The second gathering in our series of tasting wine from around the globe, but focused on one grape, this was an interesting and enjoyable collection. Tasters agreed that this was a difficult group to rate, and indeed every wine received at least a few points.
The winner was a single-vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from California, showing plenty of complex aromas and flavors, and not far behind was a real value from New Zealand.
Resa and Andy P continued their run as excellent guest tasters.
First Place: Lincourt Sauvignon Blanc Alamo Pintado Vineyard 2008 (Santa Ynez Valley). Very pale in color, that Kristin said was like "Cate Blanchett". Tasters noted aromas of grass, pears, limes, ocean air, tangerine, chalk, and gypsum. Very pleasant, enjoyable, and very balanced, with flavors of tropical fruit, blood orange, red grapefruit, and salt. Juicy. Not as good with food, but flavorful and complex on its own. Ali and Andy R correctly identified this as from California. Kristin, Resa, Andy P, and Ali's favorite wine of the night. Received 32 points. Ali's bottle. About $20.
Second Place: Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (Marlborough). Very grassy, with chalk, green grapes, white grapefruit, and pineapple scents. Clear, pale hue. On the palate, tasters noted gooseberries, roasted red peppers, juniper, and goat cheese. Andy R felt it was "like a gin and tonic", while Kristin described it as "a good friend". Kristin said, "I won't get sloppy, tanked, shit-faced off of this", and Andy said it "has the social skills to run for president". Kristin, Resa, Andy R, and Ali all identified this as from New Zealand. David and Andy R's favorite. Received 28 points. Andy's bottle. About $7.
Third Place: Chateau St. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc Horse Heaven Vineyard 2009 (Horse Heaven Hills). Chalk, dust, dirty sponge, green herb, oregano, cantaloupe, and cheese on the nose. Smoky, and oily in texture, with clove honey, and cherry Kool-Aid flavors. Cheese on the finish. Ali described it as an "experienced smoker lady", while Andy R called it "a steady ship". Better on its own. Received 14 points. Kristin's bottle. About $15.
Celestin Blondeau Sancerre Cuvee des Moulins Bales 2008. A little funky on the nose, with rubber bands, minerals, and figs. Tasters noted oranges, mango, and white grapefruit flavors. Andy R felt it was "like a fruit salad", and Ali thought of "lemon vodka", with Andy P noting "sharp provalone". Andy R continued with, "a little floppy on the end, but I like it", but Ali said, "I feel like it's insecure". Received 4 points. Resa's bottle. About $23.
Santa Rita Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (Leyda Valley). Olives, brine, sweaty socks, and rubber on the nose. Andy R felt that it "smells like a pile of wet leaves", and Resa thought it was like "your own armpit that you can't stop smelling". Ali said, "it makes me feel like I've snorted it", Andy R chimed in with "it's the mannequin with no head". Pea soup, candy, and smoke flavors. Andy P said, "it makes my mouth water, but it may be just a defensive maneuver". Andy R finished with, "an unshowered male". Received 4 points. David's bottle. About $15.
Chateau de Cruzeau 2006 (Pessac-Leognan). Very yellow, with aromas of buttered popcorn, mango, passion fruit, hairspray, and caramel. Tart on the palate, featuring SweetTarts, cured meats, and heavy cream. Sour patch kids on the finish. Received 2 points. Andy P's bottle. About $16.
Hardy's Whiskers Blake Classic Tawny (South Eastern Australia). Random aromas/flavors of raisins, caramel, paint thinner, pomegranate, milk chocolate, hazelnuts, flaming mannequin, burnt blueberry pie, and butterscotch.