As weather warms up, enjoy these chilled white wines and rosés

FOR THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 13, 2014 

Today I'll finish up my two-part series featuring white wines and rosés that are always at their best with a bit of chilling.

These are great wines to serve when the weather warms up and, as an added bonus, you'll find many of them to be in the nicely priced $10- to $19-a-bottle range.

Victor Palencia has a trio of newly released white wines from his recently launched Walla Walla-based winery. They're indicative of his philosophy that "everybody should be able to afford a great bottle of Washington wine."

Though he's only 28, Palencia can no longer be considered the prodigy winemaker he once was. He is, after all, closing in on his first decade of winemaking experience, which I'd say moves him toward the "well-seasoned veteran" category.

His Vino La Monarcha 2013 Pinot Gris (about $15) carries a lovely fragrance of orange chiffon along with melon and mandarin orange flavors and accents of lime zest and rhubarb on the extreme finish.

Under his Palencia Wine Company label, you'll also find a tasty 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (about $18) and a 2013 Albariño (also about $18).

The sauvignon blanc has aromas of timothy hay and sweet clover, peach and lemon-citrus flavors, and a finish that suggests gritty pear, slate, and wet stone.

The albariño is packed with luscious cantaloupe and honeydew flavors and a bit of green pear toward the finish. Have fun with this wine; it's plump, juicy, flavorful, and best enjoyed when served well-chilled.

Speaking of albariño, I had the opportunity to recently try this varietal along with a few others from Uruguay's Bodega Garzón. This is a winery that's new to the United States and their wines can be ordered locally through Seifert and Jones Wine Merchants.

The 2013 Albariño (about $17) is gorgeous, with opening flavors of ruby red grapefruit that quickly melt into rounder stone fruits of peach and apricot.

And the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (about $17) clearly carries the cooling influence of the Atlantic Ocean, just 11 miles from the winery. Big peach aromas carry over to the palate, with zingy grapefruit and gooseberry flavors and a trailing grassy note, similar to a New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

Finally, be sure to have plenty of Prosser's Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2013 A-Squared Rosé (about $14) on hand for the spring and summer. I couldn't believe the price of this wine, especially since it delivers so much bang for the buck.

It's comprised of cabernet franc and tempranillo and explodes on the palate like a juicy piece of strawberry-rhubarb pie. Fruity, borderline sweet, but balanced with a ton of brash acidity, this is refreshing, must-try rosé.

Dan Radil is a wine enthusiast who lives in Bellingham. Reach him at danthewineguy.com.

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