California Crowd-Pleaser

California Crowd-Pleaser

Posted on Mar, 30. 2012 by

Categories: Wine

Lately, all I can think about is acid. Whether its sea-shell infused Chablisien, Loire valley limestone or the polished purity of California, I’m thrilled to feel the tingle. The rub is, the wine’s also got to have some decent weight to it, so there needs to be some fruit to the thing, otherwise — no dice.

When I find the right combination, I tend to buy heavy because the right combination for me always includes the ability to please a crowd. For me, a true crowd-pleaser is complex without being boorish, enjoyable without being too simple, classic while still capable of surprise. It should be interesting enough to make you want to see the label, not peel it off for your trophy case.

I’ve been tasting a lot of acid-driven whites in the last few weeks, and today bring you the Franciscan Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010. Its a crowd-pleaser, and it meets quite a few requirements of my “go-to” California Sauvignon Blanc checklist:

  • Fresh, expressive, lemon-lime, slightly floral nose – CHECK
  • Medium weight palate full of all sorts of citrus and the lightest touch of wood — CHECK
  • Classic Napa polish throughout – CHECK
  • Sub-$20 regular retail – CHECK

Its funny that our friends in Napa pride themselves on their monster red wines and massive chardonnays, priced so much higher than the occasional estate grown Sauvignon Blanc … that drinks so well and at such a reasonable price. I’ve always maintained that to truly know the quality of the house, you must know the “lesser” wines. (“Lesser” being defined, for example, as wines without proprietary names.) After all, anyone can blend the top few barrels of their best lots to produce a fabulous wine for the collector’s cellar. I find myself more interested these days in what’s on the winemaker’s table when the wine has already been poured and an old friend appears at the door unexpectedly.

Parker and the press will get their hands on this soon enough, and past vintages have certainly met their approval. As yet, the 2010 has not been given a number, except by me:

And my number is 12.

Franciscan Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $12.10 • Premier Cru: $12.65 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $17.99
Buy Now!

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