Every bottle has a story

I am not a wine expert, but with each bottle I try and share with friends, I learn more. Wine is an exceptional social drink; it is the marijuana of alcoholic beverages because it must be shared. I seek to share with you my thoughts and experiences as I drink the wine in my closet, as well as my enthusiasm for the finds that come my way and the excellent values that I find. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences too, so please share!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What, no grass?

What flavors and aromas come to mind when thinking about Sauvignon Blanc? For me, the best ones have a fresh citrus quality with a definite grassy flavor coupled with hints of herb. But I’ve enjoyed many that had a distinct bell pepper flavor sustained with juicy grapefruit.

So imagine my dismay when I tasted the 2009 vintage of Groth Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. When I opened the bottle, there was none of that grassy scent, no grapefruit. And the taste? The citrus was very mild, hardly there at all. In fact, I tasted pear, maybe even some apricot. Instead of tasting like a Sauvignon Blanc, I was tasting a Chardonnay it seemed, and not such a good one at that.

I drank about half of the bottle with my dinner, some Coca-Cola chicken (I know it must sound awful to you but it’s really quite delicious and there’s a video on how to prepare). I put the remainder in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day I tasted again. This time some herbal elements and bit of grass were starting to come forward, but by and large, this was still turning out to be a disappointment. It wasn’t awful, but at $22 a bottle (thank gosh I didn’t buy it, but was gifted to me), you won’t see me recommending this to anyone.

I later looked up past vintages of this producer in Wine Spectator. They hadn’t reviewed the Sauvignon Blanc since 2004, and that vintage scored a 87 and was estimated to retail for $16. The tasting notes had everything I would expect: “Concentrated, with a core of intense grapefruit, lemon and grass tones that unfold through a vibrant, lingering finish.”

What a letdown. I score this with a 5 using my scale at the left.

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