Check out four white wine grape varieties that are most popular in summer
Taste: melon, grapefruit and pineapple, buttery and nutty
In Burgundy, CHARDONNAY ranges in quality from bland to intense and in style from oaked to unoaked and from the minerally, unoaked, lean, bone dry chablis style to the richer, classically hazelnutty intense dry whites of the Côte de Beaune. In the New World, CHARDONNAY varies from the melon, apple and grapefruit cool climate styles to more tropical fruit styles with flavours of peach, mango, lime and pineapple. As a non-aromatic variety, its affinity with oak brings both a textured, buttery roundness as well as smoky, toasty, clove and cinnamon-spice and nutty features.
Taste: Quince and apple, sweet barley sugar and honey characters CHENIN BLANC in its most classic form in the Loire Valley is full of floral and honeyed aromas and quince and apple-like flavours with good zippy acidity. When cool-fermented as in so many instances in South Africa, it can be quite peardroppy, becoming more peachy in fuller dry whites. With botrytis development in the grapes, it becomes rich in barley sugar and honeyed characters, particularly in the luscious sweet wines of the Loire Valley.
Taste: From gooseberry to tropical passion fruit, aromas of elderflower and blackcurrant leaf
SAUVIGNON BLANC is at its most fragrant and fresh in the cooler climate of the Loire Valley where cut-grass, nettles, elderflower, blackcurrant leaf and gooseberries are the key flavours with minerally, zesty, flinty undertones. It is at its most assertive in the pungently catty, elderfloral style of Marlborough in New Zealand, where, depending on ripeness levels it ranges from green bean, tinned pea and asparagus flavours and the riper, more tropical characters of grapefruit, guava, passion fruit and mango.
Taste: apples and lime, honey and petrol characters
In its Teutonic heartland of the Mosel and Rheingau Valleys, RIESLING produces elegant wines with crisp, lime, lemon, apple and peach flavours and honeyed richness. In the Mosel it is said to become slatey, which is easier to describe as minerally, developing honey, petrol and kerosene-like flavours. In Alsace it can be more floral and perfumed, while Australian RIESLING, particularly from the Eden and Clare Valleys, starts out lime and lemon-like and develops a minerally, keroseney character with age.
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