It's unfortunate how sometimes the best way to describe something you like is a word or phrase that doesn't normally make people think good thoughts. Such is the unfortunate case for Sauvignon Blanc which, at times, manages to smell just a little like cat piss.
Yes. I know. Who would drink a wine that reeks of a vengeful or incontinent feline?
I've definitely experienced a few wines (mostly old Sancerres or Pouilly Fumes) in which this aroma was so overpowering I could not bring myself to drink them. However in many wines it is a mere background aroma, one that blends in with stronger scents of fruit, flowers, and all things pleasing. It is there, however, and in writing descriptions of the way such wines smell, I would be remiss to not mention it. Such is the case with this little wine from Westerly Vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Owned by Neil and Francine Afromsky, Westerly Vineyards is a 200-acre ranch which supplies grapes to producers like Babcock, Longoria, Fiddlehead, Ojai and Foxen, as well as making small quantities under its own name. Winemaker Seth Kunin produces both a Viognier and a Sauvignon Blanc from their estate fruit and in recent years, from other vineyards in the area.
This is an unusually colored wine, far more golden than you would expect from a Sauvignon Blanc, with a refreshing, aromatic nose of green apple, citrus zest, and wet slate, in addition to the common Sav Blanc aroma referenced above. In the mouth it is far more restrained than its nose would lead you to believe, its flavors predominantly dry nuts, unripe pears, and a slight heated wash of alcohol on the finish. The wine has nice acid level that makes it refreshing to drink, and combined with the more earthy flavors, makes this more of a European style wine than an American or New Zealand.
This is a good fish wine that will cut through a light cream or butter sauce like that of this red snapper with lemon-marjoram butter.
Overall Score: 7.5/8
How Much?: $20
This wine is available for sale through various Internet merchants. Try Wine Searcher.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
La Paulee de San Francisco: March 12-15, San Francisco Vinography Images: First Light Vinography Unboxed: Week of February 2, 2014 Tasting Organic Rosé Wines from the South of France Vinography Images: Wine Lake 10 Years of Blogging About Wine Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Organic Wines of the Languedoc: An Initial Taste 2014 World of Pinot Noir Tasting: Feb 28-Mar 1, Santa Barbara, CA Vinography Images: Grape Lantern
Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 KirÃ¡lyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy