Browse Tag

sauvignon blanc

Neon noeN

l’Armangia 2007 Monferrato Sauvignon “EnnEEnnE” (Piedmont) – Yes, yes, everyone has the same question: what does that mean? Roughly, “bastard child,” here a reference to the unusual (for the region) grape variety. Floral aromas, woodsy and a little bit woody as well, though it’s less of a prominent aromatic factor than it is a participant in the muting and restraining of other aromas. Fairly sticky and dense, with some heat evident. The texture is lavish, and without that alcoholic imbalance this could have been a more interesting wine than it ultimately turns out to be. (3/10)

Kalin me softly

Kalin 1997 Sauvignon Blanc “Reserve” (Potter Valley) – Malic, then buttery, then thick with well-salted tan soil and lush apricot cream. More anonymous than these wines usually are, but it must be said that among the whites I generally prefer chardonnay and semillon from this house. Here, not everything on the structural side is entirely where it should be. (12/09)

Livio little

[glass & bottle]Livio Felluga 2004 Collio Sauvignon (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) – Showing surprising maturity, which here in a bronzing in both color and flavor, bringing forth a metallic faux-structural element similar to that of an “orange wine” (though this isn’t one of those), yet still retaining a firm iron grip on a green-white dwarf star of sauvignon blanc-ishness. Drink. (12/09)

Rip Van

[vineyard]Terlan 2004 Sauvignon Blanc Winkl (Alto Adige) – What one wants from these Alto Adige wines, especially the site-designated ones, is minerality coequal or superior to varietal character. That said, some varieties just can’t be conquered, and sauvignon blanc is one. Still, I’d call this a success, with quartz and icy steel backing up a shattered-glass impression of chilly greenish-white fruit. A little white pepper’s there, too, on a finish that doesn’t quite live up to the rest of the wine. (7/09)

A critique of pure sauvignon

Kante 2006 Sauvignon Blanc (Carso) – The most identifiably-varietal wine in the room, and by a wide margin, though much of that is the familiarity of sauvignon. Is this actually a skin-contact white? It shows few of the characteristics of one, with its vibrant, zingy gooseberry, sharp-edged minerality, and lavish acidity. A good wine, but it seems out of place in this crowd. (7/09)

How now, brown gaauw?

[bottle]Overgaauw 2008 Sauvignon Blanc (Stellenbosch) – Vibrant green things – herbs, stems, vegetables, leaves, grasses – poised at their ideal midpoint between the underripe harshness of pyrazines and softer impressions of tropicality (though there is a hint of pineapple as well). There’s minerality…large rocks, decidedly indelicate…and a fine balance. A bit outrageous, in a manner that will remind some quite strongly of Marlborough, but it’s fuller-fleshed than that. The more I taste, the more I agree with a number of South African winemakers who believe that, at the moment, their country’s most accomplished and terroir-revelatory wines are its sauvignon blancs. (7/09)

Buyer & Cellar

[bottle]Villa Maria “Cellar Selection” 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough) – Lemon-lime, grapefruit, grass…all ripe, clean, and vibrant, with balanced acidity and just enough persistence. A little crystalline minerality as well, though this is a fruit-dominated wine, for sure. (7/09)

Villa Maria “Cellar Selection” 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough) – See above note, crediting the consistency of the closure. (7/09)


Blaauwklippen 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Coastal Region) – Sweet and lightly tropical, but far too bland and easy. Characterless.

…and shoot

Dog Point 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough) – Grass, unidentifiable yellow fruit, and a particulate texture with some rocks in the blend. Structured, but not overly so, and balanced. Makrut lime is the topnote. Very nice. (5/09)

Moen & Groen

[vineyard]Neil Ellis 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Groenekloof) – Vibrant metallic green of a more pine-like hue. There’s grass, capsicum, and nerve, but there’s also a cold, rocky minerality. Not quite as precise as the previous vintage, but still clearly delineated. (5/09)