Varietal: 98% Sauvignon Blanc; 2% Riesling
Region: Central Coast – California – USA
Winemaker’s Notes: The 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Selected Vineyards is a crisp and refreshing, food-friendly wine. This wine has a brilliant straw hue with notes of gooseberry. The palate is slightly tropical with a good depth of fruit. Cool stainless steel fermentation keeps the flavors bright and lively, and the medium body is slightly rounded in feel, leading to a crisp finish. Pairs well with herb-roasted chicken or your favorite shellfish dish.
My Review: I make it a general habit to keep a few bottles of red wine on hand to serve as red table wines. They’re typically middling wines, nothing fancy, but they’re serviceable and good for those Thursday nights when I order a pizza or just cook up some pasta. I do not, however, make a habit of keeping whites in the same vein on hand. It’s not that I don’t want to, I’m just bad at it. It was with that intention, however, that my wife and I grabbed a bottle of the 2011 Concannon Vineyards Selected Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc.
Now it should be noted that I’m a fan of Concannon Vineyards. I’ve been lucky enough to try several of their wines and last September when my wife and I were in California we had the opportunity to meet with Jim Concannon at the vineyard. I really had to stop my wife from kidnapping him to be her new grandfather. That was part of the reason why, when walking down the aisle at a local grocery store, thinking I should pick up a bottle of white to have as a table wine, my eye was drawn to the label I knew so well.
We finally opened the bottle on a Monday (because Monday’s and wine are like peas and carrots), pairing the wine with a shrimp dish that featured feta, chives, and green onions. In the glass the wine was very light, with just a hint of yellow to it. On the nose I got citrus notes, as expected, but they were subtle and not at all overwhelming as some Sauvignon Blanc can be.
In the mouth flavors were tropical, with good crisp notes of citrus, mostly lemon and lime. The wine also had hints of “green” to me, which is something that I’ve come to enjoy when it shows in moderation, which it did in this case. It certainly was a California Sauvignon Blanc, which is by no means a bad thing, but simply means it didn’t feature the strong grapefruit notes I expect out of the wine when it comes from South America.
Paired with the dinner, the crispness of the wine did a nice job of complimenting the subtle brininess of the dish, thanks to the combination of feta, chives, and green onions. Also we threw a bit of the wine into the dish – I like to cook with wine.
For the price this is a great value wine. I’m not going to go out and say that this changes my mind about all other Sauvignon Blanc or white wines for that matter, but for $10 it’s a really hard wine to beat and is certainly better than a lot of the generic Chardonnay you can buy for about the same price. With these last few months of Summer heat lingering around, it’s a good one to keep an eye out for if you want something that’s crisp, refreshing, and easy on the wallet.