Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:58 am

I'm opening the doors one day early to accommodate announcing it in today's 30 Second Wine Advisor. Following directly on the heels of last month's Focus on the wines of New Zealand, which by its nature incorporated a lot of Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, let's move briskly into a look at this variety internationally as our topic for September.

Sauvignon Blanc wins fans (and, frankly, some detractors) because of its highly aromatic nature. But its style can vary widely, from an in-your-face chile pepper and even "cat box" character to grapefruit to cool, fresh-mowed grass and hay; it can be fruit-forward or lean, and in some of its most intriguing examples, can show a subtle, complex minerality. Much depends on climate, soil and vineyard practice; give it sun and warmth and get ripe citrus; shade the grape bunches and keep them cool and gain "green" herbaceous aromas.

It's hard to think of a wine-growing area that can't produce Sauvignon Blanc: New Zealand has claimed it as a trademark variety, but it was a mainstay of France's Loire Valley for centuries before New Zealand became a nation; it's also important as the white wine of Bordeaux, in a blend with Semillon. California is another center of Sauvignon Blanc production, where for generations it is alternatively marketed as Sauvignon Blanc or Fumé Blanc, originally in homage to the Loire's Sauvignon-based Pouilly-Fumé. In the early days, Mondavi intended "Fumé" to indicate a Sauvignon with a whiff of oak, distinguishing it from the regular oak-free Sauvignon. This distinction has been lost for a generation, though, and nowadays "Fum&eacute" is used, if at all, strictly as a marketing option.

Finally, a bit of Sauvignon Blanc trivia that may surprise you: In the 17th century, French vine growers experimentally crossed Sauvignon Blanc with Cabernet Franc to see what might emerge. The result was the great Cabernet Sauvignon of Bordeaux. Think about that, the next time you're inclined to give short shrift to Sauvignon Blanc.
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17205
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:28 pm

I have read a couple of blogs that mention SB from Austria so that would be of interest I think. A few Canadian SBs sre available but I have not been impressed with the examples I have sampled.
Anyone know if this grape is grown in Germany... Baden perhaps??

I have just found this on an Italian website>


Considering the growing popularity of Sauvignon Blanc wines, it is of little surprise that Italian Sauvignon Blanc wines have also become more popular and with good reason. The best Italian Sauvignon Blanc wines come from the northeast of Italy. They are wonderfully intense and reach the high standards of other world-class Sauvignon Blanc wines.

Needless to say HRH Jancis has some firm ideas on Sauvignon Blanc>

http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/jrs03406.html
User avatar
Bob Parsons Alberta
aka Doris
 
Posts: 9572
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

[WTN] Sancerre Blanc Le Mont

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:30 pm

Foucher-LeBrun 2010 Sancerre Blanc Le Mont ($19.99)

Clear straw color. White fruit aromas, pears and a whiff of honeydew. Dry and tart, medium-bodied ripe pear flavors follow the nose, snappy acidity and rational 12.5% alcohol as befits a wine meant for the table. There's distinct minerality there, too, reminiscent of the scent of a stream running over limestone, adding complexity that lifts it above the mundane level of Sauvignon Blanc. U.S. importer: Vanguard Wines LLC, Columbus. (Aug. 30, 2012)

FOOD MATCH: It would find a natural match in oysters or firm-fleshed river fish, or with summer's fresh vegetable bounty. We went the latter route with bowls of fresh okra and tomato gumbo, Cajun style but with the spicy heat held back to keep it in tune with the dry, tart wine.

WHEN TO DRINK: Some "connoisseurs" do cellar high-quality Sancerre for up to a decade in the interest of developing subtle complexity, but this requires an excellent cellar that can hold a steady 55F (13C). I'd be more inclined to enjoy this one over three years or so past the vintage, which would eliminate excess angst about cellar conditions.

VALUE: The $20 point is certainly fair for a high-quality Sancerre of a recent vintage. Still, Wine-Searcher.com shows a median $17 for this wine from U.S. Vendors, with at least one retailer claiming a $14 price point, so it may pay to shop around.

