Showing posts with label musque. Show all posts
Showing posts with label musque. Show all posts

Monday, September 10, 2018

White Wine For Fall

Summer has come and gone.  Labor Day capped another vacation period with terrible traffic and a "last chance" attitude toward miniature golf and Bermuda shorts.  It's the time of year when people turn their attention away from the lighter, whiter wines that refresh and replenish, and look forward to a winter of hearty reds to warm the insides and pair with meaty, soul-filling dishes.

For me, though, it's always white wine weather - I drink mine at room temperature, the better to savor the aromas and flavors which are sometimes softened by a chill.  I also like mine with more than salad and seafood, as the higher acidity levels found in many whites makes for a great match with pork and chicken.  And turkey.  It's getting to be the time to think about turkey.

Cornerstone Cellars' winemakers Charles Thomas and Kari Auringer can be proud of the Sauvignon Blanc they helped create.  Thomas has a 30 year track record in the Napa Valley, while Auringer is in her second go-round.  The 2016 Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and delicious, floral and fruity, as if New Zealand is a thousand miles away.  Well, actually more like seven thousand.

Cornerstone says the wine has a little bit of the Musque clone, "which adds complexity and a hint of sweet fruit."  It was fermented in stainless steel tanks and neutral oak barrels, giving it more heft than a run-of-the mill SauvBlanc.  Alcohol hits 14.1% abv and it sells for $30.

This gold-green wine smells slightly of herbal notes, but the nose carries loads of peaches, apples and lemons.  The palate shows the same fruit flavors, scant herbs and a very nice acidity.  Citrus lingers on the finish and leaves a clean memory.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Serious Sauv Blanc From Monterey County

The Arroyo Seco AVA is centered around Monterey County's Arroyo Seco River, a seasonal waterway that brings rain and snowmelt from the Santa Lucia Mountains to the Salinas River.  Commercial grape growing started there in 1961 and has grown to some 7,000 acres under vine.  The region is about 40 miles away from the deep waters of Monterey Bay and parts of it get direct exposure to the Pacific Ocean through the Salinas Valley. 

The 2016 MuirWood Sauvignon Blanc grapes were grown in their Suter Vineyard estate plot in the Arroyo Seco Canyon.  They are the Musqué clone of the variety, and as such offer more aromatics, typically with a lean to fruit, away from the vegetal aspect for which the grape is known.  Surprises abound, though.

The wine hits 13.9% abv on the alcohol meter and sells for about $15.

The nose this wine offers is unlike any I've experienced with Sauvignon Blanc, even of the Musqué variety.  There are apple notes and flower aromas, but an overriding smokiness - muskiness? - lends a savory effect.  The acidity is zippy but not mind-blowing, and the weight is medium full, like a Chardonnay.  It's an extremely satisfying drink, and one of the more impressive of the variety that I've tasted.  Sauvignon Blanc generally means spring to me, but this would be great next to a Thanksgiving ham.

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