Ideas for Sauvigon Blanc tasting?

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J Murphy
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Ideas for Sauvigon Blanc tasting?

#1 Post by J Murphy » March 14th, 2018, 7:10 pm

Hello

I am having 4 couples over for Sauvigon Blanc tasting and will be serving Thai food (I believe it will be a good match).

I am asking each couple to bring a bottle, was thinking to be specific and ask them to bring a Bordeaux Sauvigon Blanc (not a California one or New Zealand , etc). Should I be more specific that Bordeaux?

I saw this on wikipedia:

In France, Sauvignon blanc is grown in the maritime climate of Bordeaux (especially in Entre-Deux-Mers, Graves and Pessac-Léognan as a dry wine, and in Sauternes as a sweet wine) as well as the continental climate of the Loire Valley (as Pouilly Fumé, Sancerre, and Sauvignon de Touraine).


Looking for ideas?

Thanks!
J a m e s

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Ideas for Sauvigon Blanc tasting?

#2 Post by Joshua Kates » March 14th, 2018, 7:22 pm

Hi James,

As many on this board could tell you, Sauvignon blanc coming out of Bordeaux is usually blended with Semillon, so if you want to taste straight up SB, probably better to look elsewhere. It sounds like you want to do a targeted tasting--French only. If that's so, I would suggest 4 from Sancerre, which probably makes the most consistent wines of the towns you mentioned (and others in the Loire, such as Quincy). All that being so, sure, then, why not tell them, or at least request specifically what they should bring?
Good luck with the tasting!
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#3 Post by Casey Hartlip » March 14th, 2018, 7:29 pm

Gotta have a ringer. Geyser Peak blind would be fun.
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#4 Post by Collin Dahl » March 14th, 2018, 7:38 pm

If this is intended to be a fun learning experience for people who are interested in wine but might not have a lot of experience, then how about French, California, New Zealand and Northern Italy/Slovenia examples? Then people can decide what they like and don't like. There will be (should be...could be?) wild variations.
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#5 Post by Karl K » March 14th, 2018, 7:46 pm

There are nice SBs from coastal Chile
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#6 Post by larry schaffer » March 14th, 2018, 7:52 pm

I like the idea of narrowing it to a particular region/ Country. As others have said Bordeaux may not be good for the variability in semillon that may be added.

Perhaps Loire instead? Or New Zealand? Or Italy?
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#7 Post by RichardFlack » March 14th, 2018, 7:52 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:Gotta have a ringer. Geyser Peak blind would be fun.
Sure.
But for a real ringer try something like Wiengut Gross.

I think Colin has the right idea.
Apologies if Im wrong but if this is an exploratory type event I thinking important thing to let people assess NZ style vs Loire style (I'm oversimplifying here). So a few Gisborne, Sancerre / Pouilly Fume.
For the Loire to try to find something from top producer like Dagenau or some of the top Bourgeois wines to show what SB can do.
And then there is Bordeaux.
There is such a range of styles possible here. And likely scope for a lot of discussion, most people will like some but not others and every version will have its fans and detractors. Group think is unlikely.
This is all a bit general, without knowing more a bit hard to come up with specific list.

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#8 Post by Karl K » March 14th, 2018, 7:57 pm

Oh yes Austrian SB - good idea.

Have not had Weingut Gross but Glatzer is excellent!
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#9 Post by Marcus Dean » March 14th, 2018, 8:01 pm

New Zealand SBs are in their own orbit, I live here and prefer Sancerre. I find the Kiwi wines really really hard to match with food and a bit of a pantomime example of the grape,
In my opinion of course

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Ideas for Sauvigon Blanc tasting?

#10 Post by J Murphy » March 14th, 2018, 8:32 pm

Thank you everyone for the replies. Great ideas!

By the way I am new to the forum, just joined today.

Should I have a price range per bottle.

I like the idea of 4 bottles from Sancerre and a ringer. I also like the idea of French, California, New Zealand and Northern Italy/Slovenia examples? Perhaps if it was a bigger event with more bottles the French, California, New Zealand and Northern Italy/Slovenia examples would work better so might go with the 4 from Sancerre. But am still open to suggestions.

We all live a few miles from K&L so our options are good.

Thanks again for all the suggestions, the event is about 6 weeks away so there is lots of time.

