The groundhog’s made up its mind: Winter’s here to stay for a few more weeks. And while the woodchuck can retreat back into its burrow, we’ll need a little something to help us survive our late-season doldrums.
It’s called wine.
These recently rated bottlings are bright, fresh, fruity, and reminiscent of the sun-drenched climes from which they come. They’ll hold you over until springtime.
Echo Bay 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough); $14, 89 points. This is a broadly expansive wine in the mouth, but what it may lack in focus, it makes up for in mouthwatering fruit intensity. Gooseberry and grapefruit lead the way, with just the right amount of herbal flourishes. Drink now. Best Buy. —Joe Czerwinski
Leira 2013 Albariño (Rías Baixas); $14, 89 points. Apricot, melon, buttercup and white-flower aromas are pure Albariño. This is fresh on the tongue, with peach, melon, mango and other tropical flavors. The finish is linear and shows good acidity and length. Best Buy. —Michael Schachner
Franklin Tate 2013 Tate Chardonnay (Margaret River); $15, 90 points. This is a pretty lean, tightly focused wine. Grilled pineapple and citrus notes broaden slightly on the midpalate, then come together again on the crisp, lemony finish. Drink now through the end of 2015. Best Buy. —J.C.
Spiropoulos 2013 Made with Organic Grapes Moschofilero (Mantinia); $17, 90 points. This organic offering from a lauded Moschofilero producer starts with aromas of lemon blossom, rose and wet stone, followed by fresh flavors of citrus, peach and white fruits. Floral and elegant, it should be paired with grilled chicken or full-flavored fish. —Susan Kostrzewa
Santa Alicia 2012 Gran Reserva de Los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo Valley); $15, 88 points. Red berry and herbal aromas are firm and focused on the nose. A snappy palate deals savory and fruity flavors of red berry, olive and mint. Firm tannins and driving acidity push the finish a bit further. —M.S.
Durigutti 2012 Cabernet Franc (Mendoza); $17, 90 points. Compact aromas of fresh berry fruits, herbal notes and oak-based sawdust are lively and fun. There’s acidic kick to the palate, and overall, the body is healthy and balanced. Blackberry and cured meat flavors dominate, while the finish is chocolaty and brings a salt-and-pepper finale. —M.S
Protea 2013 Chenin Blanc (Coastal Region); $18, 88 points. Vibrant, tart gooseberry, plum and lime aromas are upfront on the bouquet, with additional hints of sweet grass and honeysuckle dancing in the background. The palate offers bright acidity and crisp citrus flavors. Drink now. —Lauren Buzzeo