Tasting Wine: 2007’s most memorable white wines are a varied lot

If you were to ask me, “What are the best wines you tasted in 2007?” I would not be able to give a succinct answer. However, I can come up with a list of the most memorable wines — memorable in a good way, that is.

Next week, I’m going to focus on reds. For now, here are the white wines.

Marramiero Trebbiano d’Abuzzo DOC “Anima,” 2005-06 (Abruzzi, Italy) For most of the year I was drinking the 2005 vintage of this wine, but the 2006 is equally delightful. Trebbiano is one of the most widely planted grapes in Italy and France, where it is called ugni blanc. It is often pretty bland, though there are exceptions from both sides of the border. Medium-bodied with pear, nuts, a slight waxiness, rich minerality and impeccable balance, this is a wine I am happy to drink every day. Suggested retail: $20

Lucien Crochet Sancerre, Clos du Roy, 2005 (Loire Valley, France) I’ve written about Crochet Sancerre before in this column, and if I am going to be completely honest, the wine I should probably mention is the’04 regular. When that first came out, it showed a lot of potential, but when I tried it last month it fully came into its own. Sadly, it is hard to find now. The ’05 Clos du Roy, made from 35-year old vines, is right up there. I think that in a couple of years, it will show even more complexity than the ’04 AOC is exhibiting right now. Suggested retail: $25

Pyramid Valley Pinot Blanc, Kerner Estate, 2006 (Marlborough, New Zealand) Made by Mike Weersing, who is American, the Pyramid Valley wines are the most exciting wines to come out of New Zealand in a while. Outside of Alsatian pinot blanc, this grape is often lackluster. But Weersing has a real coup here. Medium-bodied with honeysuckle, almonds, a drop of vanilla and cookie-crumb flavors, this wine shows that pinot blanc can be a great wine. Suggested retail: $27

Pamela S. Busch is the wine director and proprietor of CAV Wine Bar & Kitchen in San Francisco.

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