Stag's Leap 2001 Sauvignon Blanc - Printable Version

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- quijote - 05-22-2003 08:55 PM

I bought a bottle of this at $17 a couple of weeks ago because I was too cheap to shell out $45 for the Cabernet. I probably would have liked the cab much better, but I'm glad I tried this SB, if only to get a sense of what an oaky California Sauvignon Blanc tastes like.

This straw yellow-green wine gave forth some typical new-world Sauvignon Blanc aromas of grass and tropical fruit, but the oak overwhelmed the experience with a bouquet of cloves and cinnamon. A slightly grassy and citrusy flavor covered the palate, but gave way to spice and wood on the mid-palate and on the finish. Alc. 14.1%. $17.

Though the SB flavors were there, the smell and taste of this wine reminded me more of oaky Chardonnay. Is this an odd perception to have? Perhaps it's intentional (to make SB palatable to the Chard crowd)?

[This message has been edited by quijote (edited 05-22-2003).]

- Bucko - 05-22-2003 10:27 PM

Read my lips -- New Zealand, New Zealand, New Zealand.....

- quijote - 05-22-2003 10:58 PM

Yeah, there definitely was a touch of NZ in the Stag, but what's up with all that oak? Only a couple of the NZ SBs I've tried so far have had any significant oak, but the tropical aromas and flavors were still allowed to burst through. With the Stag's Leap, I was in fear of splinters!

- Bucko - 05-23-2003 12:26 AM

No, no, dump CA SB -- think NZ SB.

- Thomas - 05-23-2003 07:03 AM

quijote, there are scores of winemakers who cannot seem to leave the wine alone for it to express its character instead of the producer's investment in equipment and barrels; I suspect that if they let the wine be, they'd be looking for a job.

- Nguigmi - 05-27-2003 01:52 AM

Besides Sauvignon Blanc from NZ, I've also had some good luck with some SB from Chile (2002)and South Africa. SB from Chile is good especially when looking for bargains. Although sometimes they do tend to be oaked, so be careful!

- Innkeeper - 05-27-2003 07:06 AM

Agree with the SA SB, but haven't had much luck with the Chilians. Can you name one or two that are non-oaky?

- wondersofwine - 05-27-2003 09:26 AM

Think New Zealand or Sancerre (Crochet, Cotat, Mellot, and Pelle are some vintners' you might try).

- zenda2 - 05-27-2003 10:53 AM

IK, it's not from Chile but if Argentina is close enough, I like Falling Star's SB-Semillon white bordeaux blend. I pay $5 per bottle for it here. It won't knock off any of those cat-pee NZ SB's that Bucko likes, but it's a very tasty white quaffer, with some gooseberry/grapefruit and the semillon brings in a whiff of honey. Not complex, but then again, not half bad. At $5, I didn't bother to write down a lot of tasting notes, but I remember thinking "At this price this is a great buy, get some more". Part of the Trapiche line, imported by (Roberto's least favorite) Wildman Ltd. They also make a Merlot-Malbec blend that probably wouldn't thrill many of the regular's palates on this board...but it's perfect for your 'friend who's not sure they like red wine'. The merlot-malbec is a smooth, food friendly red quaffer at a price that you can't beat. There's a time and a place for wines like that.

I've got some leftover scallops and shrimp set aside for tonite, I was going to open a bottle of Muscadet but I think I'll get out a bottle of the Falling Star white blend to go with it instead. I think I've talked myself into it.

- Nguigmi - 05-27-2003 09:49 PM

Off the top off my head I like the Veramonte SB from Chile (2002 non-oaked). It goes for $8 or $9 and, for me at least, beats some of the low end NZ Sauvignon Blanc.

It doesn't have the intensity of some of the better NZ SBs (cats pee et al), but it is nevertheless very well balanced and delicious.