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Kim Crawford

Kim Crawford

WBW 55: North vs. South

by Tim Elliott on March 25, 2009

This Wine Blogging Wednesday thing is becoming a problem for me. No, it’s not the themes but my lack of organization and focus to actually post on time or near to the actual event. I did my last event on the weekend after the Wednesday in question and there have been too many months where I’ve missed posting these on the day prescribed.

So in the “better late than never” category goes this entry, which I actually started last Wednesday but ran out of time to complete; my apologies to our host Remy from The Wine Case for my late entry this time, a week behind the curve. This is after sitting out the last outing (stupidly, as will become obvious in future tasting notes).

But getting back to the task at hand, this month we are challenged by Remy from Quebec City’s The Wine Case blog to taste a variety from the North and South and compare them. This can be by any measure but I thought it best to compare wines made from the same variety from different hemispheres. I also decided to turn to a white grape since I nearly always feature reds for WBW. So I picked Sauvignon Blanc, the variety from Bordeaux that travels well around the world to create interesting wines.

Sauvignon Blanc is one of those ancient varieties that seems to produce pleasing wines no matter what the style. From bone dry to sweet, the variety does well from it’s home in France to California, the valleys of Chile and the vineyards of New Zealand. DNA profiling has connected Sauvignon Blanc as the parent of the noble Cabernet Sauvignon (along with Cabernet Franc) and related to Chenin Blanc and even Traminer. This grape has a lot to tell from several angles and I hoped to be able to triangulate common characteristics from this tasting.

For my northerly selection I chose a recent sample sent from Rued Winery in Dry Creek Valley. I’m a frequent visitor to this part of Sonoma but have not had the pleasure of visiting this winery. From this, and subsequent tastings of other varieties, I will have to drop by to taste more. From the south, we have the ever reliable Kim Crawford from Marlborough, New Zealand. Unlike some wineries acquired and expanded based upon the reputation of early efforts, this brand seems to continue to deliver the goods.

But who will take this North vs. South Sauvignon Blanc showdown?

Tasting Notes:

Rued Winery, Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley 2007  ($16/sample) – Very light straw in color with a green tinge. Citrus and stone fruit aromas with flavors of lime, grapefruit and peach finishing with a burst of acidity and nice mineral notes. A very nice California SB in a style I’d like to see more producers make. Also an excellent value. Paired well with Japanese food but would also be a natural for any seafood you’d squeeze lemon on before eating.

13.5% ABV
Synthetic closure
Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy this wine online

Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2008 ($17/sample) – Light straw in color with aromas of grapefruit, gooseberry and fresh hay. Bright grapefruit and lime flavors finishing very clean with good acidity. A reliable and food friendly SB for current drinking.

13% ABV
Screw cap closure
Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy this wine online

So a draw this time with perhaps a slight nod to the North. It seems the northern entry was more mineral while the southern selection more herbaceous. But either would make a great pairing with spring food and are highly recommended. I look forward to next month when I will dare to publish these notes on the correct Wednesday 😉

Check out Remy’s summary for those who posted on time.

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