Normally on Fridays, I publish a list of some of the samples I have collected over the course of the previous three months. While the tasting notes below are indeed samples, I decided to actually do a little more work (although only a little) and decide to pull a few with a commonality.
Today I am looking at two related grape varieties. The first is Sauvignon Blanc, which roughly translated means “wild white” and it is native to the Southwest region of France (it is one of the two main white grape varieties in Bordeaux). As I mention at least a couple of times in the notes below, I am not a huge fan of the variety, but I do this work for my loyal readers out there.
All three of you.
2019 Foppiano Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley, CA: Retail $18. Under screwcap. I have never uttered these words: “I could really use a glass of Sauvignon Blanc right now.” Having said that, I do enjoy a good SB when it is placed before me. Case in point. Tons of tree fruit on the nose (peach, pear) along with a decided mineral note. Yum. The palate is tart, but also there is some body, some roundness. Overall, a solid effort. Very Good. 89 Points.
2019 Imagery Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Valley, CA: Retail $17. Under screwcap. While it is far from my go-to white, I do like the occasional well-made Sauvignon Blanc. This one comes close. Fruity and zesty on the nose of this straw-colored wine along with plenty of flintiness and crushed rock. The palate is fruity, with flashes of tartness, but this wine is a bit on the round side–not quite what one would expect in a Sauvignon Blanc. Still, this is a pleasant quaff and an easy drinker. 89 Points.
2019 Lucky Rock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Country Cuvée, Sonoma County, CA: Retail $17. Under screwcap. Sauvignon Blanc is not my favorite but I do enjoy a well-made SB. And this is one. Flinty, fruity (green apple, peach), floral (white flower), and just a tad funky (and I love the funk). In case you missed it, that’s the four Fs, and that is a good thing. The palate is fruity, quite tart, and a bit spicy. A solid SB by any measure and once the price is factored in? You betcha. Very Good. 89 Points.
2019 Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc Charlotte’s Home, Sonoma County, CA: Retail $15. Under screwcap. Sauvignon Blanc? Meh. That is my normal reaction, but when it is a Rodney Strong Charlotte’s Home, my mouth starts to water. Part of the reason? The people at Rodney Strong are wonderful, but the winery generally produces fantastic wines which are incredible values. Quite floral on the nose with some green apple, a bit of flint, and a touch of white pepper. The palate is balanced: fruit, tart, precise. Fifteen bucks? You bet. Excellent. 90 Points.
The second variety on display here today is perhaps the most popular red variety in the world, Cabernet Sauvignon. Another native to Southwest France (Bordeaux, again), despite what many may think, while some grape varieties can trace their history back several centuries, even millennia, Cabernet Sauvignon is a relative newcomer. It was created in the 17th Century by crossing Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.
So yeah, Cabernet Sauvignon is the “child” of Sauvignon Blanc. There’s a handy pick-up line if we are ever allowed back in wine bars and you are the type that uses pick-up lines.
2019 Domaine Bousquet Cabernet Sauvignon Virgen, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina: Retail $13. !00% Cabernet Sauvignon. Certified Organic. Under screwcap. While this is a relatively new line from Domaine Bousquet, I have been tasting their wines for several years now and I have always been impressed with the quality, particularly given the price. Red fruit and considerable funk (although I love the funk) on the nose. After a short time open, however, that funkiness seems to blow off leaving lovely red fruit, aromas of fresh rose petals, and a touch of green pepper. The palate is reserved–not overly fruity at all, with relatively high levels of acidity and a surprising amount of tannic grip on the backend. Very Good. 88 Points.
2016 Jordan Vineyard & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, CA: Retail $58, 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec. I have had a few vintages of Jordan Cabernet now and it was clear that this was a bit of infanticide opening this bottle today (even though it sat for a good five months in my cellar). An opaque ruby-purple in the glass, with red and blue fruit predominate. The is also a bit of astringency at the backend of the nose, which I assumed would blow off, but hadn’t a good several hours later. The palate is fruity and harmonious with balanced acidity. The tannins are fairly mellow but present on the backend suggesting some short-term cellaring potential. Excellent. 91 Points.
2017 Michael-David Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Freakshow, Lodi, CA: Retail $17. I am not entirely sure, but I think once that Michael David sold off the 7 Deadly Zins brand, this brand became their flagship and main focus. I’ll have to give David Phillips a call and pry it out of him. Not surprisingly, this is a fruity, fruity wine. And big, really big. It’s also fun, boisterous, and jammy–kind of the antithesis of Lodi, as a matter of fact. The palate is equally big and jammy as one might expect from a wine called “Freakshow.” This is not the wine, perhaps for a candlelit dinner at home with the newly identified love of your life, but when the crew comes over to watch the game? Or for homemade sloppy joes slathered in coleslaw? Oh yeah. Gimme some o that. Very Good. 88 Points.
2017 Pascual Toso Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina: Retail $18. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Under screwcap. Fruity (mostly bright red fruit), spicy (allspice), slightly funky (and I love the funk), and a touch herbal (sage, oregano) on the nose of this ruby-colored, slightly opaque wine. The palate is tart and inviting, sure, there is a bit of tannic grip on the backend (as one would expect with Cabernet), but this is a pleasant imminently drinkable wine. Very Good. 89 Points.