Mon 12 Mar 2012
Now that Spring-like weather is arriving, perhaps, in truth, in fits and starts, you will need an incredibly refreshing white wine to sip while you sit out on the porch or on the patio or while you’re cooking dinner or to drink with a light, delicious supper. Well, here’s one, and though the name may be familiar, if not over-familiar, and the wine may be one that you have sipped before, it deserves attention.
It’s the Rodney Strong “Charlotte’s Home” Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Northern Sonoma. This is a pert, tart and sassy sauvignon blanc, 90 percent fermented in stainless steel, the other 10 percent fermented in French oak barrels, but without the occasional excesses that the New Zealand style can fall into. For its grapes, the wine draws on four areas of Sonoma County — 45 percent Alexander Valley, 24 percent Russian River Valley, 23 percent Dry Creek Valley and 1 percent Knights Valley — and then, from Lake County next door, the final 7 percent.
From the glass waft exuberant scents of tangerine and lime peel, kiwi and celery seed, a touch of leafy fig and tarragon and a powerful element of damp limestone; give the wine a few moments and it gains an almost talc-like exhalation of jasmine and lilac. “Crisp” doesn’t begin to describe how notably crisp and crystalline this sauvignon blanc is, yet that exhilarating factor is balanced by a soft, almost lush texture and a chalky-limestone quality that bolster tangerine, pear and melon flavors that fit snugly into a spicy-herbal parameter; there’s a bright, bracing tinge of grapefruit bitterness on the finish. 13.5 percent alcohol. Interestingly, this wine drank very nicely as accompaniment to a vinegary chicken piccata with a caper and butter sauce. Winemaker was Rick Sayre. Very Good+. About $13.50, a Raving Bargain.
A sample for review.