2009 Leslie Hennessy Sauvignon Blanc

Napa Valley, CA; 14.5% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 14 May

LeslieHennessy_2009_SauvBlancThe back label says in part, “Challenging Sauvignon Blancs as this one that have that dash of French Loire Valley asparagus mingled with the hint of red delicious apples and persimmon fruit throughout are the new benchmark.”  I’m always a sucker for  snob appeal  an herbal Sauvignon Blanc, so I got a bottle.  After years of visiting Napa Valley wineries and tasting their obligatory Sauvignon Blancs, I would have sworn I’d never like another Napa SB, but this one is really good.

The first small pour was a little strange, and I definitely liked it much better a little warmed from fridge temp, but subsequent glasses were delicious.  With an enticing nose, the wine showed ample but delicate flavors of lemon, lime, pear, light asparagus, supporting vanilla / oak, and mild grape skin bitterness, with supple viscosity and minerality, and nice fruit / acid balance.  Even at the high alcohol level, we easily went through the whole bottle on this hot (for Berkeley, at least) evening.  If you try a bottle and taste red delicious apple and persimmon (does that just mean a slight astringency?), please let me know.  🙂

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14 thoughts on “2009 Leslie Hennessy Sauvignon Blanc

  1. Dr Jack

    We noted so much gasoline in the nose — not Riesling “petrol” — that it was difficult to appreciate the other nuances when first opened. With a lot of air, this subsided to a barely detectable level. Good with cheese and probably a lot of other foods, but just not what we think of as an SB.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Dr Jack. Sorry to hear you weren’t as fond of it. I expect that if you gave it a lot of air, you also let it warm up from fridge temp a bit. Is that so? The only thing I can think of that might have been gasoline-like in my bottle was how it tasted straight from the fridge.

      Reply
      1. Dr Jack

        After 24 hours in fridge (vacuvin seal) there was barely a suggestion of gasoline. We let it warm up and it never displayed any fruit: just acid and the full body from alcohol. Disappointment.

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          Thanks for your reply. Your bottle sounds very different from mine. Anyone contemplating getting a bunch of this wine might want to try one bottle first to see which version is in their local store. Did anyone else find a bottle like Dr Jack’s?

          Reply
          1. Darrell

            Finally tried this bottle and definitely didn’t get any gasoline odors. The nose was only lightly SB and not too vegetal or asparagus, but the flavors were clean, cleaner than the 2011 Maddalena SB I just had. I would prefer to smell and drink the Maddalena even with its coarseness in the mouth.

            Reply
            1. Darrell

              I don’t know if any Hennessy or Maddalena is still around since I haven’t checked any East Bay GO stores lately. Had these SB wines backing up for tasting and finally got around to them. I wish GO would find some Loire SB”s at $5/btl.

            2. BargainWhine Post author

              Seedboy, I got another bottle not too long ago at the Richmond store.

              Darrell, I also wish we’d get more Loire wine, red and white.

  2. seedboy

    It was a nice contrast. The fat and juices loved the acidity and citrusy quality of the wine. Better match than a 14.5 cab.

    Reply
  3. Seedboy

    I’ve almost drained a bottle of this over two evenings and I like it a lot. Your description is pretty acurate. I did get some persimmon, and yes, the astringency might have something to do with it.There is another one at the Berkeley store, called Hill I think, that is quite good, it has a good bit of that Musque quality about it but not as much as the other one recently did.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Seedboy. I’m glad to hear you also liked this wine. You found it at the Berkeley store? The Richmond store also had a couple new Chilean SBs, $4 each, from the same importer. Have you seen or tried these?

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        Have not. Berkeley still had it and the Hill last night. I’m drinking more white wine lately. I even had SB with skirt steak the other day, it was great.

        Reply

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