Archive for August, 2005

Tasting: Sauvignon blanc

Saturday, August 6th, 2005

Only 4 of us could make it for the Savvy tasting. Tonight the rating system was a ranking, one being the best, 4 the worst. The scores below represent the sum of the rank given by each person for each wine. RH wasn’t there to instigate a debate on the merits and drawbacks of this system, so I won’t go into too much depth now. The drawback with this system is that it doesn’t tell you how far a part the wines may be, nor does it let you know how the flight was as a whole (e.g. your #1 wine may have receieved a rating of 4, but it just happened to be better than the others).

Syvain Bailly, Prestige, Sancerre 2002 (score: 7). This wine was very nice and clearly different from the rest of the flight (the only non-CA wine). Perfumey, lime, with some tropical (lychee) and hints of mint and vanilla. Great acidity from the beginning to the end, lemon and some passion fruit flavors on the finish which had good length. For me, the clear winner, it received 2 first place votes, a second, and a third place vote.

Fiddlhead Cellars, Goosebury, Santa Ynez Valley, 2003 score - 8. Green apple, lemon, hints of basil/anise (JD mentioned jasmine). After a little time in the glass, the nose became less intense. The mid-palate was round, slightly viscous with some ML and oak characters. The acidity was decent. In general the group all liked this wine, the rankings (for this wine and the previous one) falling different mostly by stylistic preference. Votes were 1st, two 2nd, and 3rd.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Rancho Chamilles 2003 (score: 9). Slightly minty, not very intense aromatically. Perhaps citrus. Less acid than the others, a full mid palate which made me (and others) think oak and ML. In general this wine was not very flavorful with average acidity and a decent finish. It still received a first place vote, though for me it is on a lower register than the first two wines, despite being close in score. Votes: 1st, 2nd, and two 3rd place.

Pellegrini Sauv. blanc, 2004 (score: 16). Its rare that we have such a clear loser in a flight, but this one did everything it could to earn the distinction. It started out reduced, and it took a while for the sulfur smell to dissipate. There were also hints of banana, bubble gum, and some lychee (perhpas lingering fermentation esters, it is still young). The acidity was ok, but in general the wine simply wasn’t very interesting. On a positive note, the mouthfeel wasn’t too bad. For those who it isn’t obvious by the above score, the votes were as follows: four 4th place votes, ouch!

Overall the flight was above average. For me the Syvain Bailly was a clear winner, Fiddlehead second, but as a group both of these wines and the Stag’s Leap were well liked. It should be noted that the Fiddlehead and Syvain Bailly are the most expensive wines in the flight.