Friday, March 18, 2011

Stunning Savvy

Several months ago, I reviewed the '08 Maxwell Creek Sauvignon Blanc in the post titled "White Hot Summer." The '09 is out and I'm pleased to report it is still a killer deal, if not quite as complex as '08 was.

Where the '08 led off with a predominantly tropical nose, '09 favors a more citrusy bouquet with peach, nectarine, and grapefruit up front, and some light aromas of comforting hay at the finish.  The flavor is much the same, with some tangerine and juicy white plum thrown in for good measure. The acid balance is perfect. Is it as hyperbole-laden as the '08? Not quite. Is it still kind of a stupid deal for savvy this good at nine bucks? Yes. Absolutely.

Date: 2/24/11
Wine: Maxwell Creek Sauvignon Blanc
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage: 2009
ABV: 13.5%
Origin: Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
Color: light gold
Nose: peach, nectarine, grapefruit, hay
Palate: peach, nectarine, grapefruit, tangerine, white plum, hay. Perfect acid balance.
Price: $9

Now, the Mulderbosch is a slightly different beast. South Africa gets a lot of attention for its red. Deservedly so; they make a killer Cab, and I adore a good Pinotage. But in my opinion, its their white wines that really shine. Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc more than lives up to that statement - it exemplifies it.

The nose is very herbal, with green pepper and green tea up front and an interestingly pungent finish I've never before encountered in any white wine save Chablis. On the palate, the texture is as airily delicate as lace, with bright acidity and a surprisingly earthy finish that tastes, for all the world, like a coastal estuary: salt-breeze blown resinous herb, rosemary, driftwood, and sweet mushroom. Its 92 points are well-earned. Do NOT pass this one up.

Date: 1/19/11
Wine: Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage: 2009
ABV: 12 %
Origin: Western Cape, South Africa
Color: very pale gold
Nose: green pepper, green tea, something pungent on the end. mushroom.
Palate: bright and light acid, dry and earthy. resinous herb. rosemary, driftwood, sweet mushroom.
Price: $12 (regularly $20. score at my price, still VERY worth it at full price)

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