As Sauvignon Blanc has become increasingly popular we’ve become accustomed to the exuberant, pungent gooseberry of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or the citrus and tropical notes and soft texture of California’s version of this grape. But it’s always worth going back to France to remind us of how this grape originally made its name—in the grassy, herbaceous white Bordeaux where its blended with Semillon, the stunning botrytis-infected dessert wines of Sauternes, or in the Eastern Loire Valley near the village of Sancerre where smoky minerality rules and Sauvignon Blanc stands alone.
While less austere than the highest quality Sancerre that show enough gunflint to set off fireworks, this value-priced wine strikes a good balance between old world leanness and new world fruit power.
Gooseberry with lemon and tangerine highlights, some muted wet stone, and a slight smokiness in background give this a pleasing nose. On the palate, it shows a bit of creamy viscosity supported by textured, dry extract that gives this wine a brash, edgy personality. The chalky finish capped off by saline notes has a puckering intensity that refreshes as it bites.
It’s fierce, rollicking turbulence on the palate is worth every penny. There is something about jangly Rickenbacker guitars that resonate with texture and energy of this wine.
Price: $13 at Trader Joe’s