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Greatest White Wine Value

I'm interested to see how many fellow hounds feel as I do that Rieslings (especially German and those from Alsace) represent the best value in white wines. Some of the German Spatlese level wines we have had for under $30 are simply amazing. Thoughts ?

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  1. kim crawford sauvignon blanc. in recent years, consistently great whites regardless of vintage for $15. most s.b's from marlborough are fantastic nowadays, $10-15.

    i haven't opened any of my recent purchase of 2005 rieslings yet.

    1. I'm definitely with you. I've been such a fan of some of the Dr. Loosens under $20 that I will cook around the wine. Though I've been eager to try some of the Spanish whites that have been coming out under $15. They've had some excellent reviews.

      1. It is interesting when people dismiss Rieslings as too sweet. I personally like that upfront stonetropical fruit but find the well made versions have such a clean refreshing fininsh that they are a lot less cloying than most other whites.

        1. Alsatian wines in general are frequently incredible values, and their Rieslings are stunning.

          1. I've been enjoying well priced Albariños from Rias Baixas lately. Really wonderful aromatic wines.

            2 Replies
            1. re: oolah

              Very delicious indeed! Have you tried the cross-border versions? There is a sub-appellation of the Portuguese Vinho Verde region that produces pure Alvarhino wines (Alvarhino being the Portuguese spelling of Albariño). These are well-worth seeking out and a world apart from the typical Vinho Verde.

              1. re: oolah

                Yes, especially the "higher end" Albariños (still around $20) are aromatic, complex, delicious. Try Agro de Bazan Granbazan Ambar, for instance.

              2. IMO, the greatest white wine values would include:

                German Rieslings (and their fewer gewurztraminers, for that matter). In general I think German whites are better values than Alsatians, although for gewurztraminer quality nothing beats Alsace.

                Soave classico superiores (with very high or 100% garganega)... a real sleeper of a great wine.

                Riesling in general, being such a hardy grape produces good value whites everywhere.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Chicago Mike

                  The difference, for me -- and it's just me, between Alsatian and German Rieslings is that I find the Alsatian version(s) compliment food better. Some foods -- truly spicy Southeast Asian cuisine, for example -- will go better with German Rieslings, to be sure. Generally, however, I find the combination of the lighter body and residual sugar of German Rieslings interferes with, rather than compliments, the meal. YMMV, but I prefer the weight and dryness of the Alsatians . . .

                  Then again, I typically prefer a German BA or TBA to a Alsatian SGN . . . go figure! ;^)

                  1. re: zin1953

                    They're both nice... this thread (i think) is more about "value" and I find better values in Germany than Alsace..... and probably better product consistency from year to year...

                    1. re: Chicago Mike

                      Interesting -- I find just the opposite . . . c'est la vie!

                      1. re: zin1953

                        Well, for example, I can find delicious German whites in the low teens. I don't find exceptional Alsatian Gewurztraminers for much less than around 25-30.

                        IMO this is due at least in part to the sheer volume of wines coming out of Germany.

                        1. re: Chicago Mike

                          Obviously, Mike, it all boils down to personal preference. I find Alsace to be more consistent year in, year out.

                          If you're going to compare "delicious German whites in the low teens" to "exceptional Alsation Gewurztraminers for . . . 25-30," I would be in complete agreement with you.

                          But there are delicious Alsatian whites in the same "low teens" as your German whites. I think for "exceptional," you *do* have to go higher -- but I think the same is true in Germany, too.

                          Again, YMMV.

                          1. re: zin1953

                            I regularly buy Alsatian gewurtztraminers for around $15. Not as amazing as what you sometimes find for $25-30, but delicious.

                  2. re: Chicago Mike

                    Riesling doesn't do well in a hot climate--turns out flabby and boring.

                  3. In addition to that Kim Crawford SB, the Matua Valley Sauvignon Blanc is pretty easy to find for around $10-$11. And just as good.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: mlgb

                      i'll add saint clair, spy valley, villa maria, babich, shepherds ridge to the long list of excellent new zealand sauvignon blancs.

                          1. re: kenito799

                            Huia (personal favorite) and Highfield. Both in the mid-teens.

                    2. A couple more to add. If your tastes run to the minerally, certain Muscadets deliver insanely good QPR. (In fact, with the possible exception of stickies, the entire Loire region is a bang-for-the-buck goldmine.) And these days I'm finding more and more Chardonnays from the Jura that easily stand comparison with white Burgundies costing half again as much or more.

