Alexandre Bain 2011 Pouilly-Fumé “Pierre Précieuse” (Loire) – Sweet, flabby, and more than a little bit insipid. I get that this is natural, but it’s horribly boring as well. Maybe it works as an apéritif. But it doesn’t even have the nervosity to be a German riesling stand-in. (11/12)
Fournier 2009 Vin de Pays du Val de Loire Sauvignon Blanc (Loire) – Bold without being fat, its strong diagonal lines of quartz-lined lemon bring sauvignon’s (usual) trademark aggression to the glass without the showy frippery of XXX-treme chile pepperiness. Gluggable. (8/12)
Neudorf 2008 Sauvignon Blanc (Nelson) – A somewhat metallic side of sauvignon blanc, ripe and a bit showy but still avoiding tropicality. Also a touch reductive, which may be the closure. (6/12)
Brancott 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough) – Neither the pyrazine fest it once was (granted, I’m sure what’s going into this wine now bears less than no relation to what went into it in previous decades) nor the sweet, soft fruit of the double-oughts’ overreaction, instead this is straightforward and varietally correct, but sanded down (and some of the sandpaper remains, texturally) and pretty dull. It’ll do in a pinch, but I’d like that pinch to be a bucket of ice on a Marlborough Sounds beach somewhere, with maybe a cube of that ice in the paper cup from which I’m swigging this. (6/12)
Cowan Cellars 2010 “Isa” (Lake County) – Not, against the advice of the winemaker, decanted. And quite a journey, from attenuated beginnings to the near-absence of the embittering skin contact as the wine sort of settles into a low-lying pool of anonymous green-apple fruit, then coalescing again to something with a lot more confidence in its identity. The last sips are the most appealing, which I guess demonstrates the winemaker’s point. (5/12)
Cowan Cellars 2010 “Isa” (Lake County) – Airy pomegranate with a silky texture. Dense, long, and sandy, like drinking a desert wind. This is very accomplished. (11/11)
Cowan Cellars 2008 Sauvignon Blanc Silver Pines (Sonoma Mountain) – Thick, with light apricot sweetness and a sorbet texture (which is not to imply residual sugar or the simulacrum thereof beyond that previously indicated). Frankly, this reminds me rather powerfully of Radikon’s early efforts. That’s a compliment. But it’s not an entirely complete wine. (11/11)
Boudouresques “Domaine Massiac” 2008 Vin de Pays d’Oc Sauvignon (Languedoc) – All previous bottles have been aggressively advanced, as one might expect from the closure. This – the last – is, of course, the exact opposite. Vibrant, buzzing, fully alive…bronzed skewers of antiqued fruit and epic length. Delicious. I wouldn’t wait moment longer, however, if there’s any lingering in your cellar. The closure won’t allow it. (1/12)
Beckmen 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (Santa Ynez Valley) – Ripe and green, heavy on the gooseberries. Solid.
Alta Maria 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (Santa Ynez Valley) – Grapes. This tastes like grapes. Mixed apples, crisp enough but softening residual sugar (not, analytically, much at all…yet it’s quite detectable), and grapes.