Think un-pink

Before writing last week’s Liquid Assets column on rosés, I attended my first Solo Vino Rosé tasting, where I discovered a few pink gems and checked out new vintages of old favorites.

But the revelation of this sun-kissed day was a handful of white wines also being poured at the event. All come from Europe and fall within the most value-packed price range in the wine world: $12 to $20.

The least expensive was a wine I’d been wanting to check out, the Broadbent Vinho Verde ($11), which had surprising vibrancy and balance for that Portuguese genre, not to mention tons of flavor.

Two other Iberian whites impressed. The Cune Rioja Blanco ($15) had layer upon layer of fruit, minerailty and acidity with an engaging persistence (a trait that’s far more appealing in wine than people). The Vina Sastre Flavus Blanco ($20) also rolled across the palate with pureness and focus, a spot-on amalgam of stones and stone fruit.

From just north of the border came the Begude l’Exotique Haut Vallée de l’Aude ($18), a spicy but lean and clean blend from the foothills of France’s Pyrennes Mountain, with a surprising primary grape: gruner veltliner.

Perhaps most delicious of all was a bold offering from a winery that sounds French but actually resides in the Alto Adige region of Italy. The St. Michael-Eppan Pinot Bianco ($18) boasted that wet stones-stone fruit tandem, seriously refreshing crispness and a jolt of heft at the back end.

It has been nice to see some New World vintners move their chardonnays to the un-dark side, with more crispness and vitality. It has been even nicer to see an increase in the number of Old World bottlings that have spring and summer written all over them: light and lively, enticing and refreshing.

Of course, that only works when the wines end up as delicious as these are.

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