2009 Panizzi Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Tuscany isn't exactly known for its white wines. But San Gimignano, the medieval hilltown bristling with towers, is ground zero for Vernaccia di San Gimignano. The appellation is tiny, just the commune actually, but a few top producers such as Giovanni Panizzi prove that it's possible to make a thrilling white from the indigenous Vernaccia grape. The 2009 Panizzi Vernaccia di San Gimignano is just hitting the shelves now and it's a beauty. Pale yellow with greenish glints, it's scented with lime and almonds. The wine isn't shy: It has a rich, full flavor and a vibrant acidity.
When everything's wilting in the heat, break out a bottle of Panizzi Vernaccia to enjoy with oysters, chilled shellfish, crab cakes and Dungeness crab. It's great with seafood pasta and risotto too. Or simply as an aperitif served with olives and almonds.
--S. Irene Virbila
Region: Tuscany, Italy
Price: About $20
Style: Rich and fragrant
What It Goes With: raw bar items, crab cakes, Dungeness crab, seafood pasta.
Where to Find It: Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, http://www.hitimewine.net; Silver Lake Liquor in Los Angeles, (323) 661-7294, http://www.silverlakeliquorshop.com; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, http://www.winex.com; the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, http://www.winehouse.com; and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111, http://www.whwc.com.