Tree Decoration – The Lighting

In my house we always start our tree decoration with the lights.  And this year, because our schedules have been surprisingly full – mostly due to end-of-the-year deadlines at work – we have approached tree decoration in a three-stage process.

First, of course, we bought the tree and set it in it’s stand.  Then we decided to give it a bit of time for it’s branches to relax before attempting to shove light strands and decorations onto it.  The second step, then, was to put on strands of tree lights.  As this year’s tree was a tad smaller than previous years, we first applied one strand of white lights.  Once we were happy with the placement of the whites, we moved on to a strand of colored lights.  Again, only one strand was needed.  And, of course, our tree topper star (which is lit from the inside) finished the lighting ceremony.

As always, we had celebratory vino to enjoy as we engaged in this part of our holiday tradition.  Don’t get the wrong idea.  It isn’t as though all our holidays follow this kind of planning.  I remember a rainy and frenzied Xmas Eve on which we bought our tree and decorations then decorated it.  But that is a story for another time.  Anyway, in this case, we observed the lighting ceremony with a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Oenophilogical_SauvignonRepublicSB2016Winemaker: Sauvignon Republic
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage: 2016
Appellation: Marlborough, NZ
Price: $7.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes: This NZ wine from “Latitude 42° South” was very pungent, presenting tropical scents in the bouquet.  Acidity was high in a typically light-bodied Sauvignon Blanc with alcohol at 13%.  Flavors my tongue experienced included guava, starfruit, grass and white pepper.  I found it started out gently sweet on the palate and ended nicely tart.  I thought it was an enjoyable glass of inexpensive white wine.

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Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Seems I haven’t yet exhausted my archival notes.  So while it appears that Joel Gott Wines is now selling it’s 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, please step into my time machine for a trip back into the not-so-distant past.  Can we find a bottle of the 2013 on our store shelves?  Probably not.  Does the quality of this vintage provide a sense of what may lie waiting for us in the 2015?  Well, it can certainly give us an idea of the quality we can expect.  You can also click on the link above and see what the vintner has to say about his new Sauvignon Blanc.  In the meantime ….

Oenophilogical_JoelGottSauvignonBlanc2013Winemaker: Joel Gott
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage: 2013
Appellation: California
Price: $10.99

Notes: Aromas of tropical fruit and citrus rose from the glass of this pale golden-hued wine.  On the tongue, the heft was light with a definite coat-the-tongue sensation.  Acidity was brisk, and alcohol was at 13.9%.  As far as flavor, my palate found Meyer lemon, grass, a hint of hot pepper (from the acidity, no doubt), and a saline note.  I certainly enjoyed this Joel Gott selection quite a bit, and I think it would have been a great pairing with scallops or a light fish stew.  Perhaps I need to cook up some scallops and grab the current release for an awesome meal.

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

 

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.