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2018 Top Values

Rich Whites

This category of riper, fuller-bodied whites is still associated most closely with Chardonnay, which yields expressive versions from throughout the New World, yet there are many other wines from an array of regions that also offer richness and intensity balanced by vibrancy and structure. The range of grapes native to southern France—Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, and others—are producing more and more outstanding examples.
91 $15 Bodegas Naia Rueda 2017 Spain A sleek, firm texture carries harmonious flavors of pear, mint, tarragon and mineral in this lively white, showing balance and depth. Verdejo. —Thomas Matthews
91 $17 Terenzuola Vermentino Colli di Luni-Tuscany Vigne Basse 2017 Italy Rich and intensely flavored, boasting peach, grapefruit, earth and wild herb aromas and flavors. Harmonious, with a minerally aftertaste. —Bruce Sanderson
90 $20 Attems Pinot Grigio Friuli 2017 Italy An elegant white, bright and mouthwatering, with a stony underpinning to the kiwifruit, nectarine, graphite and spice flavors. Very pure. —Alison Napjus
90 $15 Bouza do Rei Albariño Rias Baixas Lagar 2017 Spain Floral and briny notes frame tangerine and quince flavors in this lively white, with tropical depths balancing the minerality. —Thomas Matthews
90 $15 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Roussillon White Les Vignes de Bila-Haut 2016 France Broad and creamy, offering fresh peach and melon notes woven together with lanolin and blanched almond details. Grenache Blanc blend. —Gillian Sciaretta
90 $17 Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay Columbia Valley Indian Wells 2016 Washington This lively and expressive version features flavors of tropical fruit and toasted spice that linger on the finish. —Tim Fish
90 $20 Herdade do Esporão Alentejo White Reserva 2017 Portugal Full-bodied and focused, with a vanilla cream undertone marking the apple filling, lemon curd and peach notes. Arinto, Roupeiro and Antão Vaz. —Gillian Sciaretta
90 $18 Goldschmidt Chardonnay Russian River Valley Singing Tree 2016 California Fresh acidity supports concentrated green apple, citrus and savory herb flavors that are well-detailed, with notes of tarragon and sage. —Kim Marcus
90 $17 Domaine de Nizas Languedoc White Les Terres Noires 2015 France Full-bodied and spicy, with beeswax, glazed pineapple and dried mango flavors. Roussanne, Rolle and Viognier. —Gillian Sciaretta
90 $18 Santa Barbara Winery Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2016 California Shows white fruit and spice flavors that are supported by bright acidity, with green apple, fig and ripe melon dominant on the palate. —Kim Marcus
90 $19 Nik Weis St.-Urbans-Hof Riesling Qualitätswein Mosel Wiltinger Alte Reben 2016 Germany A lovely example of an off-dry style, this sports floral, peach, apple and lemon flavors, with fine intensity and a mouthwatering finish. —Aleks Zecevic
90 $13 Yalumba Viognier South Australia The Y Series 2017 Australia Lemon, chamomile and spicy nectarine flavors are fresh and vibrant in this white, set on a crisp body. Finishes spicy and refreshing. —MaryAnn Worobiec
89 $13 Domaine Bousquet Chardonnay Tupungato Unoaked 2018 Argentina This shows juicy apple, pear and melon flavors that are rich and well-crafted, ending with a glistening spiciness on the powerfully structured finish. —Kim Marcus
89 $12 Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc Western Cape Petit 2017 South Africa This has a slightly rounded edge, but it’s fresh and lively overall, with apple, fennel and green plum flavors. —James Molesworth
89 $15 Handpicked Chardonnay Victoria Versions 2016 Australia Crisp pear, citrus and melon flavors show a note of citrus pith and leafy floral accents, with touches of spice and honey. —MaryAnn Worobiec
89 $13 Domaine de Montine Grignan Les Adhémar White Gourmandises 2017 France Fresh and direct, with yellow apple, white peach and star fruit notes. Marsanne, Roussanne, Clairette, Viognier, Bourboulenc and Grenache Blanc. —James Molesworth
89 $13 Viña Santa Rita Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley Estate Reserve 2017 Chile White fruit flavors show a seductive spiciness in this creamy white. Finishes plush, with fresh acidity. —Kim Marcus
89 $17 Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc Northern Sonoma Charlotte’s Home 2017 California This distinctive version opens with a smoky, toasty note that melts into marmalade, yuzu and pomelo flavors, with vibrant acidity. —MaryAnn Worobiec
88 $15 Bodega Colomé Torrontés Salta 2018 Argentina Peach, ripe citrus and green apple flavors feature creamy hints in this aromatic white, with a flinty, refreshing finish. —Kim Marcus
88 $13 Louis Latour Chardonnay Ardèche Grand 2016 France Pretty, offering ripe pear and apple fruit inlaid with light toasted hazelnut and brioche notes, balanced by good acidity. —James Molesworth