling. If you like wines that are crisp, clean and decently acidic, this one’s for you. It sports bright fruit with some good tart granny smith and zesty lemon notes, with hints of petrol coming on as it develops. It qualifies as “budget” for a Clare Riesling in BC… PWS (I’m not sure why it’s not at BCLS…) $20-$23. 90 pts.