Italian Sauvignon Blanc

Italian Sauvignon Blanc

Posted on Jun, 04. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

First of all I want to make sure everyone knows we will open tomorrow, Saturday the 5th from 10am to 1pm. Kevin Sidders, Michael Davis and David Storm will be here tasting out some of the cool new Close out wines (we brought in a second batch of different stuff) also we have some unbelievably good new truffle oil and Tuscan olive oils arriving so check them out.

Well I have caught the Italian bug again and for some reason it is all I want to be drinking right now. Earlier this week I was able to get together with Vinifera imports Maurizio Faro to taste a line up of some excellent wines. There were some dogs too, I don’t want you folks to think that I pass along just any old wine I come across. Maurizio tasted me on 10 wines of which I found 2 worthy of sending an e-mail out even though I liked a good many of them.

A wine has to do more for me than to simply have me like it for me to spend my time writing an e-mail about it. It must be compelling in an over the top sort of way which is why I sound so ultra enthusiastic by the time I get down to writing about them. To expand the scenario of this week, I tasted with 3 other distributors totaling about 25 wines and from the entire week I only have the 2 wines to write about. That’s how we roll, more or less.

The first wine is a Sauvignon Blanc from Italy’s northern Fruili region. This is a cross over region which is one of my favorite geographical features in the wine world. I consider a cross over region to be when you find a melding of cultures at the border of two European countries. You end up with a culture all of its own and a stamp on the food and wine that belongs wholly to the border area as completely separate from either of the two countries that are represented. You find this in the Basque region of France and Spain and then again in the Catalan region just south from there. Alsace is its own cross over region of France and Germany offering us what neither country can on their own.

In Fruili you have a cross over of Italy, Austria and Slovenia and it is a wonderfully rich region. Now I have tasted the food from this region and experienced the Slovenian influence there but I do not have time to go into just what that is here and I am not claiming to know what Slovenian influence on the wine style would taste like. As for the Austrian influence, it is distinctly in these wines. These are perfectly made wines with so many vastly differing flavors and types from grapes we know little about.

The 2007 Sant’Elena Sauvignon Blanc (90 points Spectator), has all the fruit and richness of a great vintage and well handled vineyard but there is a stamp to the acidity and mineral structure that conjures up the attention to fine detail that I empirically associate with Austrian wines. The wine is both crisp and full at the same time with a Germanic feel to the extraction of fruit, nothing like what you would expect from a Sauv Blanc and yet still not outside of the parameters either.

Imagine a Sauvingon Blanc in the hands of the top Alsatian firm Zind Humbrecht and you will have an idea of what I am trying to convey about the quality and intrigue of this wine. The wine maker has pulled from the grape flavor that one did not expect to find there and yet has maintained the integrity and purity of the fruit. Tasting the wine one says, “this is unlike any Sauv Blanc I have ever had and yet it is Sauv Blanc.” In this the wine is nothing short of poetic, it shows us something about the grape that I for one did not see there before but recognize instantly as le meme chose, the thing itself.

Perhaps I have gotten to flowery on this one. Let’s just leave it that this is a great white wine that will impress the pants of of anyone who likes drinking great white wines. There is a lot of life to this bottling and a wonderful presence for drinking now, it astonished everyone at the tasting and I highly recommend it as superb wine for the white wine enthusiasts.

2007 Sant Elena Sauvignon Blanc
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $17.05 • Premier Cru: $18.11 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $23.63
Buy this wine!

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