We continue our parade of crisp summer whites with a wine from Sonoma County winemaker Clos du Bois, a house probably best known for its always reliable chardonnay, a staple of grocery store shelves and restaurant wine lists alike. This week we sample the 2007 Clos du Bois Pinot Grigio (widely available at about $13), a particularly refined, structured and refreshing example of its kind.
The winery touts this wine, which was sourced from cool climate vineyards all over California, as an ideal picnic wine. We couldn't agree more. Load the cooler with cold fried chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, maybe a nice wedge of Brie to go with fresh seasonal berries — and don't forget the wine opener; no screw caps here.
Citrus, especially lemon and pink grapefruit, and stone fruits, notably apricot and peach, are the big noises in this pinot grigio, but what sets it apart is a pronounced minerality on the tongue, which boosts this summer white into the top rank of refreshing pours. Having banished the sweet aftertaste of many wines of its kind, this one finishes long and clean, leaving behind only a lingering memory of fresh bright fruit.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.