Sunday, May 07, 2006


Last week Sabrina, Patrick, Hillary and I met at Sabrina's for a little blind tasting of Sauvignon Blanc. And yes, Sabrina, at first I was a little skeptical. I've always enjoyed Sauvignon Blanc and truly believe they have their place on the table when it comes to a multi-course meal. But I've never really looked at the grape with a critical eye. This was going to be fun.

We all brought a bottle of wine and gave it to Eric to tuck away from us all. He was the master pourer, the one who held the bottles and protected them from prying eyes. Hillary brought a delectable selection of goat's cheeses, Patrick brought a tasty herbed goat's cheese and Sabrina made shrimp and grits and a killer grilled tuna steak. I prepared a fresh salmon ceviche with dill, cilantro, habanero pepper, tangerine, mango, lime and avocado.

Wine #1 was a very pale pale yellow with a tint of light green. Very clear and bright with a clean fresh look about it. We all guessed it was 1-2 years old. On the nose I detected floral notes with a bit of fresh ginger and fresh fresh citrus. The first taste was like taking a bite out of a fresh granny smith apple. It had tart bright acidity with a hint of lime zest. The consensus was that it was New World, either 2004 or 5. I guessed it was around 12-12.5% alcohol. Eric pulled off the brown bag and revealed Mulderbosch 2005 from Stellenbosch South Africa.

Wine #2 also had a light pale green tinge to it, but was a bit darker than #1. The aroma was very herbaceous with a bit of nut and lemon rind. The palate revealed a very full mouthfeel but with quite a hot finish. I guessed maybe California, 1-2 years old. We all felt that the quality of this wine was considerably lower than #1, and that it was vastly more manipulated. It turned out to also be from South Africa. It was Kumala 2005.

Wine #3 had a bit of golden color and was less pale than 1 or 2; yet was still clear and fresh looking. The scent of grapefruit practically smacked me in the face. The grapefruit aroma gave way to hints of fresh cut asparagus with light fresh cut grass
and an herbaceous tone. The palate displayed sweet fruit with hints of pineapple and other tropical notes. The grapefruit characteristic led me to believe that it might have been from New Zealand. Maybe 2 years old. We all guessed that it was good quality. Eric pulled back the brown bag and revealed Cloudy Bay 2004.

Wine #4 displayed a pale almost light golden color. On the nose was a very floral aroma with a touch of ginger, some spicy characteristics and hint of lemongrass. The palate had a bit of minerality with limestone, lime zest and wet rock. It was not very mouthfilling, more razor sharp. I really fluctuated between guessing New World or Old World. The style really led me to believe it was Old World because of its elegance. I was wrong. This little wine was from St Supery, Napa Valley 2004.

All in all, this was very educational AND a lot of fun.

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