Lastly, should I ask people to chill to bottles before bringing them? Or serve them at room temp? Or ask for the bottles to be dropped off earlier and I can control and maintain the temperature (sorry if I am getting to far into the details here)?
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Ideas for Sauvigon Blanc tasting?

#11 Post by Drew Goin » March 14th, 2018, 8:33 pm

I am surprised no one suggested a tasting based on the use or absence of oak in the vinification of various Sauvignon Blanc wines, whatever the region of origin.

You may have a few flights based on country/region with a Fumé-style treatment, one with used oak, one from stainless steel, etc.

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#12 Post by Clayton Wai-Poi » March 14th, 2018, 9:12 pm

James,

Sounds like a great idea for a tasting. It sounds like you and the folks might be early in their journey of discovering/contemplating wine (versus just drinking it)... in which case I think you would get more out of exploring a comparison of regional styles than sticking within one region (like Sancerre). The key here would be to make sure your choices are very typical of the region. Assuming one bottle per couple I would go with something like (since you mentioned K&L these are all available):
Sancerre - Cotat Cailottes
Bordeaux - Carbonnieux Blanc (75% SB)
New Zealand - Greywacke
California - Ladera
Italy - Schiopetto

I wouldn't serve room temperature. Maybe 30-45 minutes outside of the fridge. Assuming folks are going to be making the trip to buy anyway, why not just do all the buying and then split the cost among the 5 couples?

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#13 Post by Travis @llen » March 14th, 2018, 9:19 pm

Include a Terlano Winkl. The most passionfruit I’ve ever smelled in wine. No one would ever guess Italy. Von Winning SB 500 or I are also great. Both are super rich and German SB has awesome acid but the oak influence in these 2 give a full bodied mouthfeel that people will guess as GC white burg.
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#14 Post by K John Joseph » March 14th, 2018, 9:38 pm

I would try to find wines that are relatively typical of the sauvignon blanc from the respective region. I would choose a Marlborough, a Sancerre, and Bdx blanc (Smith Haut Lafitte is like 90+% SB), a Cali, and an Italian or Chilean.

Cloudy Bay or Dog Point from NZ
Mellot/ Boulay/ Riffault from Sancerre
SHL Blanc (or Malartic, which is much cheaper) from Bdx
Bevan / Bedrock/ Crocker & Starr from Cali
Casa Marin/Laberinto/Matetic from Chile if you can find them
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Ideas for Sauvigon Blanc tasting?

#15 Post by Jeremy Holmes » March 14th, 2018, 9:59 pm

How about substituting all of the Savvy Blancs for Chardonnay?
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#16 Post by PeterH » March 14th, 2018, 10:17 pm

I'm surprised that no one has suggested just drinking Riesling with Thai food, but if you want to explore the world-wide variations, there are creditable Sauvingnon Blancs from South Africa (Southern Right) and the Pacific Northwest (Patricia Green) you can throw into the mix.

My personal favorites are all from the Loire or NE Italy.
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#17 Post by K John Joseph » March 15th, 2018, 12:03 am

I love these sassy posts.

OP: "Hey guys, new here, want to pick your brain for a sav blanc tasting"

WB Vets: "Sav blanc is dumb, chard better"
WB Vets: "You're having thai? Change the wine tasting that is subject of OP, not food"
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Ideas for Sauvigon Blanc tasting?

#18 Post by Leonard Maran » March 15th, 2018, 12:29 am

My suggestion would be to not do a SB tasting. I was in a group for a dozen years and our least attended and worst were SB. I happen to like the variety too, but we all felt a bunch of them was too much.

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Ideas for Sauvigon Blanc tasting?

#19 Post by IlkkaL » March 15th, 2018, 2:21 am

If you are looking for a number of drastically different Sancerres you could consider having the following:

A typical steel-fermented one from for example Boulay or F. Cotat
Alphonse Mellot Generation XIX (fairly big with some oak)
Sebastien Riffault Akméniné (the freaky end of the appellation)
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#20 Post by Doug Schulman » March 15th, 2018, 10:23 am

I would choose Sauvignon Blancs from all different regions. Be sure to taste them all before food is served. The taste of the food and even the smell of it will affect your perception of the wines. I'd also suggest a very low spice level or, if that doesn't sound good, maybe a different type of food like some sort of simple, citrusy seafood.

