The Cellar: Inexpensive Summer Sauvignon Blancs

Friday, May 31, 2013


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June hasn’t even arrived yet and we, the residents of southern New England, have already had our first couple of hot, humid and sweaty days. With what appears to be a long and hot summer looming around the corner, I have started my search for what are going to be my ‘go-to’ summer white wines. The first variety I have been exploring is Sauvignon Blanc; a grape variety which is made into delicious wines all over the world. The following is a review of three of the more memorable $10 Sauvignon Blancs I have had in recent weeks.

2011 Seaglass Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Barbara

The grapes for this week’s first Sauvignon Blanc are sourced from vineyards located in the rolling hills of Santa Barbara County. The vineyards are located not far from the ocean. The cool breezes

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and morning fog keeps the conditions moderate in an otherwise warm region and allow the grapes to ripen slower and hang on the vine longer. This helps preserve the fruits acidity and prevents them from over-ripening.

A lot is done during the winemaking process to keep the wine as fresh as possible. For example, the wine is kept cold and in sealed stainless steel tanks so as to minimize oxidation. This wine is made ‘Marlborough style’; crisp and clean wine with noticeable grapefruit and grassy notes. Simple and delicious and great at $10 a pop.

2012 The Beach House White, Western Cape, South Africa

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The Beach House White is an 80% Sauvignon Blanc & 20% Semillon blend from South Africa’s Western Cape. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon have been blending partners for hundreds of years. If you’ve ever had a white wine from Bordeaux, for example, chances are that the wine was a similar blend.

The Beach House white is not a super complicated wine, but light, refreshing and easy-drinking, with straight-forward and delicious fruit. What I like about this wine is that it comes across as being well-made. A burst of citrus fruit givers way to a slightly herbaceous mid-palate. It finishes with nice lingering tropical fruit notes. This is a wine for the pool. For under $10 I consider this a good value.

2012 Babich Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand

Probably the $10’ish Sauvignon Blanc of which I have consumed the most so far this season is from Babich. Their 2012 Sauvignon Blanc is just a great value. Not only did Babich earn a Double Gold

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Medal at the 2013 Chinese Wine & Spirits Awards for this Sauvignon Blanc, the winery also took home the honor of ‘New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year’. So, if you haven’t explored Babich’s wines yet I highly recommend you get sipping.

Babich is a family owned and operated winery. It was founded by 21 year-old Croatian immigrant Josip Petroc Babich in 1916 and has grown to quite the Estate. They produce a lot of good wines ranging from entry-level variety wines to serious blends and single vineyard offerings. While many of their wines haven’t made it to our shores yet their Sauvignon Blanc has. This is a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – think fresh cut grassy and gooseberries with considerable minerality. This is not ‘over-the-top’ grassy and limey, but perfectly balanced and delicious.


Steffen Rasch is a Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine. Feel free to email him at [email protected] with any wine-related question. Follow GoLocalProv’s Wine Cellar on Facebook to stay connected to the local wine scene or sign up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy.


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