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Sep 5, 2010 11:25 PM

Help with Savvy B.

I'm having trouble finding a good domestic sauvignon blanc. It's my favourite summer wine and summer lasts a long time in Vegas. I find the cali offerings to be flabby and overpriced, this is disheartening as I'm trying to keep my much cliched carbon footprint to a minimum.
I'm a huge fan of NZ SBs, Marlborough and recently Central Otago. I can find any of these easily for $10-12 and Kim Crawford and Cloudy Bay for $18-21, outstanding examples with their crisp citrus, bright acidity, and cut-grass notes.

I'm currently (read now; pardon the spelling/grammaticals) drinking a much hyped SA Mulderbrosch savvy B and I'm disapponted, nay sad, at how unispiring the acidity and body are at $20. I think I prefer the cali selections to this pretender.

Old world adherents may roll their eyes but I'm going to have to stick to the tried-but-true NZ imports unless someone can suggest otherwise.


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  1. >>> Old world adherents may roll their eyes . . . <<<

    Why? Isn't it best to drink what you LIKE???

    California produces Sauvignon Blanc in a wide variety of styles -- from heavily oaky (think Cakebread) to very bright and citrusy (think Mason and Pomelo). But these wines are VERY different than Sauvignon Blanc wines produced in Marlborough like Isabel Estate and Cloudy Bay . . . which in turn are very different from the Sauvignon Blanc wines produced in the Loire Valley of France -- wines from areas like Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé (which are very different from each other) . . . which in turn are very different from the Sauvignon Blanc wines produced in Bordeaux, France -- wines from the areas of Pessac-Léognan, Graves, and Entre-deux-Mers . . . (which are very different from one another) . . . and on and on and on it goes.


    1. The NZ style you like is (to me, anyway) best described as "grapefruity". As Jason says, if you like that style that's what you should drink. I don't think you're going to find much else with that distinctive palate in an SB. Most all California SBs I've had are not "grapefruity" in character, even those that have more decidedly citrus notes. They're really completely different to me.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Midlife

        Jason, terrior smackdown noted. : )

        Midlife, grapefruity...exactly the word I needed!

        I guess what I'm looking for is a domestic that might best imitate that grapefruity NZ flavor, while recognizing that nothing can completely match it. Any suggestions/approximations appreciated.



        1. re: skaboy

          No. Stick with New Zealand. If you insist on California, I'd check out the Pomelo, but keep in mind that California makes the BEST California Sauvignon Blancs in the world. France makes the best French SB's in the world. And New Zealand makes the best New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs in the world . . . .

          1. re: zin1953

            Yeah, if you're looking for "grapefruity", Kim Crawford's grapefruit grenade would be just the thing. Nobilo is nice and a tad more subtle with some green apple flavors as well.
            Drink what you like and help the planet in other ways. Recycle those empty wine bottles, walk to the local wine shop and perhaps plant a few trees ; )

            1. re: zin1953

              Thanks Jason, finally found the Pomelo at Total Wine, priced right and absolutely fits the bill. Clean, bright acidity, refreshing. Still hitting 100 in the daytimes here. Makes for an excellent Sunday evening.!!

        2. Much depends on whether I want a "sipper," or something to go with the right food.

          For "sippers," I go to NZ. For food, I often go to Groth Napa.


          1. Different regions make diff wines and if you like NZSB why go elsewhere.

            I too love NZSB. The only region that can match it for that zingy grassy gooseberry acidity I have found is South AFrica..

            Mulderbosch does have a reputation for its SB but I think it is not as much in a NZ style as others such as my favorite Springfield Estate, or the ones from the Constanta region.

            Also, I wonder which vintage you tried as I see a lot of old SAf wines in US wine shops, and to get the zingyness you want a young SB

            1. i know next to nothing about wines, but i love the exact same type of Sauve Bs as you - grapefruity, always from NZ, never California. the only thing I've found close is a blend by Hop Kiln, in the Russian River area, and I believe they ship, so theree goes your footprint; I'm pretty sure you can't find them in your local grocery store. It's called Thousand Flowers and blends Chard, SB, and Gewurtz. not spot on, but close. not sure if this helps....


              1 Reply
              1. re: mariacarmen

                I'll have a look around for it. Thanks