Due to the current situation in which our civic duty is to stay home and maintain our sanity, I’ve set a series of somewhat organized in-home tastings.
The self-imposed deep explorations of the beverage world aim to share the praises and virtues of any given varietal, style or region of the world.
In this first story about educational tastings and enjoyment of this magical world I’ve decided to pay respects to one of my go-to varieties in the wine world, Sauvignon Blanc. It is an extremely versatile grape that, in the hands of the right winemaker, produces polarizing styles of wine, making it easy to have one for each occasion.
For this exercise, I focused in our own backyard here in the Napa Valley. Below a list of the Sauvignon Blanc examples I’ve tasted in the last few days with a brief personal commentary and suggested retail price established by the producer.
It is important to emphasize to support our local retailers, restaurants and wineries in this time of uncertainty. I sourced the wines from various local retailers like Cellar Collections, Backroom Wines, Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant, Gary’s, Food Shed, K. Laz Wine Collection, Wine Access online and of course direct from the wineries.
Price ranges and style vary depending on the producer, but I assure you regardless of cost, they all deliver an experience.
2018 Localism Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($26): One of the most exciting under-the-radar wineries out there. With notes of mandarin blossoms, honeysuckle and graham cracker, a balanced mouthfeel full of lemon candy, savory herbs and a jolt of cleansing sweet tart acidity.
2018 Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($27) No doubt this is one of the most iconic Sauvignon Blancs emerging from the U.S.. I love this wine because it always overdelivers and brings the party any time of the day. Grapefruit and lemon peel on the nose with intensity and mineral driven crushed rock notes in the palate.
2016 Grieve Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($45) A true testament of the ageability of this variety. Expressive and robust with layers of guava, lemon preserve and wild fennel complimented by marzipan and a touch of honey.
2018 Gamble Family Vineyards ‘Gamble Vineyard’ Sauvignon Blanc, Yountville ($28) I compare it to a racing 1960s Jaguar X type, zippy, focused and a pleasure to enjoy. Aromatics led by lemongrass and kaffir lime with a touch of lychee fruit and a dose of crushed minerals.
2018 Ehlers Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Saint Helena ($32) Sunshine in a glass, bright notes of white florals, chamomile and fresh cut white peach are joined by a rich lemon marmalade note that demands another sip.
St. Supéry ‘Dollarhide Vineyard’ Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($35) Aromas of jasmine tea, apricot and lime zest jump out of the glass with a creamy texture and toasty notes.
2017 Eisele Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($100) An homage to Bordeaux Blanc with a generous dose of time on the lees creating a powerfully satisfying wine with savory herbs, peach and tension.
2018 Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($28) A playful orchestra of white flowers with exotic layers of dragon fruit and ginger that converge on a generous finish.
2018 Blackbird Vineyards ‘Dissonance’ Napa Valley ($32) Leave it to Aaron Pott to craft a standout blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. A wine with substance and delivery driven by nectarine, and honeysuckle with a kiss of green melon and a a rich structure.
2018 Hourglass Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($42) A wine of consequence with enticing layers of Lime peel, lemon custard and tarragon evolving into a serious creamy layer of Meyer lemon pie with an almond crust.
2018 Eleven Eleven Winery Beckstoffer Sauvignon Blanc, Rutherford ($38) A tropical party, fresh cut green pineapple and kiwi dance around lemon zest and a touch of grapefruit peel to create a racy and powerful wine.
2018 Kinfolk Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($18) Suited for all occasions, notes of crisp Asian pear, Rangpur citrus, clean and refreshing.
2018 Long Meadowood Ranch Sauvignon Blanc, Rutherford ($23) Crisp, zippy and easy going with lifter stone fruit aromatics and a lively mouthfeel.
Until next time, stay safe and stay (virtually) close!
Eduardo can be reached at email@example.com.
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