Sauvignon Blanc

There are a few wines that just beg to pair with food and Sauvignon Blanc is one of them. Regional climate, soil conditions, and wine making technique dictate the resultant style of Sauvignon and most casual wine drinkers will recognize the characteristic herbal and gooseberry aromas of Sauvignon not to mention the occasionally offensive but always intriguing ‘cat pee’ scent.  But Sauvignon isn’t always this bold, and from the old world, it tends to have a softer touch; melon and spice if I can attempt to narrow it down.

I know of several people who shun this wine, which is unfortunate in a way, for the grape reflects the terroir in which it is grown and each example can vary rather dramatically.

Today, the North of 9 tasting group samples a collection of Sauvignon Blanc from around the world.  We start with a wine from South Africa followed by the famous Californian label created by the late Robert Mondavi.  We would be negligent not to include France’s greatest expression of Sauvignon: Pouilly-Fumé and its modern equivalent from New Zealand.  Lastly, we’ll taste the lesser known but equally interesting, white Bordeaux

The wines:

2010 Mulderbosch
This exudes stereotypical characteristics of new world Sauvignon Blanc with its pungent aromas and grassy taste.  A powerful wine and one best served well chilled.

2008 Robert Mondavi, Fumé Blanc
It changed in the glass, and arguably for the better.  Slightly creamy to start and a bit aggressive but the oak influence pulls this one together, softening this wine's sharp edges.

2008 Domaine Masson-Blondelet,Villa Paulus
Okay, I'm really biased here; this is one of the best examples of Pouilly-Fumé ever to tease my taste buds; elegantly soft with very little reflection of the new world, if any at all as it slides across the palate.  Astonishingly good!

2007 Astrolabe, Voyage
A sweetness hit initially but it faded to show tropical fruits and a mild spice on the crisp finish; lots of lemon-lime zest here; fantastic wine and purely a pleasure to drink. 

2009 Château Les Bertrands, Cuvée Traditional
Pronounced herbal and spice notes intertwine with lime.  It’s a bit hot on the finish I thought and a rather modern style from the old world.  

As always, the guys at Bistro Seven Seven in Alliston have prepared appetizers to pair with our theme of the month.  And while the wines were all quite good, the food was even better, though I neglected to take any pictures.  I must share these unbelievable dishes with you though:
  • Beer battered Zucchini flowers in a dill sauce
  • Chicken Kiev
  • Smoked Arctic Char on a homemade potatoes chip with a dollop of crème-fresh
  • Goat Cheese in a Phyllo Purse with Wheat Grass and Ontario Strawberry Coulis

Voted either the favourite or runner-up by everyone in attendance, the 2007 Astrolabe from New Zealand was undoubtedly the wine of the day - Thank you Gary and Joy for contributing this amazingly delicious wine from your collection.  Next in terms of group preference was the Masson-Blondelet, Pouilly-Fumé from Tyler and Jacquie’s cellar, and the third place wine was the Bordeaux offering from Château les Bertrands.

Thanks for tasting with us today and stay tuned for a new style of tasting event from North of 9 beginning this October…