Category Archives: Sauvignon Blanc

Chateau Simon Carretey 2008 Sauternes

Sauternes AOC, Bordeaux, France; 13.5% ABV
imported by Halby Marketing, Inc., Sonoma, CA
$7 for 375ml at the Richmond, CA, store on 27 Feb

chsimoncarretey_2008_sauternesOn the nose and then on the palate, the wine shows full-flavored but delicately delineated honeysuckle, yellow pear / apple, pineapple, ripe Asian pear, very slight (if any?) botrytis, and ripe apricot.  This is not the most amazing Sauternes, but it is an outstanding bargain.  Like most such sweet wines, this could probably develop well for at least another ten years in good storage.

The next day, the flavors were much the same, with the flavors more delicate and “liquidy.”

Rustenberg 2014 Sauvignon Blanc blend

58% Sauvignon Blanc, 33% Chardonnay, 9% Viognier; 13% ABV
Wine of Origin Western Cape, South Africa
$4 at the Richmond, Ca, store.  Gone now.

rustenberg_2014_whiteblendSorry to take a while getting to this; it was one of a couple white wines sitting in my fridge while I got over my cold.  Anyway, I think this is a nice wine for the money if any of it is still around.

I was intrigued by the blend, because I have noticed yellow tropical fruit flavors in SA SB that I haven’t in SB from anywhere else, and I thought the blend with Chardonnay and especially Viognier could be very nice.  The wine was indeed quite well made.  The nose showed yellow melon / apple, less ripe green melon, and some light yellow peach / apricot.  The palate is clean, gently crisp, and slightly minerally, with the ripe fruit flavors on the nose plus slight tropical fruit (mostly golden kiwi), balanced by some bitterness of citrus pith and grape skin.  The blend is seamless, although to me the wine is a bit intellectual rather than yummy.

The next day, however, the wine is definitely also yummy, with the sweetly ripe fruit coming forward over the bitterness, still elegantly blended and reasonably structured.

2014 Sunce “Franicevic” Sauvignon Blanc

Shanti Vineyard, Russian River Valley AVA; 13.7% ABV
$5.99 at the Palo Alto store on December 8th

sunce_2014_sauvblancThis producer’s “Talty Vineyard” Zinfandel was one of my “go-to” purchases at the local mega-box store a few years back, so I decided to give this one a try. The fact that this wine was neutral-barrel fermented was intriguing as well as the fact that, per the informative back label, it was made in a “white Bordeaux style.” It is, indeed, pretty good.

The wine pours a pale gold bordering on platinum color, and on the nose I got some surprising tropical and peach notes with a bit of white flowers. On the palate the wine is pretty classic Sauvignon Blanc: pink grapefruit, citrus, some peppery notes. It definitely has that “grassy” note so many Sauv Blanc’s do, but in a pleasant way that adds some complexity to the overall flavor profile and isn’t too overpowering. There is a bit more heft on the palate (perhaps due to the barrel fermentation?) that I liked. A nice, clean 5-10 second finish.

On subsequent days this wine became a bit more disjointed with that “cat pee” note that I dislike in this varietal becoming increasingly prevalent in the nose, and the grassy notes on the palate became more pronounced. If you buy a bottle, best to finish it within 24 hours. Not spectacular, but a solid choice if you’re looking for a lighter white to have on hand for the holidays.

Castillo del Moro 2015 Airén – Sauvignon Blanc

75% Airén, 25% Sauvignon Blanc; 11.5% ABV
Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, Spain
$4 at the Richmond, CA, store on 10 Oct

castillodelmoro_2015_airensauvblancAt first, I mentally categorized this as another nondescript Spanish white, but then I noticed it had been selling pretty well, and finally got a bottle.  It is indeed quite tasty for the price.

I had not heard of Airén before, but according to that Wiki page, it represents about 30% of all grapes grown in Spain, but is increasingly being uprooted because it “often produces an acidic and characterless wine.”  However, when I first tasted it, I exclaimed, “That’s delicious!”.  It tasted juicy and crisp, green- and white-fruited, and nicely structured (minerally). With some air, the wine showed a little more softness of fruit, with flavors of lighter yellow and green fruit of grape, apple / melon, Asian pear, balancing bitterness of yellow / green grape skin, and lighter minerality.  While not as amazing as it seemed at first pour, it is pretty tasty for the price.

