The season of pale, light wines that serve as equal parts coolant and sipper gives way to that of supple, medium- and full-bodied bottles of whites.
Creamy and slightly floral, with notes of citrus, the 2011 Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Chardonnay ($35) is a vibrant white, with bracing acidity and layers of flavor. Try the Russian River Valley wine with lobster, crab, flounder and fried or grilled chicken.
The 2011 Newton "Red Label" Chardonnay ($25) is a Napa Valley winner, balanced and ripe, with apricot, pear and vanilla. The wine is a fine match for finfish, lobster, crab and cream-sauced pastas.
CADE Estate Winery delivers a richly satisfying sauvignon blanc. The bright, aromatic 2012 CADE Sauvignon Blanc ($26) comes through with citrus, melon and tart apple, plus traces of pear and peach. This CADE is ideal with spicy Asian fare, and is good company for fried calamari, seafood salad and pesto.
Matanzas Creek Winery presents a sauvignon blanc trio. The 2012 Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc ($21) is defined by citrus and honeydew melon. Tropical fruit, lime and pear highlight the 2012 Matanzas Creek Bennett Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($32), a fuller, versatile choice. The wines are terrific with oysters; the Sonoma County, with smoked fish and salads; the Bennett Valley, with chicken.
And the 2011 Wild Horse Unbridled Chardonnay ($24) arrives with suggestions of apple and lemon, with a hint of vanilla. The wine is from the Santa Maria Valley. Sample it with shellfish cocktails, steamed or broiled lobster, crabcakes and fried chicken.