The Lovely Sauvignon Blanc

When it comes to white wine, the choices are varied and vast: sweet Riesling, light Pinot Grigio, spicy Chardonnay, aromatic Gewürztraminer, etc. I’m a fan of them all but there is one that consistently has a place in my top ten – the lovely Sauvignon Blanc.

Sauvignon Blanc’s origin is from the Bordeaux region in France where it is typically blended with Semillon. Head up north to the Loire Valley and you’ll find Sancerre, the most famous Sauvignon Blanc of the region.  In California,  Sauvignon Blanc is sometimes referred to as Fumé Blanc. Robert Mondavi came up with this term in the late 1960’s after barrel aging Sauvignon Blanc to improve the negative reputation of the wine.

Light, fresh and intended to be consumed young, Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with shellfish, such as crabs, oysters, and mussels. It is also a quintessential pairing for chèvre.

An outstanding characteristic of Sauvignon Blanc is it’s grassy component. It literally shares the same chemical compound found in freshly mowed grass. This peculiar feature may be difficult for some to overcome but makes it easy to discern.

The tasting profile of Sauvignon Blanc varies greatly depending on the origin of the wine. French Sauvignon Blanc has citrus notes of lime and gooseberry with a good hit of minerality. Washington, California and Oregon Sauvignon Blanc have similar citrus notes with grapefruit and white peach showing up in the warmer climates. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has tropical flavors coming forth, like passion fruit and also has a dominant presence of pungent green capsicum (green pepper).

No specific recommendations this time because I have not met a Sauvignon Blanc I did not like. Grab one with a cool label, from your favorite appellation, or the right price. I am sure you will not be disappointed.

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Lauren Ashton New Releases!

 

I discovered Lauren Ashton Cellars while living in Washington state.  My husband, Joe, attended the Northwest Wine Academy and was in a class with Riinu Rammal who co-owns Lauren Ashton Cellars with her husband, Kit Singh.  A few weeks later, Joe and I topped off a date day with a visit to Lauren Ashton‘s tasting room in the Hollywood District of Woodinville where we became hooked on these fantastic wines.  Lauren Ashton focuses on traditional French style wines that reflect Washington terroir.  They have just released two pretty fabulous wines that I am delighted to share with you:

 

Cuvée Méline

 

A Bordeaux style white wine made up of 55% Semillon and 45% Sauvignon Blanc fermented like a white wine should, low and slow, in stainless steel tanks and neutral barrels.  Cuvée Méline shows a purposeful balance between high acidity and lushness with green apple, grapefruit, peach and green melon followed by an intriguing suggestion of fresh bread.  I paired this wine with sweet potato gnocchi and it was a cohesive, delicious duo.

 

Cuvée Arlette

Also Bordeaux inspired, from the Right Bank with a Merlot predominance, is Cuvée Arlette .  A blend of 59% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and a token of Malbec and Petit Verdot.  Cuvée Arlette is a dignified wine with aromas of dark fruits, spices and earthy minerals.  On the palate, flavors of black raspberry, black currant and black cherry with a sway to perfectly roasted coffee beans, warm baking spices and clay pot.  The finish lingers on the palate providing an elegant, pleasing culmination.

 

Bonus Review ~ Chenin Blanc

For the first time ever, Lauren Ashton has released a Chenin Blanc.  The wine is whole cluster pressed resulting in a high quality, refreshing wine with crisp acidity.  The aroma is fruity with a hint of mango and flavors of ripe Bartlett pear, yellow apple, and pineapple with undertones of honey and chalk.  I tasted this little lovely in the morning before eating, which I admit, is something I do often while my palate is most attentive.  It would pair well with Asian food or simple chicken and fish dishes.

Whether you are looking to stock a cellar, enjoy a bottle or two in the next few months, or polish off immediately, these are excellent wines worth considering.  Lauren Ashton distributes to many states as well as ships to any state without restrictions.  To order Lauren Ashton wines, click here.

 

 

As wineries occasionally do, Lauren Ashton sent the above wines to me.  I only promote wines I thoroughly enjoy since my name is essentially on them at the point of promotion.  As I state in my bio, "I am here to inspire you to treat yourself to great wine experiences as often as you possibly can!"  I recommend wines that, in my opinion, can create great wine experiences.

 

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