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Seeking fruity, dry, affordable white

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Tony Miller May 15, 2007 07:07 PM

Over the years I have had three favorite whites, all of which are now extinct:

Robert Mondavi Traminer (not Gewurz) - almost like grapefruit juice. Tart, fruity, some wood, very refreshing (early '70s)

Joseph Heitz Chablis - dirt cheap, like $1.99. Very oakey and fragrant ('80s)

Bonny Doon Malvasia Bianca - fruity, dry, tangy. Delicious! ~$12.99 (discontinued 2005)

All are now discontinued, to my dismay. Can anybody who was familiar with any of these suggest similar substitutes, preferably under $10 (not a firm requirement, if it's good)?

I am a fan of Gewurztraminer, and in the absence of another really good white, will drink that happily.

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  1. z
    zin1953 RE: Tony Miller May 15, 2007 07:10 PM

    Where do you live? (That helps me to make recommendations.)

    3 Replies
    1. re: zin1953
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      Tony Miller RE: zin1953 May 16, 2007 12:10 AM

      San Pedro, CA -- LA area, next door to Long Beach.

      1. re: Tony Miller
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        slacker RE: Tony Miller May 16, 2007 05:57 PM

        Have you been to The Wine Country? It's a wine store in Signal Hill, I think. They have a good selection and seem to be quite knowledgable. Maybe you can let them know what you're looking for and I'm sure they can make some recommendations.

        1. re: Tony Miller
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          zin1953 RE: Tony Miller May 17, 2007 07:08 AM

          I agree -- The Wine Country is a very good suggestion.

          Look for wines produced from Alvarinho/Albariño -- same grape, just Portuguese/Spanish spelling. In Portugal, look for these wines made in Moncão region, while in Spain, these wines will come from the Rías Baixas region of Galicia. From Portugal, look for Aveleda, "Soalheiro" from Antonio Esteves Ferreira, or the "Auratus" from Quinta do Feital. Meanwhile, from Spain (and these may be easieer to find), look for Martín Codax, Lusco do Miño, Granja Filboa.

          Also look for Grüner Veltliners from Austria -- these can range from $11.99 per 1.0L to $50+ for a 750ml, depending upon the producer, but even the low-end ones can be very good! On the lower-end of the price spectrum, look for producers like Hiedler, Hofer, Loimer or Salomon -- all these are $16 or under for a 750ml; the Hofer is $11.99 per 1.0L.

          All are available in California.

      2. Bill Hunt RE: Tony Miller May 15, 2007 08:27 PM

        Many CA Sauvignon Blancs have a fruit-forward characteristic. Also, many of the Chenin Blancs from Vouvray (and similar appelations) exhibit this feature, plus good acid. Just starting points.

        Hunt

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bill Hunt
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          bubbles4me RE: Bill Hunt May 16, 2007 07:49 AM

          I was thinking Vouvray as well. Try anything from Francois Chidaine, that man is a master with Chenin Blanc. Broad range, everything from bone dry to rich opulant sweeter styles. IMHO one of the greatest Vouvray/Montlouis producers there is.

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          rickym13 RE: Tony Miller May 16, 2007 12:21 AM

          when you say "fruity" does it mean little sweet? if so.....i would go with german reisling but if no...i would try new zealand sauv blanc. i do like napa sauv blanc but anything worth while from that area in suav blanc will cost more the $20 but you can get nice new zealand stuff for under $15. i would say that NZ stuff will not be as oaky as domestic stuff with flavor of kiwi, grapefruit and lychee....little more crisp imo

          1. scrappydog RE: Tony Miller May 16, 2007 07:48 AM

            Try Babich Savignon Blanc from NZ. You can find it at BevMo and many other places for around $11.99 to $13.99. It is a fruity (grapefruit / citrus ) and dry white wine. I am also a fan of the Bonny Doon Big House White widely available in SOCAL at around $8.99. Not quite as fruity but overall a nice balanced summer white for the price.

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              belmontvoicewebmaster RE: Tony Miller May 16, 2007 10:30 AM

              Maybe try a Viognier....
              like the lower priced ones found at Trader Joes ,they have a fruit character like those earlier bottlings

              IronStome "Obesssion" is fruit forward as well

              2 Replies
              1. re: belmontvoicewebmaster
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                cooknKate RE: belmontvoicewebmaster May 23, 2007 04:44 AM

                Torrontes from Argentina is another fruit forward white along the same lines as Viognier. These are my two fav whites.

                Although I am not as familiar with them, Falanghia and Tocai come to mind too.

                1. re: cooknKate
                  Midlife RE: cooknKate May 23, 2007 12:26 PM

                  I'd agree. We just tried Argentine Torrontes for the first time and the one we had (Nieto Senetiner Santa Isabel) had a wondeful peach nose and a finish much like Viognier. Very refreshing and surprisingly good for a wine @ $10 that we'd never heard of before. Apparently there is also Spanish Torrontes, but it is a completely different grape.

              2. ballulah RE: Tony Miller May 18, 2007 01:13 PM

                I just had an absolutely wondeful Sauvignon Blanc from Mud House, a New Zealand vineyard. It was wonderfully fruity with peach and passion fruit notes, nice bright acidity without being astringent. I believe it cost me around $14 for a bottle. I got it from the folks at this wine store. www.bottlerocketwine.com

                2 Replies
                1. re: ballulah
                  ambrose RE: ballulah May 24, 2007 06:15 AM

                  Mud House is one of my favorite SBs. I was introduced to it at a restaurant in Savannah and simply could not believe that it was an inexpensive wine. After returning home to NJ, I went looking for this wine and could not find it. Then, several months later, it started appearing in several wine stores. I now pick up a bottle whenever I see it! It's routinely less than $14 here.

                  1. re: ambrose
                    ballulah RE: ambrose May 24, 2007 07:34 AM

                    I've been finding that a lot of the New Zealand SBs are really really excellent. Some are more minerally than fruity, but all have a really nice floral bouquet and some bright fruit notes (peach & passionfruit). Really good stuff.

                    I had a very nice French Viognier-Muscat last night that was $9. Very pleasing summer-y white drinking wine. Beautiful amber color too.

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                  anewton RE: Tony Miller May 23, 2007 07:37 AM

                  I have been really impressed with the "Limited Release" whites from Cono Sur (Chile). Great bargains, under $10. The 2006 Viognier is very good, as is the 2006 Gewurtztraminer. Wine Spectator really likes these wines too, in case you want a more authoritative recommendation.

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                    OliveBelle RE: Tony Miller May 25, 2007 11:32 AM

                    A few more suggestions-

                    Tschermonegg Gelber Muskateller - $9.99
                    (I read about this one in Saveur magazine. It was one of their 100 favorite things of the year. Nice, light, fruity, and dry.)

                    Sabathi Sauvignon Blanc - $9.99
                    Tasted this at a restaurant at The Grove in L.A.. Very light and refreshing.

                    Gritsch 1000-Eimerberg Neuburger 2003 - $9.50

                    I would suggest using www.wine-searcher.com to find a place near you to buy them.

                    cheers!

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