Need a reason to see the wine glass as half full? Think of the July heat as a signal to climb aboard the bandwagon for crisp, dry summer whites. This week's choice, the 2008 Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc (about $12 at big box stores and wine shops), is a corker.
An ethereal wine from Chile's Rapel Valley, the 2008 is a superbly nuanced blend of 90 percent sauv blanc grapes from the organic certified Las Kuras Vineyard and 10 percent Semillon, the latter responsible for a charming whisper of sweetness in an otherwise bone-dry wine made from grapes harvested in an unusually dry year. The grapes were cold-fermented in steel and aged on the lees. The result is a pale platinum wine of considerable character.
The nose is lightly floral with hints of white fruits, melon and citrus, a mellifluous combination that persists on the palate, where traces of herbs and stone also come into play. Owing to its assertive acidity, the wine starts on an agreeably astringent note that mellows into a mouth-filling roundness before finishing long and clean.
We would be tempted to reserve this superb sauv blanc for service as an aperitif, since it stands on its own so beautifully, but when pairing it with food we would recommend seafood, either a medley of your raw bar favorites or grilled and lightly, brightly sauced white-flesh fish.
Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.