Summer is the best time to enjoy Sauvignon Blanc. It is one of the most refreshing wines that I cover. It is perfect choice for hot days. In this post, I will highlight be best Sauvignon Blancs that I have discovered so far this summer.
We will start the post with a perennial favorite. The 2012 Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc from the Russian River Valley for $32 is a terrific Sauvignon Blanc. The panel awarded this wine 92 points. It was the clear winner in our first big blind tasting. Readers will find it to be full bodied, balanced, creamy, and rich. Its flavor profile is a tasty green melon with notes of banana and lemon. It finishes dry and its flavors last for quite some time. The panel felt this stellar Sauvignon Blanc would pair well with wild mushroom and chicken ravioli smothered with a light cream sauce.
We have two 91 pointers this year. Both are from the 2013 vintage. Both are from New Zealand. The first is the 2013 Saint Clair “Pioneer Block 18 Snap Block” Sauvignon Blanc for $27. This impressive offering opens with a very fragrant ripe yellow grapefruit bouquet with a hint of lime. On the palate it is juicy and shows nice mouth-coating acidity. I really liked its ripe yellow grapefruit flavors with notes of minerality and nectarine with a hint of lime. This is perfect wine to sip poolside. I would serve it with broiled scallops.
Next up is the very well-known 2013 Cloudy Bay from Marlborough in New Zealand. This wine is a nice investment for lovers of the grape that truly enjoy the classic New Zealand style. They made 44,000 cases of it, so it should be easy to find. I found this wine to be light bodied, nicely acidic and mouthwatering. It displays very tasty ripe grapefruit flavors with notes mild minerality. I also detected hints of lime and green apple. It went well with my grilled trout at Legal Sea Foods.
Our list of 90 pointers includes a few really good values under $20. We will start with the 2013 Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. This $10 was my favorite wine from their lineup. It opens with a very attractive and classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc bouquet. It is light bodied and shows very nice balance between its acidity and fruit. It has a very nice mouth presence. I really enjoyed its tasty grapefruit flavors with hints of lime and pineapple. I felt this Sauvignon Blanc is a steal at $10. It would pair well with grilled swordfish with a tropical fruit salsa.
Our next very good value Sauvignon Blanc is the 2012 Murphy Goode “The Fume” for $14. 48,000 cases of this terrific wine were made. It was by far the best value offering from our big blind tasting. It is medium bodied, mouthwatering and a touch acidic. The panel enjoyed its tasty mineral infused pear flavors with notes of pineapple and green apple. The finish is pleasantly dry and brief. The panel could envision this with grilled swordfish, broiled scallops or brie cheese.
Lovers of this grape have fully embraced the classic New Zealand styled of Sauvignon Blanc. The 2013 Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough for $18 puts that style on display. It is crisp, acidic and mouthwatering while displaying tasty tart grapefruit flavors with notes minerality, gooseberry, and Anjou pear. It finishes dry and its flavors and lingering acidity are nicely prolonged. Enjoy this beauty on a hot summer day by the pool.
Our next 90 pointer hails from Stellenbosch in South Africa. The 2012 Thelema Sauvignon Blanc for $20 opens with a fragrant lime and grapefruit like bouquet. It is light bodied, nicely acidic and crisp. The flavor profile is a mineral infused gentle grapefruit with notes of lime and hints of quinine and white pepper. In the end it is dry and refreshing. This wine is a perfect pool wine for a hot summer day. A second glass is a must. I would serve it with bacon wrapped scallops or oysters.
The Merriam 2013 “Danielle” Sauvignon Blanc for $20 adds 6% Semillon to the mix. It is light bodied, balanced, juicy and fruit forward. I enjoyed its ripe yellow grapefruit flavors with hints of orange and a touch of minerality. I would pair this tasty offering with broiled sea scallops.
