Tag Archive | "sauvignon blanc"

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.

Posted in California Wines, Reviews, Sauvignon BlancComments (0)

Golden Kaan 05′ Chard & 07′ Sauv Blanc

Winery Link

Golden Kaan is the joint effort of KWV of South Africa and Racke of Germany – it’s now a global brand which pays homage to South Africa and has been getting some good press lately one some of its wines. Established in 1918, KWV has been a huge player in South African wine and has been a huge force in helping get that region “on the map” and palate of wine drinkers everywhere.


Click on image to enlarge

South Africa – as a region – has really ramped it up quite a bit over the past few years and I’ve found that many folks – like myself – can easily gravitate towards a lot of the white wines coming out of it.

There’s a good sense of overall minerality in this region which reminds me of some of the whites out of places like New Zealand – and I’m diggin’ that.


Click on image to enlarge

2007 Sauvignon Blanc: Price: $10 W.E.P. Score: 100%

Technical Notes:

  • Alcohol vol: 12.36 % vol
  • pH: 3.45
  • Total acidity: 5.61 g/ l
  • Sugar: 5.16 g/ l
  • Climate: Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters, of approximately 600–800 mm rain per annum.
  • Soil: Table Mountain sandstone and Malmesbury shale.

Nose: Mildew covered river rocks mixed with freshly-cut grass and grapefruit peel. I also pick up some cement dust and hints of apricots.

Taste: Excellent acidity/fruit combination that rips across the front and mid palate – It’s a judo-chop to the taste buds – exploding with mango and hints of kiwi and starfruit. Finishes VERY dry with little lemon drops and I’m digging that.

2005 Chardonnay: Price: $10 W.E.P. Score: 100%

Technical Notes:

  • Alcohol vol: 13.53%
  • pH: 3.50
  • Total acidity: 5.50 g/l
  • Sugar: 6.46 g/l
  • Climate: Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters, of approximately 600 – 800 mm or rain per year.
  • Soil: Table Mountain sandstone and Malmesbury shale.
  • Vinification: Full ripe grapes were crushed and the juice fermented in a combination of second fill French oak barrels and on French oak staves in stainless steel tanks. Lees contact of about 2 months were allowed.
  • Winemaker: Sterik deWet

Nose: Creamsickle component mixed in with some meyer apples and a bit of earthy minerals. Some nice floral components on the back-end of the nose help round it out – very pleasant. Ivory soap.

Taste: Very viscous mouth feel and a ton of apple coming thru which is quickly followed with lightly toasted nuts, grilled pineapple and hints of lime.

Overall Summary:
Each one of these wines brings a fun, fresh experience to their respective varieties and are wines I’d highly encourage you to seek out – you can usually find them for around the $8 mark thanks to industry post-off and retailer discounts etc.

Golden Kaan completely nailed the quality and experience these wines bring to the table – its low use of oak is always good as it helps keep the quality of the fruit dancing through on the palate.

For only $10, these are a couple of white’s i’d easily recommend to folks who are looking to get off the “Oak-bus-express” of overly oaked wines and want a good halfway-point to going to completely unoaked wines as their palate improves.

Foods I’d hit with these:
Shellfish
Sea Bass
Creamy Pastas
Clam Chowder
Roasted Chicken

Posted in Chardonnay, Reviews, Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa WinesComments (0)

2003 Saintpaulina Vintners Sauvignon Blanc

There was a time when I was telling people “life’s too short to drink white wine – when there’s so much red wine around”. To many wine drinkers, the thought of going back to whites sounds awfully newbish in the sense that most of us started out on whites before “graduating” to reds.

I’m well aware of the fact that all to many white wines don’t have the tannin structure we really enjoy with red wine, however, a properly made white can offer its own – somewhat unique – experience.

One recent white one which I acquired was from Saintpaulina Vintners, based out of Woodinville WA. They are a very small winery whose ambition and passion – like so many other wineries its size – lies in producing the best wines of each varietal they can.

Only 80 cases of this wine were made, so I highly doubt you’ll be able to find it at any store – Paul Shinoda – the winery’s owner and winemaker, did tell me they’re selling it for $8 bux a bottle. The wine isn’t listed on their website, however, be sure to ask Paul about getting some.

Alcohol: 13.2%
Oak: Neutral Oak

Color: Golden – light apple juice color

Smell:
Hint of toasted Ivory soap, lemongrass, hay, green apple, lemon zest, nutmeg, honeycomb

Taste:
Take some crisp green apples, roll them in a bit of straw hay, put a slightly toasted marshmallow on top and that’s what you have for a starting taste. Follow that up with a hint of flint stone, roasted cantaloupe, lemongrass, bosch pear and candied lemon drops – then you have the flavor of this wine.

Mouth-feel:
Feels very “wet” in the truest sense of the word with a good viscosity on the front and mid palate. A decent finish in a very thirst-quenching sort of way.

Foods:
This wine would easily tear-up some clam with lemongrass linguini in a mild yellow curry sauce. I’d have no problems pairing it with any sort of shellfish, sea bass, catfish or even pan-seared trout with a saffron sauce.

Overall:
For only $8-bux, this is an incredible QPR wine that should highly be saught-out by those who think they don’t like white wines and those who want a good white wine experience. I’d hit this wine all day long.

Don’t take my word for it, however, as you really need to seek this wine out, coddle it, love it and ultimately embrace your own palate.

W.E.P. Scale Rating: 150%

Posted in Reviews, Sauvignon Blanc, Washington WinesComments (0)