WEB LINK:
Here's a brief look at the Sancerre Le Mont on producer Foucher-LeBrun's website in English.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Locate vendors and compare prices for Sancerre Le Mont on Wine-Searcher.com.
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17205
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby John Treder » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:47 pm

Hm. Just opened a 2009 David Coffaro Dry Creek Valley SB to drink with my mahi-mahi Provencale for supper tonight. Great wine, especially for the $8 I paid for it on futures and with every discount I've ever earned! :twisted:
The note is actually from the bottle I opened 6 weeks ago, but it works fine.
Really nice, though neither the NZ kind nor the French kind of SB. Leans toward the French, but riper without being blowsy. So who needs serious? 13.9% alcohol

I just picked up my '11 bottles last weekend. Problem is, there's a whole mixed case that I couldn't even fit in the overflow part of the cellar! It's over in the corner of my "office".

John
John in the wine county
John Treder
Zinaholic
 
Posts: 1616
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby ChaimShraga » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:12 am

Is it okay to post about blends that include Sauvignon Blanc? There's a couple of local whites that really excited me and I'd like an excuse to participate (The WF topics are only in synch with my itinerary every other month or so).
Positive Discrimination For White Wines!
http://2GrandCru.blogspot.com
User avatar
ChaimShraga
Wine guru
 
Posts: 816
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:53 am
Location: Tel-Aviv, Israel

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Robin Garr » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:21 am

ChaimShraga wrote:Is it okay to post about blends that include Sauvignon Blanc? There's a couple of local whites that really excited me and I'd like an excuse to participate (The WF topics are only in synch with my itinerary every other month or so).

Sure, Chaim! We tend to be highly flexible about the topic and happy to accommodate anything that's in the same general neighborhood. A White Bordeaux, to take one example, would certainly be acceptable.
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17205
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby ChaimShraga » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:08 pm

Ah, terrific. That's exactly what I was thinking of, a white Bordeaux blend.

This is from the Midbar (desert) Winery, which used to be called Asif, until owner Yaacov Or'yah went bankrupt and it was taken over by new owners. He's still the head winemaker and his wines are very pure and clear. You can read about Yaacov and his winery on the other side of the Forum.

Anyway, this is the white B blend.

Semillon-Sauvignon, 2010

The classic white Bordeaux formula is divvied up here 70% in favor of the Semillon. This is such a precocious wine, painted in miniature strokes of aromas and flavors. There are flowers and wet rocks, and the fruit ranges from lime and mandarin oranges to mango. Lovely acidity that serves as a solid backbone and maintains harmony. A bitter finish reminiscent of peels. I think this could use a couple of years to flesh out - it certainly grew and changed a lot during the two hours Efrat and I gouged away at it.

100 NIS. Thumbs up. This works both as a Graves hommage and in its own right.

Yaacov also makes a pure Semilon, which might be only the second or third such attempt in Israel.

Semillon, 2009

This low alcohol (11%), lightly colored wine is referred to on the winery's site as special early harvest - only in Israel would that be a point of distinction. It has such a fragrant nose of green apples and chalk and talc, with a an aromatic breed that is almost Riesling-like, yet that restraint comes alongside a vital intensity. The palate echoes that, with purity and understated depth. I've only had maybe one or two pure Semillon, so it's not that easy for me to place this wine, but I found it totally captivating, and its aromas and flavors don't so much change with air as modulate their pitch and volume. This is one of the best whites in Israel, a noble wine that presented myriad facets in its evening date with us.Yaacov plans to release this in 2014 and while I can see the point, the suspense is going to kill me.

No price yet. Hopefully, it, too, will be 100-120 NIS.

Yaacov also uses some Sauvignon Blanc in a blend which you might think is somwhat of a spoof until you taste the result.