The 2013 Peju Sauvignon Blanc from “Napa Valley” for $22 is a very nice offering. It is light bodied, acidic and crisp. I really enjoyed its pleasant mineral infused mild grapefruit flavors with hints of tangerine, pineapple and dash of white pepper. It has a long and dry finish. It’s a perfect wine to pair with swordfish kabobs of the grill.
The 2013 Frogs Leap Sauvignon Blanc for $22 is our first and only organic grape offering. It is light bodied and nicely balanced between its acidity and fruit. I really enjoyed its tasty mild mineral infused Anjou pear flavors with hints of mild grapefruit and white pepper. I would pair it with swordfish skewers.
Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc is consistently very good. Their 2013 vintage from Napa Valley is no exception. You will find it to be medium bodied, slightly acidic and citrusy. Its flavor profile is a mineral infused mild grapefruit with notes of green apple. I also detected hints of white pepper and Anjou pear. Another very nice summer wine. This one would pair nicely with a grilled chicken, bacon and spinach flatbread pizza.
Alysian is mainly known for its Chards and Pinots. That said their 2012 “Floodgate Vineyard North Face” Sauvignon Blanc for $25 was very nice. It is medium bodied, slightly acidic and mouthwatering. I enjoyed its mild mineral infused grapefruit flavors with hints of lime and green pepper. It finishes dry and its flavors and mild acidity lingers long after the wine is gone. It would be perfect with grilled swordfish.
The 2013 Merryvale Sauvignon Blanc from the Napa Valley for $26 is a classy wine. You will find it to be medium bodied, slightly acidic and mouthwatering. It displays tasty mild grapefruit flavors with nicely integrated minerality and nectarine. Like the Alysian, this Sauvignon Blanc would pair well with grilled swordfish but I would top it off with a citrus salsa.
Our last 90 pointer is from Sancerre. The 2012 Vincent Delaporte 2012 “Chivignol” for $28 was one of our top performers in our first big blind tasting. The panel found it to be light bodied and mouthwatering. They described the flavor profile as a tart green apple with notes of grapefruit and hints of lime. It finishes dry and refreshing. The panel suggested pairing this tasty Sancerre with linguini with steamed mussels and a garlic broth or rosemary chicken.
The remainder to the report is our Very Good Sauvignon Blanc selections that scored 89 points and below. You will find some of the best values in this grouping.
2013 Dancing Bull Sauvignon Blanc “Winemaker’s Reserve” (California) $12 (89)
This California Sauvignon Blanc is a steal! It can be found online for under $10. The flavor profile is a mineral infused yellow grapefruit and green apple blend with notes of quinine and white pepper. It finishes dry and rather refreshing. I would serve it with bacon wrapped scallops or sesame chicken.
Kendall Jackson 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Avant” (California) $13 (89)
This Sauvignon Blanc from KJ was a crowd pleaser. It light bodied, balanced and slightly crisp. We enjoyed its tasty and gentle grapefruit flavors with hints of minerality, green apple, lime, tangerine and a dash of white pepper. It is very friendly. I would pair it with scallops with spinach and orange-saffron sauce.
Ferrari Carano 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Fume Blanc” (Sonoma County, CA) $14 (89)
This Fume Blanc opens with a very fragrant grapefruit and gooseberry bouquet with a hint of pineapple. It is light bodied, crisp and lively and mouthwatering. It displays tasty grapefruit flavors with notes of minerality and hints of pineapple and peach pit. This wine would pair well with swordfish kabobs.
Fire Road 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Marlborough” (New Zealand) $14 (89)
This is very good value wine. It is nicely acidic and mouthwatering. It displays tart and ripe yellow grapefruit flavors with notes minerality and hints of white pepper and tangerine. Pair with popcorn shrimp.
Bayten 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Constantia, South Africa) $15 (89)
This Sauvignon Blanc from Bayten is medium bodied, acidic and lively. The flavor profile is tart grapefruit with notes of lime, minerality, tangerine and hints of white pepper. Serve slightly chilled at the beach.
