Santa Ynez Valley, CA
50% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% Semillon; 13.8% alc.
$4 at the Oakland, CA store
The winery website makes this wine sound pretty appealing: a limited production of only 200 cases released at $24. The 2010 Semillon was reviewed here by TukLaw back in Feb., and he didn’t like it much, nor did Cel Elles, mentioning “asparagus pee” in the nose (not that she knows what it tastes like!). There’s a 2007 Roblar SB on the shelf at Oakland for the same price too, and it actually got some good reviews on CellarTracker; I picked this one because it’s younger, although the ’07 is lighter in color, usually indicating less oxidation. OK, four bucks: my turn in the barrel … how bad could it be?
Hum…kinda bad. The nose is full of sulfite and something funky, although there is some fruit in there, in the ripe pear and honeyed vein characteristic of the Semillon. The palate seems a bit over-ripe, with some residual sugar, spritzy CO2 and a funky-sulfitey taste to match the nose. After pouring the first glass down the drain, I recorked it and put it back in the fridge. A day later, the funk had mostly blown off along with the excess CO2; however, there was still too much sulfite. I’m more able to taste and smell the wine now; the nose is subdued but pleasant, with only a tiny hint of funk, and the fruit flavor is quite nice. I would describe the body as rich and full rather than over-ripe. It’s satisfying if not overly complex, perhaps a little heavy. More Sauvignon Blanc acidity might have helped it as an apéritif, but the richness worked well with a heavy mushroom Alfredo pasta. What a difference a day makes – yesterday it was Thumbs Down. However, the heavy sulfite presence did not entirely dissipate from the nose and was noticeable in the palate too, and in my experience, whites that have been so heavily oversulfited as to affect the flavor like this (now we know what asparagus pee tastes like!) may never recover with either time or air, so I have to rate it as merely Drinkable for now.