These two California whites are so outstanding for the price, I just ordered a case of each.
2010 Tangent Sauvignon Blanc: About five years ago after reading very positive comments here about this (Edna Valley?) winery by Tom Hill, I think it was, I ordered a bottle of their SB in a restaurant. It was excellent and different in some way I don't now remember the particulars of, only that it was. When I saw this new vintage on a local list the other day, I bit again. Didn't take notes at the time, but I remember commenting to Bob that it was so expressive and complex that I could taste elements of just about every good Sauvignon blanc I've ever had in that one wine including a musky white Bordeauxishness I don't recall finding in a domestic SB before. Almost fainted when I looked it up today because based on taste I was expecting to pay $20-25, but direct from the winery it was only $13.
2010 La Follette Chardonnay North Coast La Follette is the Pinot/Chardonnay only winery started by the guy who was Flowers winery's original winemaker. He makes a number of single vineyards including those he made for Flowers, like Van der Kamp, but this is, i presume, the kitchen sink blend oF everything left over. None of which I knew even I first tasted it last weekend. Rather, there I'd gathered a number of samples of distributor recommendations for QPR outperformers to consider for a big dinner in December I'm helping with. This was one of the easiest choices ever. Pale straw color suggests a delicacy that's realized in a quietly intense way on the palate that seems at odds, at first, with the huge white flower and muscat aromatics of the nose. With time it all comes together as a very lovely, atypically refined Cal Chard with perfect acidity and a long finish. Has the style and presence of a $40 wine, but costs around $17-18.