Station #2: Bright Whites, Red Beauties

Wolffer Estate 2009 Classic White, New York.
Fresh from the Hamptons, here is another aromatic, stretch-the-field blend, comprised of roughly equal parts Riesling, Gewüztraminer and Chardonnay. This is the inaugural vintage of the Classic White ($16); it veers toward Fruit City (think lychee, ripe papaya, apple). And yes, Wolffer is here because it’s in NYC’s backyard… a tasty reminder that some of the best wines of summer happen close to home, wherever you live. Click for more on Wolffer.

Don Olegario 2007 Albariño, Rias-Baixas, Spain.
A.k.a seafood’s best friend, Albariño boasts exotic aromatics and fruit-salad character with an undercurrent of tang. Albariño is an especially attractive alternative to heavier California Chardonnays. It’s got the plumpness, but there is no wood here to distract. Spain’s Albariño production is centered in Rias Baixas; bottlings reaching the U.S. are impressively consistent. Click for more on Don Olegario and Rias Baixas.

The Seeker 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand.
The Seeker 2008 Pinot Noir, France.

Brand new from Kobrand, The Seeker is a series of wines sourced from iconic regions around the globe, and crafted to be authentic, easy-drinking and affordable ($13). Personally, I had fallen into and out of love with NZ SBs… some are a little too extreme in the grapefruit/passionfruit department. But the 2009 Seeker, with grapes not only from Marlborough, but also two other areas, comes across as a kinder, gentler (but still lipsmacking) example of the tangy Kiwi style. The Pinot Noir, distinctly not Burgundy (it’s fruitier), is essentially cherry-picked from sustainable vineyards in the south of France, where ripening is more reliable. Making a Pinot under $15 that tastes like Pinot is a rare feat; mission accomplished. Just getting its toe in the market, The Seeker is currently available at 67 Wine & Spirits (UWS); Michael Towne Wine & Spirits (Brooklyn); Vino 100 (White Plains). {Disclosure: I helped write label copy for The Seeker, but take zero credit for how good the wines taste.} Darn brand’s so new, the website {theseekerwines.com} isn’t live yet…

Big House Red 2008, California.
Twenty grapes in all go into this “splendid blended,” with Petite Sirah, Petite Verdot, Grenache and Sangiovese playing pivotal roles. The result is a full-flavored but smooth-textured fruity beauty, with a spicy Mediterranean spirit and fruity New World heart. Like the Big House White, this is available in bottles that sell for $8.99; but why go there when four bottles worth of wine can be had for about $22 in the Octavin? Click for more on the Octavin line.