Tasting Notes: Starborough Sauvignon Blanc

Guys, it's almost JUNE. Where did the year go?! How is it already (almost) summer time? Some of you may be excited for the new season and others are likely in mild shock like I am. While I can't believe it, the weather outside is forcing me to come to terms. We've been lucky enough to get some beautiful days recently, but I've already felt the heat and the summer storms have been around all week. What's a plus side to the warmer days? Getting to enjoy some chilled white wines! 

The Facts

  • Producer: Starborough
  • Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
  • Vintage: 2016
  • Variety: Sauvignon Blanc
  • Where I purchased: Grocery Store -  Harris Teeter. You can also find it at Total Wine. 
  • Price: $10.99
Starborough Sauv Blanc
  • Eyes: First off, I thought the label was pretty cool. I try not to choose a wine based on the label because I think they can be very deceptive, but I do like this one. Sauvignon Blancs have some of the best labels in my opinion because they're usually bright and fun. Anyway, I digress. You can kind of tell from the picture above, but once I poured a glass, this wine is so pale that it's almost white or clear. 
     
  • Nose: Smells just like what you would expect from a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc! It smells citrusy, and I specifically think it smells like grapefruit. There's a hint of that herbal, grassy smell that often accompany wines from this area. I also got a slight whiff of peach, but citrus was front and center. Bottom line is it smelled good! 
     
  • Mouth: Crisp, light, refreshing. Exactly what we were looking for! The citrus notes came through, but wasn't overpoweringly acidic. It was super easy to drink and perfect for those who want that zing of an acidic white. I desperately want to say "gooseberry" because everyone always uses that descriptor for Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, but I have no idea what that tastes like. I might as well be this guy. Gooseberries, you elude me for now, but I'll find you some day.
     
  • Thoughts: If you like Sauvignon Blancs, this one is a great choice because it is a classic example of the wine from Marlborough. It's affordable, tasty, and would be perfect for a drink on the patio during a warm summer's evening or paired with a light afternoon picnic (hello, screwtop!). Kevin and I actually bought it to make this chicken piccata recipe, and it paired very well with the lemon and parsley in the dish (don't judge my amount of pasta). This type of Sauvignon Blanc would go well with any poultry (avoid the cream sauce, though) and would go especially well with veggies. Also, just a random thing to note, 2016 was apparently a very good vintage for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, so keep that in mind while shopping!

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Tasting Notes: My Essential Rosé

One of our favorite local restaurants, Corkbuzz, gave us two complimentary wine cards during a class. The weather has been so beautiful lately, so we had to take advantage and have a drink on a patio somewhere in Charlotte. The guy who helped us recommended this rosé and I absolutely loved the label which was a great start to the glass!

The Facts

  • Producer: my ESSENTIAL wine
  • Region: Provence, France
  • Vintage: 2015
  • Variety: Blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, and Mourvèdre
  • Where I purchased: Local restaurant
  • Price: Glass was $11, but according to my internet search, bottles sell in wine shops for around $15
  • Eyes: This wine was a very pale pink and translucent... it almost looked gold. I expected a rosé to be a little bit darker, but alas, this one was very pale.
     
  • Nose: I was surprised that this wine had a very faint nose. It smelled like strawberries, minerals, and a hint of banana. Don't think of a strawberry-banana smoothie, but there was definitely a hint of banana on the nose. 
     
  • Mouth: The rosé was clean and crisp as the guy described. It was easy to drink, but unfortunately, the strawberry flavor I was hoping for based off of the nose did not come through. Yes, there was some strawberry, but I was hoping for more. The faint flavor actually reminded me a bit of bubblegum.
     
  • Thoughts: Overall, this wine just did not have a ton of flavor. I wanted to branch out and try the trendy rosé route, but my first attempt was not successful. Don't get me wrong, the wine wasn't bad, but I was hoping for more... more fruit, more something. The cute wine label failed me, and I was so disappointed! I have not given up hope on rosé, but I'd probably order a glass of white or Pinot Noir before I order this particular one again.

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Tasting Notes: Governors Bay Sauvignon Blanc

I apologize for the delay in posting. Our housework was delayed due to poor weather and we did not have access to any wine necessities. It was terrible! I'm just kidding about it being terrible because now we have beautiful new floors and a fresh coat of paint in the house, but I am glad to be back to regular programming!

This is the third wine from my Total Wine 2015 Challenge. Not sure I will get to taste them all before 2015 ends (how is it December already?!), but at least it's progress!

The Facts

  • Producer: Governors Bay
  • Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
  • Vintage: 2014
  • Variety: Sauvignon Blanc
  • Where I purchased: Total Wine
  • Price: $11.99
  • Eyes: This sauvignon blanc is very light in color, a very pale yellow. It looked to be very light bodied, or very light in viscosity. 
     
  • Nose: This wine was VERY fragrant. A strong nose of citrus -- definitely some grapefruit. I also smelled a hint of apple and pear. 
     
  • Mouth: I knew based off of the smell that this wine would have a strong citrus flavor, and I was not wrong. Others note a big gooseberry flavor, but to be honest, I have no idea what a gooseberry tastes like so I will have to take their word for it (and eventually try a gooseberry so I know). Gooseberry is very characteristic of sauvignon blancs from Marlborough. There was definitely some acidity to this wine... I could tell based on the fact that acidity in wine makes your mouth water after the sip. I would say the acidity almost made the wine tart, but it wasn't overwhelming in my opinion.
     
  • Thoughts: I'm still learning to really enjoy whites, but this one was easy to drink and is characteristic of whites I have started to like. It was crisp, and in my opinion, refreshing. I tend to like the lighter and fruity (citrus, apple, etc) wines more so than the "heavy", buttery, oaky chardonnays, so this one was a win in my book. At this price point, it is definitely on my list for when summer returns!

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Tasting Notes: Olema Chardonnay

This is the second wine from my Total Wine 2015 Challenge. So far so good!

The Facts

  • Producer: Amici Cellars
  • Region: Sonoma, California
  • Vintage: 2013
  • Variety: Chardonnay
  • Where I purchased: Total Wine
  • Price: $15.99
  • Eyes: Nice light golden color, maybe even more yellow than golden. Pours like a medium body.
     
  • Nose: This wine smells very fruit forward. I definitely smelled apple and pear. I didn't get any hint of oakiness on the nose.
     
  • Mouth: Just like the smell, I definitely tasted apple and pear. I felt like it was pretty crisp and fresh for a chardonnay. There is a little bit of "butter", but as my husband put it, "not as buttery as some of the other crappier chardonnays I've had." To put it more eloquently, I would say it is "medium butter", if that is a thing. Good acidity, balanced. Upon further research, I saw descriptors like zesty, melon, marzipan, candied lemon, and light oakiness.
     
  • Thoughts: I think this is a great introduction to the world of chardonnay. Its "medium butter" and light oakiness aren't overwhelming to someone unfamiliar with the flavor profile. I typically don't care for oaky and buttery whites, and I found this one to be tasty. It is a good value at under $20, although I probably wouldn't get it for an "every day" white. I think this is best served during a nice weekend meal or as a host/hostess gift for someone who enjoys chardonnays or whites!

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