White, 44, 2010

Let me sum up Yaakov's goal with this Gewurztraminer/Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay/Viognier/Semillon blend, as described in the winery's site: gain the intoxicating aromas of Gewurtz and fix its typical deficits on the palate by using the other varieties in the blend. And it works, for the most parts. The Gewurtz and Viognier battle it out on the nose, while the other three grapes, which are the more neutral aromatically, serve to tame them, so you get a somewhat less vocal version of the first's spicy lychee and rose petals, and of the second's luscious honey and flowers, and finally the Sauvignon Blanc lends its own hints of gooseberry and grass. On the palate, you get an echo of these two's hedonistic leanings, while the rest of the cast serves to fill in any holes and to lend structure where the two prima donnas prefer to coast. The label says this is off-dry, but it isn't any more off-dry than a Gruner Veltliner, the way it plays out on my palate, and that has to do with the great acidity once again, as well as with the tasty saline finish. Detailed analysis aside, I like this approach at utilizing Gewurztraminer and this is a very attractive package.

110 NIS. I can't make up my mind about the price. Objectively, it's on the high side, but when I consider how rare and hard it is to find a Gewurtz-based wine that makes good conversation before putting out...

Now I remember I do have a local SB to write about, although the style is a bit weird.

Shvo, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010

I loved the Rose, I liked the Red, I found the Chenin Blanc weird (but I plan to re-visit) - so this now completes my tour of the Shvo portfolio (although I never got to taste the 2009 version of the SB, which I gather, from what I've read, was sweeter, with less alcohol - something about stuck fermentation). This, too, is very idiosyncratic, smelling and tasting like someone tried to make a Corton-Charlemagne out of Sauvignon grapes. The nose has dried grass, flint, rainwater and honey, some melon being an offhand clue to the variety. The palate is dense, almost sweet, with a hum of minerals reminiscent of Savennieres. It's initially rather aggressive, but calms down with air to show a saline finish. At no point is it very typical: at half way past this slow-drinking, brooding wine, I caught myself thinking: "maybe Chenin Blanc just isn't my thing anymore".

An interesting wine, and although I can't pledge I'll make any returns to this vintage, I'll gladly check the upcoming ones.

About 100 NIS.
Last edited by ChaimShraga on Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Positive Discrimination For White Wines!
http://2GrandCru.blogspot.com
User avatar
ChaimShraga
Wine guru
 
Posts: 816
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:53 am
Location: Tel-Aviv, Israel

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Robin Garr » Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:30 pm

Fine notes, and thanks for the insight into Israeli wines, Chaim.

ChaimShraga wrote: Midbar (desert)


Doesn't that also mean "wilderness," or is that only in seminary Hebrew?
User avatar
Robin Garr
Forum Janitor
 
Posts: 17205
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby ChaimShraga » Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:36 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Fine notes, and thanks for the insight into Israeli wines, Chaim.

ChaimShraga wrote: Midbar (desert)


Doesn't that also mean "wilderness," or is that only in seminary Hebrew?


It's used metaphorically. For example, when a politician fades from the public eye, he's said to go into the "political desert". Well, today in Israel they actually get lecturing gigs or make an easy payday on some board of directors, but that's a different story.
Positive Discrimination For White Wines!
http://2GrandCru.blogspot.com
User avatar
ChaimShraga
Wine guru
 
Posts: 816
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:53 am
Location: Tel-Aviv, Israel

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:16 am

WTN: 2009 Jacques Lurton Touraine Sauvignon.

Discounted from $18 to $14 Cdn. I always remember my early days of exploring SB from the Loire Valley, then NZ showed up so very much contrasting styles.

Lurton has a good reputaion so I was keen to try this with some pan-fried halibut. Light yellow in color, grapefruit and mineral, light smoke nose. Tart grapefruit, mineral palate, medium finish but way too much bracing acidity even on day 2! No cats pee which used to be quite prevalant with these Touraine wines.
User avatar
Bob Parsons Alberta
aka Doris
 
Posts: 9572
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Stanislav Rudy » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:33 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:
Anyone know if this grape is grown in Germany... Baden perhaps??


