Refreshing Sauvignon Blanc

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 1.26.51 PMWe love Sauvignon Blanc with seafood all year round; but in the summer months, we absolutely adore the crisp, refreshing flavors even more. Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with hot sun on the deck or warm summer nights. This wine drinks well alone, but it also pairs nicely with prawns, scallops and oysters, in addition to other seafood dishes, sushi, some cheeses, and grilled veggies such as asparagus.

While the most popular style is “light and crisp,” other styles include “fruity and smooth,”  “rich and creamy” and “elegant.” And some winemakers combine more than one style. The flavors can range from grassy to tropical.

Sauvignon Blanc is both an old-world and new-world wine, grown and produced in Washington state, California, British Columbia, France, New Zealand and other wine regions. What many people don’t realize is that Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc are the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon. During the 18th century in Bordeaux, the Sauvignon Blanc vine paired with Cabernet Franc to parent the Cabernet Sauvignon vine.

Here are some excellent Sauvignon Blancs that we recently tasted, ranging in price from $18-$25 MRP. Let’s start out with some Washington State wines, before turning to New Zealand. Continue reading

Va Piano Vineyards

We’ve been fans of Va Piano Vineyards and owner/winemaker Justin Wiley since we met him in 2010 after the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla. How can you not like a winemaker who says, “My winemaking philosophy is very simple: Grow the best grapes we can and don’t screw it up in the cellar.”

More recently, Justin also founded Eritage Resort, located on 300 acres in the rolling fields of wheat and vineyards about six miles north of Walla Walla. Scheduled to open early next year, the resort will offer 10 luxury suites and a restaurant headed up by James Beard award-winning Seattle chef Jason Wilson.
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Amavi Cellars

A few months ago, we had a wonderful time at Amavi Cellars in Walla Walla, thanks to the friendly, fun and knowledgeable tasting room manager Lynne Anderson and associate Bryant Williams.

We tasted pours from five bottles of wine — three beautiful reds from the warm 2014 vintage and a 2016 white and a rosé. As we sipped through the wines, we noticed that Amavi tasting notes give you everything you might want to know before buying a bottle. So we decided to share their winemaker notes here, instead of our own. Thanks to winemaker Jean-François Pellet for outstanding wine and impressive tasting notes.

We enjoyed every single wine that we tasted, which is not always the case in our winery travels.
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Murietta’s Well

Murrieta’s Well  is one of California’s original wineries, propagated in 1883 with vineyard cuttings from Chateau Margaux and Chateau d’Yquem in France. Need we say more? Oh, one more thing: The winery is owned by Philip Wente of Wente Vineyards, the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery.

We were recently invited by Snooth to a virtual tasting with Murietta’s Well talented winemaker Robbie Meyer. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it, but we thankfully received some of his wines to taste.

Murietta’s Well is well known for its popular blends, The Spur (red), and The Whip (white). But the Livermore Valley brand offers other wines in its portfolio too.
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