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SAUVIGNON BLANC

May 8, 2000 • Old Doc's Discount Liquors

Ampelographers at UC Davis recently discovered through DNA matching that Sauvignon Blanc is the mother of Cabernet Sauvignon (Cabernet Franc is the father) This gives new stature and significance to this varietal which is already one of PfW's favorites. Roy baked a salmon fillet with fresh shaved carrots, onions, fennel bulb, and dill and served it with a selection of rustic and hearty breads and cheeses that severely complicated our ranking task, meanwhile making it joyful.

Brand
Vintage & Varietal or Type
Appellation -$ price
Consensus Tasting Notes
#Rank
Buying Advice

Kunde
1999 Sauvignon Blanc
Sonoma "Magnolia Lane" -$10.

Very pale green, bright; sweet, ripe, grassy, lemony, gooseberry, grapefruit-citric aromas with a faint hint of mineral; big, sweet, ripe, grapefruit, grassy, somewhat rich flavors; slightly tart, crisp balance; long finish

#1
Very Highly
Recommended

Babcock
1999 Sauvignon Blanc
Santa Barbara -$12.

Very pale straw, bright; grassy, herbal with sweet geranium, peach, and melon aromas; grassy, mineral, lime, grapefruit, jalapeño, and vanilla flavors; good balance; creamy, silky finish

#2
Very Highly
Recommended

Kendall-Jackson
1998 Sauvignon Blanc
"Vintner's Reserve" California -$10.

Pale yellow-green, bright; melon, grass, fig, and butter aromas with a faint hint of botrytis; slightly sweet, generous flavors are melony, citric, complex; very nice balance; pleasant, not too lingering finish

#3
Very Highly
Recommended

Brander
1998 Sauvignon Blanc
Santa Ynez Valley -$12.

Very pale green, bright; sweet, citric, grassy aromas with hints of bell pepper and sesame seed; very grassy flavors with some flint and mineral elements, slightly sharp; tart, crisp, long finish

#4
Highly
Recommended

Fritz
1998 Sauvignon Blanc
Dry Creek Valley "Poplar"-$15.

Very pale straw, bright; citric, spicy aroma with some barrel-fermentation, leesy elements and a hint of petrol; good mouthfeel, lime-citric, grass flavors, with a slight flinty edge; tart finish

#5
Highly
Recommended

Alderbrook
1998 Sauvignon Blanc
Russian River Valley $11.

Pale straw, bright; floral, lime, citrus, fig, herb, mineral, smoke, oak and honey aromas; complex, rich, fruity flavors (one panelist thought over-oaked); crisp acidity; faint spritz, tingley, clean finish

#6
Recommended

Cakebread
1998 Sauvignon Blanc
Napa Valley -$17.

Very pale green, bright; clean, grapefruit-citric, pear, and licorice aromas; very light grass and mineral flavors are delicate, thin, almost sharp; crisp, tart balance; very lingering, very tart finish with slight heat

#7
Recommended

The following bottle was distinctly "corked" and therefore not rated. But for this problem, this wine would have probably scored quite high. As previously noted, this problem has been increasing;five of our last twelve tastings (about 8% of bottles) have included at least one corked bottle. TCA (2,4,6 trichloroanisole) is a biproduct of the bleach used to sterilize corks and other winery equipment. PfW hopes the wineries are listening and acting to eradicate this problem...

Rochioli
1998 Sauvignon Blanc
Russian River Valley -$22.

Pale green, bright; green, mineral, moderately musty (TCA, corked) aroma, with some baked apple; big, ripe fruit and melon flavors; very good balance;

(Flawed Bottle)

Concannon
1984 "Assemblage"
Livermore Valley -($14. at release)

Medium-yellow, slightly dull; baked apple, oxidized, madeirized, sherried, old nose; old, oily, flat, aldehydic flavors lack spark; well past it's prime (63% Semillon, 37% Sauvignon Blanc)

#9
Not
Recommended


Panel included Mark, Deanna, Glenn, Roy, Marlene,
Jon, Jim, Ron, Greg S., and James
Previous Sauvignon Blanc About Sauvignon Blanc

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