Summer Stash: A load of Sauvignon Blanc…

The summer brings warm temperatures (okay well maybe not so warm this year) which tend to solar power my appetite for crisp, refreshing white wines and Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorites. As you’ll see below I had a chance to drink quite a few (all samples) over the last six months. What was my overall take? There is a lot of very good Sauvignon Blanc available for less than $12 and for a man like me on a strict budget that is good news. All of the prices below are suggested retail and you can expect to find these cheaper at your local wine outlet. So what have I been drinking?

a few from Chile...

The Veramonte is one of my favorites and is a bottle I buy regularly (last reviewed the ’08). This ’09 vintage once again offered solid value with nice lemon, vibrant minerality and great acidity. An easy wine to like. The Cono Sur was quite nice as well and was a bit fuller and rounder than the Veramonte. Definitely a more food friendly wine which again offers very good QPR. The Los Vascos (the Rothschild joint venture in Chile) is likely the most widely available and makes a fine choice for the $8 or so it will be going for.

a few more from Chile...

Here we see the price points start to jump a bit. Is it justified? The Casa Silva was certainly unique starting with a slight spritz and showing some lingering (talc like) spice on the finish but I found it more tight and biting than crisp. The Valdivieso while dramatically different from your traditional Sauvignon Blanc. Yet it was more a fun, challenging and enjoyable experience than it was a pleasure to drink. The Haras showed tight acidity with stony minerality and layers of lemon flavors. While nice it came across as a bit closed. The Undarraga was enjoyable with beautiful honeydew notes and a flinty finish. The Ventisquero was the most memorable of this lot. A nice mouth feel and a rotisserie of flavors on the mid-palate (predominately cantaloupe) leading to a lingering finish with white pepper notes. If I were to buy one of these the Ventisquero would likely be my pick.

and some potential values...

The Dashwood (’08 review) is another ultra popular value choice. I found the Morro Bay to be a bit uninspired. That said the Jaja de Jau was a pleasant surprise. Super light (11.5%) but bright, clean and crisp. Given you can pick this one up for around $7 it is a winner; simple and enjoyable.

There you have it. Did you have a favorite Sauvignon Blanc this summer? (PSA: my favorite has yet to be revealed) Have you had any of these? Either way would love to hear your thoughts via the comments below.

*as indicated above these wines were indeed received as a press sample. That said I have purchased many bottles of the Veramonte using my very own wallet.