A pair of 2009 Sauvignon Blanc ducks

Sauvignon Blanc is a classic Napa white grape that has got a lot of play over the several decades but has – in many ways – fallen out of the limelight because all too many started tasting the same and folks seemed to have gravitated towards the “buttery chardonnay” from that region.

Duckhorn Winery has been producing wines from this grape for a long time now and I had the chance to sample both its flagship “Duckhorn” label as well as its more moderately-priced Decoy brand.

Decoy Sauvignon Blanc: W.E.P Rating: 90%

Technical Data:

  • 79% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Semillon
  • Harvest Information
  • Harvest Dates: August 25 — September 9, 2009
  • Average Sugar at Harvest: 22.2° Brix
  • 20 Vineyards Harvested
  • 100% Stainless Steel Fermentation
  • Alcohol: 13.0%
  • 0.65 g/100 ml titratable acidity
  • 21 days fermentation at 55°F
  • pH: 3.25
  • Bottled: January 2010
  • Released: February 2010
  • Price: $18

Nose: I get some nice citrus notes right off the bat along with a touch of kiwi, grapefruit and hay.

Taste: Really nice acids – much better ones to me than the Duckhorn Sauv Blanc. The citrus and grassiness along with the grapefruit and kiwi action make this a very shelfish-ready go-to wine. I appreciate the finish on this wine for the most part but the finish can be a touch hot. With that said, i’d still hit this wine up with some fresh oysters.

Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc: W.E.P Rating: 75%

Technical Data:

  • 75% Sauvignon Blanc,
  • 25% Sémillon
  • Harvest Dates: August 21 — September 9, 2009
  • Average Sugar at Harvest: 22.6° Brix
  • 7 Napa Valley appellations
  • Cooperage: 100% French Oak Château-style barrels (60 Gallons) 15% Barrel-fermented in new oak 5 months sur lie
  • Alcohol: 13.0%
  • 0.61 g/100 ml titratable acidity
  • 21 days fermentation at 50° F
  • pH: 3.35
  • Bottled: February 2010
  • Released: April 2010
  • Price: $27

Nose: Honeysuckle, vanilla, kiwi skin and some pineapple mixed with green apples and grapefruit.

Taste: This is a very “generic-tasting” Sauvignon blanc in that it has the typical grapefruit action going with a slight hint of grassiness but to me offers nothing compelling for its price that can’t be found elsewhere. I know the finish will lose some folks who are used to oaked-whites as the kick of Semillon starts coming through with the pineapple/vanilla combo that is actually quite tart. It’s a well-made wine in its own right, however, it’s a bit pricey compared to what else is out at similar quality at lower prices.