Episode #91 Southern Hemi Sauv Blanc
Some wines just scream summer! The crisp citrus acidity seems to be the perfect pairing for warm weather. Sauvignon Blanc is also a great pairing for light salads, chicken, shellfish and dishes that feature ingredients like bell peppers, olives or spinach. If pairing a Sauvignon Blanc with food, do your best to match the acidity levels with your ingredients (high acid pairs with high acid) and avoid rich creamy buttery dishes (as a rule of thumb).
The three Sauvignon Blanc featured in today’s post are from the southern hemisphere and grow in hot climates with cool evenings that help produce some stronger acidity in the wine. A Sauvignon Blanc that lacks in acidity can often come across as being overly tart on the back of your mouth. The new en vogue Sauvignon Blanc region is Marlborough New Zealand where super crisp, grassy, mineral focused flavors are being displayed. Price points on Sauvignon Blanc tend to range from $10-$20. Great daily sippers can be found for under $10.
2009 Valdivieso Sauvignon Blanc
Update: This wine was previously reviewed as part of the Wines of Chile tasting in May 2010. There was some concern of bottle variation among the reviewers and the winemaker graciously agreed to send out an additional sample. Note: The bottle label is different than the previous one received.
- The Stuff: 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Leyda Valley; 13.5%abv, wild fermentation with no added yeast. Barrel aged in large French oak for 6 months; cork
- The Swirl: Yellow apple color with hints of pale green
- The Sniff: A dramatic departure from the traditional citrus Sauv Blanc. Strong aromas of herbs and a sweet sherry are present. Mild hints of ammonia and green pepper are on the nose as well.
- The Sip: A wild funk of flavorliciousness and a wild Sauvignon Blanc. This is not your grapefruit pucker sucker. I kept being drawn in by the odd herbs and spice but wouldn’t suggest this to folks who are looking for a crisp boat wine.
- The Score: At $22, this is an out of character Sauv Blanc. I give it a score of 3 out of 5. The flavor may be different than what you would expect from a Sauvignon Blanc but the wine is balanced and doesn’t trick you into thinking it’s something it isn’t.
2009 Silver Birch Sauvignon Blanc (Octavin)
- The Stuff: Comes in a 3L (equivalent to 4 bottles) Octavin container with a collapsible bladder. 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand. Stainless Steel fermented; 13% ABV
- The Swirl: Very light, resembles a lemon colored water
- The Sniff: A good power of grapefruit and a hint of herbaciousness. A strong steely minerality also attacks the nose and not in a good way.
- The Sip: The wine has a good mouth feel and is moderately awake with flavors of grapefruit and lemon zest. Slightly one dimensional and the wine lacks any acidity or notable finish
- The Score: No off flavors here and for the equivalent of $5 per bottle, this is definitely a trusty wine to have at a party or out at the cabin. Can give it a value score of 3 out of 5. Average flavors but above average value.
Cellar Tracker Scores: 85.8 (four scores)
2008 Brancott ‘B’ Sauvignon Blanc
- The Stuff: 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough New Zealand; Stainless Steel fermented with only free run juice; 13.2%ABV; Screwcap enclosure
- The Swirl: Subdued honey or wheat color
- The Sniff: Elegant aromas of grapefruit, dirty martini and layers of grass and spice
- The Sip: Fantastic mouth feel with a gentle whisp of grapefruit that is equally matched by stone fruit and river rock. Well balanced acidity keep this wine from feeling tart on the mouth and provides a good medium finish
- The Score: At $25 this is a perfect Sauvignon Blanc to pair well with a good dinner or to impress at a party. I score this wine 4 out of 5.
The Brancott ‘B’ Sauvignon Blanc is an elegant pairing of grapefruit, stone fruit and minerals. A wonderful balance helps this wine feel great in the mouth and provides a crisp stone finish. 4/5
Cellar Tracker Scores: 90 points (3 reviews)
NOTE: All wines were provided as industry samples with the intention to review