When Chardonnay is a little too much, maybe too rich, and you just need something a little more zingy and flavorful, Sauvignon Blanc just might be the summer white wine answer. Some good examples to consider:
*Starborough Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand 2013 ($15): Kim Crawford is the poster child for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but Starborough is a great contender and can often be found at a discounted price. Citrus aromas and lime zest hit first with a bit of ruby red grapefruit as well as hints of lemongrass and ginger. It has a zesty palate entry with passion fruit, guava, mango, kiwi and grapefruit all in the mix. While a good level of acidity is present, it's pleasantly soft, making it feel well-rounded in the mouth. A crowd-pleaser, this is a good aperitif wine or one for the appetizer round.
*Ancient Peaks Sauvignon Blanc, Paso Robles, Margarita Vineyard 2013 ($14): Drawn totally from estate-grown fruit, this Sauvignon Blanc has fresh and arresting aromas of yellow pear, gooseberry and citrus with a touch of jasmine and ginger. Tangy flavors of white peach, guava nectar and pink grapefruit are pungent and mouth-filling with zippy lime zest adding a high note on the finish. Bring on the savory goat cheese salad or citrus marinated grilled chicken to pair up with this one.
*Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc, California 2012 ($12): Green melon, lime zest, pink grapefruit and kiwi come through distinctly on the nose. Citrus hits the palate with lemon-lime (7UP-like) — very fresh and forward. It's snappy and crisp as well, with additional flavors of guava and passion fruit and a sidebar of cut grass, honeydew melon and watermelon. A very solid Sauvignon Blanc, not extreme in style, but with moderate concentration and great flavor pop for the money.