The next day, the rest of the wine in the bottle was softer, less minerally, and more fruity, but still quite tasty and pleasant.  While not an outstanding wine, it’s pretty good for the price.  (A little survived to the third day, and was still quite enjoyable.)

Circadia 2014 Sauvignon Blanc

California; 12.5% ABV
$5 or $6 at the Richmond, CA, store on 23 Sept

cirdadia_2014_sauvblancThis wine looked pretty exciting to me: neat graphics on the label, cool name, pretty color of the wine (pale greenish yellow).  It’s flavors of green and yellow melon and yellow pear were pretty good, classic SB flavors, but they were very light.  What was there was good, but there just wasn’t much of it.  The fruit was a little more forward and acid the next day, but not enough to save it.

Gauther 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

Block House Vineyard, Yountville, Napa Valley, CA
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store

Gauthier_2013_SauvBlancAfter the Gauthier Sonoma Valley Zinfandel attracted so much attention, I thought I’d try this Sauvignon Blanc, which also looked quite good.  Probably because my expectations were high, I wasn’t wowed by it, but it is quite good for the price.

I thought the wine had nice fruit of yellow lemon and melon, good acid and a very nice minerally structure.  I’d wish it to be more complex, but it’s a tasty and well-made wine for the price.


Errazuriz 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Max Reserva”

D.O. Aconagua Costa, Chile; 13% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 29 June

Errazuirz_2013_SauvBlancResI thought this was a very well-made wine, with flavors mainly of lemon, yellow melon, and less ripe gooseberry / green bell pepper, in a tight and elegant minerally structure.  However, the acid was a bit too sharp for me.  Even after the second half of the bottle had been sitting in the fridge for a few days, the wine was very similar: still nicely structured but a bit too tart for my taste.  Those who like wine especially crisp may consider this Thumbs Up.

RoxyAnn Winery 2014 Sauvignon Blanc

Rogue Valley, (southern) OR; 14.1%
$6 at the Richmond, CA, store on 20 June

RoxyAnn_2014_SauvBlancThe label and color of this wine looked very nice, and I was intrigued by its southern Oregon appellation.  It’s pretty tasty, but like another Rogue Valley Sauvignon Blanc we’ve seen, the main thing about it is the acid.

The wine has a very pleasant nose, and shows smooth, elegant, lower-intensity flavors of lemon / yellow grapefruit, light lime, less ripe pear / nectarine, with crisp acid, a slight minerality and grapeskin bitterness.  Moderating the acid somewhat is a slight viscosity to the texture.  I didn’t find it extremely exciting, but it’s a tasty and well made wine, especially in the warm weather we’ve been having.

I liked this wine a little better the next day, when the fruit came forward and integrated with the acid, making the acid more juicy.

Amy 2015 Sauvignon Blanc

Wine of Origin Western Cape, South Africa; 13% ABV
$5 or $6 at the Richmond, CA, store on 1 April

Amy_2015_SauvBlancI got this after liking the Amy 2014 Merlot, and thinking that the description on the back of that bottle was pretty accurate.  The back-label description on this bottle sounded good, too, so I got one.  This wine is indeed pretty good, and its back-label description is also mostly accurate.

This wine tasted of tropical yellow fruit, yellow and white melon, and gooseberry, balanced by minerality, acid that is slightly lemony, and a little grapeskin bitterness.  Especially a little warmed from fridge temperature, this wine was very tasty and easy to drink.

The next day, the rest left in the bottle was more forward and integrated, but otherwise much the same.

Ektimo 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

Bennet Valley, Sonoma County, CA; 15.6% ABV (really?)
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 10 Feb. Very little left.

Ektimo_2013 _SauvBlancA while ago, the GO had an Ektimo Russian River Valley Chardonnay that I didn’t like very well; it seemed too acid and austere. However, I thought I might appreciate these qualities more in a Sauvignon Blanc. This one is indeed also acid and austere, but really quite good.

The wine has a lovely nose of yellow citrus and melon. On the palate, it tastes of less ripe yellow grapefruit, gooseberry, and yellow melon, with a drying, chalky minerality. Especially cold, it is certainly crisp but not shrill. This has less fruit than most CA SBs, but it is quite good for the price.

The next day it was very much the same.