Looking for white wines of quality and character, yet inexpensively or moderately priced? Here are my favorites from recent tastings. Each selection delivers more than its price suggests.

Under $10

Fetzer 2016 Gewürztraminer “Shaly Loam, Monterey County” ($9): An exceptional bargain that is gorgeous in the glass, as well as rich, well-balanced, complex and long-finishing on the palate. Just ask for “Geh-vur-stra-mean-er.”

Fetzer 2016 Riesling “Goosefoot Road, Monterey County” ($9): This excellent buy is attractive all-around. It is strong and medium sweet on the palate with forward fruit, balancing acidity, pleasing complexity, fine integration and extended length.


Surf Swim 2016 Chardonnay “California” ($10): A fine buy for its modest price with fruit plus some oak on the attack and then develops crisp balance before heading into a long finish. Also available in cans.

Line 39 2016 Sauvignon Blanc “California” ($11): Nicely priced, this pleasing wine has strength on nose and palate with well-balanced fruit, impressive complexity for the price and a strong, lengthy finish.

Villa Pozzi 2016 Moscato “Sicily, Italy” ($11): Pleasant fizz and some sweetness will appeal to many, especially with forward fruit, complexity that surprises for the modest price and a lingering finish.

Ferrari-Carano 2017 Fumé Blanc “Sonoma County” ($14): Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc with a light touch of oak. Strong, but polished on the palate with excellent crispness, refinement, and length.

Pascal Jolivet 2017 Sauvignon Blanc “Attitude, Loire Valley, France” ($16): Very attractive with fruit, strength and complexity on both nose and palate. I especially enjoyed its balance, refinement and texture.

Chamisal 2015 Chardonnay “Stainless, Central Coast” ($18): This fine, unoaked Chard is ample on the palate with strength, forward fruit, appealing complexity and pleasing acidity, all extending throughout a strong, lengthy finish.

Kunde 2015 Chardonnay “Sonoma Valley” ($18): Very well made Chardonnay with quality exceeding its price. I was especially impressed with its beautiful, luminescent color, as well as full body, rich fruit, highly honed balance and long, expressive finish.

Left Coast 2017 Pinot Gris “The Orchard, Willamette Valley” ($18): This flexible food wine is light in color and pleasing on the nose. It is also strong on the palate with fruit, admirable crispness and a long-lingering finish.


Decoy 2016 Chardonnay “Sonoma County” ($20): Among the highlights are attractive color with hints of gold, strength on palate with forward fruit, excellent acidity, strong complexity, fine integration and appealing personality.

Decoy 2016 Sauvignon Blanc “Sonoma County” ($20): Luminescent in the glass, ample fruit on nose and especially pleasing on the palate with full body, enticing fruit, refined balance and a much extended, full-flavored finish.

Massovivo (by Frescobaldi) 2016 Vermentino “Tuscany, Italy” ($20): Quite forward on the palate with lean, very well-balanced fruit, refined integration and strong personality. Pairs well with a wide variety of foods, especially shellfish.

Nobilo Icon 2016 Sauvignon Blanc “Marlborough, New Zealand” ($22): Fine New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc expressive on nose and palate. Attractive balance of fruit and enhancing acidity as well as enjoyable complexity carry through a lengthy finish.

Heitz 2017 Sauvignon Blanc “Napa Valley” ($23): Light in color, but a terrific wine featuring a strong, complex nose that presages a forward personality on the palate with impressive strength, excellent fruit, refined balance, notable complexity and more.

John Vankat’s Pine Wine appears every month and his Wine Pick of the Week is published every Wednesday. Wines can be ordered from local wine stores, unless indicated otherwise. Prices may vary. John can be reached at azpinewine@yahoo.com.