by Fred McMillin
for March 11, 1997

Report from the Fort: A Textbook Sauvignon Blanc

At my Fort Mason (S.F. City College) class, Alpha Williams asked me to describe the flavors the Sauvignon Blanc grape imparts to wine in California. Answer: Hints of herbs, vegetables, and gooseberries. Also, there's more than a hint of grass if the grapes did not see enough warm sunshine. But, a taste is worth a thousand words, so how did I select a bottle for the class to try.. a textbook Sauvignon Blanc? First, what vintage? Make it a 1996, because there's not been time for the grape flavors to be altered by slow oxidation, by long aging in oak, etc. What region? Make it a modestly warm one. We'll avoid the marine-cooled Carneros or Russian River Valley. Instead, we'll go farther inland, say to Lake or Amador county. So here's our choice; it furnishes a fine way to get acquainted uith a fine grape.

1996 Sauvignon Blanc, Amador County
Shenandoah Vineyards of California
Plymouth, CA
Contact: Robert Sobon, (209)245-4455

Category: Recommended (for your home wine class)

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

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