From the total of roughly 100.000 hectars in Germany only cca 500 ha planted with Sauvignon Blanc variety - one half in Pfalz and then some acreage for example in Baden and Rheinhessen. Within last 3-4 years the surface of SB vineyards in Germany has doubled and the trend is still growing.
Btw, in Pfalz, the Winegrower Association has recognized the Sauvignon Blanc as "the Variety of the year 2010".

Just now in my glass - 2011, Sauvignon Blanc, Weingut Georg Mosbacher, Pfalz... :)
Stanislav Rudy
Wine geek
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:07 am
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Jon Leifer » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:57 am

Wd not overlook Washington and NY as sources of tasty Sauv Blanc..My 2 frequent fliers from Washington have been Ch Ste Michelle and their sister winery , Columbia Crest. From the Finger Lakes in NY, I like Damiani SB, from Long Island, Paumonock, Macari and Jamesport SB's..In the past, I also found a number of Italian SB's that were quite pleasing as well . I haven't purchased any in a while so no recent tasting experiences or recommendations.
Jon
Jon Leifer
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 470
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:34 pm

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Tim York » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:00 pm

Stanislav Rudy wrote:
Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:
Anyone know if this grape is grown in Germany... Baden perhaps??


From the total of roughly 100.000 hectars in Germany only cca 500 ha planted with Sauvignon Blanc variety - one half in Pfalz and then some acreage for example in Baden and Rheinhessen. Within last 3-4 years the surface of SB vineyards in Germany has doubled and the trend is still growing.
Btw, in Pfalz, the Winegrower Association has recognized the Sauvignon Blanc as "the Variety of the year 2010".

Just now in my glass - 2011, Sauvignon Blanc, Weingut Georg Mosbacher, Pfalz... :)


Why does Germany need to bother with Sauvignon blanc when it has Riesling :wink: ?

That said, there is no reason why it shouldn't make a Sauvignon just as good as those from Austria and Friuli, but whether it will add anything distinctive to the expression of the grape, I beg leave to doubt.

Indeed my problems with Sauvignon, agreeable for quaffing though it should be, is that it is rarely distinctive. I'm not sure that I could distinguish blind between most Kiwi, South African and Chilean SB and many European. Exceptions, IMO, are the best from "le Centre" in France, like Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Menetou-Salon, which do seem to have an extra minerality and terroir expression (and, with apologies to Jancis, can in some cases age gracefully for 10 years+, e.g. Cotat). And the best barrique aged white Bordeaux from Pessac-Léognan blended with Sémillon do compete credibly in the Grand Vin stakes if one likes the style and can afford them.
Tim York
Tim York
Wine guru
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm
Location: near Lisieux, France

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Stanislav Rudy » Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:23 pm

Tim York wrote:
Why does Germany need to bother with Sauvignon blanc when it has Riesling ?


Maybe because they are many times good, if not very good :wink:

Recently we were sitting together with Pierpaolo Pecorari, winegrower from Friuli Isonzo and tasting different Sauvignons from Steiermark - Austria, Germany and his own SB. The result - the best one that evening was comming from Pfalz... The ranking was not mine, it came from Pierpaolo, he prefered the German SB over his own label also because it was completely different.
Stanislav Rudy
Wine geek
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:07 am
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:54 pm

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc? "Been there..done that" was a comment from the group I was with in the wine bar. "Not until you have tasted Greywacke" said the owner!

WTN: 2011 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, South Island Marlborough.

Kevin Judd, ex Cloudy Bay, has been creating quite an impression with his new label so thought good idea to see what all the fuss is about. Fried wontons, mini spanokopita and other tit-bits would hit the spot on this Labor Day weekend!

Very pale straw color with hint of green and a watery rim. Very expressive aromatic nose also featured gooseberry, grass and some passionfruit. "Like the herbal element" was one comment from Jimmy who likes his NZ PN. Dry, not too tart, good length with minerality. Gooseberry here with some herbs. Clean and crisp, quite complex with good acidity. If you are into Monkey Bay, this is not for you! Way fuller in its complexity.

