Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Sauvignon Blanc: Heat Wave Wine
I know that some people might think of Chardonnay, or even Riesling, but not me. For me, Sauvignon Blanc is the ultimate hot weather wine. It’s extremely versatile with lunch, dinner, the grill, or just sitting around on a hot summer afternoon. What’s more, you can find it in all styles, from rich with ripe tropical tones to mineral-laden with tart citrus that makes your cheeks pucker.
This year I had the pleasure of tasting some outstanding wines from a number of different regions. Many of these have found their way into my cellar, and I'm hoping you will enjoy them as well.
On to the notes:
Napa Valley, United States
Year in and year out, Larkmead's Sauvignon Blanc finds its way to the top of my list. It’s a perfectly balanced wine that can be enjoyed upon release or put away in the cellar to gain further complexities. Unfortunately, it’s made in such small amounts that it never finds its way to retail shelves but is a great reason to visit the winery if you're ever in Napa Valley. In fact, Larkmead is one of a small number of wineries whose mail list I remain signed up for. All of the wines are worth trying.
2011 Larkmead Sauvignon Blanc Lillie B4 block - The nose was beautiful, showing fresh citrus tinged green notes of herbs and field grasses, ripe stone fruit backed by a hint of undergrowth with an intense mineral core. On the palate, it was elegant with silky textures, just the slightest touch of oak ushering in melon, and citrus notes with a hint of herbs. The finish left me wanting more, as its well integrated acidity made the mouth water to notes of ripe melon with a zest of orange. This is easily one of my favorite vintages and reaffirms my belief that this may be the best Sauvignon Blanc coming out of Napa Valley. (93 points) Visit the Larkmead website!
Alto Adige, Italy
2011 Cantina Andriano Sauvignon Blanc Andrius - The nose showed intense tart grapefruit, lemon and green stems with a whiff of dried minerals. On the palate, it was softer than expected with tart acidity showing more toward the close, with flavors of lemon and mineral stones. The finish remained tart, yet mouthwatering with long, staying citrus tones. It was beautiful. (90 points) Find it on: Wine-Search!
North Fork Long Island, United States
2012 Macari Sauvignon Blanc “Katherine’s Field” - The nose showed peach skins with hints of lemon, minerals and a dash of vanilla. On the palate, it was racy and clean with ripe white fruits accented by lime and herbs. It finished clean and refreshing with a bitter lemon peel note lingering through the close. (89 points) Find it on: Wine-Searcher!
Stellenbosch, South Africa
2012 Thelema Sauvignon Blanc - The nose showed tart grapefruit aromas with hints of minerals and herbs. On the palate, it was rich and juicy with sour citrus and herbal tones. The cleansing finish was mouthwatering and long with tart citrus fruit. (89 points) Find it on: Wine-Searcher!
Marlborough, New Zealand
2012 Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc - The nose was fresh with intense aromas of grapefruit, fresh-cut grass, chalky minerals and a hint of green peas. On the palate, a mix of sweet fruit and tart acidity made for a great contrast of textures with flavors of passion fruit, stony minerals and lemon-lime, which seemed to linger for half a minute through the finish. It was remarkably fresh and perfect for a hot summer night. (88 points) Find it on: Wine-Searcher!