The theme for this tasting was Sauvignon... Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The word sauvignon means wild, savage, or native plant in French, depending on who you ask. Surprisngly, none of these wines came from Bordeaux, the home of these grapes.
Wine 1: 2005 Zolo Sauvignon Blanc. Argentina. A good way to start the tasting--bold and fruity, with powerful grapefruit flavors and medium acidity. I remember enjoying the Malbec from Zolo, and this one is quite good as well. $13.
Wine 2: 2004 Rodney Strong "Charlotte's Home" Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County, California. Light nose, ashy flavor, a little flat. This and the Sancerre probably should have come before the more full-bodied whites. $14.
Wine 3: 2004 Chateau Potelle Sauvignon Blanc. Mendocino County, California. Charming story behind this winery. The husband and wife came over in the early 80s as tasters for the French government, but ended up settling in California and founding a vineyard. Very crisp, light fruit and a mineral quality that combines some of the best elements of California and France. $16.
Wine 4: 2004 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre. Loire Valley, France. Fresh bread aromas on the nose, light and mild. Easy sipper, and elegant. $25.
Wine 5: 2004 Pike & Joyce Sauvignon Blanc. Adelaide Hills, Australia. Citrus and pineapple aromas, similar flavors. Light and well-rounded with a smooth finish. $20.
Wine 6: 2004 The Jibe Sauvignon Blanc. Marlborough, New Zealand. Lots of grapefruit aroma, clean and clear but with mild flavors. $14.
Wine 7: 2005 Verget du Sud Rosé. Côtes du Luberon, France. A nice Provençal ros&0233; made from Cabernet Sauvignon. I don't think I've had Cab Sav as a pink wine before, but I enjoyed it. Lovely light salmon color, cherry tart nose with mild berry flavors and crisp acidity. $15.
Wine 8: 2003 Beringer Founders' Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Napa Valley, California. Black cherry and cream aromas, jammy with medium tannins. Really impressive for the price. $11.
Wine 9: 2003 Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon. Columbia Valley, Washington. Mild spicy nose, very smooth plum flavors. Low tannins and a beautiful deep, dark color. I loved the Indian Wells Merlot, and am equally impressed with this wine. $21.
Wine 10: 2002 Artesa Napa/Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon. 76% Napa Valley, 24% Sonoma County, California. Dark peppery aroma, fully tannic and dry. A bit too young in my opinion. Heavy red grape skin flavors dominate. $25.
Wine 11: 2003 Chateau la Grande Roche Cabernet Sauvignon. Napa Valley, California. Very little nose, no discernable flavors. Like the previous wine, I think it might need some time. $35.
Wine 12: 2003 Sbragia Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. Sonoma County, California. Part of the Beringer Reserve Club, made by the head winemaker. Spike cake on the nose, big round cherry flavors, hints of apple. Very dry, but not overly tannic. $35.