Blue outside, yellow inside. Such are winter evenings in the North Country. It’s been snowing all day, and now as the velvet darkness settles down we light the hearth and touch a match to our candles’ wicks.
White wine does belong on the winter table, especially substantial whites, ones that bloom upon the tongue, luxuriating even as they draw your heat slowly from you. Don’t think of them as white; think of them as yellow, an antidote to winter’s cool persuasion.
2013 Hourglass Estate Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
14.2% abv | $40 (sample)
Aromas of lilacs, jasmine, and green melon give way to a creamy-textured palate plush with kiwi, guava, and yellow peach. All of this opulence is balanced by cut crystal acidity and a minerally finish. This spritely, beautifully balanced Sauvignon Blanc was produced from a single estate vineyard block planted to two clones. The lots were picked and vinified separately, then blended back to produce a wine that’s both elegant and sumptuous. Truly lovely.
2012 Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay Napa Valley
13.5% abv | $42 (sample)
Sun-shower freshness and crystalline precision characterize this 100% estate-grown Chardonnay. Made with organic and biodynamic grapes, the wine saw no malolactic, and reposed for ten months in 60% neutral oak. It’s a wine with the fresh scent of spring—hints of daffodils, sweet butter, green apple, new meadow. Its lavish green fruits and ripe melon flavors are offset by deep toasty hazelnuts and savory herbs. Complicated, opulent, focused, and delicious.