Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Sauvignon Blanc

One of the great things about living in Northern California is that, when summer comes, the days are long and hot, but the evenings cool down to the temperate seventies, allowing for all-evening-long, outdoor entertaining by the barbecue and fire pit.

Every Wednesday, here at Bubba's house, I do what I refer to fondly as the Wednesday Night Appreciation Dinner.  It's for an unknown quantity of guests, the usual four of us (my wife, daughter and a good friend) and an appreciating and appreciative group of my son's friends.  He's off in Montana in college, but his friends, male and female, like to come over for recollection's sake, some of my barbecue that they've enjoyed for years, and long conversations without the television on for company, and things that don't involve their iphone least for a while!

Grill Management at its finest!
Now that they're over twenty-one, for the most part, I usually invite them to bring some wine, and we elders pass on what wisdom we can about current events, wine, relationships and music.  With the temperatures soaring into the high nineties earlier in the week, I thought it was a good time to trot out some nicely chilled white wines and finally review the other bottle I received from John Boring at the California Wine Club, the Robledo, Seven Brothers, Lake County Sauvignon Blanc.

The warmth of the evening called for simple fare, so I served up barbecued chicken thighs (because I prefer the moistness of the dark meat), grilled indirect for an hour, seasoned with Chaka's MMM sauce and Grandville's Extra Spicy BBQ Jam, blended in a pot on the grill and basted liberally every ten minutes, or so; some Farmer John's Smoked Sausage, also grilled indirect so the skin doesn't blacken and blister; home style potato salad, garlic bread and mini bell peppers, lightly grilled in extra virgin olive oil with grilled, sliced mushrooms, using a barbecue tray, my daughter thoughtfully gave me after she saw me losing  shrooms through the grill top!  As you can see, with proper temperature control, there's nothing you can't put on the grill!  The stage was set and dinner for seven, and a wine review, for hungry stomachs and eager, young palates was in the offing!

Outstanding Medal Winner
It must be said, that when it comes to white wines, the taste in my mind runs to the German Kabinetts and Spatleses I grew up with in Europe, because I enjoyed the fruity crispness, and  I have great disdain for Chardonnay, mainly because I hate the hackneyed and cliched term buttery! (I once belonged to the Anything But Chardonnay Wine Club, until they, inexplicably, sent me a bottle of...Chardonnay! Go figure.

As my palate refined, Saunignon Blanc became the natural choice of warm weather wine.  Nicely chilled, but not shocked.  (As the Europeans will tell you, Americans tend to drink their reds too warm and their whites too cold, rascals that we are!)

I poured the Robledo into as many glasses as age and preference permitted, and held my glass up to the fading light of the sunset.  The color was crisp and clear, without the mildest hint of the bronze discoloration that sediment brings.  It showed great legs and a mildly sweet scented bouquet.  I was pleased with the friendly crispness of my first sip and delicately smooth finish.  No harsh after burn in the back of the throat, as with so many French whites.

I'm not one for flowery descriptions of oak and tannin, with hints of raspberry and pineapple as some are,  so, here's what the Robledo's themselves, say about it:

"This pale yellow wine is clear and bright, ready to wow you with zesty aromas of tropical fruits and green apple. Its fruit flavors are intense, highlighted by green tea and citrus notes. This mouthcoating wine ends with a crisp butripe finish. A terrific Sauvignon Blanc, even just by itself!"

Couldn't have said it better if I were a wine dude!  Anyway, the evening proceeded with comparisons to other  Sauvignon Blancs as they reached the table, some popular, some trendy and some from another boutique winery we like, and I have to say again, without even knowing that this is a $20 bottle that his club offers at a great value at $10.99 a bottle, John surprised me with another winner! 

Do yourselves a favor and contact John at the California Wine Club.  You're going to have to prove me wrong when I say that this family business of theirs is doing something special for boutique California wineries 


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  2. The sauce rocks. It's what make the taste more delicious.