Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2008 ~ 85 pts ~ $14.95

For some reason, I find myself edging closer to white wines. This perplexes me, because a year ago I would have answered, “White wine? Psh! I’m a red-only wino, thank you very much!” But perhaps this scoff at the white grape comes from not a general distaste of the wine, but a series of unfortunate tastings that can be characterized easily as theme park wine. For many, sweet white wines are fun, easy to get to, and in the end serve a purpose that is sugary and instant gratification. I do not mean to balk or look down upon people who like really sweet wines. My roommate loves sweet wine – he thought a mulled wine was good to drink as a table wine, whereas I can’t stand the stuff. Whatever wine you like, embrace it and enjoy! For me, most white wines do not agree with me because I usually don’t like the sweeter wines – which explains why I really don’t like most Michigan wines.

But this Sauv Blanc is something entirely new to my palate and experience. Its appearance is nothing unusual – lemony straw-like. The nose is tight. Very tight. Lemon, ripe berries and citrus rind. I enjoyed the fresh smell of this wine immediately. The taste is equally tight, very acidic with an explosive taste of green pepper. Imagine taking the rind of a lemon, sprinkling it on a piece of green pepper and just chomping down. Yeah, intense, isn’t it! While I enjoyed the wine, though, it is definitely a wine that cannot be enjoyed with anything. I would highly suggest cheese, fish or chicken. The wine almost needs a complimentary food item to be tamed down a bit. I could definitely drink it by itself, but it is an acquired taste that does not go down quite as easily as, say, a mulled wine.

Now for a little bit about Whitehaven. A relatively new wine maker/seller, Whitehaven was founded in 1994 by Greg and Sue White, and Simon Waghorn. By all estimations their winery started as a small venture in New Zealand, likened to any other small winemaker found in the countryside of Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan or Oregon. With 40 acres of land, it seemed like they were hoping for a local clientele. Now, Whitehaven distributes across the world (including, thankfully, the U.S.). They make a number of other wines, but are known for their whites. And their 2009 Sauv Blanc has won numerous awards, so perhaps the reader would be best to try that one instead? Or perhaps a comparison? If you do try both, let me know your thoughts!


One response to this post.

  1. Interesting. I have found the same myself, being a Red wino, and even jokingly calling others girly for drinking white wine. But the last couple of years I’ve appreciated some nice whites, such as Scorpo, Pinot Grigios, Scarborough, Colstream Hills, and the Penfolds BIN 311 Chardonnay (which I never thought I would like) – try their Tumbaraumba one if you haven’t! – Some 311 releases are from Orange as Tumbarumba had frost, but the Tumby wines are deliciously creamy with perfect floral tones and mineral acidity with stone fruits. Anyway nice blog!


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