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#21 Post by Chris Blum » March 15th, 2018, 10:33 am

If you are arranging and buying, you can be specific. However you are asking folks, who may not be as “in to” wine as you are, to provide. So go with stuff that is WIDELY (like grocery store) available for their contribution. Let them have a bit of say-so rather than telling them to bring “cloudy bay”. Instead maybe ask for them to locate a SB with a particular style.

Either that or just provide the wines yourself and you get to have absolute control.

I like the fruit vs acid, steel vs oak, cats pee vs mineral discovery if you want to be geeky. But remember that you aren’t teaching a Learning Annex wine discovery class, so above all make sure it’s fun for all levels of wine snobbery.
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#22 Post by Chris Foley » March 15th, 2018, 10:37 am

We drank a Merryvale 2015 Sauvignon Blanc with (medium spicy Thai last weekend.
The pairing was excellent.
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#23 Post by Mike Francisco » March 15th, 2018, 10:39 am

Karl K wrote:Oh yes Austrian SB - good idea.

Have not had Weingut Gross but Glatzer is excellent!
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#24 Post by Gerhard P. » March 15th, 2018, 12:15 pm

Karl K wrote:Oh yes Austrian SB - good idea.

Have not had Weingut Gross but Glatzer is excellent!
A Sauvignon bl. tasting without Austrian wines (from Styria) is no real Sauvignon bl. tasting ....
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#25 Post by Ian Sutton » March 15th, 2018, 2:10 pm

In NZ I'd definitely consider an NZ classic example (of which there are many) vs. one of the more adventurous labels e.g. Cloudy Bay vs. their Te Koko, or Graywhacke vs. their Wild version. There are others that do both styles e.g. Te Mata

Perhaps then best to do similar with Sancerre, choosing two very different styles. If you have the glasses for it, then 2x2 flights allows a compare and contrast to say:
- Which style do you enjoy most within a region
- Which region has gained the most from new ideas
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#26 Post by Chris Seiber » March 15th, 2018, 3:01 pm

If they are experienced wine tasters, they’ll find a bunch of wines from one region more interesting.

If they are not, then one from each of four regions will be more fun and educational. Plus, less experienced tasters will more easily discern the difference than they would with four SBs from the same region.

One fun thing, if you want to splurge, would be to get one world class SB and serve it after the four bottle tasting. Open a Didier Dagueneau, Araujo or something else, sort of “we’ve just seen how four regular SB from around the world taste, now let’s look at one premium example and learn something from that.”

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#27 Post by Nathan Smyth » March 15th, 2018, 3:05 pm

J Murphy wrote:We all live a few miles from K&L so our options are good.
And here I was worried that you were way out in flyover country.

Your search for "sauvignon blanc" returned 232 results
http://www.klwines.com/Products/r?t=sauvignon%20blanc


.

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#28 Post by Nathan Smyth » March 15th, 2018, 3:10 pm

It looks like they've got 27 wines from Sancerre, most of which should be mostly SB:

http://www.klwines.com/Products/r?r=57% ... =8&z=False

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#29 Post by Nathan Smyth » March 15th, 2018, 3:15 pm

I'll bet if Brian Buzzini were on this thread, then he'd urge you to use a Mondavi Fume Blanc as your ringer.

K&L doesn't seem to have any Fume from Mondavi right now, but they do have some from Grgich.

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#30 Post by Chris Seiber » March 15th, 2018, 3:38 pm

The Mondavi To-Kalon would be a good “splurge” one if that concept had any interest.

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#31 Post by Otto Forsberg » March 16th, 2018, 1:18 am

IlkkaL wrote:If you are looking for a number of drastically different Sancerres you could consider having the following:

A typical steel-fermented one from for example Boulay or F. Cotat
Alphonse Mellot Generation XIX (fairly big with some oak)
Sebastien Riffault Akméniné (the freaky end of the appellation)
+1 on Riffault. As long as the bottles are sound, they are terrific wines - because they are so un-Sauvignon Blanc and darn tasty.