Very enjoyable, think Astrolabe might be next, plus I see Jackson SB has re-appeared in Alberta. The Greywacke was $28 Cdn.
User avatar
Bob Parsons Alberta
aka Doris
 
Posts: 9572
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Bill Hooper » Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:03 pm

Tim York wrote:That said, there is no reason why it shouldn't make a Sauvignon just as good as those from Austria and Friuli, but whether it will add anything distinctive to the expression of the grape, I beg leave to doubt.


Really Tim, I don't follow this argument at all (it has also been brought up by Terry Theise). Does New Zealand, Chile, South Africa, California, Oregon etc. Have anything to add to the world of Sauvignon Blanc? The Climate, soil, and winemakers from all of these regions is really quite diverse and so it would naturally follow that the wines would also differ dramatically (and they do in my experience.) Should NZ or Australia grow Riesling? Should Oregon grow Pinot Noir when there are so many expressions available in Burgundy? Why would anyone drink Washington Syrah when the Northern Rhone and Australia cover the styles of that grape so well? Because there is a local and increasingly global market for these wines, all of which can be very good and sometimes excellent.

Pfalz Sauvignon Blanc is often more aromatic (some might say more varietally expressive) than those from the Loire, but not as outwardly ripe and juicy as some of the more well-known New-World Sauvigons. It has firmness, acidity, class, and balance and is almost never vinified in new barrique (which you cannot say of France -The Loire or Bordeaux)

Furthermore, it has been grown in Germany for a couple of hundred years (it used to be labelled Muscat-Silvaner), and so this land has at least a longer historical claim on Sauvignon Blanc than anywhere in the New World.

Honestly, I don't even drink much German Sauvignon Blanc (I prefer the other wines), but I defend the right of the growers to put it in the ground, do the best with it that they see fit, and sell it to their German customers -many of whom are more than happy to support their local wineries.

Cheers,
Bill
Wein schenkt Freude
ITB paetrawine.com
Bill Hooper
Wine guru
 
Posts: 2089
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 1:46 am
Location: McMinnville, OR

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Tim York » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:37 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:Pfalz Sauvignon Blanc is often more aromatic (some might say more varietally expressive) than those from the Loire, but not as outwardly ripe and juicy as some of the more well-known New-World Sauvigons. It has firmness, acidity, class, and balance and is almost never vinified in new barrique (which you cannot say of France -The Loire or Bordeaux)



Just the sort of thing I need to know to help confound my prejudices, Bill.

Perhaps my basic problem is that I have very rarely has a SB which really excited me though I have quite often chosen it to quaff with seafood.
Tim York
Tim York
Wine guru
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm
Location: near Lisieux, France

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Mike Pollard » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:41 pm

Speaking of styles of sauvignon blanc. The most unusual I have had was the Piedrasassi 2009 Central Coast White Wine made from 95% Sauvignon Blanc from Santa Ynez Valley (with some viognier and chardonnay). The grapes were destemmed, then whole berry fermented in a new French oak puncheon for twelve months then 8 months in a 50/50 split of new/neutral French oak barriques! I tasted it at their Lompoc Ghetto tasting room in June and I can probably find my notes somewhere, but what I remember was the intense flavors and richness and the bone dry taste. A real contradiction because you really expect from the smell that it should be very sweet.

Mike
Mike Pollard
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:53 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:35 pm

WTN: 2010 Isabel Sauvignon Blanc, South Island Marlborough.

I seem to have missed the previous 2 vintages, likewise with Jackson, but rep was pouring when I helped out downtown today! Thought he might have the `11 though, guess unloading this one first.

Tad more floral on the nose than other SBs I know. Green apple, gooseberry, smooth on the palate, dry, herbal, grapefruit, melon. Could not find the thyme the agent was waxing about, quite nice, racy....anyone know the Pinot Noir here?
User avatar
Bob Parsons Alberta
aka Doris
 
Posts: 9572
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Mike Pollard » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:39 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Isabel, South Island Marlborough.

