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Senior Tim Fish joined the Wine Spectator staff in 2001. His tasting beat includes U.S. sparkling wine, and California Zinfandel and Merlot.
Tim Fish

A Charismatic White Blend for Warm Days

Kendall-Jackson California Summation 2009

Tim Fish
Posted: June 28, 2010

When summer starts to heat up, big reds like Cabernet and Merlot are neglected in our house. Even as eager carnivores, we eat a lot more fish and chicken as the days grow longer, and because a certain wife in my house is not big on Chardonnay, we open a lot of Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer and Rhône whites.

The whole white Meritage thing never impressed me, but I do enjoy a festive white blend when I can find a good one. The eccentric Rosemount blends like Traminer-Riesling have always been crisp and easy to drink, and the Caymus Conundrum has an exotic appeal although it’s a hint sweet.

Relatively new to the market is Kendall-Jackson Summation, a charismatic kitchen-sink concoction of eight different grapes from five different California wine regions (mostly Lake, Mendocino and Santa Barbara counties). Sauvignon Blanc gives it a crisp backbone and minerality, Viognier and Chardonnay add body and a lush texture and Roussanne, White Riesling and Muscat Canelli add bright fruit and floral aromas.

The night I opened it, I made grilled chicken Caesar salad, and the wine was an ideal match. I rated it 90 points, non-blind. Retailing for $17, it’s widely available. members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Easy Finds among California whites.

David Blakeley
New Jersey —  June 29, 2010 10:45am ET
Thanks Tim. I'm in a similar situation around Chardonnay but have been sampling no/low oak versions and running them past my wife. Alluvium Blanc Knights Valley is another widely available white meritage we enjoy.
Tim Fish
Santa Rosa, CA —  June 29, 2010 12:10pm ET
Good advice David. Thanks.

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