I was reading the latest Wine Advocate — and in one review Parker wrote that there is not a better value in California dry white wines than Beringer’s 2006 Alluvium. That is a pretty bold statement, and while Beringer does produce some nice wines, my perception is that they are not a leader in value.
Anyway, I ventured out to see what I was missing. …and picked up a couple of bottles. My local Total Beverage (which literally is a warehouse) — had hundreds of bottles of Beringer, but only 2 Alluviums in inventory, which we were eventually able to locate.
Alluvium is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chardonnay, with a hint of viognier as well. The Semillion really comes through on the nose ( I would much prefer the elegance of the viognier)….on the palate, there are elements of limestone and mineral, lemon grass, citrus — good acidity, weight/structure and finish.
Parker rated it a 90 — and while I might score it slightly lower — I do think it is a great food wine and would serve it with seafood — or certainly would pair well with raw clams or oysters…..it has good weight and alcohol (over 14%) and while I tend to think higher alcohol reds tend to overshadow food, higher alcohol whites tend to work quite well with food.
Would I buy it again? Yes, certainly if it were on sale — or it would be a great choice for a social event (a pretty safe and reasonably priced choice…..) — but I do also think there are some more interesting white wines coming out of California.