....anyone know the Pinot Noir here?


Bob,

Yes, we tasted there on our visit in 2006. I can't recall my notes, although I can probably find them. I know we did buy their Pinot so I must have been impressed. I believe there may be a bottle left in the cellar. If its there I'll pull it maybe later this week for a taste.

Mike
Mike Pollard
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:53 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Lyn Archer » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:09 pm

Hi: I'm a newbie who joined a few months back when the Forum topic was Beaujolais, just as we were headed that way. Since returning, other than a rosé chime-in, haven't had much to add, until today. For a light, lean, clean finish SB - no fruit bombs or overzealous zest - highly recommend Zero One Vintner's 2011 Columbia Valley Copper Lily Sauvignon Blanc. Can't beat the price ($11), quality (Gordy Hill concoction), or congeniality of this pour, with pairs well with just about anything from salmon to tapas to thai.
Lyn
User avatar
Lyn Archer
Cellar rat
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:57 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:21 pm

Nice Lynn, not enough attention paid to Washington SB. Any worthwhile Semillons out there?
User avatar
Bob Parsons Alberta
aka Doris
 
Posts: 9572
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Tim York » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:00 pm

As people may have guessed, SB doesn't produce wines which inflame my enthusiasm so my cellar contains very few. In-house PO is in a watchful mood at present :roll: so I haven't yet slipped out to buy a small selection. Other than the pleasant QPR Kiwi SB on which I posted last month, the most recent one was this opened in June -

Sancerre La Grande Côte 2004 – Pascal Cotat, Chavignol – Alc.12.5%. (€28 for 2010) I had been expecting more from this wine. Colour was deepening and the nose showed mineral and white fruit touches with a honeyed undertow. The palate was medium bodied and not quite bone dry with quite a lot of refinement of fruit, lively acidity and mineral hints but without the tension and liveliness of youth and the complexity that both Cotat estates often achieve on their mature wines. Perhaps the pairings, first maatje herrings and then a “tian de sardines” did the wine no favours and I had no Crottin de Chavignol to hand which should have been ideal; 15.5/20.

And here is a TN from July last year on a bottle from perhaps the most prestigious estate in Sancerre.

Sancerre “Edmond” 2004 – Alphonse Mellot – Alc.13% - (c.€30 currently)
Colour was medium yellow and the nose was quite reticent at first showing mainly gooseberry but mineral and fruit complexity came up with exposure to air. In contrast there was almost too much going on the dry, quite full and dense but initially disjointed palate; white fruit with again a lot of gooseberry, minerals, lively moreish acidity and a creamy, caramel and liquorice structure towards the finish, which probably owed a lot to new wood which I can do without in Sancerre. However as the meal progressed focus improved and the wood notes fell into the background. It was probably too massive to be ideal for the sole but goat cheeses, which rarely fail with Loire white, brought out further minerality and an attractive honeysuckle undertow. I think that decanting would have benefited this wine as well as a bit more age. Very good but not yet equalling my best experiences with Sancerre from both Cotat estates; 16.5/20 with the goat cheese.
Tim York
Tim York
Wine guru
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 3:48 pm
Location: near Lisieux, France

Re: Wine Focus for September: Worldwide Sauvignon Blanc

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:53 pm

Peter Yealands is causing a few folks to listen and learn more about his success story. Based in Marlborough, looks like an aging rock star! Sustainable vineyard, wind and solar, sheep graze between the rows of vines. Appears to be working on a biodegradable plastic wine bottle at present time.

WTN: 2011 Yealands Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough NZ.

$18 Cdn, color is a deep straw verging on yellow. Typical nose of gooseberry, passionfruit, hint of green pepper/herby. Full palate..passionfruit, great acidity, crisp and refreshing. Very nice citrus tones on the finish, very good fruit balance. Seems to have some higher-end SB out there somwhere. Good price for us here in AB, most run around $22 or so.
User avatar
Bob Parsons Alberta
aka Doris
 
Posts: 9572
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Next

Return to The Wine Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 6 guests