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#32 Post by Scott Brunson » March 16th, 2018, 3:27 am

Jeremy Holmes wrote:How about substituting all of the Savvy Blancs for Chardonnay?
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#33 Post by Kyle Schlachter » March 16th, 2018, 6:50 am

Sancerre
Saint Bris
Friuli Grave
Marlborough
Casablanca
California
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#34 Post by timmy roos » March 16th, 2018, 7:30 am

Under California I would urge a napa sb and a lake county sb for talking point
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#35 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » March 16th, 2018, 7:37 am

Mondavi I-Block is nearly a must to share once this fun tasting is over. I'd also add Prince in His Caves for after tasting contemplation.
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#36 Post by Loren Sonkin » March 16th, 2018, 7:57 am

Sounds like fun. I personally would avoid a "ringer". They tend to often finish first or last and that isn't really a measure of quality as much as it is just different. This is an easy enough topic that you can find all that you want once you figure out the format. Stick to it and enjoy the process.

Depending on your audience, you might want to do a tasting from around the world and then later do region by region or just pick a region. Fwiw, my favorites are Francois or Pascal (two different winries from cousins IIRC) Cotat from the Loire.
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#37 Post by robert creth » March 16th, 2018, 9:08 am

One of the great things about SV Blanc is the price. Except for 1st growth Bordeaux, you can drink well around the world for $30 a bottle or less. I like the idea of an around the globe tasting, a couple from France, maybe Chili, definitely New Zealand, and California. Sounds like a fun time!

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#38 Post by Jay Miller » March 16th, 2018, 12:32 pm

Doug Schulman wrote:I would choose Sauvignon Blancs from all different regions. Be sure to taste them all before food is served. The taste of the food and even the smell of it will affect your perception of the wines. I'd also suggest a very low spice level or, if that doesn't sound good, maybe a different type of food like some sort of simple, citrusy seafood.
Very good advice. Tasting before and after is always very informative. Also agree on choosing low spice level dishes (such as pad thai) for this pairing.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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#39 Post by RichardFlack » March 16th, 2018, 1:30 pm

+1 on Dagenau. If you can't source those try for better Henri Bourgeois like Chapelle des Augustins or Jadis.

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#40 Post by PrestonS » March 16th, 2018, 4:41 pm

The cat piss smell of most Sauv Blancs deter me from drinking much. Vatan Clos la Neore and the Von Winning I are two superb examples without the cat piss aroma.
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#41 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » March 16th, 2018, 7:27 pm

I would recommend including one from S. Africa. De Wetshof has a couple, and both should be under $20. S.B. is wonderful. Have fun!
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#42 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » March 17th, 2018, 3:15 pm

I would second getting wines from different regions - perhaps Loire (Dagueneau!), NZ, SA, Bdx and something local
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#43 Post by J Murphy » April 12th, 2018, 2:13 pm

So my event is two weeks away and I finalizing my list of 5 bottles to get.

I was just at the Redwood City Costco and see that they have the following:

Chateau De Thauvenay Sancerre $14.99
Hanna Russian River $12.99
Whitehaven $12.99
Cloudy Bay $23.99
Freemark Abbey Napa $15.99
Greywacke $16.99
Long Meadow Ranch Napa $14.99
Dry Creek $11.49
Are any of these worth considering?
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#44 Post by Nathan Smyth » April 12th, 2018, 3:31 pm

There are some obvious selection bias & confirmation bias problems with Cellar Tracker, not to mention the Madness of Crowds, but, by and large, most of the people there tend to be fairly decent tasters.

Greywacke is the only label which has ever cracked the 90pt barrier for a single vintage at Cellar Tracker.
Chateau De Thauvenay Sancerre $14.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... y+Sancerre

Hanna Russian River $12.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... gnon+Blanc

Whitehaven $12.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... gnon+Blanc

Cloudy Bay $23.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... gnon+Blanc

Freemark Abbey Napa $15.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... gnon+Blanc

Greywacke $16.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... gnon+Blanc

Long Meadow Ranch Napa $14.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... gnon+Blanc

Dry Creek $11.49
???
There's a Dry Creek Valley agricultural area, but Cellar Tracker doesn't seem to have an estate called "Dry Creek".
By and large, if you've got a choice between a CT 87pt vintage and a CT 89pt vintage, then you're probably going to be able to tell the difference [so, for instance, pay attention to the vintage with the Thauvenay].

On the other hand, if every vintage seems to get pretty much the same score, year after year after year [cough CLOUDY BAY cough], then you're probably dealing with an industrial product, such as Coca-Cola or Sprite or Penfolds Grange, and the vintage simply won't matter all that much.

