Saturday, July 10, 2004

More Wine Rambling

Another weekend. Another new wine.

This one is a Huntington 2001 Sauvignon Blanc, dubbed "Earthquake," according to the bottle, for an earthquake that hit Napa Valley in September of 2000. Imagine! An earthquake in California! No wonder it got the locals so worked up.

Anyway a couple of disclaimers. This is a little old for Sauvignon Blanc, a varietal that does not improve with aging. So whatever this is like now, it was probably a bit better in its day. Also, I confess I picked this one up off the "clearance" bin. Which is actually a pretty decent place to go to try stuff you wouldn't normally buy. Seems it retailed for a ten-spot originally. I got it for eight. As in my previous rambling on the topic - inexpensive wine is not necessarily bad (though the last entry may not be the best evidence of that claim).

So on to the show....

The wine has a normal old cork. Wasn't spoiled, so fine. Into the glass it goes.

Very pale color. Most California Sauvignon Blancs do a little oak aging, which can impart a little darker color to the wine. This one seems to have resisted the urge, and bravo to them. Unless you're very good, very lucky, or both, oak and Sauvignon Blanc go together like delicate caviar and a large dollop of ketchup. New Zealand Sauvignion Blanc lead new world wineries to rediscover the pleasure of non-oaked SB, and I'm happy to see some Napa growers catching the wave.

The nose of this one is mild but pleasant. A little grassy (which is good in an SB), some faint tropical fruit.

On the palate it's bright. Acidic. Mild but pleasant flavor. A really good summer-on-the-deck kind of wine. Almost more like a Pinot Grigio than an SB. I'd like to steam some mussels in this and some tarragon, and serve a glass of this to accompany.

The bottle claims:

"This distinctive and sophisticated wine is crafted in a Sancerre style; lean, bright and crisp, with excellent varietal definition and balance."

A bit of a stretch with that "distinctive and sophisticated" stuff. But the rest is right on. A nice little bargain for summer on the deck.


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