July 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Summertime in a Glass–2013 Sauvignon Blancs

As summer comes to an end while we still face hot and humid weather, few thirst quenchers are quite as refreshing as a nice, crisp, icy-cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Sauvignon Blanc, Bordeaux’s famous white grape, is one of the most widely planted wine grapes in the world. When made into a dry wine, Sauvignon Blanc will often have a distinctive bouquet of grass, citrus, and green berries, with sometimes a hint of freshly churned cream–the very scents of summer itself.

Sauvignon Blanc particularly goes well with lightly flavored poultry, and fish, or pasta in cream or citrus-based sauces. So whether you’re having a picnic in Overpeck Park, a barbeque in Bergenfield, or just a leisurely lunch in Teaneck, there is never a bad time to have a bit of summertime in a glass.

Today’s kosher consumer has dozens of choices in Sauvignon Blanc: wines from California to Chile, and from New Zealand to the Negev. Since most kosher Sauvignon Blanc is made to be drunk young, I decided it would be a good time to taste some 2013 vintage of Sauvignon Blanc, and found several that would make for very good late summer sipping.

The best wine was Covenant’s Red Sea Sauvignon Blanc. Made from grapes grown in Northern California’s Dry Creek Valley, this dry, crisp, bright straw-colored wine has a lively bouquet of lemons, honey, and freshly-mown grass. Look for flavors of lemons and oranges, with hints of gooseberries, passion fruit, and honey. Drink within the next year. Score A-/B+ ($20.00. Available at FillerUp Kosher Wines, 174 West Englewood Ave, Teaneck, [201] 862-1700)

Also very good was Goose Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc. This New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc had an enticing nose of kumquats, limes, and honeysuckle, while its vibrant, dry flavor is reminiscent of lemons, grapefruit, and Seville oranges. Well structured, with a nice level of acid, this light-bodied, straw-colored wine should be consumed within the next eight to twelve months. Score B/B+ ($17.00. Available at FillerUp Kosher Wines, 174 West Englewood Ave, Teaneck, [201] 862-1700)

One of the surprises of the tasting was Carmel’s Selected Sauvignon Blanc. For decades, Carmel’s Selected series has consisted of drinkable but forgettable wines. That is changing. Made from grapes grown in the Galilee, the 2013 Selected Sauvignon Blanc is light bodied, and straw-colored, with a deceptively sweet nose of kiwi, lychee, pineapple, and honeysuckle. Yet the wine is dry and crisp with flavors of kiwi, grapefruit, and lychee. Drink within the next eight months. Score B/B+ (Available at Linwood Wine and Liquor Company, 102 Linwood Plaza, Fort Lee, [201] 944-5504)

Finally, the bargain of the tasting was Don Alfonso’s Sauvignon Blanc. This light straw-colored, light-bodied wine has flavors and aromas of lemons and gooseberries. Simple, but well structured, this crisp, dry Chilean Sauvignon Blanc should be consumed within the next six months. Score B. ($4.99. Available at Western Beverage, 20 Bridewell Place, Clifton, [973] 473-5780)

Wines are scored on an “A”-“F” scale where “A” is excellent, “B” is good, “C” is flawed, “D” is very flawed, and “F” is undrinkable. Prices listed reflect the price at the retailer mentioned.

By Gamliel Kronemer

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