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#45 Post by Nathan Smyth » April 12th, 2018, 3:34 pm

There are some third-party scripts on this page right now which are making it almost impossible to post anything.

Or even just to scroll down the page trying to read it.

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#46 Post by Drew Goin » April 12th, 2018, 11:40 pm

J Murphy wrote:So my event is two weeks away and I finalizing my list of 5 bottles to get.

I was just at the Redwood City Costco and see that they have the following:

Chateau De Thauvenay Sancerre $14.99
Hanna Russian River $12.99
Whitehaven $12.99
Cloudy Bay $23.99
Freemark Abbey Napa $15.99
Greywacke $16.99
Long Meadow Ranch Napa $14.99
Dry Creek $11.49
Are any of these worth considering?
Ah, I have not heard Hanna mentioned in many, many years! That and the Dry Creek are great choices!


If I could jump in the way-back machine with Dr Peabody, I would have mentioned Brander!!! :P

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Ideas for Sauvigon Blanc tasting?

#47 Post by J Murphy » April 13th, 2018, 8:07 am

Nathan Smyth wrote:There are some obvious selection bias & confirmation bias problems with Cellar Tracker, not to mention the Madness of Crowds, but, by and large, most of the people there tend to be fairly decent tasters.

Greywacke is the only label which has ever cracked the 90pt barrier for a single vintage at Cellar Tracker.
Chateau De Thauvenay Sancerre $14.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... y+Sancerre

Hanna Russian River $12.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... gnon+Blanc

Whitehaven $12.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... gnon+Blanc

Cloudy Bay $23.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... gnon+Blanc

Freemark Abbey Napa $15.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... gnon+Blanc

Greywacke $16.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... gnon+Blanc

Long Meadow Ranch Napa $14.99
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... gnon+Blanc

Dry Creek $11.49
???
There's a Dry Creek Valley agricultural area, but Cellar Tracker doesn't seem to have an estate called "Dry Creek".
Its Dry Creek Vineyard
https://store.drycreekvineyard.com/prod ... gnon-Blanc

By and large, if you've got a choice between a CT 87pt vintage and a CT 89pt vintage, then you're probably going to be able to tell the difference [so, for instance, pay attention to the vintage with the Thauvenay].

On the other hand, if every vintage seems to get pretty much the same score, year after year after year [cough CLOUDY BAY cough], then you're probably dealing with an industrial product, such as Coca-Cola or Sprite or Penfolds Grange, and the vintage simply won't matter all that much.
J a m e s

J Murphy
Posts: 39
Joined: March 13th, 2018, 8:01 pm

Ideas for Sauvigon Blanc tasting?

#48 Post by J Murphy » April 14th, 2018, 10:23 am

K&L has both the 2015 ($24.99) and 2017 ($19.99) Greywackle

Does age help this wine? If so I would get the 2015.

seems like the ratings on the 2015 are a good bit higher

http://www.klwines.com/Products/r?d=0&r ... greywackle
J a m e s

Nathan Smyth
Posts: 3767
Joined: February 15th, 2009, 7:11 pm

Ideas for Sauvigon Blanc tasting?

#49 Post by Nathan Smyth » April 14th, 2018, 10:39 am

Wine Spectator stops at 2015:

http://www.winespectator.com/vintagecha ... arch/id/48

Jancis Robinson goes to 2017:

https://www.jancisrobinson.com/learn/vi ... ew-zealand

They both seem to like 2015.

Nathan Smyth
Posts: 3767
Joined: February 15th, 2009, 7:11 pm

Ideas for Sauvigon Blanc tasting?

#50 Post by Nathan Smyth » April 14th, 2018, 10:54 am

J Murphy wrote:K&L has both the 2015 ($24.99) and 2017 ($19.99) Greywackle
Okay, those look like two different wines - the 2017 looks like a basic SB, whereas the 2015 looks like a slightly more upscale "Special Selection" SB.
greywack.png
Here are the CT ratings for that "Wild" label:

https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... Blanc+Wild

Statistically speaking, year in and year out, it definitely looks like the "Wild" is a step up from the basic bottling.

So with any luck, better vintage + better label should be worth the extra $5 investment.

[OTOH, if you're AFWE, then you might prefer lesser vintage + lesser label, but that's highly unlikely to be the preference of anyone in your tasting group.]

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