American Sauvignon Blanc
Tasted: 88 I Reviewed: 27
Greek Wines
Tasted: 196 I Reviewed: 66
Rias Baixas Albariño
Tasted: 17 I Reviewed: 9
Alvarinho & Vinho Verde
Tasted: 48 I Reviewed: 21
American New Releases
Tasted: 456 I Reviewed: 142
Imported New Releases
Tasted: 383 I Reviewed: 127
Tasted: 1188 I Reviewed: 392

Once upon a time, long before the Greeks made retsina, most wine, shipped in amphorae along the Mediterranean coast, was preserved with tree resin. And if the Greeks have a penchant for preserving this ancient tradition, it's easy to understand why (p. 55). For a more modern take on the Mediterranean, there are plenty of stylish young Greek wines from the islands, Peloponnesos and inland. Or follow the spread of the vine to Italy, for whites from Friuli's vines between the Alps and the Adriatic (p. 75).

It may have been the Phoenicians who brought the vine up the coast of Iberia, now home to albariño (p. 60) in Galicia and alvarinho (p. 61) on Portugal's side of the Minho. Both are crisp white refreshers for summer sipping. Now the vine has migrated to our own Pacific shores, in the Santa Maria Valley (p. 63), along with pinot grigio, vermentino, even tocai Friulano, filling out the pages of our American new releases.

And for some of the best summer whites, check out the great coastal sauvignon blancs (p. 52) ready to stock the cellar or the fridge. Most are made to drink the moment you buy them, while a few will gain stature for parties in summers to come.

For complete stats on this issue's tasting section, see our table of contents (p. 6). And for an overview of how we taste, always blind, in our offices, with outside panelists to recommend the wines and inside critics to provide the ratings and reviews, please turn to page 53.