Nothing against Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris, but sometimes you get tired of the same-old, same-old. For this tasting we sought out a group of whites made from grapes with which you might not be familiar. As the wines assembled proved, sometimes it's a good thing to step outside your comfort zone. Here are the top three:
2015 Domaine Labbe Abymes Vin de Savoie, $11
The region of Savoie, is nestled in the foothills of the Alps on the Italian border of southwest France. The grape is Jacquère, and the nose is an intriguing mix of dusty apple and melon with a pronounced minerality and touches of honeycomb and lemon curd. It's a well-balanced wine with sweet apple flavors playing against crisp citrus and a nice bit of spice on the finish.
2014 Domaine Nebout Saint Pourcain, $19
Saint Pourcain in the Loire is one of France's oldest wine regions, with its Tressallier grape one of the rarest. It creates a complex combo of fruit aromas including peach, pineapple, melon and tart apple. The flavors are equally complex offering pear, peach, ripe lemon and lime, all with a silky, almost creamy texture. This wine finishes clean and crisp, the flavors lingering on and on.
2014 Mayu Pedro Ximenez, $15
The Pedro Ximenez grape in this Chilean entry is more typically associated with Spanish Sherry, especially the sweet version of the same name. Here it offers beautifully floral aromas of peach and apricot with a light hit of vanilla. Stone fruit flavors come through on the palate, balanced by bright citrus. The finish is long and lively with smooth mineral and chalk.