Santa Rita Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Some wines are so full of flavors and nuance, I almost feel like I can’t do them justice with a description.  In fact, I probably can’t.  Still, I do my best and enjoy trying.  Other wines are so amazingly straightforward, it takes only a word or two to express the essence of their character.  That isn’t a judgement, by the way.  Sometimes the right wine for a particular occasion is the kind that makes a singular impact.

Winemaker:   Santa Rita
Wine:  120 Sauvignon Blanc
Varietal:  Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage:  2014
Appellation:  Valle Central DO, Chile
Price: $9.69

Notes:  Grapefruit

 

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Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc

I mentioned in a recent post that I had to take a little break from the blog due to circumstances beyond my control.  Nonetheless, prior to the hiatus I had managed to squirrel away a number of tasting notes from wines I’d enjoyed in previous months.  Not wanting to waste the work and hoping to perhaps relive some enjoyable moments, I have decided to go ahead and post them.  They may be a little past their “post by” date, but I hope they will still prove to be of interest.  This Oyster Bay is one example.

Oenophilogical_OysterBaySauvignonBlanc2014Winemaker:  Oyster Bay
Varietal:  Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage:  2014
Appellation:  Marlborough, NZ
Price:  $15.99

Notes:  The bouquet of this New Zealand white was very pungent with scents of citrus and guava.  Acidity was pretty high, and it was light-bodied.  At 13% alcohol, the wine packed plenty of flavor consisting primarily of citrus, guava and grass.  This is another fun and unctuous Kiwi wine.

The Pass Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Trolling the wine section at my local Trader Joe’s has become more challenging of late.  You see, they have been getting such large crowds that the lines are two deep at the front of the store and then turn up the wine aisle.  These lines often go all the way to the end of the wines and turn the corner!  I have to admit, the TJ staff do an amazing job keeping the line moving.  But … when I visit now during high traffic times, I can no longer linger among the wines pondering my choices.  That would make me an impediment to checkout.  Believe me, I am not going to get between those TJ shoppers and their checkout!

So when I see that crazy long line, I simply go to the end (somewhere in the back of the store) and pick up wines as I pass through the wine section.  Oh!  Did you catch that little pun I just made?  Didn’t plan it, but there it is.  And here is one of the selections I recently grabbed from my place in line.

Winemaker:  The Pass
Varietal:  Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage:  2014
Appellation:  Marlborough, New Zealand
Price: $8.99 at Trader Joes

Notes:  This SB was extremely pale.  It had a very “stinky” bouquet of ripe grapefruit.  Acidity was effervescent and brisk.  It was light-bodied, and alcohol was at 13%.  Flavors I detected were grapefruit and oak.  I thought it was quite enjoyable – nice and tangy.  It left a pleasant fuzzy tongue feeling from the high acidity.  No finesse to speak of, but fun to drink nonetheless.

 

Crucero Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Although you can’t tell it from my posts on this blog, I’ve been drinking mostly reds for weeks now.  Perhaps it would help if I were better about getting my posts up in a timely manner.  Then you might know I’ve been enjoying reds of late.  And that is one of my New Year’s resolutions – to be more diligent about posting my wine experiences here.  Not doing too well so far, but there is time (and room) for improvement.  Ha!

Anyway, I was in the store the other day browsing and found myself drawn to the white wine shelves.  I even commented to the staff that I seemed to have a hankering for a white wine despite the chilly weather and piles of snow hanging around.  Having given voice to my thoughts, I decided to take action.

Winemaker:  Crucero
Varietal:  Sauvignion Blanc
Vintage:  2014
Appellation:  Curicó Valley, Chile
Price:  $9.99 at Whole Foods

Notes:  This Chilean Sauvignon Blanc was light-bodied and a light yellow in the glass.  On the nose I found plenty of citrus and a touch of pear.  Flavors basically mirrored the bouquet with the addition of warm spice notes.  Acidity was fairly bright, and alcohol was at 13%.  Quite pleasant overall.

Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Was in a New Zealand state of mind recently when I ran across this selection at a local store.  You see, I write some songs from time to time.  Nothing you’ll hear on the top 40 stations any time soon.  I call them my little ditties. LOL  Even so, I have recorded some of them.

