When have you heard someone dismiss a glass of white wine and insist on only drinking red? We used to fight all the time. We’re not sure what it is with white wine that has put a lot of people away, however, trust us when we say that a superb bottle of white wine is just as delicious (and just as cherished) as a coveted red wine.
Here are ten that were made in 2021 in the United States. They’re all ready to drink right now, but several of them are good to keep for a few more years, if not a decade or two, to see what superb winemaking can achieve with white grapes.
1. Booker Wines 2020 White
Annually, Booker Wines in Paso Robles produces this Rhône-style blend as the label’s only white, and word from the tasting room is that it’s the kind of complex-yet-fresh white that red wine connoisseurs enjoy. It’s a complex, robust wine made from Rhône varietals (primarily Viognier and Roussanne with Marsanne) with a splash of chardonnay.
2. Bergström Wines 2017 Sigrid Chardonnay
This vintage (the winery’s 12th) is made entirely of estate chardonnay from the Bergström and Silice vineyards in the Dundee Hills, which are biodynamically cultivated. Bergström’s signature white takes you on a sensory journey: Saffron, baking spices, almonds, and poached fruits are layered in the bouquet; on the palate, it’s all about zesty, young flavors with outstanding acidity and minerality – ideal for age.
3. Domaine Weinbach Schlossberg 2019 Grand Cru Riesling
Hand-harvested grapes from the highest plots of Alsace’s oldest Grand Cru — a terraced vineyard that sprawls up to the Vosges mountain range — were used to make this clean, delicate Riesling. The Weinbach team is known for producing some of the world’s best rieslings, and this year’s release is no exception: You may drink this wine right now since it’s flowery, fruity, and lush, but maturing it for another decade could pay off if you want to see where your tolerance and control take you.
4. Monier-Perreol, Saint Joseph Blanc, 2020
This bottle is an earthy, full-bodied Marsanne made by Jean-Pierre Monier and Phillippe Perreol, two of the Rhône’s biggest names, during a roughly 15-year period. This biodynamic wine is made from grapes collected from vines that are 30 to 35 years old.
5. Mas de Daumas Gassac White 2020
This blend is unique in that 17 percent of it is made up of “rare” grapes from throughout the world, including neheleschol from Israel, Amigne from Switzerland’s Valais region, and flowery tchilar from Armenia. You’re not alone if you’ve never heard of those grapes, but this is a wonderful illustration of how fun and intriguing field mixes can be.
6. 2020 Weingut Prager Achleiten Gruner Veltliner Smaragd Wachau
Many wine connoisseurs consider Austria’s most extensively cultivated white wine grape varietal to be light-bodied porch pounders. This one from the Wachau, where some of the best Gruner’s are grown, is food-friendly, with spice, a hint of salinity, and rich tropical fruits on the palate.
7. Chacra 2020 Patagonia Chardonnay
Allow Argentina to extend your perspective with this intriguing bottle from northern Patagonia if you group your chardonnays between California and France. This chardonnay, made in collaboration with the great Jean-Marc Roulot, is full-bodied yet lively with acidity. A rich, elegant chardonnay with honey smoothness, vivid stone fruits, and undertones of biscuit.
8. Mullineux Chenin Blanc ‘Quartz – Leliefontein’ 2019
A single plot of 38-year-old vines provided the grapes for this sumptuous South African Chenin white. The juice has a thick mouthfeel from 11 months in used French wood, but zesty fruit and just the proper amount of minerality make for a balanced wine. If you don’t drink today, you’ll have to wait 10-20 years.
9. Bodegas y Viñedos Raúl Pérez Bierzo Blanco ‘Ultreia la Claudina’ 2019
This 100% godello is cultivated under a film of flor before being bottled by one of the world’s most inventive winemakers (unfiltered). The resulting yellow-gold wine is crisp, subtle, and a little pungent — a full-bodied white that can be compared to a Jerez or the unexpected Jura wines.
10. Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Cloudy Bay is back with its fan-favorite sauvignon blanc after a two-year hiatus. This one is from the year 2019. Te Koko is only bottled when the fruit is excellent, and it comes from only four vineyard parcels. With a flowery, herbaceous fragrance, rich, heavy texture, and sparkling acidity, it’s a sophisticated wine for 2019.