Saturday, July 27, 2013

Four Sauvignon Blancs

In the past couple weeks we have tasted four Sauvignon Blancs here at the store that have all been immensely popular with our participants.  Sauvignon Blanc, my personal white favorite, has been a tough nut to crack commercially here so the response was surprising and hopeful, not that Sauvignon Blanc deserves acclaim (it is a midlevel grape at best), but it's still nice to see people try these things and enjoy them.  A related factor in the scenario would have to be the time of year, July, when lighter and drier works better in general than the heavier and richer types.  Lets look at the four...

Mureda Sauvignon Blanc was the best selling wine on the table last Thursday night and being a summer quencher priced at $10 certainly helps.  Mureda dates back to the fifteenth century and the name refers to the Moors and their contributions to Spanish culture.  This family owned operation consists of 3,000 acres of certified organic vineyards making it the largest such operation in the world!  The wine is fresh and fruity (pineapple and peach), light in color and body, and would be a nice apertif before dinner or as an accompaniment with shellfish, broiled fish or olives and soups.  On June 8th we blogged about Castilla-La Mancha which is the location of this vineyard if you want to learn more.

On Friday July 19th we tasted two Sauvignon Blancs, Babich, one of the largest from Marlborough, New Zealand and Chateau Carbon D'Artigues, a small property in the AOC, Graves in Bordeaux.  The citrusy (grapefruit and lemon) New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs continue to be very popular so that one's showing wasn't very surprising but the Bordeaux's popularity was surprising although one person actually bought half of our inventory effectively skewing the numbers. 

Josip Babich was a 14 year old immigrant to New Zealand from Croatia in 1910.  He labored in the kauri gum industry with his brothers until he was able to purchase land and establish his vineyard and winery in 1916.  In every decade thereafter he purchased more land and then modernized his winery in 1977, five years before his death.  The operation is now run by two of his grandsons.  We blogged about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in three parts back in February of 2012 (2/21-2/25), again if you want more information.

Geneticists are now saying Bordeaux in western France may be the birthplace of Sauvignon Blanc.  Chateau Carbon D'Artigues is situated on a southern facing Artigues hillside in Graves, the best region of Bordeaux for Sauvignon Blanc.  Typical of the region, D'Artigues Sauvignon Blanc is blended with Semillion, this time in a 50-50 ratio with the Semillon providing a rounding counterpoint on the palate to the acute aromatics of the Sauvignon Blanc.  Shockingly, Sauvignon Blanc plantings in Graves are down to about 25% of vineyard space due to the popularity of the reds.

Peirano Estate Sauvignon Blanc has been tasted on two occasions here in the past month.  It is a low acid, less-dry soft round cocktail wine with evidence of time in oak.  Peirano is a continuously family owned property which, like all of the others above, has a great history to tell, albeit the California version complete with Italian immigrants.  We blogged about Peirano Estate and Lodi, California back on March 29th of 2011.

Please join us for our next tasting adventure here on Friday August second from 5 to 7pm.  Nothing is written in stone for that one yet but expect more Sauvignon Blanc-like whites, maybe a dry rose, and a few masculine reds.  Please become a follower of this blog if you would like.  Actually even if you don't like the thing, become a follower anyway as a random act of kindness.

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