What we’re drinking: Sauvignon blanc

Brynn writes:

Earlier this month we got together with some of Mary’s wine friends to cool off from the almost 90-degree heat by sipping our way through a few bottles of sauvignon blanc. (Don’t worry, there were also plenty bottles of water, grilled chicken, salad, goat cheese and pesto hors d’oeurves to fill our bellies so the wine didn’t totally go to our head).

I missed some of the wines because we arrived a couple hours late — the little guy needs his naps! — but Mary was kind enough to save at least a sip of one of the favorite bottles of the day for me to try.

Here’s our top choices from the day’s selection:

Airfield Estates Winery 2012 Sauvignon Blanc: I brought this wine. I went to the store not sure what I’d find, but I was determined to buy something I’d never tried before. I also was hoping for a Washington wine, and something that would be around the $10 price range. This wine met all my requirements and even better? It was really good. It offered a crisp, refreshing sip filled with citrus flavors. Unlike some sauvignon blancs that have herbal notes, this had bright acidity and a slight spritz that paired perfectly with the goat cheese and pesto crostinis. If there had been any left by the time we had Mary’s grilled lemon chicken I am sure it would have been a match made in heaven.

Barrister Winery Klipsun Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc : This is one of the wines Mary saved a swig of so I could get the chance to try it. After just having the crisp and refreshing Airfield Estates sauvignon blanc, I was expecting something similar when I sipped the Barrister. Boy was I surprised. If you had handed me the glass and asked me to tell you what varietal I was drinking, sauvignon blanc would not have been the first thing to come to mind.

The wine was slightly sweet, but balanced perfectly with acidity so I didn’t feel like I was drinking a sweet wine. Its floral notes took center stage, while the acidity and hints of citrus took a back seat. This was a great wine and one I’d drink again. Another interesting thing that neither of us had seen before? When in the bottle the wine was clear, but once it hit our glass it became cloudy. Typically a wine will appear cloudy because it hasn’t been filtered or fined during the winemaking process. Often if a wine is unfiltered or unfined the winemaker lets you know on the label — not the case here. So we’re not sure if the wine was unfined, or if there was a chemical reaction going on. It didn’t affect the flavor, which is all we really care about.

Unfortunately the winery doesn’t list the wine on its website, so I wasn’t able to see it’s retail price, but the site showed the wine is available from Harbor Square Wine Shop and Tasting Room and Town and Country Market on Bainbridge Island.

Robert Mondavi Winery Fume Blanc: Don’t let the name fool you, this really is a sauvignon blanc. The “Fume Blanc” name can be credited to Mondavi’s marketing campaign from the 1960s when he wanted to get Americans into drinking sauvignon blanc. So why not just market the wine as sauvignon blanc? Because “fume” is so much easier to say!

This is another one of the wines that Mary saved for me to try. It was the first I tasted of the day. It hit the spot as far as refreshing goes, and offered a combination of citrus fruit flavors balanced with herbal notes. The wine’s minerality left my mouth slightly puckered.

These three wines were all distinctively different and stood out above the others that we tried. If I were to pick a favorite, I’d have to say Airfield Estates won out in my book.