Santa Barbara Winery 2012 Sauvignon Blanc “Santa Ynez Valley” (CA) $16 (89)
This Sauvignon Blanc is interesting because it has a little oak mixed in. It displays green melon and Anjou pear flavors with notes of minerality with a touch of light oak and mild pineapple. Pair with chicken piccata!
Dry Creek Vineyard 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Dry Creek Valley” (California) $18 (89)
This Sauvignon Blanc is crisp, acidic and mouthwatering. Its flavor profile is a mineral infused yellow grapefruit with notes nectarine and Anjou pear. It finishes dry and refreshing. Pair with seared scallops.
Kim Crawford 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand) $19 (89)
This popular Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is light bodied, slightly acidic, mouthwatering and lively. The flavor profile is a classic tart grapefruit with notes of minerality and lime. Serve as an opener with appetizers.
Handley 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Anderson Valley” (CA) $18 (89)
This wine opens with a very fragrant tropical fruit like bouquet. It displays pineapple and green apple flavors with notes of tart yellow grapefruit, peach pit and a hint of lime. Pair with coconut shrimp and mango sauce.
Atalon 2012 Sauvignon Blanc “Napa Valley” (CA) $20 (89)
This Sauvignon Blanc is light bodied, slightly acidic, delicate and easy to drink. The flavor profile is a mild pear with hints of melon and green apple. The panel suggested pairing with grilled rainbow trout or steamed mussels.
Amayna 2012 Sauvignon Blanc “Leyda Valley” (Chile) $25 (89)
Our first Chilean Sauvignon Blanc is medium bodied, balanced and easy to drink. It displays mild mineral infused gentle tangerine flavors with hints of white pepper and faint lime. Pair well with broiled scallops.
Grgich Hills 2012 Sauvignon Blanc “Fume Blanc” (Napa Valley, CA) $30 (89)
This Sauvignon Blanc from Grgich is light bodied, tangy and crisp. I liked its tart yellow grapefruit flavors with notes of green apple and hints of pineapple and quinine. Serve on a hot summer day with swordfish skewers.
Joseph Phelps 2012 Sauvignon Blanc “St. Helena” (CA) $35 (89)
This Joseph Phelps Sauvignon Blanc is light to medium bodied and slightly acidic. It displays apple flavors with hints of Nilla wafer and a touch of lemon and honey. The panel suggested serving with mushroom and shrimp risotto.
Starborough 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Marlborough” (New Zealand) $11 (88)
This is a very good value offering. It is light bodied and nicely balanced between its fruit and gentle acidity. You will find a nice blend of gooseberry and grapefruit with hints of minerality, white pepper and lime. Pair with Thai food.
Dry Creek Vineyard 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Fume Blanc” (Dry Creek, CA) $14 (88)
This Sauvignon Blanc from Dry Creek is light bodied, acidic and crisp. Its flavor profile is tart grapefruit with notes of minerality and hints of lime and tangerine. This wine would pair well steamed mussels.
Cono Sur 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Reserva Especial” (Casablanca Valley, Chile) $15 (88)
This Sauvignon Blanc from Chile is for fans of wines that love green peppers. It is light bodied, crisp and acidic. It displays pleasant green pepper flavors with hints of peas and minerality. Pair with chicken cacciatore.
Oberon 2013 Sauvignon Blanc “Napa Valley” (CA) $18 (88)
Our last 88 pointer is light bodied, acidic and crisp. Its flavor profile is mineral infused lime with hints of gooseberry and green apple. It finishes dry and its acidity and flavors linger. A perfect chilled beach option.
Kendall Jackson 2012 Sauvignon Blanc “Vintner’s Reserve” (CA) $13 (87)
This 87 point Sauvignon Blanc is a good value wine. It is medium bodied, slightly acidic and mouthwatering. It has mild mineral infused tangerine and lime flavors with hints of pineapple. A quaffer for a hot summer day!
I hope you enjoy these Sauvignon Blancs as much as we did. Enjoy the rest of you summer and please share with the group your favorites! Cheers – Ken
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