Serenading and reviewing one of the best sauvignon blanc wines I’ve had. With a touch of sweetness, this wine pairs with lots of different foods, has a depth of character with the additional of Rhone white grapes Viognier and Roussanne and worth every penny of its $23 price tag. Really.
Read more: Wine review: Dutcher Crossing 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Dry Creek Valley (a poem)
Torrontés is one of those grape varieties that teeters on the edge of massive popularity. Its soft, elegant feel in the mouth, coupled with extreme fragrance and fruit could make it a no-brainer for women wine drinkers and men with enough balls to drink a white wine that smells like flowers. It is truly a lovely wine. From Argentina, Torrontés was long believed to be a descendant of Spanish Torrontés but DNA evidence says it’s a cross between Muscat of Alexandria and the Mission grape (more history about the Mission grape). Thus, if you like Muscat (aka Moscato) — a wine that’s blowing up right now — then Torrontés should be flying up there with it.
Read more: White wine review: Callia Alta 2010 Torrontes Valle de Tulum (Argentina)
I can say with certainty that I haven’t walked away from many winemaker interviews wanting to sign up for their wine club. I simply have too much wine sitting in my cellar at home. But the wines from Pure Cru, made by the ever popular and ever well-connected Napa Valley winemaker Mitch Cosentino, had that effect on me. They were like crack, but better for you. Pure Cru is Mitch’s “side” wine project, making about 3,000 cases per vintage to create a “small, hands-on entity where I could do it all myself again, like I did in the beginning.” The rather simple yet delicious premise is to grab fruit from his favorite vineyards throughout Napa Valley and northern California to craft small quantities of wine blends. Wines that the average consumer can afford too. How novel from a Napa winery.
Read more: Pure Cru = Pure pleasure from Napa and Mitch Cosentino
Although I unfortunately missed the witticisms during the #AlbarinoDay on Twitter May 9th, I eagerly consumed the quips from my fellow bloggers post haste. Albarino [al-bah-REEN-nyo], a finicky, aromatic white grape, is grown primarily in the small, green, lush region on the northwestern coast of Spain, Rías Biaxas [REE-ahse BYEE-shash]. The grapes here practically drown in over 50 inches of rain a year. In order to avoid rot, the fruit is hung far above the wet ground, using granite support posts, rather than wood, to support the vine canopies. Rías Biaxas only produces whites and Albarino is the primary grape, which deliciously complements the area’s primary cuisine, seafood. The flavor and style is similar to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc mixed with the creamy fuller-bodiedness of Chardonnay, and it smells and tastes like a fruit salad of green apples, pears and citrus.
Read more: Underappreciated yet joyous Albarino wines: The best tweets from #AlbarinoDay
I’ve wondered whether the lack of mass success of the Viognier grape is because of the tongue-twisting name(pronounced VEE oh NYAY”) or some other reason. With its luscious, aromatic fruit, slight sweetness and sip-ability, you’d think it would be a girlie girl’s dream and be as popular with the chicks as Moscatos are now (more on that later). But, unlike Moscato/Muscat it’s tough to make Viognier well. Pick it too early in the growing season, you won’t get the pretty aromas and rounded flavors; pick it too late and you’ll get a wine that’s syrupy, flabby or has no acid at all. Some wineries get it just right though — Bonterra Vineyards in Mendocino County is one of them.
Read more: Wine review: Bonterra 2010 Viognier Mendocino County
I remember the first time I tasted Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc — a sticky summer day on the patio at my favorite Tampa wine bar, Wine Exchange, circa 2000. A friend in the wine business bought us the bottle, saying that New Zealand Sauv Blancs would be the next big thing. He was right. This island nation has claimed this varietal as their own, in all its cat pee, grapefruit glory. And Cloudy Bay can be considered the triumphant first comer.
Read more: Spring wine review: Cloudy Bay 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
The 2010 vintage in Sonoma County was super cool. And I don’t mean it wore awesome shades and sported the latest fashions — but cold like in France’s Bordeaux region. The heat index just didn’t quite get high enough to ripen grapes to the point of super fruitiness with floral aromatics (like Dry Creek Vineyards’ 2007 SB). So if you like New Zealand style Sauv Blancs (like me) then you’re in heaven with the 2010 wines (read more about Sauvignon Blanc, including how to pronounce it). And you’ll also have something to look forward to in the 2011 vintage, which had similar weather in Sonoma County.
Read more: Wine review: Dry Creek Vineyards 2010 Sauvignon Blanc Dry Creek Valley
This luscious, slightly sweet and delightfully affordable white wine blend from France’s rather obscure Côtes du Gasgogne region in the southwest could be the best intro for those new to wine. The Grassa family uses grapes called Ugni Blanc [OOO knee blahnk] and Colombard [CALL um BARD] to make Domaine du Tariquet Classic but they formerly produced Armagnac — a spirit made by distilling grapes — from the same fruit. I’m glad they made the switch.
Read more: Wine Review: Domaine du Tariquet 2010 Classic Cotes du Gasgogne
The Fattori family has been farming their hillside vineyards since the turn of last century, when Antonio Fattori planted vines near a village called Terrossa. Currently, Antonio’s grandson, Antonio Fattori, is the winemaker at the winery, who, in addition to four Soaves, produces a sparkling wine, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.
Read more: Wine review: Fattori Danieli 2010 Soave DOC
While most people think Pinot Grigio is the white wine of Italy, I beg to differ. Softer and rounder, Soave white wines from northeastern Italy complement a wider range of food, have an exceptional depth of flavors, and are quite versatile. Like the Rocca Sveva 2009 Soave Classico.
Read more: Wine review: Rocca Sveva 2009 Soave Classico