If you haven’t discovered the amazing diversity of white wines from Italy, start with this electrifying grechetto and an elegant falanghina. If you can’t get to the Amalfi coast this summer, you can at least drink as though you’re there.
We also have two bottles from an alliance of cooperative wineries in the Languedoc region of France, blended and aggressively priced for the U.S. market.
And we finish with a ripe version of an inexpensive Loire sauvignon blanc:
Terre de la Custodia Grechetto Colli Martani 2018 Three stars
This lovely white wine features aromas and flavors of white flowers and roasted hazelnuts, with an overall sense of minerals, as though you were relishing pure spring water gushing over stones. Enjoy this with seafood or on its own. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent.
Domaine de l’Hémonière Sauvignon Touraine 2019
Two and one-half stars
Loire Valley, France, $14
Here is an outlier for Loire Valley sauvignon blanc. It is noticeably riper and fuller than is typical for the region, but it is unmistakably sauvignon blanc, with herbal and mineral notes typical of the variety. The ripeness is ap-parent in the texture and body of the wine — mouth-filling, fleshy and soft. The alcohol level noted on the label is higher than average for the region, but the wine does not taste hot. ABV: 14.5 percent.
Le Origini Falanghina Beneventano 2018 Two and one-half stars
Italy has a multitude of grape varieties that, for one reason or another, have never expanded beyond the boot. Falanghina beneventano is one of two varieties that were lumped together as simply falanghina until genetic testing unveiled their differences. It is not particularly aromatic, but on the palate it suggests white flowers, wild herbs and sea air. It is a great partner to grilled or roasted fish and lighter pastas with seafood, and a ticket for a virtual wine trip to Italy’s Mediterranean coast. ABV: 13 percent.
Miss Anaïs Chardonnay Viognier 2019 Two stars
Pays d’Oc, France, $15
Here’s an atypical blend that just works. The wine sports aromas of jasmine and talc with a whiff of sea air. As wines go, the texture of this one is rich and “chewy,” making it a wine for food — such as fish or poultry — rather than sipping on its own. The Miss Anaïs line also has a nice rosé (labeled as a gris) and a savory red blend. ABV: 13 percent.
Alyssa Red Blend 2019 Two stars
Pays d’Oc, $11
Here’s a southern French red blend interpreted for the American palate — and, well, our sweet tooth. The wine is nearly equal parts grenache, syrah and cabernet sauvignon but aged in American oak barrels with a sweet finish. It has plenty of fruit and is not cloyingly sweet like some of the syrupy confections coming out of California these days. This red blend and the Alyssa white, made from grenache blanc and viognier, should have wide appeal. Fans of drier wines will prefer the Miss Anaïs line. ABV: 13 percent.