A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"

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Sampling California’s Sauvignon Blanc

June 22nd, 2004

Sauvignon Blanc is a light, crisp white wine that is perfect for those sultry summer days. The 2002 Sancerre from France is a perfect example of a well-made Sauvignon Blanc, but California also puts forth a fine effort using this grape. Although I have probably tested over a hundred Sauvignon Blancs over the years, I thought I would utilize a different methodology for this tasting. I read recent tasting reviews from The Wine Spectator and The New York Times, then visited five reputable retail stores in New York asking them for their best selections under $25. The result was 9 wines ranging from $11 to $23. My biggest surprise from the tasting was that a number of the wines were aged in too much oak, which I feel makes them too heavy. The three wines below were the consensus favorites, each displaying a delicious crispness:

Honig 2002 ($13)
A pale yellow wine displaying clean, crisp citrus aromas. The high acidity was well balanced with bright fruit showing hints of grapefruit and lemon. This was the hands-down winner, the perfect
complement to a sunny day.
Frogs Leap 2002 ($21)
Also pale yellow in color, this was a bright, lively, refreshing wine with an essence of mineral and slate on the nose. The wine displayed layers of citrus, and had a long pleasant finish.
Ironstone 2002 ($11)
A light straw color with a vibrant scent of lemons. The wine is well balanced with hints of melon and honey. Not as crisp as the first two wines, but very refreshing.

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