I've decided my alternate white this summer will be pinot blanc. Since there isn't a huge selection of that [and/or, I don't want to spend a lot of time tracking different vintages down], I'll probably move on to gewürztraminer toward the end of summer.
(Not a great picture, but it works.)
My first pinot blanc is a Robert Foley 2008. They're based in Napa just NE of Santa Rosa. This bottle ran me about $12.
The wikipedia entry for pinot blanc says "In the United States, many of the vines called Pinot blanc are actually a different variety, Melon de Bourgogne/Muscadet, that resembles Chardonnay when on the vine." This didn't taste like a chardonnay, so I'm trusting the nice folks at Foley to know what they're growing.
I would describe this as dry but without much subtlety of flavor. Maybe 2008 is getting a little old in the bottle? Rieslings of that age tend to be on clearance. Pinot blancs are supposed to be known for their floral and fruity notes, but I didn't get that at all with this bottle. The acidity of this one is the kind that coats your tongue, not the back of the throat acidity you get with many wines.
Since this is my first stab at this varietal, I don't have much to compare it to yet. It's not in the top 50% of my favorite wines, but I'm guessing it would work better with a meal (seafood, spicy food) than by itself.