Last month I was doing a yearly overview of published playlists and found that one of my songs had been getting spins fairly frequently on a radio station in New Zealand all year (2015).  Surprised and elated, that put me in the mood to celebrate.  So what better way than with a nice Kiwi wine!Oenophilogical_CliffordBaySauvignonBlanc2014

Winemaker:   Clifford Bay
Varietal:  Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage:  2014
Appellation:  Marlborough, New Zealand
Price: 12.99

Notes:  Another pungent New Zealand SB, the Clifford Bay smelled pretty much like a big glass of ripe pink grapefruit juice.  Pale yellow in color with a distinct greenish tinge, it was light-bodied with brisk acidity.  Alcohol was at 13%.  What did it taste like?  To me it tasted like the bouquet suggested it would.  Is this a Sauvignon Blanc to serve with Sunday brunch?  Perhaps so!  Or lounging somewhere under a hot tropical sun?  If you find yourself in that situation … Yes!  I found it a straight-forward and enjoyably refreshing glass of wine.

 

Maniña Sauvignon Blanc 2014

My work is sort of boom or bust.  By that I mean that when it is quiet, you can hear the grass grow.  But when it gets busy, it can be key-ray-zee!  Thus, after a 12+ hours day of work recently, I stumbled into a Kroger store and grabbed a bottle of wine to accompany my very late dinner.  And let me say, this Kroger had the best wine selection I have ever seen in one of their stores.  I mean they even had a Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon on the shelves.  In my state, however, I knew anything that potentially complex and lovely would be wasted on me that evening.  Instead, my tired digits wrapped themselves around this Chilean white.

Winemaker:   Maniña
Varietal:  Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage:  2014
Appellation:  Valle Central, Chile
Price: $12.99

Notes:  The color was straw, and it’s bouquet held scents of citrus and tropical fruit.  It was light-bodied with decent acidity and 12.5% alcohol.  I tasted primarily citrus flavors with a hint of melon here and there.  It finished on a bracing citrus zest note.  It went fairly well with the frozen chicken strips I microwaved, but I think it might have been better with a nice seafood dish.  By the way, I did have the next day off.  Thank goodness!

Basqueing in Friendship, Food, & Wine

I’ve mentioned my friend and fellow Wine Ranger Heather in previous posts.  She and I have been friends for … let’s just say a long time, OK?  Over the summer we’ve been busy with summer stuff and just hadn’t managed to get together and kibitz like we should.  Luckily, a couple of weeks ago we had the chance to correct that and catch up at a local restaurant named SER.

SER is owned by Josu Zubikarai who hails from the Basque area of Spain.  As their website explains – “Raised in San Sebastian, the Basque Country’s capital city, Josu began his formal training as a chef at age 17, working his way through the ranks in various restaurants, initially in the Basque region, but also moving around and exploring other areas of Spain. He grew up working in his family’s restaurant outside San Sebastian, developing the passion and commitment he brings to SER today.”

Unlike so many of today’s trendy Spanish restaurants, SER is not a tapas restaurant.  Certainly, they have appetizers and some small portion dishes, but they are a Spanish “tavern” where you go to experience a gastronomical journey in a casual, friendly atmosphere.  We sat out on their patio (seen above) and enjoyed ourselves immensely while we ate our way across the menu.  Interested in a wine journey as well as a foodie experience, we tried the following selections from their wine list.

Viña Galana Garnacha 2012
Tierra de Castilla, Spain

We found this Garnacha a very fine red to accompany meat dishes, although we noted that it was somewhat lower in acidity than others we’ve had before.

Domaine de Menard Cuvée Marine
Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Côtes de Gascogne, France

It had a very big bouquet redolent with sweet tropical fruit while on the palate is was quite a dry selection hewing primarily to citrus flavors.

Gañeta Hondarribi Zuri 2014
Getario Txakolina, Spain

This was a light white selection from the Basque region of Spain.  Reminding us of a Grüner Veltliner, it was poured at the table through an aerator from about a foot above the glass.  The nose held lots of lanolin with citrus notes, but the flavors leaned the other direction – mainly grapefruit with touches of lanolin.