2010 Sauvignon Republic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

I still remembering receiving the email from Angela that this one was replacing my long loved King Shag. I remember receiving a text from a friend in Seattle wondering where this one went. And I remember thinking I should update my Top 10 TJs Classics list as a result of this. That said I had sampled the Sauvignon Republic before and I was a fan (though preferred the Stellenbosch) so I figured it was high time to give this one a fighting chance. Could it match its predecessor?

2010 Sauvignon Republic Marlborough Sauvignon BlancPrice: $6.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Sauvignon Republic

What They Said:

Per the bottle “A windswept terroir of hills and dry gravelly-clay riverbeds produces crisp sauvignon with gooseberry notes, herbal grassiness, and restrained minerality. Juicy flavors, crisp acidity and long finish pair well with sea foods of all kinds. The perfect wine with sush!”

What I Think:

(13%) Almost a clear straw in the glass this one shows a big grassy nose loaded with citrus and tropical fruits. Bright lime and grapefruit on entry these fruits turn plush on the palate. From there it turns crisp with an tart acidity that is short lived before the citrus fruit flavors emerge once again. For my palate I would prefer a firmer acidity and crisper finish. That said this is a nice, fruit forward (and a tad aggressive) wine. At $7 the perfect summer wine for your next party but still not quite the King Shag…

Rating: 12th Bottle (meaning I didn’t mind drinking it, perhaps even enjoyed it, but am not inclined to buy again)

What’s your take? Is the Sauvignon Republic a worthy replacement to the King Shag? If not what is your new favorite <$10 Sauvignon Blanc?

2008 Sauvignon Republic Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc

Price: $6.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Sauvignon Republic

What They Said:

2008 Sauvignon Republic Stellenbosch Sauvignon BlancPer Sauvignon Republic “Ancient shale and granitic soils, ocean breezes, and a favorable exposure result in tropical juicy-fruit flavors with herbal nuances and minerality. Serve with spicy world foods including Southeast Asisan, Indian and New World Hispanic. Citrus notes refresh the palate for each bite.”

What I Think:

I grabbed this one and put it in the cart, within moments I saw another offering from the Russian River under the same label. I reacted with suspicion, not sure why as there are a number of vintners out there now tying together wines from around the world under the same brand umbrella. The Espiritu de Argentina and Espiritu de Chile sister labels are the first that come to mind. Cameron Hughes is perhaps the most well known of those that operate on this model. By the way, have I mentioned lately why I love Trader Joe’s wine? If you are one of the unfortunate few without one nearby you can pick up a bottle of this from wine.com for $22. Just slightly north of 3x the $7 you can grab it for at TJ’s. Savings aren’t the end of the story you still have to deliver! So let’s see what’s in the bottle…

The bottle recommended a pairing with spicy Southeast Asian food so this one was opened with Thai red chicken curry on the table. In the glass this one was very light in color, not golden by any means more of a straw color. On the nose I find a bit of citrus with nice white stone fruit intermingled throughout. The palate opens with lemons that are backed by a nice crisp, mineral backbone. A hint of grassiness appears toward the middle before mineral, stony notes emerge on the finish. A very nice wine, one that I will be buying again. I’m guessing the same can be said for the Marlborough, in my fridge and 91 points from the Wine Spectator, and the Russian River bottling. For a gift idea, check out this tasting mat (pdf) and grab all three. Hurry as I am sure they won’t last long!

Rating: Buy It