A fun evening with guerrilla importer Uri Caftory and sommelier extraordinaire Mor Bernstein. The core trio of white wines we drank were all very expressive and true to their origin.
Ramey, Russian River Valley, Ritchie Vineyard, Chardonnay, 2016
This is a Chardonnay that doesn't pretend it comes from Burgundy, but on the other hand is not overripe or overoaked. It's ripe and full but not overdone, tasty, moreish and expressive, and while it expresses itself very extrovertedly with an abundance of minerals and dry grass, there's enough depth and nuances for more meditative contemplation, as well.
Château des Rontets, Pouilly-Fuissé, Les Birbettes, 2017
This is one of those old family domains energized by the arrival of young blood (in this case, young blood Clair Gazeau arrived with her husband Fabio Montrasi in 1995). This is a white Bourgogne that challenges in its youth, apparently - for the first 30 minutes, drinking it is like sucking on a frozen knife. It opens up to show minerals and racy fruit not unlike a warm vintage Chablis. This would give some cousins from the Cote a good fight five years down the road. Sadly, while it's priced lower than those cousins, it's not priced for mass consumption.
Vincent Pinard, Sancerre, Le Chateau, 2017
While I enjoy New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, the very freshness that has made their name can be a bit samey. This is why I enjoy when the grape is allowed to ripe a bit more, as here, where the ripeness adds more depth, complexity and dimension, the nose even hinting at dessert wines although the wine is fully dry.