These regions produce benchmark white wines.
The slate soils of the Mosel River valley produce more finely nuanced Rieslings than anywhere else.
2008 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Kabinett ($55).
Burgundy's Côte de Beaune, with its gentle limestone slopes, is the original (and still the best) source for elegant, layered Chardonnay.
2007 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault ($100).
Loire Valley, France
The cool, damp climate brings out Chenin Blanc's complexity.
2006 Domaine Huet Le Mont Sec Vouvray ($30).
This hilly region, lodged between the Adriatic and the Alps, produces Pinot Grigio (along with less well-known varieties, such as Friulano, Ribolla Gialla and Picolit) with surprising minerality and grace.
2008 Jermann Pinot Grigio ($24).
Marlborough, New Zealand
2009 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc ($26).