Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Offbeat Spring Whites

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Longoria Albarino Clover Creek Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley (2010)
Comments: ntensely aromatic, with cottony, slightly vegetal green-tinged peach and melon fruit. Fairly ripe, but retains vibrant acids while delivering fairly rich yellow plum, melon and vaguely peachy fruit. There's a nice mineral note here that pops on the finish, along with lovely citrus and oyster shell notes. Intense and with lovely purity and precision, not to mention length. This is fabulous. 92 points
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2 Adelsheim Auxerrois (2010)
Comments: Quite perfumed on the nose with hints of apples and flowers over a gently spicy, nutty base. This is bright and vibrant in the mouth, with assertive green pear and lime flavors and a terrific texture that shows a hint of roundness but relies on the acidity to remain succulent and nervous. There's a nice white floral note on the back end, along with dusty mineral notes and citrus pith flavors that extend over the long, energetic finish. This is great. 91 points
Previously available for $21.99
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3 Ghost Hill Cellars Pinot Noir Blanc (2010)
Comments: Sweet grilled nectarines greet the nose over a base of dusty flowers and dry earth. This shows a subtle yet distinct spiciness on the nose. Bright and medium- to light-bodied in the mouth, with fabulous acidity that supports zesty lemon and subtle apricot fruit. Very focused and precise on the palate, with late arriving suggestions of blueberry and wild cherries that linger on the long, clean and refreshing finish. 90 points
Average price: $25.00 from 1 store
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4 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier (2011)
Comments: Rather clear and precise on the nose, with lemon, treacle, and honeycomb fruit topped with sweet, almost violet floral aromas and a mango top note. Creamy orange and lemon flavors and aromas pop on entry, followed by a nice hint of creamy honey and lightly spicy floral notes with an edge of peach on the back end that leads to a clean, clear and vibrant peach and Meyer lemon finish. This has a lovely texture with just a hint of richness draped over vibrant green plummy fruit. 88 points
Average price: $14.99 from 115 stores
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5 Boeckel Sylvaner Mittelbergheim Vieilles Vignes (2009)
Comments: Stony and savory on the nose with a hint of dried apple peels over a base of meaty and slightly minty green plum fruit. Smooth and polished in the mouth, this has a lovely texture, supple and velvety with flavors that are rather low in the mouth, showing flashes of green apple, green plum and light stemmy herbal notes. The finish is a bit short and simple, showing a hint of bitterness and cider apple flavors that serve as nice contrast for the relative sweetness of the palate, but this does go down easily and should be a cinch to pair with food. 87 points
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6 Alamos Torrontes (2011)
Comments: Intense balsa wood, lemon, pollen and spicy nettle-toned floral aromas greet the nose. Rich and slightly soft in the mouth, this shows a subtle sweet, honeycomb edge to its slightly gamy, tropical Lifesaver fruit flavors. There's a touch of pineapple here as well as a hint of coconut cream, all layered over some orange-toned kiwi base notes. There's a hint of bitterness that shows up on the back end and lingers on the moderately long floral finish. Not my style, but well done. 87 points
Average price: $11.84 from 2 stores
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7 Ballentine Vineyards Chenin Blanc Napa Valley Pocai Vineyard (2009)
Comments: Quince, green tea and smoky lanolin greet the nose along with some wet wool notes. This is surprisingly light in the mouth, with superb, vibrant acidity supporting relatively simple lime, quince and a touch of pear fruit with smoky, light mineral oil aromatic notes in the mouth. The finish is a touch short but snappy, with a nice return of lime pith. 86 points
Previously available for $23.80
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8 Caymus Conundrum California (2010)
Comments: Sweet lychee and honey with apricot on the nose, spicy floral base notes with white flowers. A touch round on entry with noticeable viscosity, this shows off honey-tinged melon, apricot and light mineral flavors with some polyphenolic Viognier bitterness on the back end. Floral and polleny on the finish, which is a touch short and with a whisper of sweetness. 86 points
Previously available for $16.95
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9 Montgravet Colombard Côtes de Gascogne (2011)
Comments: Light and faintly sweet on the nose, with a hint of heather over lemon marmalade and pear skins. Simple and full of lemony fruit, this is a nice everyday kind of white, one that shows a hint of richness on its medium-bodied frame but remains refreshing and simple, with lemon and pear skin flavors that drift away on the modest finish. 85 points
Previously available for $10.00
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10 Tower 15 Grenache Blanc Paso Robles (2010)
Comments: Reticent on the nose with lightly spicy cinnamon, russet apple and almond husk base notes under orange rind and quince fruit, with a light white pepper top note. Big and soft in the mouth, low acid with a rich yet not sticky texture that shows off some light tea flavors over stone notes, all wrapped in soft golden fruit that is a touch indistinct. There's a bit of obvious alcohol on the back end and the finish, which shows off a fine savory bitter almond edge with light orange pith notes. 84 points
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11 Jacuzzi Family Vineyard Arneis Paicines (2009)
Comments: Quite herbal on the nose, with notes of sage and nettle over small white fruits all topped with noticeable alcohol. There are a lot of pollen aromas in the mouth here, and this does show some lovely dusty mineral notes and a nice core of lightly creamy citrus fruit,s but the alcohol intrudes on the finish. Not a big wine, but this does show some flavors. Too bad about the alcohol. 83 points
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