Wine

Bleeding White

These bold white wines drink like reds

We all have friends who claim they don't like white wine. Even in the dead of winter, this is a bad bias to have--it's like deciding to use only one of your two arms. And in summer's stickiest months, it's downright nuts.

Luckily, there are bottles we call Whites that Drink Like Reds--wines that are pale in color but stout of heart. At their best, these hearty whites have amplitude in the mouth, a long finish and a complexity that keeps your brain pleasantly occupied.

And these broad-shouldered beauties don't make their lasting impression just from overuse of oak. They come by their strength honestly--namely, from a base of really good grapes.

Here are three to try:

2006 Inama Soave Classico Superiore Vigneti di Foscarino ($18) This dry and mineral-loaded white (pictured) is grippy, grapey and bold; the winemaker lets the grapes hang out as long as possible at harvest before picking them, which creates seriously concentrated flavors (planetofwine.com).

2007 Shafer Vineyards Red Shoulder Ranch ($45) There's oak here, but it's used judiciously to frame the fig, melon and lime flavors in this mouthwatering Chardonnay, which the California sunshine has turned into a big boy--not a dumb brute (whwc.com).

2007 Alain Paret Condrieu Lys de Volan ($65) From France's Rhône Valley, this bottle is one of the best expressions of the Viognier grape available. It's spicy and complex, mixing apricot and honey tastes with beguiling floral scents (saratogawine.com).

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