Sagebrush Sauvignon Blanc 2008

We picked this up on a whim at the local bargain grocery store. It's a very new vintage, from a winery I've never heard of; the bottle says "Sagebrush Vineyards, Pasco Washington." I can't find out anything at all about this wine, or the winery. There was a hand-written sign on the shelf under the bottles that said it was from Gordon Brothers Winery. I have no idea on what basis, but I note that the Gordon Brothers do make a rather well respected Sauvignon Blanc. The Sagebrush was a surprisingly sweet—almost dessert-wine sweet wine, but it was light, with a distinct aroma of roasted peaches, and just very slightly citrusy. It was quite enjoyable, to my surprise; it was the "youngest" bottle of professionally made wine I've ever had. Frankly, I half-way expected it to be pretty bad. We had it with salmon patties, and in hindsight, I would have picked something even lighter (possibly chicken salad) since the salmon was almost too much for the delicate flavor of the wine. On another occasion we had with some lovely slices of fresh pineapple; a pairing that worked very well. I think in future I'd serve it as a dessert wine with fruit or other light dessert fare. I use the subjunctive "if" there because at $2.99 a bottle, I very much doubt that we'll have another chance at this particular wine.

This is the second Washington Sauvignon Blanc I've tried. I've tried two from Australia, different vintages of the same wine. I'm fascinated by the extreme differences in taste that each of the Sauvignon Blancs have had—I realize some of the difference is age, and some has to do with production methods (particularly oak/non-oak) but there's something rather magical in the fact that all were recognizably Sauvignon Blanc, but all were strikingly distinct. I've noticed this with the Chardonnays I've tried as well, but not so much with the Rieslings. I know that the stereotypical description of Sauvignon Blanc is "crisp, elegant, and fresh," but I am fascinated by the enormous range within that general (and honestly, almost meaningless) description. I'm not the only one to notice American Sauvignon differences, either, as this article on American-grown Sauvignon Blanc "going tropical," indicates with taste descriptions that compare the wine to melons, mangos and kiwi, rather than the more traditional citrus and pear.

There are, however, a fair number of well-respected wineries all over the world producing Sauvignon Blanc (or Fumé Blanc, for many California wineries) that I look forward to trying a number of them—and Washington state is not at all hurting in terms of Sauvignon Blanc. The larger wineries with tiers tend to have at least two Sauvignon Blancs. Ste. Michelle, for instance, has a 2007 Horse Heaven Hills Sauvignon Blanc, (Ken's Wine Guide liked it)a 2008 Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc, and even a 2007 Marier Sauvignon Blanc. Columbia Crest offers a Savignon Blanc in their Two Vines range; this is new to me. I'll have to watch for it. Tagaris has a 2006 Sauvignon that another blogger suggested I watch for locally. Sean P. Sullivan recommends Townshend Sauvignon Blank Columbia Valley 2006. Sean linked to this article from The Spokesman which lists a cluster of Washington Sauvignon Blancs.

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