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White Varietals

Sasha Kill

CHARDONNAY

Flavors: Note: Chardonnay is so varied that flavors here are described by region California - vanilla, butter, butterscotch, green apple; New Zealand - tropical fruit, gooseberry, passion fruit, lemon, pineapple; Chablis region of France - crisp & flinty; Mersault region of France - lush, ripe, fleshy
Features: Full-bodied, smooth texture, made richer/creamier through oak barrel fermenting
Regions of Note: Planted globally; best results in Australia, California, France, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand

CHENIN BLANC

Flavors: Melon, honeydew, honeysuckle, quince, grass
Features: High acid content provides balance for sweetness and aging potential; ranges from sparkling wine to moelleux (meaning 'with marrow') which is rich and sweet; most versatile of all grape varieties; nearly a third of wines in South America are Chenin Blanc; mostly used as a blending grape
Regions of Note: Native region is France (Loire Valley); also grown in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, California, Washington State

GEWÜRZTRAMINER

Flavors: Peach, mango, lychee, rose petal, honeysuckle
Features: Fragile grape; thick, tough skins; low acidity; heavy, oily texture
Regions of Note: France (Alsace), Germany, Washington State, California

PINOT BLANC

Flavors: Apple, almond, citrus, lime
Features: Pinot Blanc is a clone of Pinot Gris; high acidity, low in aromatic intensity; light- to medium-bodied
Regions of Note: France (Alsace), Italy (called Pinot Bianco), Germany & Austria (called Weissburgunder), Argentina, California

PINOT GRIS

Flavors: Lemon, apple, pear, citrus, lime
Features: Depending upon ripeness, Pinot Gris can be tangy and light or quite rich and full-bodied
Regions of Note: France (Alsance), Italy (Alto Adige & Friuli called Pinot Grigio), Oregon, Germany (called Grauburgunder)

RIESLING

Flavors: Apple, peach, apricot, rose petal, violet, minerals, flint
Features: Range is immense; steely, dry (Kabinett) to intensely sweet (Trockenbeerenauslese); cultivated in Germany since 1400; Riesling wines are well-suited to the coldest wine growing climates; low alcohol; powerful aroma
Regions of Note: Germany, France (Alsace), Oregon, California, Washington State, Australia, New Zealand

SAUVIGNON BLANC

Flavors: Ranging from herbaceous (grass, lemongrass, gooseberries); vegetal (bell pepper, green olive, asparagus); fruity (grapefruit, lime, citrus, lemon, melon)
Features: Wide range of dry-style (Loire Valley) to very sweet dessert-style (Sauternes) wines
Regions of Note: France, California, Washington State, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina

SÉMILLION

Flavors: Fig, lemon, pear, grass, bell pepper; Botrytis-form: apricot, peach, quince, honey, pineapple
Features: Mostly used as a blending grape; thin skin; juicy pulp; subject to botrytis or "noble rot"; can age for decades
Regions of Note: Chile, France (mainly Bordeaux in Graves & Sauternes)

VIOGNIER

Flavors: Orange blossom, apricot, mango, pineapple, tangerine, kiwi, anise, mint
Features: Much more distinctive fruit character than Chardonnay; full-bodied, often used as a blending grape; notoriously temperamental and can be difficult to unify
Regions of Note: France (Loire Valley, Northern Rhõne (Condrieu), Languedoc), California, Washington State

ZINFANDEL

Flavors: Raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, cranberry, black cherry, licorice, cinnamon, black pepper
Features: Full-bodied; highly concentrated, age worthy wines; Zinfandel is a clone of the Croatian variety Crljenak, coming to the U.S. in 1820; best when drunk within 3 to 5 years
Regions of Note: California, Washington State