Mirassou: Three refreshing whites for summer

Mirassou is a brand that is six generations strong, and in 2002 was sold to E. & J. Gallo. David Mirassou still is spokesperson for the wines, which are strengthened by the depth of the modern-day Gallo vineyard holdings, the focus on quality and the marketing reach of the largest family-owned wine company in the world.

Mirassou’s latest batch of summer whites rings in at $12, but you are likely to find this huge brand a couple bucks less. Bottles are closed with screw caps and the inviting sun-burst label dresses up any table — casual or formal.

David Mirassou with the wines that salute his family's legacy in California. (Photo courtesy of Mirassou)

David Mirassou with the wines that salute his family’s legacy in California. (Photo courtesy of Mirassou)

Mirassou Moscato California 2012, $12Low in alcohol (7.4% compared to the usual 12%) and packed with flavor, this baby reminds me of a summer punch of Clementines, ripe peaches and a squirt of lime. It’s refreshing and is the kind of wine you can embellish with an ice cube. The tropical fruit flavors are intense and it has good acidity for balance. It’s made from the prized Muscat Canelli grape. Fermentation is cut short to retain some sweetness in the wine. It has complexity to separate it from all the “commercial” Moscatos jammed on today’s shelves.

Mirassou Sauvignon Blanc California 2012, $12

The Sauvignon is the most dry of this summer trio. It has good body at 13.5 percent alcohol and the action on the palate is clean, crisp and refreshing. Aromas are grapefruit, lime, orange zest and newly mown grass. Its’s dry, minerally and herbal on the palate. It’s a lovely food wine for summer seafood, marinated chicken and entree salads. Grapes are from the Russian River Valley and Lodi Delta. It sees no oak to preserve the bright fruit flavors.

Mirassou Riesling California 2012, $12

The Riesling is a sweetheart — and I don’t mean sugary. It’s surprisingly dry with a backbone of acidity to make it complex and crisp. The nose offers hints of delicate white flowers, pineapple and apricot. In the mouth, it’s like a cocktail of grapefruit and lime — and laced with minerality. Flavors coat the palate for a long, satisfying finish. Grapes are from the cooler parts of the Central Coast and Russian River Valley. Well done!

You can reach Sandra Silfven at ssilfven@hotmail.com.