                      1. Aged German riesling is sublime, Even those 2003 Christoffelson Auslese Premier Cru was selling for $14 a bottle tasted good young.
                        The 2005 Savoie Altessas are tasting pretty good for $15. And Loire chenin blanc from Vouvray and Savennieres can give German riesling a run for its money in quality and value.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: SteveTimko

                          I'll second the vote for Vouvray and Savennieres. I'll also throw in--for dessert--a Coteaux du Layon. I think that the level of sophistication you get out of these wines is stunning for the price. Like Riesling, when you place them against their new world counterparts, the contrat is striking.

                          I'm a fan of Albarino, but I've seen it's price go up a lot in just a few years, so it's not quite the deal it once was. I'd look to Portugese whites too for a better deal.

                          1. re: jasmurph

                            Coteaux often needs ten years to mature. Great value if you have a cellar and patience.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              agreed, although you can get demi-bottles for less than $30 from 1996. Not exactly cheap, but so worth it.

                        2. I agree on the value and quality of the lower end Alcase Gewurtzreminers. I just got a Pierre Sparr for around 15 bucks, which seems excellent value.

                          The one white that has stood out for me in recent times is the Renwood Viognier Select Series. It's in the Vintages section of the LCBO, but its only $19.95. It's not actually 100% viognier....its a mix of viognier, semillon and marsanne. It's excellent value, and is easily drinkable on its own or with a slightly spiced Asian dish.

                          2 Replies
                          1. No one has mentioned gruner veltliners from Austria. The best of this varietal presents crisp acidity with enough residual sugar to keep it pleasant to drink. I'm a pretty big fan.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: chucktowneater

                              I love gruner veltliner but at least in California they're about twice the price of a Marlborough sauvignon blanc.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                Robert??? Even Andronico's on Shattuck has a very nice Gruner for $11.99 per 1.0L bottle . . .

                                1. re: zin1953

                                  Terry Theise imports a 1 liter bottle that sells for $14 locally that isn't going to make you forget white Burgundy or Chave blanc but it's pretty decent.
                                  I still have problems finding a gruner that matches good Loire chenin blanc.

                                  1. re: SteveTimko

                                    Hmmm . . . an aged Savennieres can be a stunning wine, and I would certainly prefer it over a GV -- even some of Terry's finest. But in their youth, I certainly prefer a GV to a young Savennieres . . . as for other appellations -- sounds like some tasting is in order! ;^)

                                  2. re: zin1953

                                    I like the $6 Marlborough at Trader Joe's better than the cheap liter GVs I've tried. Though I'd spend more for better quality in either case.

                                2. re: chucktowneater

                                  Agreed! The veltliners represent excellent value in a white wine. An added plus, at least for me, is that they go so well with many Asian foods.

                                  I live in New Jersey and can find veltliners at most liquor stores. I was surprised to find that my local Wegman's has a pretty good selection.

                                3. An amazing value: JF Lurton Pinot Gris from Argentina, $7.99Cdn. Should be about $6US.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: bogie

                                    Whoa, what province are you in? Lurton Pinot Gris is $11.15 in Ontario and $15.40 in Quebec -- a spread that caused me to stop buying it. (Though I believe the gap is a dollar or two narrower than it was last year.)

                                    For a little more, I'll take Anselmi San Vincenzo just about any day; for the same or less a Rueda such as J&F Lurton's or a good Muscadet; and for even less a standard Vinho Verde such as Aveleda.

                                    1. re: Mr F

                                      I am now in Toronto, but that is the price in Alberta. I am constantly shocked at how much profits LCBO takes on such wines that are inexpensive elsewhere.

                                  2. If you enjoy Reislings (and its appears many of you do), the Rancho Sisqouc (Santa Maria/Tepesquet) Reisling and Sylvaner are both quite excellent, and I believe they both retail for around $12. That's an incredible price for the value.

                                    I also strongly agree with the hounds praising Kim Crawford whites.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Bostonbob3

                                      Agree on the Rancho Sisquoc Sylvaner and I think Whole Foods is selling that for about $8 a bottle...not a bad deal.

                                    2. I just opened a John Anthony Sauvignon Blanc. At $19 (plus shipping), it is an excellent value. It has limited availibility so check their website: www.javwine.com for details